Friday, July 9, 2010

Jessica's baptism

I know that I'm getting a few things out of order, because I haven't told you about ministry in Western Ukraine. But that is coming, I promise. I just wanted to tell you about something a little more current and then I'll jump back to catching you up. Hope that's fine with you. Jessica has been wanting for a long time to follow Christ's command to be baptized. She came to me one day after reading in her Bible, and asked," Mom, why can't I be baptized?" She has made her choice to follow God and wanted to show her friends and others that she was determined to do just that. We have been talking with her about the real meeaning of baptism. And she has had a lot of good questions. Two weeks ago she was baptized in a small pond just outside our village of Osikova. Here in Ukraine it is the custom to wear only white when getting baptized, as a symbol of being the bride of Christ. Here is Jessica in her white outfit. Our friend, Vita, translated for Jessica so she would understand everything. She had some of her favorite songs sung in Russian. It was truely a special day. It started out as a hot day, but later some cloud cover cooled things off a little.
Jessica thought she was going to be the only one who would be baptized, but at the last minute an old grandma stepped up and said that she wanted to be baptized as well. So it worked out the she was baptized with someone else, even though Jessica was willing to do it alone if she needed to. The old grandma was almost 90 years old.

Here Pastor Roman is Baptizing Jessica in the
Name of the
and Holy Spirit.

Jessica, your Mom and Dad are so proud of you for making the decision to follow God and take this next step with Him. God has great things planned for you if you follow closely to Him.
The wild flowers and roses were given to her to remember this special day. Then everyone in the church had a little picnic by the pond. We pray that Jessica will always remember this day, but more importantly always follow Christ.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Children worker's training conference

The first week in June was just a little packed. After Lana's funeral, we had our first conference for training children workers. Katrina Randolph helped me with some of the work shops. We had a nice group come and some from other churches. We learned together, shared ideas and even practiced to each other. I felt God's help in teaching. Here we are working on applying things we had learned. They had to piece together a theme, verses, Bible stories, and songs for a series.
We want to Thank God for His help and everyone who prayed for us during this conference. It was very needed and I hope what we learned will be used for God's glory in days to come. Tomorrow I'll try to tell you about our two weeks in western Ukraine in the mountains. Keep tuned in for more updates headed your way.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ukrainian funeral

As I mentioned in my last post, Jason's Bible trip was cut short when his translator, Roman, heard that his sister had died suddenly. Lana was only 40 years old, unmarried and her death came as a shock to the family. She was having problems with blood clots in her legs and one went to her heart. Jason and I had the privilege of being a support and help to the family during their time of loss. In Ukraine, if a girl, no matter her age, dies before she gets married, she will be buried in a wedding dress. So Lana's dress and veil was a symbol that she was single. She looked beautiful.
Jason was the driver for the van carrying the body, and I helped with food, flowers and taking pictures. Here is Pastor Roman, his parents and wife, Nodiea. The funeral was just outside their apartment building, but she was buried in Kenyazachee, and the funeral meal was in Kiev. So a lot of driving and transporting people.

Many came for the service.
Jessica helped in comforting Anyta, Roman's daughter. The kids were very close to their aunt.
Lana was buried right next to Dorthy Pelfery's grave. Dorthy Pelfery was a missionary and died here in Ukraine.
The meal was a big deal and held at a nice restaurant. The food was great, but at a time like this you really don't want to eat much.

The saddest part of the story is that we are not certain that Lana is in heaven today. At one time she had walked with God, but in recent days especially her brother, Roman , had been worried about her commitment to Christ. What a challenge to us. Will people have to wonder where I ended up after I pass on?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Friends and a Bible trip cut short

