"This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:6b-9
Oh, how much we see that here! These Ukrainians would rather give their time to pray to icons, and their money to greedy priests than to just trust in Jesus Christ and the Bible! And what does this bring them? Nothing. No peace. No joy. No future security. I went out by myself the other week, first time in a LONG time. I usually don't take public transportation much because it is too difficult with the girls. I can pretty much get everything that I need within walking distance, and if I can't, Eric picks it up for me on his way home. But the other week Eric let me go to the second hand store after the girls went to bed. When you are out with someone, you don't notice the people around you as well as when you are by yourself...especially if that "someone" is two little girls. By myself, though, on the metro I looked into their faces and it broke my heart. Their lives are full of sorrow, worry, no hope...it's overwhelming to see. I also met a lady who was asking for only 50 kopayek...that's about 5 cents!!! She was trying to STEAL it from the company she was working for! (She was asking you to give her 50 kopayek instead of paying 1 griven for riding the trolly bus and she would keep it and you would ride without a ticket.) Can you imagine? To be so desparate as to be stealing a nickel??? I said that I could not do that because I am a Christian. I gave her 1 griven and 50 kopayek...griven for my ticket and 50 kopayek for her.
I see how little they live on and wonder how they manage to survive. God has continually been weeding things out of our lives...starting even before we came over. Sometimes it is such a hard process! We greatly desire to give our all to God and we're willing, but when He actually brings something to mind, it's hard! Sometimes I want to go into my pouting child stage and say, "It's not fair, Lord! I've already given up family, friends, my homeland, my kids having grandparents, Walmart ;)...what MORE do you want?" Then I think, "Is HE not worth it? Is a soul not worth it?" One of our neighbors said once to Lina about us, "They're poor aren't they." Praise the Lord! It is ONLY when they look past our material possessions that we can start reaching them with the Saviour! Pray for me. I greatly desire for Christ to be seen in me and for more to be purged from my life. I desire to have more time for him as well as money. Pray for us as we learn to live on less and use our time wisely FOR THE GLORY OF GOD that Kharkov, Ukraine will see something different and desire to know our Lord and Saviour!