Monday, January 31, 2011

My Sister's First Few Days in Ukraine

How is life on the mission field different than life in America?  Well, that question is sometimes hard for me to answer and I have to think hard about it because this has just become life to me.  So I asked my sister, as a new comer, to share what it's like for her...and she has been thrown right into mission life.  No easing in here.  The water froze while we were in Kiev, so we were without water for a couple days.  We've probably been without water and/or a washer for about half of the time we've lived here.  At least this time Eric's car worked so he didn't have to walk through the snow a mile carrying 60 liters of water on a sled.  Here are Brianna's thoughts of her first few days here.  She has done really well with everything...even the toilets (which I avoided using for as long as I possibly could).  

Bree holding Yan, Olea's 1 month old baby. 
We visited Olea, then went to Christina's house
and were fed lots of food both times.

My experience in Ukraine has been really eye opening. I’ve been here for almost a week now and I’m no where near used to the scenery, people, or the food. The whole atmosphere here is different. First of all, the scenery. I live in a village with Eric and Jessica and it’s kind of hard to describe, but I’ll try. One of the things that first surprised me was all of the stray dogs running around the streets. None of the dogs are on leashes or have collars and are all very skinny. The majority of houses are brick and have fences around them, either brick or wooden. The houses are also pretty close together. The roads are narrow and not clearly marked which gives partly to the crazy driving. My first taxi ride I thought we were about to run over 2 or 3 people just pulling out of the parking lot! Things are pretty dirty and unkempt with bottles and papers lining the sides of the streets. There’s a train station right outside of the village that the majority of people that live here walk to. There are also a lot of green house structures in the village; they don’t have the plastic on them because its winter, so they’re just the wooden bases.

The people, for the most part, have harsh appearances. I noticed they don’t smile very much, and I felt pretty silly smiling all of the time. The church family here is very sweet though, they have made me feel really welcomed. Last Sunday one of the ladies, Christina, pointed to chai (tea) and so I stayed in the room with her waiting for it to be ready. It was just me, her and her husband, Yuri. Neither of them can speak any English, but they still talked and talked and talked as if I knew what they were saying until I finally shrugged and made a desperate face like- I DON’T UNDERSTAND! They just laughed and continued to try to make me understand things by pointing to things like the chair and table and saying it in Russian. Next Sunday I’m going to bring my Russian dictionary.

Now the food! I’ve been fed kidney and caviar. I took one bite of the kidney and discreetly slid it under Jessy’s plate. I did the same thing with the caviar. The ladies here get very offended if you don’t eat their cooking! They do make very good compote, pies, and other dishes I don’t know the names of. It’s custom to bring something when you visit someone, typically cookies and chai.

I’ve been having a great time with my sister and the girls. The girls come up and sleep with me when they wake up in the morning, well more like giggle and pet my arm while I sleep. Sammy is beyond adorable and Eric does pretty good putting up with me and Jessy. The water here just came back on too! The pipes froze the night before I came so we’ve been heating water on the stove and using that for baths and washing dishes. It really made me thankful for running water! I’m praying God will give me spiritual growth while I’m here and help me to be a blessing to my sister and her family.

Wish I had more pictures for you, but as usual, my batteries are dead.  These pictures were taken with Eric's phone.  Working on that though.


  1. Oh my Brianna, that made me cry...Jess and Eric will be blessed beyond measure when they meet their maker in the sweet by and by. It's so true that we are so unappreciative for all the things we have. I pray that the Lord protects them as they minister on the field and thank you so much for keeping us informed. I love you all so much and I am very proud of you. Enjoy time with your sister and those dear precious children. Hugs and kisses...Aunt Patti :)

  2. Thank you, Brianna, and Jess. What a blessing! I am so excited for you both during this time, and I know that those desires for your time there fit right with what the Lord would desire, as well. It's great to see Brianna has the same radiant smile as you, Jess! (don't be embarrassed; I felt the same way when I moved here, like I was the only woman walking down the street with a smile!)



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