The Story Behind SeaStar Kids

The mission of SeaStar Kids is simple and straightforward: to be used as God’s hands and feet through meaningful outreach to the children and young adults of Ukraine.

For those of us that grew up in an environment of consistent fellowship and “church youth group” activities, we likely credit those events with providing a solid foundation for a lifetime of service. But after dozens of mission trips to Ukraine – both East and West – it became abundantly clear to me that fledgling churches are struggling mightily with the spiritual development of their youth.

An idea soon formed within me – I know it was from God – to reach across the ocean and instigate authentic church camp and youth group experiences for Ukrainian children. Soon thereafter, the well-known story of the Starfish settled in my mind as a guide for our efforts:

Once, a man was walking on a beach. In the distance, he could see a person going back and forth from the beach to the water’s edge. As the man approached, he saw hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand and a person throwing the star fish one by one back into the surf. “You must be crazy.” the man said, “There are too many to make a difference.”  The person stooped down, threw another starfish into the sea and replied “To that one, I made all the difference.”

SeaStar Kids wants to make a difference. It is a properly registered 501(c)(3), created to provide the resources and guidance needed for Ukrainian children to experience God’s love through summer church camps and other meaningful monthly youth activities. All funds raised through Soup and Shop and private donations to SSK are 100% dedicated to serving our kids. I – along with all the members of the SSK Board – serve without pay.

We often note that our on-the-ground work in Ukraine is heavily reliant on carefully chosen StarKeepers – or young-adult believers – committed to demonstrating to children and adolescents abundant living through following the Lord. As of this year, we now have the opportunity to directly impact the lives of not only our SeaStar Kids, but also their StarKeepers. Funds provided by SeaStar Kids now support full scholarships for our Starkeeper’s continued education, as well as our children while at camp.

Simply put, the more funds we can direct to these worthy experiences, the more students we can serve in God’s name . . and help them impact others for generations to come.

Gary Jerkins

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