Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

2 Cups of WHAT???

Learning Russian has been very interesting, and like everyone learning a new language, I have made my fair share of mistakes.

I felt fairly comfortable talking to her, so when our neighbor asked what kind of muffins I had made her, I thought, 'I can do this. Shouldn't be too hard.' I started out by telling her that they were zucchini muffins. She had a hard time believing me. Well, after I finally convinced her that I knew that I had said zuchini, I proceeded to give her the recipe. So, confidently I started off...I mean, how hard could it be??? I cook with this stuff all the time and see the ingredients in Russian. Piece of cake! ("Pride cometh before a fall.")

2 Cups of flies... Why is she looking at me like that? Let me try it again.
2 Cups of flies... What? Is it different in Ukrainian than Russian??

Well, didn't get past that part. She asked me to have Lina translate the rest.

Quick Russian lesson for you...Mooha is flour and Mooka is fly....or is it the other way around??? Still working on that one!

Child Labor

(I live overseas so I can get away with it. ;))

I NEVER would have dreamed that a 1 and 1/2 year old could be such a big helper! For all of her 1 and 1/2 year old life, Anna has been right there with me. And yep (as Papa would say), she was usually a big hindrance to getting things done. We had fun though! Anna now takes diapers to the trash, loads and unloads the washer (sometimes have to help her with this if it's our clothes), hands me the clothes' pins as I hang out the laundry, and lots of other little things. Now before you try to find a way to call child protective services, let me say that she does this smiling the whole time. Here are the pictures to prove it! (I threw in one of Lydia helping too.)

Okay, so Anna isn't really smiling in this picture. Looks more like she's pleading with you to save her! I'll force...oops...take some pictures of her smiling FREELY later.

(The ones of Anna doing laundry were accidentally deleted, so I'll have to take some more and post them later.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"But Jesus Didn't Go Through the Metro"

We were shocked to hear these words come from our dear, sweet Valentina! She recently read that being angry with someone is the same as murder in God's eyes. She said that she didn't see how she could love some people. One of the verses that we shared with her was Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." That's when she said, "But Jesus didn't go through the metro!" (The metro is a subway. It is usually full of people pushing and shoving.)

How often do we feel that way? Me? A missionary wife?? NEVER!

Matthew 22:37-39
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

What a HARD time we have with that! It seems IMPOSSIBLE to love some people, and it is...if we try to do it on our own. If we follow the first commandment and love the Lord with all of our heart, then the second one will just come naturally. Brother Winstead told us before we left for Ukraine, "Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on the people. People will hurt you, deceive you, lie to you, use you, and just be unlovable at times. If you look at them, you'll leave the field. Just keep your eyes on Jesus and He'll love them through you." There have been times when I got discouraged by how I was being treated by "these people," but we didn't come here to be loved, adored, and taken care of by them. We came here to share the gospel with those that are lost (and if they are lost, why shouldn't they be unlovely? We're all unlovely without Christ!), and to train and strengthen the Christians that are here. Without Christ, this is impossible. As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, and love the Lord my God with ALL my heart, His love will flow through my heart to the unlovely.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Learning Russian=Losing English

Tonight we had our first service without a translator. Surprisingly, everything went smoothly. It's exciting to be able to understand almost everything when people talk to you, instead of being totally lost. If only I could speak well! It seems like I have a huge pause in-between every word that I say as a try to think of the right word to use and the right form to put it in. It's funny (okay, not really), but I've found myself pausing between words when I'm speaking in English also. So soon I'll be speaking two languages poorly! Not exactly what I had in mind.

We've been looking at houses lately. We are hoping to have a place within the next couple of months. What a HUGE blessing it will be! I have developed a bad cough from living in this apartment and within the past few days my chest has been hurting from coughing so much. Besides that, I'm tired of having our piano hymn cd turned up to full volume just to drown out the sound of war coming from the neighbors below us.

We called Tatiana on Friday, and she said that she didn't think she needed Bible lessons because she was baptized in the Jordan River. When she came to church on Sunday, we again talked with her about having Bible lessons and she said that she would think about it. Please continue to pray for her.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"But Who Am I?"

