Well, I came here for a true winter experience as I used to have while living here – and it has finally hit!!! We have snow and -10 degrees Celsius. Time for the long underwear, I assure you 🙂 I love this kind of weather. I woke up to sunshine on snow and a beautiful sky. In the evening you can feel in your nose that it is really getting colder. If it gets to -20 you feel it in your eyes too. That’s what I mean by a true winter experience! (Unfortunately this weather only lasted for a couple of days, after which we went back to weary, rainy, grey weather, blah.)
Tomorrow we will celebrate Christmas. In the early evening there will be a celebratory gathering of all those that serve in some way in the church and I am invited too! I am so excited as a lot of my friends will be there. It will also be my last full day here in Kharkov, so that makes it extra special to spend it with them all.
That is how I started what should have been part 3 of the ‘Ukraine Here I am’ series….. but it got aborted by lack of time. Oh well, there are only so many hours in a day and night – I figured I better spend it with my friends in Ukraine while I could, since I can write plenty when back in the Netherlands :).
During this trip I have experienced a mass of emotions – from being overjoyed to being very sad and back. I was thoroughly impressed with myself and the Bipolar thingy (I refuse to call myself disordered or sick, but that is a subject for another post). I wasn’t sure how my emotions would play out with the travel and seeing old friends and my ministry related stuff. But it turned out very manageable for which I am very grateful. I was very alert on how I was doing and taking rest when I needed it, even though I rather would have spent time with friends.
It helped a lot that I had a one room apartment to use all by myself, with a double blessing in the form of computer and internet. Peeps, that saved my day! A great, big, humongous ‘Thank you!’ to Alla, you have blessed me off my socks!! With all the listening, talking and traveling I did it was so good to have a home base where I was able to rest and be by myself.
It’s impossible to convey what this trip has meant to me. I have been reunited with a special person that we were able to help in our ministry. While with us, she got to know Jesus as her Savior and was baptised. It was a glorious day!
Both her and her daughter continue to have a difficult life, but she has not gone back to her old ways. At the moment she is also pretty sick, only 37% of her lungs are working, if the doctors are to be trusted. Please, pray for God’s healing touch on her body and her soul.
Her daughter wants to study and become a massagist, assisting people in their physical rehabilitation. However, she was not accepted. In addition, the present educational system requires a lot of money… But she has a goal and has a plan how to fulfil her dream. Please, pray for her too, that she will get to know Jesus and for God to make a way for her to reach her goal.
One of my other ‘daughters’ who spent time with us and got to know the Lord, has landed in prison with a 5 year sentence. We don’t know where she is. The information we need, is because of different reasons not available to us. We will try with a photo and info we still remember to find her. Remember her in your prayers, will you? We so much want to find her and connect with her again. She is a lonely girl with no family connections.
A third girl has gone missing, disappeared from the radar completely…. We are sad and very concerned, but can’t do anything but pray.
So now I am back, after an interesting journey – including a very delayed plane and a damaged bag on the return flight – still reeling with all that I have heard, felt and experienced. It will take a while to digest it all.
Unfortunately, my camera gave up on me during the trip, which is still a huge disappointment to me. I need to figure out how to get the pics off my card onto my computer. Till then, no pics 😦 .