I haven’t written in a while for a couple of reasons. One, it didn’t seem like I had much to write about, and two, I have no time. Well I’m here to make up for it!!! And let me tell you, a LOT has changed!
The team and I are currently living in our OWN APARTMENT complex, in a small city, in the Chernigov District. I have to admit. When I heard we were leaving Rudnya, I was a bit excited and a bit afraid. Our circumstances there weren’t the best (to say the least), and I didn’t know if we should expect better or worse.
Back in Rudnya, we finished up a medical bus tour (This is where we fully sponsored a team of doctors and paid for ALL medical care for anyone who needed medical attention in a small village in Sumy), and then we had a whole week of absolutely nothing! The week of nothing was weird. It felt wrong. There was nothing to do. Completely dry. And out of nowhere, BOOM! This pastor (Pastor Alex) calls us from Chernigov and tells us that he’s ready for us.
We pack up our stuff over night and head out in the morning. To our pleasant surprise we fell in love with the people, the pastor, and the place immediately.
Right now, Angie and I are preparing a one month English course that we will be teaching for free to anyone who wants to learn English. The program will be for anyone over 16 years old, and obviously, we’re sneaking the Gospel in there! 😉
We are also leading children’s ministries out in the local parks just to get to know the kids more. Aliona, Vyvy, and Evelyn will entertain them with games and facepainting. (We are also currently evangelizing to three little kids who literally climb in through our apartment window every day! Yea, they climb our window! And since we don’t have a net, they just hop inside like its nothing!).
Friday’s, we’re planning on starting a cell group for the local youth members. Just get them together, invite them over, and connect with them, sing some worship songs with them, and eventually pray and read with them. 🙂
Saturdays we commit four hours to playing with kids in another village. It’s literally like a full on Sunday school program on a Saturday but with way more games! It’s pretty fun! (One of the kids made me a bracelet, his name is David!)
Sunday’s we commit to the church elders. There are a lot of old people in Ukraine! (That’s because most of the youth had left them to come to America, as a result, the grandma’s and grandpa’s are all alone. So we dedicate Sunday’s to them, just to keep them company and make them feel unforgotten. Of course we also sing with them and finish off with praying for them.
We’re also planning to go to the city center and just jam a bunch of secular music, and the moment we get a crowd big enough we’re going to start blasting Christian music. I call it the mouse trap! (No I don’t- I literally just made that up.)
Everyday, God just keeps reminding me of how I have absolutely nothing to worry about. Even through that dry week in Rudnya- God knew what was ahead. He has been preparing us for this the whole time! I have to admit, I’ve never felt more fired up than I do now! It’s almost like this was the purpose of coming to Ukraine! But why Chernigov?
Pastor Alex told us that Chernigov happens to be the city with the least amount of Christians in Ukraine! It’s weird how here that doesn’t scare me. God has put peace and assurance on my heart. I KNOW that we will make a difference here. I feel prepared, and I feel God’s guidance. (All thanks to those morning devotionals, weekly fastings, and evening prayers!) There is something about being here that just feels right at home.
So moving into our own apartment has been hectic and exciting. But at the same time, it’s been a bit scary. I feel right at home here, I really do, but I’m not sure I’m okay with people coming into the house unannounced, or climbing into our apartment through our kitchen window (Yes, I’m referring to the three little boys I mentioned earlier!)
If we leave the door unlocked for just a second, someone will likely walk in without even knocking (you just pray that you’re not changing when that happens). It’s just the five of us girls living here and the guys live at the church, so when random people walk in unannounced I get a bit wide eyed!
Recently, I was snapchatting my mom (in the kitchen because that’s where the service worked best), and I see three little boys climb to our apartment and start banging on the window to let them in! (I mean, now I let them in regularly and feed them, but still!) So here’s the prayer request. It’s for these three little boys (Vova, Sanya, and Jenya). The first time they climbed in they were drunk. These boys are 8, 9, & 11 years old!
After spending a few minutes talking to them I learned that they don’t go to church (except on Easter), and that they-dare I even say- dream of sleeping with other women all the time. I also learned that they spend a lot of time watching porn!! These are kids people! I admit, they get SO annoying (literally, they bang on our window between 5-10 times a day!) but I can’t help but feel that we’re the only opportunity they have for a shot at redemption. They see no purpose in life, and I can’t wait to show them a little bit of Jesus!
So yes, please pray for us, and pray for our missionary and our ministry here, but above all else, please also pray for these 3 little boys. I really hope to be able to reach out to them somehow.
In the meantime, s/o to Snapchat for allowing me to get these snapchats from my loved ones back at home! Enjoy!
Miss you guys so much! Can’t wait to visit soon!