I wanted to tell you about my latest trip to Ukraine. It was great, but too short! I knew it was going to be short - only a week - but I thought it would be much better than nothing. I was right on both accounts!
I arrived on January 8th with two of my sisters-in-Christ coming to meet me at the airport, Olya and Yulya. It was so awesome to see them as I came out those airport doors! What a strange thing it is to be homesick for people that aren't your physical family that live over 6,000 miles away! But as you know they have become my deep and spiritual family as I have been a part of bringing them to Christ over the last 8 years of work and involvement in Ukraine. I know I had been going through what is called reverse culture shock. I was adjusting to living in the USA again and being homesick for those I missed in Ukraine. So what a blessing it was to be back in Ukraine again, even though it was for only a week.
I found I didn't miss marshutkas (large vans that are used as buses to take people all over the place in Ukraine) travel as we traveled back to Kremenchuk. I got serious motion sickness and lost it all as I arrived in Kremenchuk with 15 wonderful friends greeting me when I got there! I ran to the bathroom and then came back to them! They had waited outside in about zero F weather for 45 minutes waiting for me. It was so wonderful to see them but I was so sick. I felt fine the next morning.
The next week, I was with my brothers and sisters in Christ as a group every night. I was with from 8 to 26 each evening. We had 2 devotionals, 2 worship services on Sunday and I preached and taught 3 times. I was in several homes and 1 orphan home. I was able to encourage and be encouraged almost hourly that I was awake. We walked and talked. We laughed and cried! For them and for me, it felt like I had never been away!! Except I was staying in someone elses home and not my own - that felt a bit weird!
While I was there we made final arrangements for our Bible Camp in August this year. For the first time it will not be at the Black Sea but at a Bible Camp that some of the members of the Church of Christ are building in Ukraine. It looks like it will be truly wonderful place for us to be and the cost will be a lot less than what we paid last year. One of the great disappointments for me, is that we are really struggling right now with Visa problems for our young University age sisters-in-Christ that want to come and be with us this summer in Des Moines, IA where I now preach. There have been many obstacles that have arisen that we did not anticipate. Please be praying for this.
Because our funding is way down from previous years because we now don't have as many full time financial supporters as in the past we are needing your assistance in a couple of ways:
1. If we are able to bring our young Ukrainians to the US to be strengthened in Christ, to strengthen us, and live with us, we are going to need funds to bring them here, then they will repay to the Ukrainian account as the work here. We will then use this money for Bible Camp. We already have 1 person that will cover the cost of travel for 1 Ukrainian sister. We need 3 more. OR we need several that will give some towards this. If you can assist us, please consdier the following:
A. One time contributions towards this that would be great!
B. Or if you can make monthly contributions from now through July, that too be a great blessing!
2. Our second need is funds for our Bible Camp and my travel this summer. Camp will cost us about $3,600 + this summer. IF our sisters from Ukraine cannot come, will you please still consider making the same kind of support just for our Bible Camp? This will be our 7th annual camp, and we really need your assistance with this! This has always been one of our strongest means of outreach, encouragement and growth over the years!
If you can assist us you can call me or email me. You can mail your contributions to:
Att: Ukraine Mission
Evergreen church of Christ
2207 Evergreen Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50320
Thank you so much for being a continued part of this ministry and this ongoing work of the Lord in Ukraine! You have blessed and continue to bless so many lives for the Lord!!!