Friday, December 25, 2009

Donna and Wesley's visit

This is old news but I still wanted to share it with you all. The weekend of Thanksgiving, my dear friend from college, Donna Downing Buck and her husband, Wesley came and visited us. They are missionaries in Moldova, with children, and it was so exciting to have them as guest. Sometimes you have guest that just fit in so well that they hardly feel like guest. Well, that's the way it was with Donna and Wesley. I attended God's Bible School with Donna and we have many good memories together. Thanks you guys for coming. God knew when to send you our way, and you were a great encouragement to us. The whole family had fun playing games together.
I was impressed by their willingness to get on the floor and play games with the village children.
Of course the kids ate up the attention they were getting.
This was the first Sunday school without our regular translator. Donna and Wesley just jumped right in and helped act out the story and then pitched in and helped with the crafts as well. Such a blessing to have other missionaries that see what needs to be done and they jump right in and do it.

They told us at GBS that "the sun never sets on the students of God's Bible School". I can say, for this missionary on the other side of the world it was sure nice to spend time with not only a fellow GBSer but also devoted missionaries that are passionate about loving people and taking the Gospel where ever God leads.
Thanks for being the hands and feet of Christ.

Ministry Trip to Western Ukraine

Bible trips have always been Jason's passion. Visiting new areas, taking God's Word to needy people and 4x4ing as far off the beaten path as possible, is what Jason loves to do. The second week in Dec. Jason and Josh we able to once again to do just that. This time they were headed to the Carpathian mountains in western Ukraine. They took almost 100 knitted hats and gloves, warm clothes to give away, and Bibles and children's Bibles. After driving all day to get out to the western side of Ukraine, they had to sleep first and then headed out the next day. First they stopped to pick up Stepon, who loves going on Bible trips as much as Jason does, and then headed to the mountains. They prayed for God to guide them to people who are ready and wanting to hear the Gospel message, and to read God's Word. God answered they prayers. Allow me to show you some of the people they were able to meet in the mountain villages.

One of the first stops they made was at a village school. Around 40 children come to this school. The director asked Jason and Stepon to come in and speak to the children. They was able to tell the about God and they gave out children's Bibles and winter hats. Josh and Jason is in the picture with the school children. The director asked them to come back and did a summer program in this school. Josh liked helping to pass out Christian books and Bibles to the school children.

They drove to villages that were so far back in the mountains that felt like you were walking into a working museum. Some of the villagers said that they had to walk about 10 miles to get to a road that had a regular bus that could take them to a market or town.Many people living a simple life, but hungry to know about God. Most said that a priest might come to their village once or twice a year.

Everyone was so nice and this older couple asked them to stay and eat with them. They went and found eggs in the barn and then cooked them up for Jason, Stepon and Josh.

Most of the people in the area used oxen cart instead of cars. They used their milk cows to pull their carts. Some of them even had wooden wheels. Jason and Stepon would work along side of the villagers and talk to them about their life. And then they would ask questions about why an American would come so far back in the mountains, and that would open the door for them to share about Christ. In the end they would usually want a Bible, and another seed would be planted in an open heart.
Pray for all those who heard and that received a Bible. God's Word is powerful!
Stepon is giving some children's literature to some ladies to take to their children and grandchildren. They were very thankful and happy for the used, warm winter clothes. Jason said that not one of them turned up their noses about looking through second-hand clothes.
Josh was excited to go on this Bible trip with his Dad. He is our "little missionary" in training. While Stepon or Jason would be talking with someone about the Lord, Josh would be helping the old grandmas or grandpas with whatever needed to be done. He carried wood, long logs, and rode on an oxen cart.

Everyone was thankful and wanted to give Jason something in return. Many of them gave apples. Here is the winter supply in the barn.( Notice the neat basket)

Many of the grandmas (babushkas) adopted Josh and told Jason, not to come back without bringing Josh along.
God gave defiant help and many were open to the Gospel. Three villages have asked for us to come back in the summer and either hold services or a VBS for the children. Pray that we can return.

Jason and Josh headed home after a good Bible trip. Thank the Lord that they made it all the way home. The van broke down the day after the returned. . Thank God for giving safety on the road. And thank you for praying.

Country song or Christmas in Ukraine?

Some of my readers may be wondering what is up with this crazy missionary!?!. Here it is Christmas and my last post was sharing Thanksgiving pictures. I have been trying to get caught up with all that has been happening here in the month of Dec. and it feels like I am just gettin snowed under and can't get out. It seems like since Jason returned home from his ministry trip to western Ukraine(ok, ok I'll post about it as soon as I can), everything has been going wrong. It almost sounds like a country song, see what you think. Our van broke down, and the pastor's is also down (that's the one we use to run for parts), the snow we have been waiting for finally came, all at once (all 12 inches of it), the temps dropped which made it hard for Jason(who is still sick) to fix the van, and without a van we couldn't go Christmas shopping, and without shopping there wasn't any gifts under the tree, actually there wasn't even a tree until last week, and without a tree, or gifts how could it really be Christmas? Now does that sound like a country song? No it's not, just life in Ukraine. We finally did go to the forest and cut a tree and Jason did get the van running (after working on it all week), and yes, we did get to go shopping and had gifts to open for Christmas. But when we look back over the last few weeks we have learned a few things. Because we didn't have wheels and "had" to stay home, we were able to have more family time. The ministry keeps us so busy that we actually enjoyed having "just" the family and playing games and having fun. Christmas is not just gifts, and lights, and packages under the tree, it is being with the ones you love. Another thing we learned is that homemade gifts are the best. The kids trying so hard to keep secrets, busy hours spent behind closed doors, the joy in the eyes when one is given a gift that was made just for them. If you ask me, giving is the best part of Christmas. Really isn't that what it's all about, God giving us His precious Son to be our Saviour? So how was your Christmas?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pictures of Thanksgiving (finally)

Here are those pictures from Thanksgiving that I promised a few post back.
Yes we had a nice thanks giving and even did some sightseeing with friends while in Kiev. My friend from college, Donna and here husband Wesley, were with us over the weekend. They took this picture.
No we didn't have ham but we did have roasted chicken and ham and all the works. It was good!!!!
This is the group we had for Thanksgiving day. L to R Artyom, Maxim (his twin brother who just repented),Joshua, Jason, Jessica, Katrina, and I'm taking the picture.

How was your thanksgiving?? I know these pictures are very late in coming. Sorry

Honor Roll field trip!!!!

The week of thanksgiving we did so many things that I am still catching up on it all. Looking through my photos I realized, yea, we went iceskating that week too. Our kids did a good job in the first quarter of the year and had finished enough work to make the Honor Roll, so we told them that we would do something fun with them. Jessica has been wanting to go iceskating for a long time. We finally found the right place in Kiev. It was extra fun, because Katrina, Artyom, and Maxim went with us,as well. There is a very nice iceskating rink on the second floor of a great big mall in Kiev. We had fun walking around the mall. But the best thing was the really cool world map. It was huge and 3D. Our kids had a fun time pointing out places they remember visiting. Our school trip was a little late, but worth the wait.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thankful for a great Thanksgiving!!!!

We did have a great thanksgiving and I wanted to share some pictures with all of you. But my internet is not working at it's best right now. And my man, who can fix anything he lays his hands on (we tell him that anyway) is on the other side of the country. So the pictures will have to wait. But I didn't want to wait to thank God for a nice thanksgiving. Katrina was here with us for a few days, and we all enjoyed her being here. She is really a fun person to be around and our kids love her. Any of you that a have never met her are missing out. She is our fellow missionary who now lives in our old house in Nova Odessa, in southern Ukraine. We had a nice American style Thanksgiving dinner (well sorta) on Thur and two Ukrainian teenager boys joined us. Artyom has been living with us as our translator. His twin brother Maxim just repented and had been helping Jason with the remodeling of our bathroom. This was their first time to celebrate Thanksgiving with Americans. We couldn't find a turkey (I did find half a turkey though) so we roasted a chicken and ham,and had corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, dressing, and Jason even bought me cellery(it's very hard to find & expensive). It was all very good, if I must say so myself. The peacan pie was walnut pie, but that didn't hurt anything. Everyone still liked it. On Friday afternoon, my friend from college, Donna Downing Buck, and her husband, Wesley, came over to visit us from Modavia where they are missionaries. I was so happy that it all worked out for them to come. We had a great time together. Friday afternoon we did some site-seeing in Kiev and then on the evening train, Katrina, Maxim, and Artyom went back to Nova Odessa. We will miss Artyom sorely so it was a day of crazy emotions(please pray for him). Donna and Wesley fit in just fine at our house, because both of them are into children's ministry and we usually have plenty of kids hanging around our house. I was so impressed that they got right down on the floor with the kids and played games and did their best to communicate with them. It was great to see. That's my kind of missionary. On Sat. morning we took them to a village bizzar (market) and let them see a little more of the village life after seeing the Big City of Kiev on Friday. It was fun and Donna found the handmade basket that she wanted. Sunday they both helped with Sunday school, which was a blessing because we had an untrained and new translator. In the afternoon service one of the girls from Sunday school praised the Lord that everything went fine even without our normal translator. I was saying Aman to that. In the evening Jessica enjoyed a long piano lession from Donna, who is very talented,along with her husband, in music. My kids enjoyed the holiday, food and fun with company. But on Monday night Jessica said, " I'm glad that it's just our family now". And so ended our Thanksgiving week. Thankful for Friends, Food and just Family again.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Honored to be her mom

