Monday, June 23, 2008

update #3 -- Tulchin!

Hi friends and family,

Nadine and I have just returned from a week in Tulchin, where we spent the week with Victor and Olga N. and their 3 boys. Three of the mornings we were there we held Kids' Club type activities with some neighborhood children, and also spent a lot of time playing with Victor and Olga's 2 and a half year old sons Elijah and Benjamin.

Spending time with the neighborhood children...
Each morning Victor invited them over, and we had about 3-4 different children come. With the help of Vica, our translator, we sang songs, played games, told a Bible story, and had a snack with these kids who were about 10-12 years old. It was also great to have Victor involved, and on the first day two people came from church to help with music--definitely a blessing as we don't know any songs in Russian! Keep these kids in your prayers: Mira, Ina, Tanya, Dennis, and Valya.

Spending time with Victor and Olga and the kids, and their neighbors....
Nadine and I spent a lot of time with Elijah and Benjamin, playing with them, trying to keep them out of trouble. :) One afternoon, I went to where Benja seemed like he was going to climb over the fence, and tried to make sure he didn't. He ended up jabbering away to me in Russian, and I of course had NO idea what he was saying--I just matched my facial expressions to his, and added "Da" (yes) and "Opa" (wow) where it seemed appropriate. Later they told me he was telling me something about the flower that was going to eat me!
We also met their neighbor Mary and her two little children, who we visited with a few times. On Saturday, we went with Victor and the two boys to a river where people go whitewater rafting, for an afternoon of swimming and enjoying the beauty of God's creation. Today (Monday) Victor and Olga's newborn is about 3 weeks old, and we got to hold him every so often! :D

Spending time with the Tulchin church family....
On Saturday evening, Victor invited us to go to a small home group meeting just outside of town, where we met an extended family from the church. I enjoyed being able to talk with the people and see that we encouraged them through our presence and willingness to come and serve. Sunday morning we went to the church service, and though there were few gathered there, one of the congregants reminded us of Jesus saying, "Where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them." There may not always be great statistics in terms of a head count, but what counts is that Christ is here with us.

This week and next...
We are taking a few days of rest in Kyiv before we head out to Zaporozhe (southeastern Ukraine) for a children's day camp. There we will spend about a week building relationships with children and then inviting them to the week of camp. We will be joined by Ira, a children's worker at the Kyiv church, and Tiffany, a volunteer at the Vapnyarka Children's Center, and most likely other children's workers. Before that, however, we will be attending Pasha and Olga's wedding in Vapnyarka on Wednesday!

Prayer requests...
Victor, Olga, and their family
the kids we met in Tulchin and the people of the Tulchin church
Pastor Andrei and Marina of Zaporozhe and the ministry that we will be part of next week
traveling safety

Thanks again for your prayers and messages--I always enjoy hearing from you!

No comments: