Monday, February 14, 2011

MK - It's A Hard Knock Life

We watched a video/slideshow of pictures of my sister and other Crown College students working "to" that song.  Anna and Lydia started going around singing it while they worked.
Here is video number one:

Then, she decided to get a little more, ummm, creative...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just Sit By an Adult

I cannot believe another week has passed!  Time seems to fly by quicker here in Ukraine...and it cannot possibly be just because I'm getting old because even Bree has noticed it!  I always have so many things I want to post but the line-up for computer time has grown - though I definitely don't mind the sacrifice since it means I have fellowship and help. :)
On Thursday, Eric watched the kids (ALL three) so Bree and I could go to the second hand store.  As we weaved our way quickly down the mazes on our road, I remembered - I forgot my phone!  So we ran back to the house and then ran to the train station, in our very impractical village shoes...and we didn't break anything or even fall!  Now, that is pretty amazing!  We boarded the train with make-up running down our faces.  Once we got into the city, we then had to take the metro (subway) to the second hand store...all of this only to find out that they closed an hour before we got there!  Oh, well.  Brianna enjoyed experiencing the train and the metro.  We ended up sitting down at a little cafe drinking hot tea while eating salad and blinies while we waited for the train. 

The train ride home was interesting.  First a lady came up and wanted to give me some walnuts.  I had already had the cashier try to keep 5 greeven when I bought our tickets, so I was thinking she was trying to get me to buy the nuts from her or something like that.  A little while later, some drunk guys got on the train and sat down in front of us.  The started invading our space a little.  We immediately jumped up and went into another wagon.  When we got off at our village, we met up with the lady who had given us the walnuts and she walked a ways with us.  She said "Don't be scared.  Young people drink.  If you are bothered again, just go sit by an adult. (That made me feel pretty good...but it was dark, so she couldn't see my wrinkles.)  Or if I'm on the train, you can come sit with me."  She asked if we hang out at the dance club.  This gave me the opportunity to talk to her a little bit and give her a tract. 

Since she arrived in Ukraine, Bree has been sharing a room with the girls.  But since she will be here for a while, we figured out a way to give her her own little space.  (Did I mention that she doesn't have a return ticket?  My mom said I couldn't keep her forever, but maybe just half of forever.)  She was pretty excited about her little "princess" spot...

...and so were the girls.

Before we put the mattress in there, we decided to have a little tea party.
It was more of a pajama tea party.  (Somebody still needed to fix those poor girls' hair.)

It is getting cold here again but I am still praying that I can get our neighbor, Baba Nora, to come over for tea tomorrow.

I have a few more things I want to write, but I'll save those for another post.  We are "speaking" at a supporting church's mission's conferences at 1 AM through skype, so right now I am trying to decide whether to go to sleep or just stay awake.  I'm leaning towards sleeping so Goodnight!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just for Grampy

The computer and internet is one of the biggest blessings to missionaries by allowing us to keep in contact with our families back home.  Our internet connection in the village is usually too low to call and talk a lot of times so we cherish the times when we have a good enough connection to do skype calls...especially video.  Each time we get to talk to my dad on the phone, the girls ALWAYS ask him to sing to them.  And recently, he made a video of their favorite song for those times when he can't.  They want to listen to it ALL of the time.  Because our connection has been so low, my dad asked if I would copy them watching it so he could see them too.  So, dad.  This is for you. :)  They watched it as soon as they got up....and keep watching it.  Now, Anna can tell you exactly what grampy is going to do next.

If you'd like to watch his video, go to youtube and type in "Think I'm Gonna Go to Vacation Bible School".  My dad wrote the song and my brother was in charge of filming and editing.  I think they did an excellent job. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Mad Scientist

Stuffed fish Christina made for Sunday.
It tastes better than it looks.

It took me a little while to get used to having someone here who could help me.  I ran around still trying to do everything by myself.  My sister said that I run around like a mad scientist....that was when I decided I needed to slow it down.  Now, I don't know what I will do when she leaves!  I have been able to do so much now that she is here and make a few more plans.  I'd like you to be praying for me.  Before I could barely keep up with our regular church activities and the home, now that my sister is here I feel like I actually have some time to minister and witness more in the village.  