I know this post is bragging, but please allow me to explain why I am so glad that God gave me Jessica as my daughter. And why I feel honored to be her mother. Jessica has been a great kid from day one. Seriously, I thought something was wrong with her when she didn't wake me up at night to be fed. But she was just one of those baby's that sleep through the night from the first week on. At a very young age, she showed an interest in spiritual things, and of course we did our best to encourage her to " love Jesus with all her heart." She has been more that just a missionary kid ( MK) being dragged along from ministry to ministry. She wanted to go on ministry trips and wanted to help others and wanted kids to know about God. She has been involved in, not only the work of the ministry but also praying for those we minister to. It is amazing sometimes the questions she comes up with in the Bible study on Tues. nights. One time she told me, "Mom, I want to really know how to pray. Not just say words, but really, really pray." I guess it was just last week, that I really had that feeling of being honored to be her mother. Our translator, Artyom, that lives with us, has been praying for his family to know Christ. Well, just last week, his twin brother, Maxim, called and asked Artyom to pray with him over the phone. Maxim repented, and there was not only joy in heaven, but also here in our home. We were praising the Lord for the "lost coming into the fold", when I saw that Jessica was crying. I went over to her and gave her a hug and then I realized that she was not crying for joy. I sensed that something was wrong. I tried to get her to talk. She was happy that Maxim had repented and was a Chrisian now. But what she said hit me hard. She said, " Artyom has been a Christian only a few months and he has already led someone to the Lord. I have been a Christian for a long time,(she was 7yrs old when she became a Christian) but I haven't led any one to Jesus yet." Then I understood. Yes, she was happy for Artyom and his brother, but she so badly wanted to lead someone to Christ. Her passion for Christ and for leading others to Him, humbled me. I thought "How worried am I about leading people to Jesus" Maybe we all should ask ourselves, when was the last time we cried because we hadn't led more souls to Jesus. Something to think about.

So much to be Thankful for!!!!

Thanksgiving is almost here and I wanted to sit down and list a "few" things that I have to be thankful for. God is so good and I want to give Him thanks.

I am THANKFUL .......

1. We are privileged to serve God as missionaries to Ukraine
2. I have a wonderful husband, Jason, and that he still puts up with me and my craziness
3. Josh is reading!!!!! ( he was just reading what I was typing)
4. Jessica has a heart to follow God, and wants to be the best Christian that she can be
5.We have heat in our home( I hate to be cold!!!!)
6. The parents in our village are starting to trust us-- a little
7. We have enough food to share with all our visitors (sometimes up to 10 people at a meal)
8. Our old van is still running and God has helped Jason is find parts or helped him make parts when needed
9. We have Internet and can stay connected with friends and family back home
10. We have so many people praying for us and they even let us know that they are
11. Jason and I both have godly parents that raised us to follow God where ever He leads
12. I have wonderful friends here in Ukraine, that I can work along side of as we minister
13.We all have warm clothes and are ready for the coming snow
14. Our translator's brother repented last week. We are so excited!!!!!
15. Jason is almost done remolding our bathroom. I am looking forward to my first bath in over a year (well if you don't count the sea and river baths this summer)
16.I have friends that not only pray for me, but also with me when I am really down and need God's help
17. My husband has a passion to spread God's Word to those that have never heard
18. My health is better and I can feel that God is helping me
19. We live in a village where my children have friends that live on our street
20.That Jesus died on the cross for my sin, and I can know the joy of forgiveness

What do you have to be thankful for?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday Night- Youth Night

