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.