Opportunities to Serve in Ukraine

Danny Boyle was involved with Young Life in high school. He has been a volunteer Young Life leader while in college in Virginia and continues to lead today. Danny went with Young Life to the Ukraine in 2017. What follows is his personal account of his service trip and why he would encourage you to consider serving in a similar manner. 

It seems that Jesus and I have the same conversation time and time again. I have a plan of how a series of events are going to play out and Jesus beautifully interrupts and shows me so much more than I could ever imagine. This same conversation happened countless times during my time with Young Life in Ukraine. We go places with the expectation of being the blessing and we leave being the one who was truly blessed.

The ministry of Young Life has been in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, since 1994, and it is apparent how the staff and leaders there are changing the city as a whole. In addition to teen Young Life and WyldLife, they have thriving YoungLives, Young Life College, Capernaum, Young Life for orphans, as well as a Young Life College Church that was started to support the many students they minister to on campus. They also have an incredible Young Life Center that houses club meetings, leader training conferences, exercise classes and child care for young mothers, tutoring and computer classes, and housing for kids transitioning out of orphanages! They feed hungry street kids at least once a week from the kitchen and also have a bike shop where they teach repair skills. During the month I spent in Ukraine, I was given the opportunity to serve at a WyldLife camp, a YoungLives camp and lend a helping hand to remodel the Young Life Center.

Aside from the time “working,” there was ample time to explore the beautiful city with my new friends. There was a small language boundary, but that didn’t stop us from laughing, praying and worshiping together! As much as I had to “give,” it would never compare to what has been given to me. I had more fun than I could ever expect, and I got a glimpse of what Young Life looks like in this incredible part of the world. I made friends that reminded me that we are all His. And most importantly, I learned so much more about how Jesus cares for me and what He wants for my life.

Even across the world, Young Life camps are always going to feel like a place where heaven meets earth. This was never more evident than in Ukraine. Seeing how kids hear the life-changing news of Jesus added to the many blessings of this trip. When Jesus said, “Leave your nets and follow me,” the disciples definitely had no clue of the adventure that would ensue. In the same way, Jesus has invited us into a journey to witness more than we could ever imagine. Young Life Ukraine is waiting … go and see it!

Danny, thanks for sharing a bit of your story and for your ongoing service to and through the mission of Young Life. To learn more about this amazing ministry go to www.Ukraine.younglife.org, and go here for opportunities to serve with Young Life in Ukraine.