Thursday, September 22, 2005

Missions Report - September 2005

They shipped us over in a scoff!
(Russian for closet)

Greetings from Ukraine!
Well, we have been here for four weeks and things are actually going pretty smoothly. We finally bought some chairs on Friday – up until now we have had these little hard stools for the kitchen table (the room is too small to fit chairs) and some kitchen chairs around the table in the hallway that are so fragile you have to sit on them very gingerly. Our sofa will arrive in a few weeks, so in the meantime the four of us take turns sitting on our two comfortable – and they ARE comfortable - chairs.
Language school has been incredibly challenging. The first day we met our teachers was interesting. They filed into the room, 4 young women and one
Our teacher Galina
& student Amberlee
older woman. The young women were smiling and laughing but the older woman didn’t look at anyone, no smile, very severe looking - I thought of Boris and Natasha (from the cartoon “Rocky and Bullwinkle” – I know I am dating myself) – this was Natasha 25 years later! I kept praying “Lord, not her, Lord, not her” Guess what? We got her – actually she is very sweet (and very hard), but the challenge is she speaks very little English and explaining all of the grammar is almost impossible. First of all, a T is an M, an H is an N, a P is an R, etc., etc., etc... Then every word changes depending on whether it is a subject or an object or an object of a preposition. When it is plural instead of adding an s or es, you add an e, or bl or a or ya or etc., etc., etc., you just have to memorize and know it – and this is just the beginning. Our tutor, Svetlana, explains everything in English at night that Galina taught us in the morning.
Timmy & Kenyon Powers
Last Thursday I was freshly reminded about why we are here. We had dinner with Sasha and Olya, one of the Ukrainian pastors and his wife. We left their home kind of late and so took a taxi instead of the metro. Taking a taxi involves sticking out your hand and someone will stop in a minute and you say “Will you take me to X for such and such price?” and then you hop in. Most people (at least the ones that I have been with) just ride – not Steve. He spends the entire time trying to talk to the driver. This time we have a driver who speaks a little bit of English and Steve with his little bit of Russian made an interesting conversation. After trying to talk back and forth – a situation I find draining but Steve finds energizing, it finally comes out that the man is also a Christian. Then the man clearly says out of the blue “God is good” and he and Steve agree several times “God is good”. We were riding over the Dneiper River and I had tears in my eyes – God is good, He has given us such a privilege to serve Him here and see Him come through in ways we have never experienced. To say we are out of our comfort zone would be putting it mildly.

When we were moving from our home I discovered an old cross stitch I had done years ago. I ended up packing it and it is now hanging in our kitchen.
Psalm 37: 3, 4

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness;
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
This has become our theme – trust God, do good to the people here, and dwell in Ukraine and be faithful – delight ourselves in Him and He will give us our heart’s desire.

Merry & Spoon
Grace & Blencheke
That is the Russian word for
Our cat in America is Pancake.
We simply can’t thank all of you enough for your prayers and support. We would not be able to do this without you.
Would you please pray:
  1. Language school would go well – that we would persevere (it is SO hard and draining!) Pray that we would learn quickly and deeply.

  2. The girls got 2 kittens and then after a few days we found out that they have kitty fever and a 20% chance of living - so Steve and I are giving EACH cat 4 shots every night – last night one bit Steve and I stuck myself with the needle! (There is a great story behind this but no time to tell you now - for now just know we sterilize the needles with vodka – that is what the doctor told me to buy!)

  3. That our children and parents would continue to do well in our absence.

  4. Grace and Merry continue to adjust and make friends. Their school has a retreat September 30 – pray they would bond with some and grow in their relationship with God.

  5. Grace has incredible piano and voice teachers – another great story for another time – pray she would really enjoy it and not feel overwhelmed and she would learn a lot.

  6. Grow in love and unity with the team here in Kiev.
Steve’s first race in Ukraine.
Masha & Laurie cheering.

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Yours in Christ’s unchanging love,

Steve, Danelle, Grace and Merry