Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday to Stay

Every other Sunday we invite whoever wants to, to stay at our house for lunch until the afternoon service. The main "takers" of our invitation are the kids and teenagers. They love it! When we have visitors, we often let them get acquainted with the kids this way, too.

This week was the Sunday for everyone to stay. BUT as of Saturday morning my kitchen cabinets were all out of place. Some were sitting under the window. Some were sitting on our table. The stuff that sits on top of them was likewise scattered around. We were headed to the funeral of an acquaintance.

We went to the funeral held by an orthodox priest. The seemingly non-ending chants when on and on. Some were in latin. Some were in Russian. What we understood were songs, prayers asking for mercy, the words repeated over and over, and the Lord's prayer. At the graveside, the priest claimed the ground for God and again prayed for mercy for the departed. He exhorted the crowd (around 40 people) to observe the nine-day, the forty-day and the year remembrance of this man's death. He told them to enjoy the funeral feast but not to get drunk because God was already punishing their people. And then, of all things, he asked for an offering!! for building another church in another area.

I guess it wasn't quite as out of place as it sounds when good deeds as in, giving money to church, help you earn your way into heaven in the orthodox beliefs!!

On the way there, I asked Dave about the kitchen.

"No, it's going to be this way tomorrow.There's no way around it, I'm sorry."

I began to try to figure where I could move the cabinets and stuff so that we could free up the space for company. We would have one family of guests even if we didn't allow the rest to stay.

We got home and he worked hard putting up tiles. AND he read the instructions on the grout bucket as well. At 7:45 pm, he began putting the grout in the tiles. At about 10:00 pm the cabinets went back up in their places. At about 11:30 when I couldn't see straight any more, I gave up on cleaning and putting the last items in their place.

For Sunday services, we were both extremely tired. But everyone who wanted, stayed.

And this is how my kitchen looks now.

PS. It's Monday and everyone else is asleep.

Friday, March 21, 2008


There have been lots of new things in our life this last week.
Probably the most important is little Timothy! He finally appeared about 9:45 pm last Saturday night. The doctors released him and his mother from the hospital on Tuesday . . . the maternity ward staff needed to get them out the door so that they could paint and paper the ward.

The first week he was home his neighbor died, that meant Alyosha, Timothy's father had to help in the funeral preparations. When he did, the car broke down. When his car broke down, he called us to rescue. So we towed him home, trailer and all. It's out of the picture behind the orange car. The trailer held the casket.

Allona has been leaning REALLY close to do her schoolwork. So when we had a trip to Niklaev scheduled anyway (diesel is up to $4.37 a gallon at the cheapest places) we took her in for an eye exam. Her prescription is exactly the same as Seth's last one, interestingly enough. Now she has glasses like most of the rest of us.

Ever since we've moved in, I've wanted tiles behind the kitchen cabinets because they would wash easier than about any other type of wall covering. The walls aren't the straightest. They are plastered with a clay mixture that keeps chipping off. But in spite of this, Dave is getting tiles in place.

We're also praying daily. We want to see new miracles from God. We want to see His glory triumph in the middle of a bunch of quandaries.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quilting and Ceiling

I don't claim to know how to do it. I started this quilt top the last time I was in the US for my own hobby/encouragement. This week I managed to catch up on my wash and thought it was time to use the quilting frame Dave made for me in November. I'm only quilting the center section where the lighthouse is: I'll tie the rest.

We're also finally getting materials to do something else on our "to do" list. . . the falling ceiling in the boys' room. We've bought wall board and and other boards. We plan to tear out the 8 inch thick clay ceiling that is there, put up a framework of boards to mount the dry wall ceiling on.

Updating on other issues, from the side of the offender and his family, we're blamed for "letting" him break into our house and for the consequences that he is facing now. On the issue of the beaten woman, she called us and asked us to come see her. Please pray that God will give wisdom.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bright Spots

Andy brought this set of Alaskan wind chimes that were broken as we tried to hang them up. BUT I did what my mother would have done, and glued it back together and hung it up anyway. The little Eskimo in the center was being contrary and no matter how I tried, I couldn't get him to turn around for the picture!!

