The Russian pronunciation for the capital of Ukraine is Keyeeev. I always think of chicken KiEv, does that mean it’s now Chicken Kyiv? In any case we’ll get our first taste of busy city life this Tuesday as we move into our rented apartment for 2 months. We had an adventurous day today as Deb, Broderic and myself took the Mushootka (small bus) from Rz to Kiev, all by our language challenged selves. After an hr of driving, and very clear written instructions to the driver to notify us when we reached the Metro (subway) stop, I asked the driver if we had passed our spot, he nodded and said something that sounded like, “Yes, but what do you think I am, your mother?”. So, there went our carefully planned, and GPS mapped out day. Thankfully there are taxi’s around, and they are readily available to charge foreigners triple rate. So after paying a New York City cab fare (by the way cabs here are no larger than a honda civic, they make for fun family rides, look ma no seatbelt!), we arrived our apartment, and had a quick tour from the owners (SEND missionaries) on how to pay the bills, run the foreign utilities and take care of the cat. It’s on the 17th floor, great view. Here’s a picture of our digs for through July as we finish the house in Rz.
We are starting professional language lessons on Monday, June 9. We were able to get two of the teachers from the language school here in Kyiv to commit for the two months, 3 days a week. Deb and I will have our own teacher, then a children’s teacher will take Broderic and Bronwyn. We will be learning Russian officially, but we can’t help but pick up the local Ukrainian vocabulary as well, which actually is making things even more tricky. The classes are 2hrs long, with homework, and we are told they are very strict… the teachers don’t even speak English… We’re excited (and lying), it’s going to be a tough summer but we believe the Lord has arranged for this, redeeming our time in the City both to learn the public transportation (basically impossible to drive around Kyiv in a car), the best shopping spots, and be forced into some intense language education. Please pray for us!!!!!
We’re fairly socially exhausted, we’ve met new people daily, and I don’t think we’ve had more than 20 minutes to actually sit and do nothing in the 2 1/2 weeks we’ve been here. We’ve not gone to sleep before midnight since we got here, if we have, it’s the only time Deb and I have to talk and that can take a while. With 6 kids you don’t get to sleep in (benefit of single missionaries), but our spirits are up, God is near and we are encouraged at how things are shaping up. We are meeting some neat Christians, missionaries, and unbelievers that we look forward to getting to know more, and practicing our Russian with. Today on the way home from Kyiv in the Mushootka, I had a lady and two other guys engaging in attempted conversation, it even turned toward religion and their interest in ‘why is a family of 8, from america in this part of Ukraine”…. I tell them I’m Christian, but that’s not enough, their interest is more specific, they want to peg you as protestant, orthodox, or a cult… I think this will be a continual theme in our updates, I believe God is directing us to remain as indistinct as possible and not allow the community to categorize us anything but a smiling, loving family that they are open to building a relationship with.
Thank you again for reading, and checking in. If you haven’t noticed, I’m posting 3 times per week, this will probably slow down, but for now, with so many things happening that are ‘new’ to us, we like sharing our thoughts. Tell everyone to check in, we hope to have some project info, and possible trip information later this summer. We have parents coming in Sept 08, and Jan 09, possibly a few people this July as well. We want to sponsor a meal at the summer camp this year held here locally, it will be about $500 to feed about 150 people (on an island). Jon and Ruth are directing the camp this year and he thought that would be a blessing (everyone brings their own food). If you would like to help with this, use the donate link (takes any debit/credit card) or if you are a Crossroads member, give that way.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” Col 3:23