Since his graduation from high school, in June, Artyom has been living with us and helping with our ministry. He works as a translator, and does great with the children. This summer he received a lot of help spiritually at youth camp. When we were missionaries in Nova Odessa, he used to be a kid who came to our Kid's Club. The Drummonds have been working with him and after graduation we invited him to come and work with us. Since our children's ministry has slowed down a bit in the winter months, Artyom really wanted to do something with the teenagers here in Osikova. He felt like God was putting it on his heart to start a youth group. God has really blessed his efforts and we have between 10 -12 teenagers in our living room every Friday night. Of course I fix them some kind of snacks and they have a time of singing and and playing games. But the main part of the meeting is the devotional. Sometimes Artyom takes two days in preparation, and planning. He has grown and learned a lot himself with he was preparing his youth night materials. Please keep praying for Artyom as he does his best to lead the youth. Also pray that God will give him the right ideas and that he won't be discouraged. Right now he is on the phone explaining to his family, who are not believers, what he learned in Bible study last night. I know God has plans for this young man. Just pray that we will give him the support that he needs as he grown in Christ.

Big Help from the Mission Helps Team!!!!

Pastor Roman has worked very hard on the church in Kanyazachee. It used to be a log church. But then 9 years ago it was hit by lighting and burned to the ground. Roman and his dear wife Nodiea started all over again and and with the help of family and other Christians, they have built this beautiful church. Once again God's people have stepped up and given much needed help.

I go over to Kanyazachee every Thur. evening and help lead a weekly Kid's Club. Well, we have been in need of Sunday school room and somewhere to work with the kids. We have between 10- 18 kids, in this village,. When the weather is nice, we can do games and crafts outside. But now that we are in the winter months it is getting dark at 4;30pm. and much too cold to do activities outside. God blessed in a special way and the money came in so we could finish the basement for a fellowship hall and Sunday school room, and a place to children's ministry. Jason loves to work with his hands, and Roman also helps where he can. But a Mission Helps team said that they would love to come and help. And we were thrilled, and so was Roman. The six men, were fast and hard workers and such a blessing. They were able to get done in two weeks, what might have taken Roman and Jason a whole year to do. Thank you guys for coming!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you for coming and working so R. Jonathan Lucas, Jeffery Albertson, Jon MacVey, Jarrod Davis, Dave Holderbaum, and Dave Weaver.

They did stuccoing, hanging drywall, electrical, pouring cement, laying tile and more.

Josh even helped one day. I hope he learned a lot by watching,and helping.
Jeffery is helping Jon work on the walls. Jon MacVey came even though he had just hurt his ankle and leg. He did a good job and the leg didn't slow him down too much. Thank the Lord!
This is what the basement looked like before they started. It was pretty much a mess and only usable as a storage place. The men in the church are encouraged with all the help from the team. And are working hard along side Roman to finish it. The rooms should be ready for ministry soon. Nodiea, Roman's wife, was thanking the Lord today in church for all that had been done. It will be a blessing to her as well, because all the cooking for the church dinners has to be done in her small kitchen. She was just glowing with excitement as she thanked the Lord for the team coming and the church men that have picked up where they left off. Jason was the one who coordinated everything and ran for supplies, and did all the buying. A lot was done in a short time. When we get finished pictures we will post those as well. They are painting and putting up lights and such. Please for the church as the work goes forward.

Trip to the zoo

Over the summer, even though we were gone doing ministry all over Ukraine, we made it a point to be back to Osikova on Sundays to do Sunday school. It was not always easy, but we felt it was worth it to stay connected with the kids and teens here at home. We were learning about the Ten Commandments which takes at least ten weeks. And we gave the kids a challenge to memorize all ten and we would take them to the Zoo. Here is the group of kids and teens that memorized all of the Ten Commandments. It was a cool fall day, but a very fun day. Afterwards we had a picnic in the park. I think the kids thought it was worth it. Kiev has a pretty good zoo if you are ever in the area.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quick trip

We had to leave the country in Sept. to keep our passports legal. So we had a crazy, fun family trip. We visited three countries and traveled by train, car, bus and taxi van. It was an adventure. We were able to get to Austria, Slovakia, and Czech and back home in 6 days. I love this picture that Jess took of Jason and I. We were row boating on a little lake and found this island. That night we were able to stay in a little tiny cabin by this lake. It was fun to feed the ducks and read stories to the kids. Here is our globe trotting family. We had to wait for the bus. So we found a little street cafe, and ordered appetiser and some pop. Then I read a book to the kids. So many memories and so thankful that we could do it as a family.

Harvest Sunday

Here in Ukraine, they celebrate thanksgiving in a different way. Each church has what they call Harvest Sunday and they thank God for the good harvest. It is not just a pretty thing to do. It is serious, when most of these people really do get most of what they eat from their gardens. Jason was one of the four men who preached that Sunday. We celebrated this special day with Roman's church in Kanyazachee. Jason's sermon was so good. The best I have ever heard him speak. God really helped. I don't know why he says that he can't preach. The children had memorized poems and songs for the day.

