Each summer, Camp Elama hosts hundreds of children and adults, engaged in camps from orphan outreach to church retreats.

Elämä (the actual Finnish spelling) is located in an area of Russia that was part of Finland until the Winter War and the War of Continuation, during WWII.

The larger area containing Elama was known as Rantamaki (shore-hill in Finnish). It was a Finnish estate and later a Finnish health asylum. The original gates to the Finnish estate are still visible as you drive toward Elama.

After the war, it became a Pioneer Youth Camp, where Communist ideology was taught to the young people of the USSR. The camp was abandoned many years ago.

Elama is now privately owned. The owners are building their family estate on the main part of the camp and have given us use of a section of the old camp.

Why the name Elama?

When we were offered use of the camp, we began to pray what the name should be. We thought it would be appropriate to give it a Finnish name.

Elämä is the Finnish word for Life.

We believe that the Lord wants His life to be in Camp Elama. He wants us to bring it back to life. And this means that His people need to be there, since His spirit lives within those who believe in Him.

We want Elama to be a place of Life; where people are able to connect with God and experience His presence.

Mission Statement

Camp Elama provides free camping facilities for qualified church and ministry groups. The program especially targets children and church communities in Russia who would not otherwise be able to afford such an experience. The goal is to provide a place conducive to healthy Christian character development.


There is no fee for use of the facilities for qualified groups. Qualifying groups must provide their own programming, food, service, insurance coverage, and staff for the supervision of their camp activities

In addition to providing facilities to groups, Elama runs its own camps with its own programming and counselors.

To donate to Elama, visit our Support Page and choose MIR: Camp Elama from the drop down menu.