Saturday, March 20, 2010

Answers to Prayer

This week has had several answers to prayer. . . and there are of course, several challenges left.

One answer to prayer: the mechanics found the problem with our van. Jason had narrowed the non-working part down to the injector pump. We thought it would have to be rebuilt or we would have to get a new one. Something was wrong with the wires going to the pump. Here's Allona washing it as part of our Sunday preparation.

Here's another: my husband is as well as can be expected starting into spring. He has severe allergies to pollen. That puts him bed normally once or twice a season.
He started cutting the pipes with a grinder. Dust and rust started flying. His eyes got red. He started sneezing and acting like he didn't feel good at all. I gave him some medicine . . . no quick improvement. I couldn't help with the work, but I could ask God to help my husband. Five minutes later I returned to check on him and the red eyes and sneezing were gone.

Radiators are sold in single rib-like sections here, each rib costing around $10. Downstairs almost every rib had frozen and burst. Upstairs maybe a third are affected so if we can take the bad ribs out and reconnect good ribs to each other, we might not have to replace all the upstairs radiators.

And the best for the last: Since my house is quite torn apart in spots, I haven't invited company in, especially one lady who has been on my mind a long time, a police inspector. She's not at the bottom in her job and I haven't been around her much but she wanted to be friends with me. Much to my surprise, I had a chance to talk to her today in the bazaar. She said she had called me on the last holiday and hadn't been able to reach me.

As for challenges? We discovered another leak in our water system outside today. Katrina's heating system still requires work in the offices and physically in her house. Ours still requires major work. All the radiators are off the walls. Trying lead God-annointed services is another. Building relationships and working with people is a third.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Water from the Faucet!!

Monday, everything was completed and we once again had water from the faucet!!
No, it doesn't compare with the Living Water that springs from the rock that satisfies. But it is pretty nice!!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Picture perfect snow

Here's the view from the window of our cozy living room: the shed, woodpile, back fence and the fruit and nut trees beyond, covered with fluffy snow.

Here's the rather disheartening view of our trench dug for water pipes all filled up with water because of a broken valve.

Blessing of Progress

From all the walking in the cold, my husband has been dropping weight without trying! And he's not been feeling so well.

So it was a special blessing when Jason came down from Osikova in a running vehicle and with tools to make some progress. Here the broken radiators are starting to come down off the walls.

Kent is getting the fitting off the end of a pipe.

Normal and Abnormal

Our belongings are in place as much as they are going to be for now, so we started school. It brings a little bit of normal to our not-so-normal lives. Can you find the things that are not so normal in these pictures??

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Adventures!

I got up in a bad mood this morning. I decided to praise God for all the things that were working instead of those that aren't. I was in the middle of my praises and my thoughts, hadn't gotten to these pictures yet, when the doorbell rang.

One thing I'm thankful for is whole milk that we get from a neighbor two doors down.
I'm thankful for the heaters that we do have. This is a makeshift propane heater that helps a lot in the kitchen.
I'm very thankful for water in the cistern that we can bring in, in buckets to use in our kitchen, and we have OPEN DRAINS so we don't have to carry it out again.
At the gate was a stranger who knew the language of churchgoers, here from Uzbekistan. He said that he needed help on a train ticket to Russia and wanted to get warmed up after spending the night in an appartment stairwell.

We gave him breakfast. He asked for a razor and wiped his clothes off so that they would look cleaner. After a lot of discussion, Dave went to take him 25 miles to Voznosensk to the train station. He said the trains left on uneven days. He said tomorrow was his birthday. When it came down to it, he had no passport so he couldn't go to Russia.

Dave left with him, planning to be back in time for Sunday lunch, the children's service and evening service.

No more than fifteen minutes after he left, the doorbell rang again. A gypsy lady was there asking for food, then particularly flour, gloves and old shoes. Allona gave her some stuff and ignored her further requests.

About noon, I was expecting to find Dave a few miles away on his way back. Instead I got a phone call that the van had broken down.

He found a mechanic that would look at it. He had to get a tow by standing by the highway with a cable. He spent all afternoon until the evening without finding out the problem with the van.

So we have one more thing that doesn't work!!

But I'm thankful anyhow that we're safe and warm. I'm thankful that we have good health. I'm thankful that God is on the throne and knows what He is doing!


