Wait a minute, doesn’t EVERYONE celebrate thanksgiving? I may get desperate and go hunting.. or maybe one of you could ship us over a butterball. New Years day is the big holiday around these parts, Christmas is on a come back though. During communism the Russians suppressed anything religious in nature, they emphasized New Years as the ‘big event’. In schools children dress up on New Years, get treats… The Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas (click for history of Christmas) as Jan 7, following the Julian Calendar. Over the past couple of years in Ukraine the Western influence has also made a seasonal impact, we saw some Christmas stores in Kiev a couple of weeks ago complete with trees and colorful decor, Deb was overly excited.
We’re getting closer to having our basement ‘use-able’.. although it’s still a mess of wires, concrete, bricks and sheet rock at the moment. It will be great to send all the kids down there to the playroom when we have guests over. Oleg and Yura, the two college students continue to show up faithfully 4 days per week, chipping away at things in between smoke breaks. They are good kids.. I can say ‘kids’ now right? They rarely eat or drink anything. We feed them and try to show Christian love with our limited vocabulary. It’s been neat to watch them loosen up, I’ve begun asking them some questions about God, please pray for them, we probably have another month together with them.. well at the pace they are moving, let’s say 2 months.
We’ve had Sasha Sr. and Sasha Jr. from Karghalyk, replacing our electrical box. They can only come at night and on the weekends so it’s taken a while, but we actually have a breaker box now, replacing the ‘oh so safe’ on/off lever and open wires we had. They are also going to install a water filtration system, our well water is not drinkable and so hard that we’re told our appliances will not last too long if we don’t do something soon.
The former one russian car garage is now my office,, it’s 90% finished needing only carpet to complete. I’ve been working from the kitchen table, Deb will be happy to see me take my computer and associated junk to my barn:). We are one of only a few DSL highspeed internet owners, especially with open access wifi.. we’ve got a few people coming over during the week to check email and use it, hey an internet cafe… it’s right here in Deb’s kitchen! Kidding Deb.
I don’t like waiting so long to update, too many things pile up to write about. Oh, the official date for the Sister City Web Conference is Wednesday November 19.. 8:30am CST / 4:30pm Ukraine. Both Mayors have committed to the date and I’ve worked with the city IT person here to test things out with Hunter back in Kilgore.. all systems are a go! Please pray for the event to work (internet to work!) and the first meeting to be an enjoyable one, I’m excited to see how things will move from here. We’ve already been shown much kindness and some doors have opened for Jono’s school, the city is donating a small building for his english classes, though I believe it will require a lot of fix up. I think the more the Christians here show themselves to be community assets, the greater opportunities will open up for us all, we are starting to see this and it’s encouraging. The lady at the Mayor’s office is trying to get our kids in dancing lessons, like the cultural Ukrainian dancing… I told her my boys would rather shoot something and asked her if there was anything in RZ for boys… she just shook her head with a frown. Imagine them dancing ha.
Next week we have Ukrainian lady/friend coming over to teach Deb how to make Borsh. We have become friends with this couple, they are Christians but don’t really fellowship too much here in town, they go to Kiev sometimes for church. He installed our cabinets and counter-tops. The other day a drunk man came to our house and wanted to see inside.. I guess he saw it before it was finished when the guys were all working on it.. he was overly friendly/tipsy and thankfully Daniel was here to guide him back out of our coat room. There’s a definite socialistic mindset here when it comes to personal property, on one hand it’s a good opportunity to get to know people more intimately (like your neighbors who will be obliged to give you some tea if you show up at their door) but it puts us in all sorts of situations we’d never dream of back in the US.
I heard you all have a new president? Ok, we. Plenty of room in Ukraine 😉
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,” (1 Cor. 6:19-20) – Good devotion on this verse click here