Transnistria. A country frozen in Soviet mid-20th century time. It's sovereignty is not recognized by the United Nations but is an autonomous area of Moldova where Russian presence and influence is very evident. In July, Anabaptist Teaching Ministries sponsored a women's Bible camp in northern Transnistria. Rose Yoder (PA) and Rosa King (Thailand) accompanied Pauline Yoder (IN) to the camp. The camp was organized by the churches in Transnistria. Here is an excerpt from Rose's report of the trip:
The ladies were all settled in by the time we arrived and we were able to explore and get organized for the week. There were approximately 70 ladies that attended excluding the staff. These ladies were coming from many different places and backgrounds - Russian Orthodox, Jehovah's Witness, Shalom (not Jews but they believe the Messiah hasn't come yet), one Yiddish lady, one army soldier, and then about half of the ladies were Christian. All of the diversity brought some interesting discussions throughout the week.
Veronika was the director for the week and there was a middle-aged couple there to assist as well. Veronika did an amazing job of setting the tone for the week, organizing all the details, and caring about the needs of these ladies. She represented Jesus to all of us in a very beautiful and real way. I'll post the schedule to give you a glimpse into some of the things we did.
8:15 - 8:45 Gymnastics
8:45 - 9:00 Group Prayer
9:00 - Breakfast
9:45 - 11:00 Chapel
11:00 - 12:00 Discussion Groups (Each group returned to their room and spent time discussing what they learned in the chapel time. This is the time where a lot of good things happened as well as some intense discussions. We were able to participate in this a few days if the translator was available.)
12:00 - 1:00 Craft Class Groups 1 - 3
1:00 - 1:45 Lunch
1:45 - 4:00 Free Time
4:00 - 5:00 Craft Class Groups 4 - 6
5:00 - 6:00 Free Time
6:00 - 6:45 Supper
7:00 - 9:00 Praise & Worship, Presentations, Testimonies (Each group had to present the Biblical town that their group was called; most of the groups had drama presentations with a song or two.)
9:00 - 9:30 Snack Time
My favorite part of the camp was spending time with the young girls. There were about 12 girls from the ages of 15 to 25 and we did a lot of fun things together. Several days during the free time we would walk 30 minutes to the river to go swimming. In the evening we played games outside until midnight or so. Several of them were able to speak some English so communication was a bit more possible. One night we got about 4 hours of sleep because we went to bed late and got up really early to hike up the mountain to watch the sunrise. They had very open hearts and asked some intense questions. It was heartbreaking to hear bits of their stories and yet not being able to offer much hope due to the language barrier.
Attendee & Rosa King
The ladies enjoyed the camp so much and were very grateful for our presence there. We received many hugs and kisses every day in thankfulness for the opportunity that they had to be there.