Monday, March 21, 2011

the Color of your Life

This past Saturday we had our spring Women's outreach event.(Doesn't it seem like we just had our Christmas event?) Anyway, we had a great time. There were 86 ladies in attendance. In the past we have usually used food to lure the ladies in, we've had salad parties, eggplant parties, potatoes parties, which have basically consisted of an assortment of dishes to sample accompianed by a recipe and a spiritual correlation.
This spring we used a different approach. The selected theme was "The Colors of your Life" and we invited the amateur female artist of our church and communities to display their masterpieces at our meeting.It was a local art exhibition if you will. We tied it in with the idea that all the good and tough times in our lives blend together to great a lovely masterpiece. Of course we had our traditional March weather; warm and sunny until noon, and in the evening this yucky sort of snow/ rain started falling. But despite the weather, we had 86 ladies in attendance, which is no small thing considering that probably 75 of them treaded through the slushy streets on foot to get there. The evening was blessed, there was just this lovely atmosphere of peace and God's prescence among us. It was one of those meeting where the fellowship mixed with tea, cookies and little sandwhiches lasted long, no one was in a hurry to leave. Thanks to everyone that supports and prays for these meetings!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Giving in and Letting Go

Okay, I know we've already established that I'm wierd. So it shouldn't be too big of a surprise to you, when I share my most recent blessing from the Lord. You ready? One of my most faithful ladies is leaving our prayer group. After almost a year of attending church Alina, made a profession of faith in January. The biggest change since then has been her relationship to the Word.  Alina's husband is one of the more wealthy and influential men in our city. He has been less then pleased at Alina's new interest in the Baptist church. In his opinion, Baptist are nothing more than a brainwashing cult. At worst, we're dangerous, at best we're charletons. In any case, he's not interested. The fact that in the past few months she  is gone everyday to a small group, prayer meeting or ladies event hasn't helped the matter any. His business is growing, and after two years of maternity leave he is ready for his wife to return back to work, and help him out. "Sorry dear, I don't have time, I'm late for prayer group, small group, etc.." hasn't gone over too well.
We have talked a lot lately about being doers of the word, not just hearers, about our husbands coming to Christ not through our sermons and lectures but through a gentle spirit. And I've noticed the wheels turning. So today, when she came to me told me to that she wouldn't be attending our prayer group for a while, so that she could help her husband with his business, brought me a lot of joy. I know how hard it is for her to give up her daily church activities, as a new believer she loves and craves the fellowship of other Christians. But the fact that she has made this decision to serve her husband on her own, is that first step of being a doer and not just  hearer. She will be blessed I know. I believe that the promises of God's word are true. Her husband will come to the Lord! Pray for Alina

Somewhere in between

After almost a year of trudging through a sometimes exhausting bog of redtape, I am happy to announce that I am finally an official resident of Ukraine. It has been a long time coming. The modest white card and black and white photo represents more than just a year of beuacracy, expensive trips to Poland, and seemingly endless stacks of forms and blanks to sign. After all, in my almost 11 years of missionary work, I've managed to aquire a Russian husband and two Ukrainian born babies . So when I recieved my little residency card on Wednesday, and glanced at the somber thirtysomething women starting back at me, it seemed fitting and right. I suppose since September , I've been looking for a way to solidify my decade of expatriotism. Becoming a  resident of Ukraine  really defines who I am. Yes, my royal blue passport is still proudly adorned with a gold embossed eagle. My citizenship, accent and mentality and craving for Dr. Pepper will always be American. And yet, I can't imagine life without borshct, March 8th, and the removal of shoes upon entering a house.  Whether I like it or not, I will never again be truly American, and no matter how hard I try will never actually be Ukrainian. I'm somewhere in between.