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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

People in the Mariupol church

There are more people I met than I can possibly go through in one blog. But I'll do my best!

This is Amy and the preacher, Alexander. He goes by Sasha and is unusual for a Ukrainian...he has a great sense of humor! He and Alisha were always cutting up, him in broken English and her in indistinguishable Russian. He was constantly getting on to us for reading Harry Potter since it is a pagan book about sorcery. He was kidding of course, as his wife revealed later that he LOVES the Harry Potter movies. :)

Speaking of her, this is Irina, Sasha's wife. She cooked for us every day and tried so hard to communicate with us. The last Thursday I was there, she had all of us over for dinner and cooked an amazing meal of Ukrainian dishes. She was a real servant to us.

These are my boys...and one girl. We did a VBS the last week I was there and we had 4 children come. Anton, Edic, Slavic and Oksana. Anton came and read with me everyday to work on his English (out of children's books, of course) and Oksana helped us clean, set tables and do work like that around the church almost every day.

I also spent a lot of time with the teens of the congregation. They helped us with VBS (since I don't speak Russian) and hung out with us alot. Here are Valja, Vanja and Sasha (along with Americans Rebecca and Elizabeth) in the "Calming the Storm" Bible skit.
Besides these people, there were so many more. The church bldg is connected to "the center"- an orphanage of sorts. We did many things with the people there as well. Here is a group of us at the beach on the 4th of July. We had a blow-out celebration complete with hotdogs, potato salad and fireworks. Everyone kept telling us "congratulations on your country's birthday." Funny stuff. :)

Needless to say, I have many more pictures and people to show, but you get the idea. We had a large group taking care of us and hanging out with us when we weren't reading English or VBSing. Lastly, I wanted you to meet Tim Burow. His family were missionaries in Ukraine for 6 years with our church. They just moved back last fall to Arlington. I never really knew much about him, but am thrilled I got to be with him so much these past weeks. He is so dedicated and diligent, but is the silliest, goofy gus around! He always had us laughing (despite many things going wrong..more on that tomorrow) and would invent games with us (like Lazyball) and cook dinner for us, not to mention going to the store for food twice a day, everyday. He's great and I hope my congregation appreciates what we have in him and his family.

That's it for today! I'll finish up Ukraine tomorrow and then tell you about my trek around Italy with Amy!


Rebecca said...

Hey girl! It looks like you had so much fun. I would like to go do mission work during the summers.
I'm glad to see you blogging. Come check mine out, and leave lots of comments! www.forever25-becky.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hey there Steve. I got your postcard and got a hard dose of envy! It looks like you had tons of fun and did a lot of good with the people you encountered. I'm glad you made it back safely! Can't wait to hear more. :)

Elisa said...

Hi, Rachel. All of your pictures are great! I'm glad you had such a good experience.