The Best Summer Yet

Giving Thanks to God for the Great Things He Has Done

By Marite Bortnikova, Eagle’s Wings Camp Assistant Director

ERGLI, Latvia – This summer we experienced God’s goodness and love in a special way. And just as we find ourselves saying at the end of every season at Eagle’s Wings, we say it again…

This summer, 280 children and 40 leaders gathered in Ergli, Latvia for various camps, including ministry to orphans.

This summer has been more than special. It’s been the very best yet!

As usual, we began our summer marathon with a week-long training camp during which all summer leaders and helpers spent time in fellowship, in worship together and in individual devotional time. This year, we were also joined by Eagle’s Wings founders, Dustin and Kristine Peterson.

Training camp is a special and important week. It provides the necessary time to pause from our daily routines, to reflect and prepare our hearts for the service that God has set before us, and to be praying for each and every child whose hearts we hope to touch.

This year, 280 children and 40 leaders gathered at Eagle’s Wings for “Faith, Friendship and Fun,” many of whom returned from years past. We learned some of what they have experienced in the past year, listened to their concerns, and offered support and hope. Camp profoundly impacts their lives and futures, though we are not always able to immediately see “how.”

At Eagle’s Wings Camp, our motto is Faith, Friendship and Fun. We take that very seriously!

We are making an investment in their futures. Our Heavenly Father knows every one of them and has a plan for their lives. I am so grateful that, for these few days, we get to be a part of His plan.

On the very last evening of each camp, everyone was invited to throw sticks into the fire and share what they are thankful for. It was a tremendous joy to listen to the kids as they proclaimed their reliance on God and their confidence in Him as their Savior. As each camp came to an end, we were sad to say goodbye to our new young friends. Yet, we trust that God will continue the work He has begun.

We have faith that He will help these sown seeds to grow in good soil and bring forth fruit.

Every summer brings new instances of God’s goodness to us!

In recent years, we have bookended the summer season with a special retreat at the sea for Leaders and Helpers. This year, in particular, we felt a special sense of community – like that of a family which supports, cares and encourages one other. During this week, we often learn of the individual victories the youth have experienced during the various camps; again, we found ourselves overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the team He has given us… and to so many who have served, held us up in prayer, encouraged us and supported Eagle’s Wings financially.

And so, we have completed our summer marathon here in Latvia, but a new season of ministry begins – part of our team is now on a mission trip in the country of Georgia with our friends Alex, his wife and the “Star of the East,” where they are leading a camp for refugee children. God has done great things here in Latvia, and we are thrilled to now send our team to serve and share the Good News of Jesus Christ elsewhere.

For, as He proves to us time and time again, He will do great things.

 “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31


Marite Bortnikova is Eagle’s Wings Assistant Director. She also leads the camp’s ministry to orphans.

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