I played 39 games of tic-tac-toe in a row with a small junior high girl before she was satisfied. We were on a bus ride together, heading to a hotel where the camp would be held. Fourteen precious children sat in that bus, all with different stories, each one with their own set of fears, circumstances, and lives.
The night we arrived, we stood in a circle and sang to Jesus, voices lifted up in praise. “You are not an accident,” they were told. “There was a young girl who was unwanted by her parents. They made it clear to her during her life that they were disappointed that she had been born. Who do you think it was?” Their leader, the woman who weekly mentors each of these children, is the individual in the story. There is hope.
Because of the lingering influence of Communism, it is hard for these children to dream or think for themselves. When asked to describe themselves, many of them choose the same word as someone has already said.
But at this camp they are learning they have a specific purpose and calling for each of their lives. At this camp they will learn from the example of Esther of the Old Testament. They understand her background well. Growing up with her uncle, Esther was literally trafficked and used for the king’s pleasure. Yet the Lord used her to save her people.
Within this culture, these are the words they need to hear. And in this place, that is exactly what will be repeated over and over and over.
A pottery house was visited during the five days, and the example from Jeremiah 18 came to life: “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!”
These children, like clay, are in the Lord’ s hands. He is at work, fully molding these children into the people He created them to be.
* Blog article written by Sara Scott - Editor and writer for Changing a Generation. These are true stories written during Sara’s summer missions trip to Bulgaria. Names of children and participants are changed for protection purposes.