Sep 19, 2007

Going, Going, Gone...Cherkasy Follow-Up & Leaving Ukraine

My time in Cherkasy was super busy. There was something scheduled every night I was there. It was good, though. There were lots of opportunities to really get better acquainted with the people in the church (New Life). Here are some highlights:

The second night in Cherkasy I stayed with the Pastor (Sergey) and his family. His son, David, is super cute, and we played with him all night. It was just such a great time of really getting to know the pastor and his family, getting to know them beyond camp and beyond work.

One day we had a "Girls' Night", at which some girls from the church taught me how to make varenyky! It was so much fun. Campers were invited as well, so it was a great event to not only teach me how to make something I've always wanted to learn to make but also to connect the campers back to the church. We had such a sweet time of fellowship and food!! Also, the varenyky was quite tastey if I do say so myself!

Last Wednesday my friend Olga and I had the privilege of helping out at a new youth center that is being built in a smaller town outside of Cherkasy (Zolotonosha). We did grunt work, basically: cleaning, carrying out wood pieces, organizing rooms, etc. It was hard work, but totally worth it! This is a new youth center being built for the community, and surrounding communities, to give the young people a free place to go where they can hang out and be surrounded by a Christian atmosphere. It was amazing to see how God has provided for this place to happen, and it was a blessing to me to be a part of it.

MY BIRTHDAY!! Yep, I spent my 27th birthday in Cherkasy. I was wondering if it would be a little disappointing day, but it totally wasn't. My friends Valentyna and Olga went with me to my favorite restaurant in Ukraine (The Varenyky House in Cherkasy), where we enjoyed some varenyky goodness. They tried to get the waitress to bring me something with candles in it and sing to me, but it didn't happen. It was super sweet of them to try, though. Later we had an outreach event at the church, "Watermelon Day." We played a couple games, ate some watermelon, and they sang to me, said some very sweet things to me, and gave me a card and flowers. It was beautiful. I really did have a nice birthday, a very unique but very nice birthday.

Finally, some of my favorite times in Cherkasy were spending them just talking with my friends there. I had some great talks with Olga and Kiril. We stayed up late chatting away about pretty much everything. I cherish those times and feel blessed that God allowed me to be there and grow those relationships.

My last day and a half in Ukraine were spent in Lviv with Cameron Hughes (wife of our JV Ukraine leader Jay Hughes) and their two daughters, Lily and Paige. It was nice and relaxing to be there after such a busy, hectic past 3.5 months. I love Cameron! She's always been such an encouragement to me as well as a good friend. We made cookies, bought the final touches of what I need to bring back to the states, and ate good food, and watched some important Seinfeld episodes. :-) I am lucky to have her in my life, and it was super hard to leave them. I pray God provides the rest of my support quickly, so I can be back in Ukraine and continue the ministry He has built for our team.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

These are great pictures! Lily looks so big. It's hard to believe I used to babysit her.