We have been in Ukraine 7 weeks, it feels more like 7 months. This weekend we drove our sweet ride to Rz again, and stayed over in our house for the first time. We don’t have any appliances yet, so it was camp central in the master bedroom, sleeping bags and all. The kids enjoyed getting out of the city and breathing the fresh country air, so did the parents. Our house is coming along, day by day. We have running water now! The upstairs bathroom is mostly complete, in fact the entire upstairs is in good shape, needing only some closets, bathroom cabinets and carpet. The main floor however is 2-3 weeks away from being finished, the cabinets are being installed/setup now, Deb and I are running around picking out counter tops and appliances that will fit the smallish standard sizes.
I guess with family sizes being under 2 kids for the most part, you don’t need large ovens and refrigerators. Their standard size appliances are tiny in comparison with the US. They are starting to get what we would call ‘family’ size appliances, but they are imports from germany and some from the US, and they are 30-40% more in cost than the US. Needless to say our appliance budget has gone up in smoke, but we don’t have much of a choice, these little boys are starting to eat like men, and they love to play in the dirt.
Our yard however is a complete nightmare. The trees are overwhelmed by 4ft high weeds, and every other step is a pile of wood, glass, rusty metal somethings, and concrete. It’s amazing how much came ‘out’ of this house over the course of the project. I’ve been trying to get some person(s) to come and work in the yard, we’ve even agreed on a rental price for a bucket loader and dump truck to haul it off to the dump, but the guy never shows up. Kolya has been trying his best to get some students or anyone that is looking for a few bucks to help clean the yard up but he’s informed me that this is not common, nobody in Rz has probably EVER payed for yard work…. but we’re rich americans that expect to pay for these services… maybe that will be the boys first business (Calixto, will you come and train us on the art of landscaping?!). Actually, I would love to spend the week getting it ‘play safe’ for the kids, but we’re in Kiev during the week and won’t be going out for another two weeks. Anyone want to come over and work in our yard? Could that be a missions trip? It would certainly be a mission.
Deb and I can’t wait to be living in our own place. The first thing I’m going to do is buy (if we can find a decent one) a BBQ, and have all the workers over for a big Texas Style outdoor grilling.. I’ve yet to find steak here, I guess it’s really expensive and not as popular as pork, but they will taste some steak over a BBQ and forever be changed. Maybe that will motivate a speedy finish! Only 4-5 more weeks and we HAVE to move in, ready or not, here we come RZ!
On July 5th I have Viktor from Lviv (Western Ukraine) coming in by train to visit, he’s a programmer that has been with us for over a year, will be the first time I get to visit in person. I hope to expand our programmer base here in Ukraine, I’m going to meet with my lawyer friend Alex hopefully this week to discuss registering Cypress as a legal entity here… could be a very good way to get visas, rent buildings (for ministry and/or work), own vehicles, and get a membership to the largest grocery store in Kiev (currently we can’t get in). The more I consider it, the more interested I am in continuing on a business premise, I think it will open more doors for ministry than a direct ministry/religious approach.
This week I’ve been considering eternity. As much as we hope and work toward a settled ‘home’ here in Ukraine, we’re really just passing through. I’m glad we’re not living in tents like Abraham, we have it easy in comparison. He was ‘looking forward’… maybe that is a key. Ponder this verse!
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Heb 11:10