Monday, July 13, 2009

Down to Los Angelos

I spent a good part of the day on the phone as we traveled to LA, confirming and scheduling services.

But when we got there, God blessed us with a good service in San Bernardino. It was a real encouragement to see a church that was closed a few years back up to an attendance of 43 with new converts.

The members were kind enough to feed us pizza after service and do a quick addition so that it was a birthday party for Allona. Her birthday was Sunday, July 12th. Here's the cake.

A couple of new little friends for Allona, this time

Maybe the highlight for Allona was pretending to drive Sonya's cool Mustang!

After this service we met Rita and Marta who had visited Katrina and us in Ukraine. They took us to an excellent restaurant where we ate all we could hold. Then we went to watch firemen fight a fire in Pomona. Two houses were a total loss and everything behind one house up to a stone wall. We watched around an 1 1/2 hrs because Vova was totally fascinated.

On Sunday, Rita and Marta went to the Church of God Holiness (that Katrina had introduced Rita to) with us. After that they took us for a picnic at the Pacific ocean in Santa Monica. Vova started to bury Rita in sand.

There was a peace demonstration on the beach.

The Santa Monica skyline.

Because we had many more miles to go to the next stop, Saturday we had filled our car with gas and lots of drinks in the cooler as we left Rita and Marta to head across the desert toward New Mexico. We stopped driving in Kingman, Arizona about 1:30 am.

Time with Cee

Thursday was reserved for Cee, Dave's sister. She brought a healthy breakfast to our campsite and then we took off sightseeing. Cee in mining hard hat. We went into the Gold Bug Mine at Placerville,CA.

Allona is listening to the guide's explanation on this instrument.

Vova enjoyed the American River where James Marshall discovered the first gold in CA.

The day ended with a good time visiting Dave's niece and children in Davis. We loved it guys, thanks!

For Seth and all other VW fans.

I looked twice when I heard the melody for the summer ice cream truck going down the street by Shevelenkos because this is what I saw. The policemen actually stopped him in the grocery store lot the next day and that is where we got this picture.

Shevelenkos in the USA

Yes, they ARE here, even though Tanya still finds it hard to believe. They are taking English classes Monday through Friday. Their house is furnished with gifts from Ukrainian church people.

We came here close to Allona's birthday. She had a lot of fun with her friends--first was a water fight.

They went to service with us. We translated most of the service into Russian. We spent some time with the pastor after service. Alyosha especially seemed to enjoy himself..

Little Timothy enjoyed this car stroller. His dad was quick to shut the gas cap.

The Vortex

At certain spots in the earth the magnetic lines cross creating a whirling vortex of magnetism. Our very good friends, Lee and Anna Tilford took us to see this spot. All kinds of strange things happen here. Water really does run uphill in this place.

Here's an example of people of different height standing on a level platform in two different orders. Only the vortex is making their heights look so different from one time to another.

Ashland Camp

We arrived on the Fourth of July. I wanted Allona and Vova to see our country's fireworks. But once our pop-up was set up, I lay down and was dead to the world!

We saw old friends.

We met new friends.

We have fun friends. These sisters are doing the see no evil, say no evil, hear no evil.

We had a service. I felt like I was groping for words but I'm praying that God would use our weakness.

We had one little friend who didn't want to part from Vova until the very last minute. Here's Willie, still in his pajamas spending his last few minutes with Vova, even while the pop-up is being taken down.


Safely back in the US. There were several tense minutes when the transatlantic flight was delayed for 2 hours and 20 minutes and my layover in New York was supposed to be for 1 hour 45 minutes. First blessing, the plane was only 1/2 hr late on arrival in New York. Second blessing, I went through passport control, had no baggage to claim, went through customs and booked it over to the domestic termnial, checking in immediately. When I arrived at the gate to my next flight, they were already boarding. I had 5 minutes left before I would have arrived too late to be safely accepted on the flight. Dave met me in Tulsa asking, "Why do you look so much more tired than the others getting off the domestic flight?" : - )

Then we began making all haste to cross the miles to Oregon. We were looking for a camping spot the first evening near Denver, CO when we saw .this beautiful sunset. It reminds me of the "path of the righteous shining brighter and brighter." . . . and the Shining Path/Shining Light Sunday School papers that Old Paths prints.
This is what you call being bored!!

Towering rocks . . . just a teensy, weensy crumb of God's majesty.

This isn't snow. It's salt on the desert outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The Morton salt-processing plant wasn't too far away. Allona decided she didn't like salt any more after she saw this--for two days.

For the guys, there's a straight race track in the Salt Flats where cars race using jet engines and parachutes to brake. The top speed to date is 622.407 miles ber hour.

From Elko, Nevada we headed on. At Deniou Junction, OR (sp?) in the middle of 150 miles of desert we found this sign and this filling station. With the mention of Moscow we thought of Charity in Russia. Gas was $4.35 a gallon.

Desert flowers are an inspiration to me. They are so beautiful, especially in the middle of the hot sun and scrub weeds otherwise. They remind me of a Christian's beautiful life in the middle of a sinful, weary world.

Back for the third summer, Faith is again an invaluable help in Ukraine.

Future MK's???

Jeffrey listening to Dima's music



These children are in Ukraine because their parents feel that God is calling them (the families) as missionaries. Sorry I didn't get pictures of Shelby and Seth. I was especially trying to get some of Jeffrey and Emily because their parents weren't near at the moment with a camera like the Applings.