Over two years ago, Ukraine held its first CFO Camp. CFOers around the world have been praying for CFOers in Ukraine ever since. Would a camp happen there again? God is faithful! and CFOer Erika Oosterkamp has graciously written to tell us of her recent experience at Ukraine CFO.
On November 11 – 13, 2016, after a two year hiatus, a CFO camp met once again in Ukraine. Oksana Vitiuk, along with her parents and their pastor, had been praying and dreaming since the last time a CFO event was held in their country. “We need CFO”, they prayed, and the Holy Spirit began to move. Weeks turned into months, turned into a year, but faith was strong and God blessed their prayers and planning with a beautiful camp in the cool, cool, cool of the winter.
Just east of Lviv, at the foot of the Carpatian Mountains, twenty Ukrainian CFOers went farthest out in their walking with Jesus as they entered into the CFO Program. The council ring prayerfully envisioned and carried out a very intimate camp both in setting and in content. Though our time together was just three days, we felt like we made such lasting connections. I, coming from Holland, was welcomed with such joy and appreciation. Going to a CFO event is like going home, and I was overwhelmed with gladness.
Seasoned CFOers need not be reminded of the wholistic approach of the CFO Day. The breathing in and out of God’s love; the discerning of God’s voice in silence, song, movement, and creation; the giving and receiving of God’s love and God’s message for each one of us right where we are; the ‘deep calling to deep’; the experience of the divine as we are fully present to one another, seeking God’s highest and best for ourselves, others, and the whole of creation. The intensity of our weekend together drew us into a beautiful closeness with God and one another. We were bound together in our praying and sharing like never before.
Pastor Andrei delivered true CFO talks in as they were messages of truth as revealed through personal experience. A theme that developed for me was the concept of vocation. Vocation involves those things to which the Holy Spirit calls us to do, be involved in, or engage with. Finding vocation demands that we be totally open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We must be channels for that power and be open to and ready for the inevitable growth and change that will take place. Our vocation now, may not be our vocation down the road, but never the less, it will be our joy. To see this message sink into the hearts of these campers, most of whom are in their twenties, was a blessed experience.
The snow was heavy… thirty centimeters! Driving took a bit longer than anticipated and we did have to depart just a little earlier than planned. Everyone made it to their next destination safely, and we praise God for traveling mercies.
Please pray for Ukraine CFO and the twenty campers as they take the CFO way of life out of this beautiful camp and into their beautiful country. In our time together I heard this call: Do not forget Ukraine! Continue to pray for the people and for a road to peace in their land!
‘Tis winter now; the fallen snow has left the heavens all coldly clear; Through leafless boughs the sharp winds blow, and all the earth lies dead and drear.
And yet God’s love is not withdrawn; God’s life within the keen air breathes; God’s beauty paints the crimson dawn, and clothes the boughs with glittering wreaths.
O God! who givest the winter’s cold, as well as summer’s joyous rays, us warmly in thy love enfold, and keep us through life’s wintry days.
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