"But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able, to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own, have we given thee." 1Chronicles 29:14

"But who am I?" Why would God choose to use us? Why would He allow us to play a part in spreading the gospel to Ukraine? There's nothing special about us, in fact Eric and I are both quiet, home-body types. So, why choose us? Why not someone who is a good speaker, good people person, and very educated? Two reasons: 1) Because HE wants ALL the glory and 2) we willingly offered ours lives to Him . Praise the Lord He does not look at age, speaking ability or performance. He sees our willing offering and accepts it. Because there is nothing special about us, in fact many imperfections, anything special that happens is only because of Him. What an amazing feeling to know that our lives are being used to bring Him honor and glory. "Who am I?" I am just a nobody, giving HIM what already belongs to HIM.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

~Chicken, Potato Salad~

This recipe was given to us by Valentina.

4-5 boiled whole potatoes
3 boiled eggs
2 boiled chicken breasts
green onions
canned pineapple
salt to taste

Shred potatoes and layer on bottom of 9x9 pan. Cut up green onions and sprinkle on top. Next, spread on some mayo. Chop eggs and place on top. Spread more mayo. Layer chopped/torn chicken next. More mayo. Sprinkle pineapple on top.

No matter what way you layer it, it is EXCELLENT. We've even eaten it without the chicken...still good. Definitely one of our favorites!

Glimpses into Their Lives

As I hear the testimonies of the believers here, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all that God has done for me. All of my life I have been surrounded by Christians...Christian parents, in-laws, relatives, and now a husband. I grew up in a "Christian" country, where we had freedom to learn about God and HIS creation. For many of these people, they have a completely different story to tell. They have been brought up in an atheistic society, or a religious, orthodox church. They have been taught evolution since birth. What they have seen in their lifetime, I can't even begin to comprehend. Even now, I can only imagine how difficult their lives are. They need your prayers! I would like to share a few of them with you, though I know that they would be much better at telling their stories than I am.

Let me start with Valentina. She was the first person we saw get saved when we came to Ukraine. Though we did not play a role in her salvation, we have seen God work in her life greatly since we have been here. She is very dear to our family, and is like a grammy to the girls. She is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. Right now, her son, his wife, and his wife's son live with her in her house. Both her son and his wife drink. Her co-workers are all Jehovah Witnesses and pressure her constantly. There is not a single person in her family, that I know of, that is saved. Every single day she is forced to put up with drunkenness, sometimes beaten, sworn at, and told not to talk about her God and Jesus. In her own home she has no peace, no place where she can run to and seek the Lord. Her only room has no door. There is constant noise from the four tv's in the house. When we were in Poland, she watched our house for us. What a difference we saw in her. She seemed so relaxed and at peace. Please pray for her and her family. She greatly desires to see them saved.

I'll close with Lina. Lina was the church translator even before we arrived and has been saved for a while. She did not grow for quite some time after she was saved though. Early in her salvation, she met a man who was not saved and fell in love with him. Against the advice of Christian friends, she married him anyways. It is now a daily thorn in her flesh. Her husband has allowed her to teach their son, Max, the Bible and bring him to church. Praise the Lord that Max has believed in Jesus because of this. Her husband is now very involved with some type of new cult and communicates with them daily through the internet. Sometimes he forces her to sit and watch videos of his beliefs and of evolution. They live in a one-room apartment. There is no where for her or Max to hide from the shadow that is placed on the home. Please be praying for her, her husband, and for Max.

Pray for us as we not only try to reach the lost, but also try to minister to the few believers here.

Monday, April 6, 2009


We received some emails from people having trouble posting comments. We changed the settings so you are now able to leave your comments.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


As some of you know, we had to take a trip to Poland to renew our visas. After all that has been going on, I was in bad need of a break. The beginning of our trip was quite rough and a definite time of testing for our family, as both of our little girls had caught a flu bug. Lydia seemed to recover quickly, but we were afraid we were going to spend our trip to Poland in the hospital with Anna.

After Anna started feeling better, we were able to have a little bit of a rest while we were in Poland. Krakow is a beautiful city, but it is SO nice to be back home. Back to our home here in Ukraine. I like having to renew our visas at this time of year because it is SO nice to go away after the long winter and even nicer to come back to a city beginning to bloom, with revival in our hearts. HOME!

