Desko’s first time as a camper was in 2016 at Camp Solaris. He has since been a Leader in Training at Camp Sonshine and an Assistant Counselor at both camp programs. Also, when he saw a need for campers, he raised enough support to give 60+ bibles to Camp Solaris so that campers would be able to read from The Word during personal time at camp! Read about his journey below: 

“I was born in Bulgaria, a country in Europe. When I was two months old, I was taken to an orphanage. I can remember loving to be there, because I got to be with my sister and meet a lot of different people. When I was 12 years old, I heard from the orphanage director that a family from the U.S. wanted to adopt me and my sister. We ended up in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2015. 

When we arrived, we didn’t know much English. It was hard to understand a lot that was happening. One thing I remember not understanding was when my parents would take me to church – I did know I liked all the singing! One of my first friends in America invited me to the youth group ministry at my church, and I met a lot of really nice people and had a lot of fun. It was still difficult for me to understand a lot at this time. 

I REALLY THINK I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD SHARING THE WORD OF GOD WITH OTHERS AND LOVING THEM THE WAY MY COUNSELOR DID FOR ME.

Desko

Then after my first school year in America, my mom signed me up for a week of Camp Solaris. I didn’t know anything about what camp was and was kind of confused. But when I stepped inside, I saw all the counselors and campers having fun. 

I remembered that I wanted to be one of those people having fun, but because I didn’t know English very well, I had a hard time connecting with others. I’m sad to say that I became one of those kids who acted out. 

One night, my counselor, Clayton, took me aside and explained the rules to me, then he just took the time to get to know me as we sat around a table. He then told me more about camp and why they exist, to tell campers about Jesus. 

That day, he told me what Jesus did for us – while we have sin, he died to save us. I asked him a lot of questions. Throughout the week, I thought a lot about what my counselor had told me. 

On Thursday, while we sat around a bonfire down near the pond and listened to Clayton speak, I realized I wanted to accept Christ Jesus in my life.

Camp Sonshine is now a place that feels like home. They don’t just say that they’re about “Making Memories and Changing Lives,” I’ve seen that they actually do. That first summer of 2016 was one of the best summers of my life. 

Since that first summer, I was baptized at my church and I’ve seen the need to serve others as I continue to pursue Jesus Christ. I even got the chance to go to Mexico with Camp Sonshine to help lead a week of camp for kids there. It was there that I realized how much I love working with kids. I really think I can make a difference in the world sharing the Word of God with others and loving them the way my counselor did for me. 

I still go to Camp Sonshine and Solaris every opportunity I get, because I love the people there and want to be more like them, which is why I hope to someday be a counselor and impact kids at camp. It’s crazy to see and believe how much I’ve changed and all that has happened to me since I’ve been in America because of the different camp experiences I’ve had and the work of God in my life.” 

WANT TO CONTINUE TO MAKE STORIES LIKE THIS ONE POSSIBLE?

Consider a gift on Give to Lincoln Day, an event that encourages you to contribute to Lincoln and Lancaster County nonprofit organizations on May 30th. Give to Lincoln Day is coordinated by Lincoln Community Foundation, in partnership with local nonprofit organizations. Every donation makes a bigger impact on Give to Lincoln Day because nonprofits also get a proportional share of a $400,000 match fund made possible by LCF and generous sponsors.

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