“Victory is acquired every day through hard work”: Bishop Mykola Bychok visited CYM and Plast camps in Australia

During 26 December, 2022 – 3 January, 2023, CYM and Plast organized camps for Australian youth, as well as Ukrainians who have arrived recently. Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch of Melbourne, took an active part in these events.

CYM camp “Journey to Victory” 26 December, 2022

Young people from all over Australia and newly arrived Ukrainians gathered in the CYM settlement near Sydney to have a good time at the camp. Bishop Mykola Bychok began the solemn opening with a Divine Liturgy.

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Reflecting on the Gospel passage from Luke 21,12-19, Bishop Mykola emphasized: “Today’s world forces us to “move” at a fast pace in life and expect immediate results. However, it is worth remembering that most of our life is a gradual process: living, changing, growing, forgiving and loving. All this requires our time, patience and persistence. Victory is acquired every day through hard work.”

Also, the Bishop noted: “Looking back at the past year, we can analyze our lives and try to identify times when we had to be patient and persistent in practicing our Christian lifestyle.” The Bishop said that in the 21st chapter of the Gospel from Luke, Jesus tells us that the path for Him will not always be easy: “And we are aware that we do not always act as Christians should act. However, when difficulties come to us, they can be turned into positive situations for a believer. With our endurance, we become witnesses of the fullness of the Christian life, which carries both suffering and joy: “By your patience possess your souls” (Lk. 21, 19).” 

At the end of the Holy Liturgy, Mr. Marko Tkachuk, head of CYM in Australia, thanked Bishop Mykola for the time of prayer and presented the CYM T-shirt and a small cross as a mark of a friend of CYM.

Plast camp “There is hope” 27 December 2022 – 3 January 2023

The camp took place at Sokil in the Plast village near Geelong, and Plast members from all over Australia, Plast representatives from Ukraine and America, as well as Ukrainians who have arrived recently gathered there for a jubilee camp. During the eight days of the camp, Bishop Mykola Bychok started the camp every day with the Divine Liturgy, and on Sunday, 1 January, he celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. The bishop also took part in all events of Plast. According to the Eparch of Melbourne, it was a special opportunity to meet the children and their parents.

During the Divine Liturgy on 1 January, in his sermon, the Bishop emphasized: “Today I have the honor to be with you at the Plast camp, which is called “There is hope.” This is a special moment to be together: to rest, work, pray and hope. At this moment, many of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine feel cold, despair, and fear after the full-scale aggression of Russia. However, Christmas is approaching, which is full of hope from the Baby Jesus, the Savior of the world!”

The Bishop reflected a lot on hope, saying: “The virtue of hope is part of our lives, whether we think about it or not. Each of us hopes for something. Hope is an integral part of human nature and helps us to follow Christ. St. Apostle Paul gives us the best example of hope “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” (Rom. 8, 24). Hope in God will never lead us to despair because He has a plan for all of us – He has a future full of hope.”

After the Sunday lunch, the official part of the event took place – the marching of plastuny and the awarding of awards – to which numerous guests were invited. As a sign of gratitude for Bishop Mykola’s camping with Plastuny, Mrs. Chrestyna Kmet gave the Bishop a Plastpryjat kerchief.