Since being home, we've hit the ground running. Eric just started Bible lessons with Vladamir Vonavich. He is the older gentleman I mentioned earlier. PLEASE be praying for his salvation. We do not know how much time he has left. He seems to be aging very quickly lately. We greatly desire to see him saved.

While Eric is doing the Bible lesson with Vladamir, I have started a children's lesson for the 3 kids we have. We had a fun time, and it was great for my Russian as I have to teach the whole lesson in Russian. Max was my big helper. He held up the pictures and repeated each phrase that I said. Normally it would be annoying to have someone repeat everything you say, but it is very helpful when you are learning a new language. If I said it incorrectly, he would just make the changes so that I could hear how I NEEDED to say it. It also helped him pay more attention and it made sure that he understood what I was trying to say. Pray that this time will not only keep the kids busy, but also help them to grow in the scriptures. Pray that God will give me the ability to explain things correctly in Russian. I plan on having my Russian teacher help me prepare my lessons when she comes on Mondays and Thursdays.

Pray also for a lady named Tatianna. She has shown an interest in starting Bible lessons. We will be contacting her this week to see when I can start Bible lessons with her. Eric will be watching the kids this time. I wonder, should I leave my "BOX" for him? ;)

Friday, April 3, 2009


This recipe is from my Russian teacher, Natalia; and it has Eric's seal of approval (which is a big deal because he does not eat fresh veggies, or many other veggies for that matter).


Shredded Carrots
Feta Cheese (crumbled)
Chopped Green onions

Mix all together. YUMMY!

If you try it, let me know what you think!

Lydia and Natalia (my Russian teacher).

I Think I Want to Switch Jobs!

March 15,2009
I surrendered to be a missionary when I was younger, but this isn't exactly what I had in mind. Okay, let me start from the beginning.

It was a pretty typical Sunday. We got to church around 10 and were finishing up around 2pm when an older gentleman in our church began asking questions concerning salvation. Because the kids were so noisy, I took all of them out into the other room. On a normal day it might be fine, but the girls had already been there for four hours without naps. And then...there's MAX. Don't get me wrong, he's a good kid. He just tries your patience sometimes. Thirty minutes pass, the kids get a little more cranky. SO, we march around the room ten times singing "I'm in the Lord's Army." That eventually gets old, so we start sweeping the floors. Max gets the broom and Anna gets the dustpan. Next thing I know Lydia is crying in my arms, Anna crying on the floor where she landed, and Max sweeping up his pile telling Anna to stop crying. Max decided that Anna wasn't using the dustpan right. He tried to pull it from her hands, but she, being the little fighter that she is, wouldn't let go. She ended up on the floor still holding the dustpan. I decided it was time for Max to spend some time in "the chair". He decided it was time for me to have a Russian lesson and started correcting my Russian, drawing out certain letters (it's stoolllllll...something like that). I started feeling sorry for myself. I mean, I came over here to give people the gospel, not to have a little five year old start correcting my Russian as I'm disciplining him. I want to be out there on the front line, I didn't surrender for THIS...

Well, I'm now surrendered to serve where God puts me...but next time, I will have a BOX of activities. ;)

(Eric will be starting Bible Lessons with Vladimir starting this Sunday, following services. Please be praying for his salvation.)

That's My Girl!

March 6,2009
Every day Anna amazes me with some new thing or word that she is doing or saying. Usually it is something that I do or say on a daily basis. Like, one of her first words was "wow", "what's that?". I didn't realize how often I had said that to her until we were walking through a mall. All of a sudden, she started pointing at all of the stores, saying "WOW!" and "OOOOO". My thought? "That's my girl!" She is such a girly-girl. She LOVES jewelry, purses, trying on clothes... Just the other day, we discovered something else she's learned from me. Valentina had babysat Anna for us, so Eric pulled some money out of his wallet to give to her. Anna walked straight over to Valentina and said with outstretched hand "Die, die,
die. Eeeeeaze." (Die means give me in Russian, and eaze means please, in English.;)) We all died laughing. Eric's thought? "Get's that from her mom." So without trying, I've taught her malls are neat, looking pretty is fun, money is important and something to want. She's watching me...what else is she learning from me without me knowing?