This is the best picture I've gotten of the roads recently. They are on a main highway, the road to Nikolaev. Where's the road? ? ?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Moving Back into My Room

This is what it looked like when I started cleaning it. This is what is looks like now. Notice any difference?

Warming Up

Katrina came to our house to help us clean. It was so cold we kept the fire going on our stove and turned our oven on. Katrina and I sat by the oven and talked. We got tired of sitting so we stood up. We thought we would be warmer if we hugged.--Allona

Yikes! It's a Rat!

Soon after we got back, we started cleaning our house. I was in my room, cleaning it when Mom called me.
I went downstairs to see what she wanted. She asked me if I was brave enough to take a rat outside. At first I said no way. Then I thought if nobody took it out then it would stink up the house. So, I took two small plastic bags, one for my hand so I would have to tough with my bare hands and the other one to put the rat in it. When I started putting in the back it felt like I had ants crawling all over me. It was awful.
Then I tried to get Mom to take a picture of me holding. The thing was she was in the middle of making bread, so her hands were covered with doe. I tried to take it myself and this is what I got.

When I saw how big it was I desided to measure it. It was thirteen inches long. I think that is the longest rat I have ever seen. --Allona

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good Visit

Once we had our own vehicle we stopped by Allona and Vova's birth mother's home for a visit on their return to Ukraine. We had a good visit. Here are the three siblings.

And keep checking our blog for Allona's rat story!!

End of Winter

It appears that we've arrived in Ukraine just in time to catch the end of winter. It's a good sign that the cone-shaped piles of sand along hills on the highway used for the snow and stuck cars were being picked up in our region today. However, this is what it looked like when we came.

Cars sitting along the side with breakdowns were frequent as we travelled. We're so thankful that nothing gave out on our van when several parts on the front end were pretty bad.

Not So Hot

We've sent out by an email about our heating system. Pictures don't capture the musty smell or the puddles of water.

Here are a couple of pictures.

The snow blew into our attic as well and did this damage to our ceiling.

The good news is that better radiators are on sale right now for a price less than replacing the old radiators. Another bit of good news is that none of the drains were frozen in our water system.

We are now living in our house with the temperature in the 50's in the rooms that we sleep in. We haven't done too much on our radiators because we've been trying to help Katrina with her heating system.

The bad news is that the natural gas was cut off from Katrina's house (about three days after we arrived in Nova Odessa) which takes away the main source of heat there. She is now surviving with two medium-sized electric heaters.

To get the gas heat turned back on, required the signatures and inspections of multiple government officials, as in a list of 20 documents and an inspection.
Dave has been going from office to office most days until he gets as far as he can in one day. The inspection turned up a list of minor and major home repairs that were needed. A gas meter inspection showed that the previous owners had tampered with the meter, so there will be fines to pay.

We're glad to be serving God whose ways are high above ours and who is everything good. We know He knows about each problem. We're waiting to see the good things that are going to happen.

Monday, March 1, 2010

All Grown Up

Because ours was the only vehicle running out of the three, Sturtevants', Katrina's and ours, our VW has to be used to do the errands for the next day after we arrived in Ukraine.

They had youth night on Friday night and these children came in.

We prayed with the grandma of this girl because the girl's dad took drugs and the grandma greatly feared the results it would have on the child.

This boy sticking out his tongue, was premature a dangerous condition in Ukraine and spent around a month in the hospital before the prayers and worries were over and he could come home.

This little girl's dad committed suicide when she was less than six months old. We had a small part in his funeral and spent some time with her family.


In Indiana, my mother likes to watch the squirrels on her back porch. Andy throws food out so that they will come up. Here, they're having a breakfast of dry cereal while Mother and I watch from the window, the last time before we headed to Ukraine.

In the Middle of Moving

Even in the middle of packing up our house in PA, my fellow didn't forget Valentine's Day. Roses and a good book to read. Who can beat it?

Old Faithful

This van that we bought in Oregon has carried us miles and miles. It holds many memories starting with the first one where Sis Tilford led us to a friendly dealer who offered us something we could afford.

So when we drove it into the scrap metal place that other friends had recommended, it was with a touch of nostalgia. When the guys asked us why we were scrapping it instead of selling it, it felt like we were getting rid of a faithful pet!!