Any foreigner visiting Ukraine on an extended visa is required to registered with their local OVIR (office of registration and visas). This is bureaucratic residue from the old Soviet system… the ultimate goal, a stamp in your passport. The journey however (we’ve been watching Lord of the Rings a little bit each night with the kids), long, trying and very trixy. You have 90 days to receive this stamp or you will be exiled to Siberia… well not actually, but you do have to leave the country to start your 90 day period over. Please pray for us. Because we didn’t go through traditional agency/missions groups (like the baptist union) this is uncharted territory for the association with whom we have been invited. Upon my second trip to the OVIR this week we received a lengthy list of documents/forms required, each with their own set of exciting adventures required before we can receive this stamp. The process is going to take a few weeks, and my cut off date is August 12… I should have started this sooner,, when will I ever learn? We have a great cast of helpers including our lawyer friend Alex, Daniel and the RZ crew, their Baptist visa guy, Maxim with the Association and his friends…. and of course Jesus, what we do without Him?
Tucker loves stylish clothing. Even in Texas on a hot summer day, while other kids would grab shorts and a t-shirt, Tucker gravitated towards button up dress shirts and pants. In the young boys room here at the apartment in Kiev, he found a suit of sorts, complete with a hat and tie, here he is quite proud of his new found wares. He looks like a Russian hobbit.
This week we bought, I think, the final substantial purchase at the dreaded Epicenter… 15 radiators… to survive the coming winter.. I though these things were no longer in use, central heat/air has not made it to these parts. Here is helping me push our carts toward the check out… I like to think of Epicenter as Mordor, its logo an evil eye. I figured out there are two primary reasons for the multiple checkout procedures.. A) theft and conspiracy (they don’t trust their own employees so there are multiple forms of accountability,, pretty pricey if you wanted to bribe your way out of the store without paying, and B) wages are so cheap, why not have 3 people check your stuff instead of 2?
We are on our 3-4 day without hot water, I guess it’s out for another 2 weeks or so. I really miss that early morning shower, and the kids are getting pretty smelly, like golum.
So, pray for us that we get this stamp thing figured out. As soon as we get ours, we’ll start on Cassie and hopefully know the ropes. Much of what we are doing in Ukraine is ‘plowing’, knowledge of the process is key to helping others come. We do believe more are coming, not to build a Christian utopia in the beautiful countryside of Ukraine (the Shire), but for advancing God’s Kingdom through the preaching of Christ. When you consider the number of missionaries gathering in RZ and this particular area, and the harvest before us, you can’t help but believe God is orchestrating something special, our family is honored to serve in these ‘last of the last’ days, and partnering with you all in prayer.
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Mathew 24:14
PS- an interesting article entitled: “The USSR, what was it?”