Starting our way back home

Starting our way back home

It’s Friday 4/12/24 and we are starting our way back home. We put a new roof on the the church, framed and put up drywall in an entryway, bathroom and closet, ran the wire and switches for all the lighting, added the roof for a deck area and added steps for both doors.

Yesterday, Thursday, we went to an orphanage for special needs kids and some adults. It was a good visit but somewhat difficult. It was probably one of the better facilities I have seen. The staff seemed to truly know and care for each of the residents. There were 100 staff and 104 residents. Some of us played soccer with some of the kids, others blew up balloons for them. We played catch and listened to music. We were able to talk some of them through translators and one young lady spoke english. Seeing how joyful and kind these kids were to each other, the staff and us really put my issues in perspective. Suddenly my back and knee weren’t too sore to play. My troubles seem minor by comparison. I have to trust that God is good and His mercy will cover those who don’t have the mental capacity to except salvation on their own. They are biproducts of sin that wasn’t theirs, the effects of a fallen world that they were born into.

Last night we said goodbye to the people at CC Nizhyn. The kids made cards for us, we ate another wonderful meal together, laughed and talked, we sang worship songs in two different languages at the same time, that was interesting, lol. I established relationships on this trip that are different from the other trips I’ve been on. I don’t know how to explain other than I didn’t just meet some people, I made friends, people I would like to keep up with. Zhenya and Sasha and possibly Vadim if the language barrier doesn’t prove to difficult.

Speaking of Vadim, he has been given a great privilege and responsibility. Over half his congregation is kids. They come from the apartment buildings across the street and if Vadim and/or his wife and daughters are at the church, no matter the day, the kids come to the church. They feel safe and welcomed there. The church has a very large lot that is fenced and gated. The backyard is set up like a playground with swings and rope climbs, a sand box and pull up bars. Even though most the kids parents don’t come to church, the kids choose to be there as often as the gate is open, especially for worship service and Sunday school. I saw 8-10 that came almost daily and probably another 10-12 came at least once while we were there.

Above, from left to right Anya, Liza, me, Sasha and Lara

Below, (left) Lara, short for Valarie and (right) Sasha, short for Alexandra

Above, left to right, Margo, Liza, Tanya, Anya and Nadia.

Left to right, Nadia, Anhelina, Avigeya (Abigail), Milana.

We are currently driving back to Ternopil where will attend a worship service this evening. Tomorrow late afternoon, we will board a train back to Krakow. We have 24 hour layover in Krakow on Sunday during which time, most if us are going to visit Auschwitz. A place I don’t really want to see, I know I will not enjoy it, but it is a place I need to see.

While yes, this trip has definitely been taxing from a physical standpoint, it has been far more taxing emotionally and spiritually.

That’s all for know.

Love and Blessings

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