Thursday, April 29, 2010

Krakow- A Kid's View II

While in Krakow, we had fun:

We saw:
(from a was too crowded for us.)

We visited:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Poland-A Kid's View

We took TONS of pictures, but I'm afraid if you are looking for pictures showing the sights in Poland you will be disappointed, but if you're looking for where to go with toddlers, we've got you covered.

Fun Parks

Indoor play-places

(Took her FOREVER to finally go the end the only reason she went down is because Anna "helped" her down--gave her a little shove.)
Yummy icecream

Interesting aquarium

As for Eric and I, our favorite sights were the many American restaurants. (I visited the doctor on Tuesday and she told me that I needed to stop drinking so much water because I've gained too much weight. What came to my mind was Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King, Subway, York Peppermint patties, Cinni-minis....Yep, definitely water weight gain.)

More kid-friendly sights and a little about what happened while we were here in my next post. I'm trying to get you caught up quickly because life picked right back up when we got home and don't want to fall too far behind.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Poland Trip - First Days

Our trip began with a 9 hour train ride to Kiev. And, since it was a Thursday, one of the things that took up some of that time was our Thursday Tea Party...except with juice and sandwich stuff instead of cookies and tea. Dear Lina, knowing that this was something I was wanting to do and that I hadn't had time to buy the napkins, etc., went out of her way to find us the cute cups and stuff. Lydia didn't end up eating or drinking too much because she was too interested in playing with her plate.

The whole time we were on the train and in the taxi on the way to the airport I was craving an apple. I almost asked Eric to stop at one of the fruit stands along the road. While we were waiting at the airport, a lady sat down beside me and started talking to the girls and I. She told us that she had been reading the Bible, but didn't understand it and had also just met another Baptist. We told her that we didn't believe that was just a coincidence. We didn't get to talk to her for very long but she accepted the tract we gave her and before we left she gave us two oranges and an APPLE!

When we reached Poland, we were met by Mr. Johnson. Mr. & Mrs. Johnson have been missionaries to Poland for about 17 years! They were a huge blessing to us during our stay and helped us in any way that they could. Since their children and grandchildren live in the states, they spoiled our girls a little while we were there...and us. (They treated us to Pizza Hut the day after we arrived. MMMMM)

(Pictured above) Mr. Johnson treating the girls to a ride at the mall. Anna's friend is their co-workers' (the Glass family) daughter. After the "carriage ride", the Johnsons brought over a special cart for the girls to play in while waiting at the mall. (Pictured below)

Due to all of the rain while we were in Poland, we were forced to buy an umbrella. Anna LOVED walking around with it. Not only was she cute as she paraded around carrying it, but it was funny seeing people stop, stare, bend over trying to see who was under that huge, hot pink umbrella.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home

YAY! I think the best part of any vacation or trip is crossing your country, "state", then city line and finally walking through the doors of your own home. There's definitely no place like home. When we stepped off the train from our 2 day (or something like that) trip, we were pleasantly surprised to see not only Yuri there to pick us up but Lina, Dema, Max and Valentina there to greet us with tears in their eyes. (I guess they thought we would never make it back from Poland or that we would enjoy Pizza Hut so much we'd never come back.) It was a very exciting (not sure if that's the right word for it or not, but can't think of anything else to replace it) trip and I've had my fill of pepperoni pizza for a little while. Hopefully I can remember everything by the time I get around to posting. Well, need to go get everything ready for church tomorrow and head to bed. Can't wait to jump in my bed and surround myself with all the pillows I can find. Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Girls' Room

Thought I'd make one last post before we headed off to Poland to enjoy Pizza Hut, Subway, KFC...I mean to renew our visas.

This part of our tour takes us to the girls' (soon children's) room. They tried to make sure that they were in every picture. Even though it was light out, it was close to bedtime, so they were all ready for least, they were dressed for bed.

"Welcome to our Room"

My creative husband made a "railing" on the side of the bed so Anna won't fall out and possibly break her collar bone again.

As you can see, they are really enjoying showing you their room.

Quilt that Auntie Bree made.

Thanks for stopping by! (To see the first part of our tour, click here.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blind Followers

"...they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind,
both shall fall into the ditch." ~Matthew 15:14

Where to start? My heart is so overwhelmed with all that I've learned in the past few days that I hardly know what to say. Resurrection Sunday has always been a time of reflecting on and rejoicing for what Christ Jesus has done for me, but this year it is mingled with sadness. Now that we are living in the village it seems like I have been confronted daily with the pagan traditions of the Orthodox church, which I somehow missed when living in the city.

Every day we saw people cleaning up the cemetary, preparing for Sunday's rituals. Friday evening as we were enjoying the fresh air outside, we saw baboushkas walking the streets with lighted candles heading to the Orthodox church. Sunday morning we saw people walking the streets with their Easter baskets, flowers for gravestones, food to have a picnic with their deceased loved ones and of course alcohol. At church, many brought the traditional, Ukrainian bread to share with others and some talked about visiting gravesites that morning leaving food for their deceased. After church, we saw people staggering drunk from the graveyard, just finishing their picnic. The people are so superstitous and have so many traditions, all stemming from the pagan worship of the gods of spring, life and death. Many blindly do them for two reasons, 1) the Orthodox church has adopted these traditions, making them "Christian" and 2) it is something that their mothers and grandmothers did.

Walking home from church, we met a woman who called herself baba Lena. She asked us if we were "theirs" (meaning, do we live in Vidinka). She then asked us to wait as she ran to get us a loaf of Paska bread (they call it passover bread, another adopted pagan tradition) and some candy and fruit for the girls. She walked with us for a little while because she was curious where we lived, giving us a chance to talk to her. Eric asked her if she had a Bible. She said no. Before he could finish offering to give her one, she cut him off saying that she was not interested. Eric said, "Why not? Don't you want a Bible you can read for yourself? The Orthodox believe the Bible don't they?" Baba Lena said, "I don't know. I don't want one. I have this." She pulled out a crucifix, said that it had belonged to her grandmother, then her mom and now it was hers. She said that she prayed to Jesus and began to pray holding the crucifix and doing the motions. Following her prayer, she kissed the crucifix. (Pictured below) This is the first Ukrainian that we have had reject a Bible. Even if they won't take other literature from us, they usually won't reject a Bible. Please be praying for her. I am hoping to bring a little gift of teas and cookies/muffins or something over to her as a thank you for her gift. (It is customary to give a gift after receiving one.) Maybe I will be able to have her over for tea after we return from Poland.

Also, please be praying for a lady named Oksana. (You can see her picture here.) She has been coming to church and has also started doing Bible lessons. So far she has had 3 Bible lessons. When we got home from church on Sunday, she called and said that she was not able to make it to services because she had been at the orthodox church praying for a job all night. She has been without work for some time now. Though we care about her physical needs, we are more concerned about her spiritual need of a Saviour. Please be praying that she will continue to be open to the gospel and trust in Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven.


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