The youth of Assumption parish in Perth Amboy, NJ again this year had the opportunity to expand their knowledge in faith and culture by attending a three-day Vacation Bible Discovery Camp on the grounds of the parish. Every year the children look forward to this camp where they form lifelong friendships and experience the joy and beauty of our Catholic faith and Ukrainian culture. It was a joy to see each child arrive with beaming smiles on their faces when they arrived on Monday, August 26 as they anxiously waited for the three days of camp to begin. The camp started with twenty-one happy campers who were eager to learn more about their faith and strengthen relationships with one another.
The first day started out at our church hall where campers offered prayer to Almighty God. Then a day was filled with a variety of fun activities that included a lesson and an art project on “With God all Things Are possible,” and a biblical lesson on how sin can be avoided by following “The Ten Commandments.” The students were also introduced to the concept of God’s omnipotence by reading the story of how Jesus Walks on the Water. In the afternoon, the campers had a very special visitor, Bishop Andriy Rabiy, who attended the camp on his way to the Synod of Bishops in Ukraine. The children were able to get to know His Excellency during the question and answer session with a Bishop. They asked him many questions about his own personal interests and his ministry, all of which he answered. Having answered the children’s questions, he took the opportunity to ask his own questions about the importance of church, prayer and saints in their lives. The students eagerly answered and each received an icon from the Bishop.
On the second day of camp, children participated in a memorable day full of fun activities and enriching classes which included lessons about the Holy Dormition Feast, the cross, Moses and the importance of keeping “The Ten Commandments.” After a wonderful lunch at the rectory prepared by Fr. Ivan, the children spent the afternoon forming social bonds over crafts and other educational activities before heading back to church for a special presentation by Fr. Ivan on the iconography and Mrs. Fedynyshyn’s talk on the important Bible characters in our Salvation.
The third day of camp got off to a great start as children read about the Good Shepherd, made their own little lamb to remind them that they are a part of "the flock," reviewed how Bishop Andriy and Fr. Ivan are other shepherds who help Jesus to keep "the flock" from getting lost through sin. Throughout the third day of camp the children also took part in many different fun activities like playing in the bounce house and participating in the sack races, where they were fish in the Sea of Galilee waiting to be caught by the Apostles. They said they were "jumping for Jesus."
In three days of camp, there were lots of good food, amazing projects and lots of new friendships made. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen and who took time out of their busy schedules and invested it in the future of our parish. We would like to especially acknowledge and thank Mrs. Melanie Fedynyshyn who oversaw and planed the three days of camp. Thanks to John Fedynyshyn, who supplied the food, teachable materials, cleaned the hall each day and ensured the safety of everybody attending. This couple did an exceptional job and are to be congratulated for all that they have done. Thank you Father Ivan for guidance, prayers, talks and everyday presence with the campers. Thanks also go to Miss Sofia Wernyj who instructed and watched our campers and to Mrs. Dawn Domingues and Mrs. Maria Derevenska for their assistance in making this endeavor such a success. It is because of caring parents, children and wonderful volunteers that our parish will continue to grow. May God bless you in all that you do.