I saw this coat rack recently and hurried to get a picture of it! I hope you think it is as unique as I do. My mother has a collection of musical items. I'll take the picture for her collection!!!
International Women's Day is the eighth of March. It is a pretty major holiday here. Children get out of school. Not just government businesses close, others do as well. Gifts are given; a small party is held in honor of women. We got a small gift for the women and girls of our church.
I joined the crowd this year and called several to wish them happy Women's Day. Dave got me a phone card so I even spent a few minutes on the phone to the US.

Otherwise two of the boys brought in these handmade gifts.

The main police investigator, a woman, from the recent break-in called to wish me happy Women's Day! That was a big surprise! I can always enjoy a new friend even if I do come to know them in odd ways!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Other Excitement

Remember the beaten woman a few posts back? One office had promised us that they would get the business started to remove the child that was still in that home. Since we were in Kyiv, we checked in with them. Yes, they had gone to the home themselves and were horrified at what they had found. They tried to get the woman to leave the home at least long enough for medical attention. She refused. They went to the person responsible to start the action to remove the child from the home, the village head. He refused. "We took him from the home last summer. You returned him. Why should we do anything now?" The social workers were upset. We were upset. The fellow responsible for all the previous injuries is threatening to kill the woman and child. We made various calls to see if there was anything we could do about the situation. The director of the social workers said that she wouldn't let it rest. We had already talked to the village head.
Not long after we started home, we began to get phone calls from a young man who attends our services. "I have some important and bad news for you!!." The young man can quickly get to shouting in any mildly tense situation. We expected to find that his mother, who had surgery a couple of months ago, had some sort of complication and they needed money. We met them in Nova Odessa, took them to our home where he told us that someone had come up to him in the twilight, the evening before, asked him if he went to our church and gave him an envelope of cash. His mother showed us the envelope and asked if it was ours. To our astonishment they held an American bank envelope with Dave's writing on it, holding cash that had been hidden in our home when we left for Kyiv. We thanked them and took them home.
Then we began to look around the house to see what was missing. Someone had come in and taken things from most of the rooms of the house, food from the kitchen, a mobile phone, a tape recorder and money from a piggy bank. Other money was missing. We didn't see where we had any choice but to call the police. A crew of police investigators came, no less than six people. They found the culprit and most, but not all, the goods were returned. They took footprints and fingerprints from many places.
The culprit was a regular attender, has spent hours in our home and in our van with us. We have to go to court where a judge will decide what to do with him. The police report in the local papers didn't leave out very many details. Pray that God will give us wisdom and protection.

Fun Visit

The time was short but we did what we could to show our visitors Ukraine as it is now. We took them to a nice food court under the central square of Kyiv that we couldn't have imagined when we came in 1995 or when Andy left in 1999.
They used public transport to go to our local bazaar. We invited old friends of Kirk's in to play basketball and table tennis one evening. Seth, Kirk and Vova made pizza.

They did a lot of playing ping pong and chin-ups at home. They even tried doing chin-ups when a smaller person was on their back.
We took them to our favorite spot on the Black Sea. The tide was higher than it normally is when we're there. The fellows scrambled over the cliffs and jumped off the rocks into the sand. Each one had to jump farther than the last. Kirk, as big brother, had to show Seth and Vova that he could do better, fell down almost flat on his face in the incoming waves. We found bigger conch shells than we normally see. On the way home they looked for candy bars and Tarkhun--the herbal soda, to take home with them. We stopped to let Christine try more Ukrainian food.
Our regular services were held on Thursday and Sunday. God helped in them.
Monday they started the long journey back, the first leg by Ukrainian train. We met the them after a subway ride in Kyiv. Andy turned in some schoolwork online. We picked up some last minute items for their suitcases and took them to the airport. The visit was over.