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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bucha, Ukraine

Sunday School has started right along with the new school year. This past Sunday we passed out new scrapbooks (actually small notebooks) for most of the older classes. They will document their church experience throughout the year with lessons, photos, verse, pictures, stickers and just whatever they come up with that they want to remember from the year. Last year I saw some truly lovely books. I am always amazed by the talent in some of the kids. Next Sunday they will put in a picture of the pastor and their church to start their books. Stickers and embelllishments are always something we can use for the kids if you want to help with this. Please pray for the teachers and the children in the Bucha church and for Leah and I as we work with both.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Times, They are a Changin' in Ukraine

This seems hard to believe, but, as I sit and type, I am in a McDonald's (fastfood) Restaurant in the capital city of Kiev. I am using their free-access wi-fi. Now, understand, if I were in America I would never be in a McD's as it would not be my place of choice for eating. On the other hand, here in Ukraine, there are some things we can count on with McD's. We know the menu, so selection is easy (I did say, not my choice??), the place is clean and service is fast. That is, after you stand in the long line of everyone else waiting to eat and all cashiers busy. And maybe most importantly, one can count on clean bathrooms, though you may well wait in line for that also. Did I say we've been here 15 years? I can remember when we lived in the little Crimean village of Nikolaieva after we first arrived. That was our first 3 1/2 ('94-'97) years in Ukraine. The day I saw that bright red and white Coca Cola truck come through I almost jumped up and down for joy. I know what most of you are thinking now.... she must be crazy about Coke. Well, on the contrary, I certainly am not, since I am much more conscious of good diet than that. What that Coke truck represented back then was a tie to our homeland. A tie to what was familiar, a tie to our culture. Well, here I am doing wi-fi at McDonalds and I must admit that Coke trucks just don't do it for me anymore. Yes, things are a changin' in Ukraine. You should see some of our slick malls. They'd give fair competition to anything in America. Life certainly is interesting and it certainly is changin'.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The View from My Window

Our home is placed on the front part of our lot which makes it closer to the road than I often like. There are, though, some advantages, like a big back yard and easy view of what or who drives by. This morning I was pleased to see a couple in their horse-drawn wagon. Our dirt road runs parallel to a nearby highway so this couple we see now and then. It reminds me of the simpler life in Ukraine that is rapidly passing away. When we arrived 15 years ago, such sights were not at all uncommon. I remember one farmer bragging about his horse didn't need gasoline and it didn't break down. For some in the coutry villages though, life continues in a manner much like it was 50-75 years ago. They plant a garden in spring, they store and can their harvest in fall. Some raise a pig for meat in winter. Some have a cow for milk and/or chickens for eggs and eating. This life is more similar to life in America maybe 100 years ago or more. Some have jobs out, but others make their living from what they can raise and sell some on the side. It is an interesting life here in Ukraine. We are grateful God has given us a small part in bringing hope to people here through training Jeff does of pastors and my work with ladies and children. When joy comes into their lives, it is an exciting moment. Thank you for taking time to read what I write. May your day be blessed.

Mt. Ararat Seen from Yerevan, Armenia

Mt. Ararat has much Biblical history and such beauty in this shot taken by Jeff (my husband) on one of his previous trips to Armenia. And they are still looking for the Ark up there. Just had to share it with you.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Red Day Lily

Just had to share this little pretty from my garden. Every year it is beautiful for weeks, yet each bloom only lasts a day. It's a reminder of how temporary our lives on earth are and how important it is that we find meaning and joy in knowing what our future in heaven will be. Jesus Christ is the one who gives that meaning and purpose to our lives for the short time we are here. Know Him and you will know God in heaven.