The fruit and vegetables were grown in the gardens of the local church people. It was a beautiful display, and a great day to give thanks to God.

Taking time for Fall with a busy schedual

Yes, I am fine(if anyone was wondering). I'm sorry to have neglected my blogging friends for so long. Jason and Jessica were gone for almost 3 weeks at the end of Sept and first of Oct. So I was left without a computer. I kept very busy and was ready for them to come back. Just was soon as they returned Jason was busy getting things ready for the Missions Helps building team. The team was here for two weeks and they left last Friday. So that's the brief run down on where I have been and why I haven't been blogging faithfully ( ok, ok no laughing). I just wanted to share a few great pictures that my daughter, Jessica, took while we were on a walk in the forest. Even though we have been soooooooo busy, there are times that I think I will go crazy if I don't get out of the house and take a walk. We had a great time just walking and listening to the leaves crunch under our foot steps. I'll post the other pictures later about our busy month, but for now, just enjoy the fall beauty. Breath in the crisp fall air, and try not to think about the laundry that needs to be folded back home. Jessica got a camera for her birthday. She used it a lot this summer taking pictures of our ministry. It was fun to watch her taking pictures just for the fun of it. Let me know what you think, but I think the girl has an eye for beauty.
It was raining lightly when we left the house to go walking. But I really needed to get out of the house, so I just brought the umbrella along. Jessica took this picture of me when we were deep in the forest. We started singing and it was great singing in harmony, in two different languages. What fun to hear music go echoing through the woods.

Hope you are enjoying fall where ever you are!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last VBS !!! mountain camp-western Ukraine

I can't believe that I am posting this picture, but I guess I am. I must be slipping. Jason and I have this joke between us about how many pictures he takes of just roads. Well, they usually are pretty cool roads, as in rocky, bumpy, or ones with rivers runny through them. I have joked that he has enough pictures of roads that he could fill a full book of them( I really don't think that is stretching it too far). But back to the reason that I decided to put this picture on my blog, we did spend a lot of time on the road this summer. Thank God that not all of them looked like this one, but some of them did. After working with the Gypsies we went to another mountain range far back in the Carpathian mountains of western Ukraine. We were near the Romanian boarder. Any way, we were glad that it had not rained in a while because we would have had to hike up this road in the mud. Even our 4 wheel drive could get to the top if it was wet. We were headed to our final VBS of the summer. Just a little tired but glad that we, with God's help, had made it this far. Once again we camped out on the mountain top and enjoyed the cows coming through our camp every morning, noon, and night headed to the watering hole. The Appling girls didn't know what to think of the cows.
We had the joy of cooking over a campfire three times a day, and washing our clothes in the river, and finding a bush if nature called. It wasn't all that bad. Josh actually liked bathing in the river. But physically we were slowing down. Thank you for praying for us. God really did help us in this camp.
Here is the camp medic, or doctor. Bandaging burns and fixing everyone up. Josh got a pretty bad burn and Dr. Jason is making it all better. What do you know, he even has his duck tape out again. Good job Daddy!!!
The children that came to the mountain VBS for the most part were shy and backward. Some of them couldn't read, while others were very quick. Only one family were believers and they wanted to reach out to their neighbors and their children. Several children came who did not go to church or have other ways to hear about God. We set up our VBS in the orchard and invited the children in. Once again, we shared how God loved us and He created all things. The animals were created in a special way and we were made special too.
Here we are singing and teaching the children songs. Our theme song all summer long was " God has a plan for my life". Artyom and Vita did a very good job leading the children in the singing.
At night we had some fellowship with the teenagers, and one night we even showed the "Jesus" movie in Russian. On the last day that we were there we had a picnic for the children and their parents. We played some games......(look at those mountains in the distance)
... ate some good food...

...and Jason gave out Bibles to the children who came. Pray that God's Word will go into all these homes and will bear much fruit.
It was a hard "good bye" for Jessica and all her new-found friends. She made some good friends that she will remember for a long time.
They begged us to come back. Some of them even had tears in their eyes. We left very tired after a long summer, and headed back home to Osikova, 14 hours away. God gave us help and strength and we want to say thank you to everyone who prayed for us. I will have to say, every VBS, hour of work, and mile we traveled will be worth it if even one child makes it to heaven because we came.
All the children are showing you the craft that they made. Good bye western Ukraine and so ended our summer ministry.