We were very happy to hear the Hunts, our friends from CO, were coming to Ukriane. We were even happier that they were able to stay a few days with us. Jason was happy to drive them all the way to southern Ukraine to where they would be helping a Ukrainian family. On their way out of Ukriane they stopped here again and even helped me get some last minute things done for VBS. Kim and Judy were a big help in the kitchen as well. While Jason was in southern Ukraine he wanted to do a Bible trip and visit the family of one of the prisoners in Siberia. Jason, Josh and pastor Roman was able to visit the mother and sister of one of the prisoners in Siberia who is still coming to the Bible study that was started when Jason made a trip up there last year. Of course the mother had a hard time believing that an American saw her son in Siberia and came all the way to see her and bring her a Bible. They were able to pray with her and her daughter. The daughter really needs God in her life. She has pretty much wasted her life on drugs. But God is able to save. The Bible trip was cut short because Roman recieved a phone call that his sister, Lana, had died suddenly. So the rest of the trip was abandoned as Jason hurried to get Roman back to help his parents with the funeral arrangments. In my next post I'll tell all about that.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Street service in Kenyazachee

I am back to blogging. Yea, I know that I'm supposed to be at youth camp at the Black Sea, right now,but I'm not. Josh got sick last night and was throwing up all night (it seemed) and then today I wasn't feeling so great, so we both were left behind. I'm sure going to miss being with the teens this year, but God knows what is best and maybe He just wants me to stay at home and pray. So I guess I have time to catch you up on all that has been happen in the last month and half. I guess I'm going clear back to May, when the church in Kenyazachee did a street service near their village store. Jason was gone, but I was able to help and be there. Also a choir and several preachers from a sister church came to help. The turkeys were not happy that we had chosen their grazing spot to have our service. Here, pastor Roman is talking with different ones that had stopped to listen. He and the teens helping him were able to give out quite a bit of good litature and New Testaments.

Some of the villagers that came and listened. Pray that the message with stick in their minds.
One of the pastors that shared a message at the street service. Many gave their testamony.
Since I am at home with Josh I will try to get one or two post done each day. A lot has been happening and I need to get it all down in writing and share with you all.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Still alive!!!

Some of you may think that we have dropped off the face of the earth. No we're still breathing, just supper busy. If you haven't heard we are coming home for the kid's schooling and will be heading to the States this month. A lot has happened since I last blogged and hope to show you pictures and tell you all about it. I actually have two days before we head into youth camp so I will try to let you all know what has been happening here in the last 5 weeks.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Earning the Right to be Heard

Yesterday, on a long walk in the forest, I had a lot of deep thoughts going through my head. Maybe I should re-phrase that, running through the forest, because if you stopped moving for even a second the mosquitoes try to eat you alive (good motivation to keep moving). The deep thoughts wandering through my mind went something like this. I need to get over my obsession of trying to please everyone. I should do my best to please God first and my husband second. But after that, I need to stop and think about who it is that I am trying to please and taking advice from. Are they people that I really respect, admire and want to be like? Is their marriage one I want my marriage to be like (if they are even married)? How about all those mothers that have given me their "wonderful advice"? Do I really want my kids turning out like theirs? How about their relationship with God? Are they Christians that I admire? I guess what I'm trying to say is, have they earned the right to speak truth into my life? Don't get be wrong, I think counsel is great, I just need to stop and think about Who I'm getting counsel from.
And then it hit me. Have I earned the right to be heard in the lives of my friends? Am I being and doing all God wants be to be so that I really can give Godly counsel? Do I even know someone well enough to be able to give correct advice or counsel? I'm afraid that a lot of times I have just wasted my breath and people really don't care what I have to say. But for some odd reason, I feel that I need to tell them anyway. Does this really have anything to do with ministry? Maybe, maybe not? But I for one am going to stop wasting my breath and start earning the right to be heard before I expect others to stop and listen. How about you?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Busy and excited!!!