Eric had tried to get our neighbor, Baba Nora, to take Bible lessons with him, but she wouldn't.  I am praying that God will open up the door for me to possibly give them to her.  I am planning on having her over for tea - maybe 2 times (like Esther) - then ask her about coming over weekly for tea and a quick Bible lesson.  I'm not sure when I will be able to do this, it will either be on Thursday or next Monday.  Please pray that God gives me wisdom when talking to her and freedom of speech as my Russian is a little rusty and I'm not sure if I will have a translator the first two tea times.  

Yesterday, we decided to go visit with Christina and encourage her.  Living in the village separates her from the other Christian ladies in our church so she rarely has Christian fellowship.  She could easily walk over to me, but she doesn't really like to walk.  With 3 kids, it has been impossible for me...until now.  So yesterday Bree and I loaded up the girls on the sled and I held Sammy and we started out on the slushy, icy, very crazy roads.  The roads were crazier than I could explain. I would have gotten a picture for you, but I was carrying Sammy and he has gotten HEAVY now.  What would probably take Eric 30 minutes, took us over an hour!  We were soaked by the time we got there, but enjoyed a little bit of fellowship and some fish soup. :)  Yuri's mom came in and visited with us too and offered Brianna some vodka.  Bree was pretty shocked to have a grandmother offering it to her.  We ended up leaving mostly because her neighbor came to visit.  This is the neighbor lady that tried to get Christina to drink with her.  She is completely against the Gospel and doesn't believe in wives being submissive to their husbands (which really isn't a surprise).  Please be praying for Christina.  She has been growing a lot lately and satan will use whatever he can to stop this.

These are from the other day when we were walking in the village.

The road and houses behind our house.

On the way to Christina's, an Armenian lady (I think we bought the house for the church from her brother-in-law) saw me and yelled out, "Jassica, is that you?  Come in and be my guest."  She is very sweet, but I have avoided visiting with her because I feel very uncomfortable around her husband and he is not known to be a very trustworthy guy.  Christina is saying I shouldn't visit with her because they are always trying to deceive, but I'm praying about it and my husband doesn't seem against me visiting when her husband isn't home.  Ukraine has such a diverse culture.  There are Chinese, Korean, Japanese, many that I can't think of them all.  There is also a group that they call gypsies.  Ukrainians completely avoid this group, mostly out of superstition.  They believe that the gypsies have the power to deceive you into giving them all of your money.  Most of the gypsies are pretty deceitful, but they still need Jesus.  As I talk with Christina I try to get her to look past their culture and see them as a soul needing Jesus who CAN be saved.  She always groups people together and says that certain groups cannot get saved.

I know I'm probably getting a little mad scientist on you, but I want to add a couple more things for you to pray about.

Valentina's skin cancer has come back again, in a different spot this time though.  She will be going for surgery on Thursday.  I believe by that they mean they will be burning the spot out, just like you would a wart or something (freeze burn or something like that).  Eric and I have never heard of doing this for cancer and this is already the 3rd time she's had this done.

Also, Lydia and I have been showing signs of giardia again.  Pray that we can fully get rid of these parasites.

We thought it was the girls turn to pull us.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

50 Stores Later

Life has been a whirlwind here...a fun one though.  Between visitation, re-arranging things in the house to fit us all, church services....then yesterday - a date day!  I was pretty excited.  Valentina watched the girls and we dropped Bree and Sammy off at Lina's.  So it was a date without a single kid!  Eric decided that we were going to find me a winter coat, since I have needed one for a couple of years now...
50 stores later, and half price (sales are a new thing here, and I'm loving it and anxious to get out and check out some of the stuff on sale), I found the perfect coat.  He was thinking we were not going to find one, but I think he thinks it was worth it.  Since it has been so long since I had seen the inside of a store, I had a hard time staying focused on our mission but, I did...or rather Eric dragged me away from the pretty little dresses that were at least half price and begging for me to look through. :)  

Outside Lina's apartment, dropping my sister off.
On the way back home, Bree said that our village looks like an old Russian movie and it is weird seeing all of the greenhouses everywhere.  The village we live in is known for their cucumbers and sell a lot of them to Moscow in Russia so almost every yard not only contains a greenhouse but is a greenhouse.  Will definitely be taking some pictures for you because it is like nothing you've ever seen...their cucumber plants are amazing!


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