I Want to Be a Mary

February 24,2009
"But Martha was cumbered about much serving... And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:40a,41,42

Oh! How I desire to be like Mary! Sitting at the feet of Jesus and soaking in every word! But unfortunately, I think I am more like Martha. The need is SO great and the laborers SO few. Even if I spent every second of every day trying to reach these people with the Gospel and help them with their needs, I would still find the need overbearingly great. I long to sit and soak in His Word, but I find myself instead "cumbered about much serving." I know what Martha was thinking, "This is so important. It HAS to be done. It is for Jesus." I imagine she was a little jealous of Mary. Maybe she muttered under her breath, "Well, I'm glad at least one of us has a moment to sit down." That is when her service was no good. Oh, yes. It still fulfilled a need, but it was no longer true service. It was no longer a blessing to those receiving. She was missing one thing-the only thing needful- to know CHRIST MORE. How can we serve LIKE Christ and in HIS name if we don't KNOW HIM? Oh! I want to be a Mary!

The Trying of Our Faith

February 21,2009
Almost two years...that's how long we've been in Ukraine. Though, so much has happened, it seems like much more. Lately I've been thinking, what's the hardest part about being a missionary? Is it the loneliness? Not seeing your family? Knowing that you really don't fit in anywhere now...not in America because of how much you and everyone there has changed, and not here because you will always be a foreigner? Is it not having the comfort foods and surroundings of home? or maybe it's the language and culture differences? All those are difficult sometimes, but I'd have to say that the hardest thing is the trying of our faith. Faith that, no matter what, GOD IS in control. Faith that HE WILL protect us. Faith that it IS HIM that called us here, and not just our emotions over the plight of those lost and on their way to hell. Faith that HE KNOWS our every need and will provide...whether emotional, physical, or spiritual. It is faith to keep moving, without knowing if our sacrifices will make a difference.
"(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him." 2 Cor. 5:7,9

Testimony and Calling

I came to the realization of my need for salvation when I was about 5 years old. My dad had started a church in Mass., and it was after one of his services there, during an alter call that I went forward to receive Christ as my Savior. I realized that I was a sinner and could not make it to heaven on my own.

Shortly after that, some missionaries came to our church, and I decided that I wanted to be a missionary. Whether it was because my friend was or that I really had an interest, I do not know, but it sparked my interest and I started reading a lot of missionary books. I always had an interest in Africa (probably because of my friend), but I was also very interested in the communist countries. One of my favorite books growing up was "Behind the Iron Curtain." I must have read it ten times.

During my last two years of high school, I started to struggle really hard with my wants and what I had always felt called to do. Eric and I were dating at that time, and I knew that he was planning on being a professional golfer. God was really working on my heart and I fought with Him for a while. He was telling me that I could not be a golfer's wife. I needed to break up with Eric. Finally, I realized that I could never be happy out of God's will and surrendered my heart to Him. I knew that I was going to have to break up with Eric. When I finally got out of the way, that is when God could work. Eric pulled me aside shortly after that, not knowing anything that was going on, and told me that God had called him to full time service.

After we got married, we faithfully served in our local church doing whatever was needed. We had no peace that that was where God wanted us, and found it very hard to wait for Him. Every time a missionary would come through, we would talk and pray to see if that was where God wanted us. Every time we would feel a burden for the lost souls, but not a calling. We prayed about staying, but every time we tried to settle in (buy a house, etc.), God would close the door and say "just wait". Finally, in His perfect timing, He showed us where He wanted us. The Mapp family came to our church in August 2004 and presented their burden for the people of Ukraine. The Lord touched both of us, but instead of talking with each other like we usually did, we prayed separately. The only reason we can guess that we did this was maybe because we were both so burdened, we could not talk with each other. God had to work on us separately. A couple weeks later, when I was doing the dishes, Eric came up to me and asked how I would feel about being a missionary to Ukraine. We then started praying about it together and felt sure that God was calling us to Ukraine.


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