You haven't heard from us in a while. The reason is we've been busy. Finishing up home schooling for the year, guest, getting ready for a training conference for childrens workers, getting everything ready for VBS this summer and our regular ministry to mention a few of the things we have been busy with. Jason and Josh just headed out this morning to take our friends the Hunts to southern Ukraine and then do a Bible trip on the way back. I'll do my best to do a few post while they are gone and get you all caught up on what has been happening here. Thanks for your prayers as we headed into our busiest time of year for ministry. We are excited what this summer holds for us.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


My life, especially since being Jason's wife, has truely been an adventure. An adventure with God and Jason. Sometimes I'll have to admit I'm struggling to keep up. But most of the time, it has been great fun. This past month was a true account of how exciting things can get around here. We have been saving up sky miles for several years with the plan to go on a anniversary trip together (without the kids). Well, we have dreamed for years of going to AK and this time it seemed like it was meant to be. We had enough miles to get free tickets and friends who invited us to stay with them and also we had to leave Ukraine to take care of the paper work with our visa. Everything seemed to be working out, but I should've know better. You see this isn't the first time we have tried to go to Alaska. Twelve years ago we were on the way when we had a terrible accident. Then 2 1/2 years ago we were making plans in that direction and Jessica had a accident and cut off her finger. Well once again our plans were rerouted when there was a volcano in Iceland. Yes, a volcano. The ash from the volcano shut down all the major airports in Europe and all fights to the USA were cancelled as well. So no trip to Alaska. But we still had to go somewhere because we had to leave the country. Jason said, "How about Georgia?" We have wanted to go to the country of Georgia, so I was game. We took the train from Kiev, down to the port city of Odessa. Then we took a boat across the Black Sea to Georgia. Maybe I shouldn't say boat. It was really a cargo ship, no fancy cruise ships for us. Yes, we did have a room. It was clean and small, very small. But this trip really turned out to be one of the best we have taken together. The kids stayed with our friend, Katrina. So we had time to talk, rest, pray together, plan, nap, read together, and think about the important things in life. It was a much needed time of rest, but also planning. Now before any of you start laughing about us taking a romatic cruise on a cargo ship, just wait. My husband is a very practicle man and it really was fun, and well, cheap. That made it romatic for Jason, cheap is good. On the ship we met some very nice Georgians that spoke English. They told us so much about their country and we had a great time talking with them. When we finally did get to Georgia (our 2 day trip turned into 5 days) our new found friends helps us along and made our trip wonderful. The people in Georgia are so friendly and kind. And when you hear the stories of their past and how it has been one war after another, you have to admire their courage. The last war was only 2years ago, when Russia invaded. One city we were in had been hit by bombs in this last war. You could see bullet holes in the buildings down town. Yet the common greeting on the street, in literal transalation, is "Go and Win." Isn't that great! What courage. It was wonderful to have met these brave people and visit their country.
The kiss says it all. It was a great trip!!!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Family pictures and 1st picnic of the year

The other night we just needed to get away and go on a drive. I don't know if your family likes to drive in the country to relax, but we love it. Plus we have been needing some new family pictures. So we were off looking for the right place to get that perfect picture. Well, I wouldn't say they turned out perfect, but not too terrible for a moody Jessica and Josh who refused to smile. Any way we had fun trying. Jessica finally was at least trying to smile, but Josh, as you can see, we didn't get too many out of him.

After getting all worn out because of trying to get the kids to smile at the same time, we decided to have a picnic. I didn't have much time to pack for it, so it was pretty simple. But we had fun anyway, deep in the forest sitting around the campfire, roasting hotdogs.

This was our first picnic for this year. Josh thought is was pretty good. Look at all that hot dog relish!!! It was cool enough to enjoy a fire, but not too cold for this time of year.
Jessie loved watching the flames. There is something so relaxing about watching the fire. The best part was listening to Jason tell stories to the children as we watched the moon come up over the trees.

It was just a pretty good day! What could I say!

Samaritan's Purse

Last Wednesday we had an oppurtinity to work with Samaritan's Purse, as they passed out Christmas shoe box gifts in two different public schools in our area. They asked us to put together a little program for the children. We taught them Christian songs...then did a skit about Jesus taking our place when He died on the cross. Then a local man that used to go to one of the school, shared his testimony. He had chosen the wrong way as a young kid in school, and got in with the bad group. After highschool he ended up in prison for a crime he commited but Jesus forgave him and gave him a new life in him.

At the end I did an object lesson about the real meaning of Easter and that the tomb is empty. Jason said that at the first school, one of the little girls on the first row was really listening and so suprised when I broke open the egg and it was empty. He didn't have his camera ready so he missed the great picture. Here are some kids at the next school as they listened.

Then gifts were given out to all the children. The shoe boxes were packed by kids in the States and I wish I could pass on the joy that I saw on all the faces that day. One little boy, I know is from a hard home, was so excited to show me the baseball that was in his box. It is probably the first baseball he has ever had.

Samaritan's Purse also gives out a Bible study with the gift. If the children want to earn a children's Bible, they have to complete 10 lessons. The next day in Kid's Club, that we have in Kenyazachee, several of the children brought back their Bible study completed and ready for the next one.
Here are some of the children at one of the schools that we were in that day.
The smile on the face says it all.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Children's Bibles of their own

I have often been amazed at the power of God's Word. I guess I shouldn't be, but it truely is amazing how God's Word can change a life. We have been doing our best to get as much of God's Word into the lives and hearts of the children where we live. In Sunday school we teach them Bibles stories and Bible verses. I know some of the older ones read their Bibles daily. Luba who lives on our street showed me the last time I was at her house that she is almost finished with the New Testament. Two weeks ago Jason wanted to surpraise the children at Sunday school and gave them all a Children's Bible of their own. I think all of them have NT or Bibles but this one has pictures and stories in a format the children will apprecate. This little guy couldn't even wait until he got home to start reading his.
Here is the group that come pretty regular to our Sunday school. They all were thankful for the books, because good books with really nice pictures are not as common over here. Pray that these Bibles will help direct their lives. One girl told me that her mother as already reading hers.
Jason wanted to make it personal, so he wrote the kid's name and a little message in each one and then had it translated.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dr.Seuss breakfast

Whenever I make up the menu every week, I try to get input from the family, since they are the ones that have to eat what I cook. A few weeks ago, Josh wanted to know if I could cook him green eggs and ham for Sat. breakfast. I told him sure and then wrote it down. I think he was surprised when I actually cooked it for him. So Josh enjoyed his Dr. Seuss breakfast. (if you're wondering what that other thing on the plate is. it's toast.) I guess Dr. Seuss didn't know that eggs go good with toast, not just ham. Sam I am

Gift for Mama

Luba is a girl from our village, who is from a home that is not very good. Her mother has many children(9 I think), all from different dads. Luba is the youngest, and doesn't get a lot of attention. One day she was just hanging out at our house and I was doing some sewing. I asked her is she wanted to learn. She jumped at the chance and I took the time to show her what to do. She did a fine job and we made a pretty hand bag out of a sugar sack. It looked real cute with the multi colored thread. (thanks Carrie)
As you can see from the smile on her face, she was happy for the attention and also glad to make a gift for her mother. Pray for Luba. She is faithful in church , Sunday school and youth night.

And so we sew!!!

The weather had been pretty cold clear up until last week. When I say cold I mean, when you looked outside everything was white and we had about a foot of snow on the ground. Last week when I had to get up at 4am and go get my husband at the bus drop of, I got stuck in the bank of snow on the other side of our road. Don't get me wrong, I was very happy that my husband was coming home. He has been helping the missionaries in southern Ukraine, with all the work that needed to be done on their heating systems and vans. In the last two weeks, Jason had only been home about two days. So , yes I was very happy to see my man. But I was not happy to get stuck in the snow, and I wasn't coming right out, even in 4X4. I said a little prayer and God helped me get down the road and off to pick up my Jason. So with the cold weather and Jason being gone, Jessica and I have been doing some sewing. We actually had planned to sew aprons for all the ladies in the church for Christmas, but well, that didn't work out. We were busy sewing Christmas gifts and my sewing machine quit working and had to be taken in to the shop. Here in Ukraine, they don't have mother's day. They celebrate March 8th as Woman's Day, and give gifts to all women, young and old. It is a really big holiday. Jessica did a lot of the sewing and as you can see the grandmothers and ladies really did like them
These two grandmas are so sweet and we visit them in a house church quite a ways from our village.
Here are the ladies from our village and they were impressed that we would make them something for Woman's Day.