Friday, October 23, 2009

Thanks to many who have read...  I am going to randomly post on this blog, but will focus much of my attention on  I thought that address would be easier for many to remember! 

So, if you are inclined, please continue to read...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Geography IS irrelevant!

Tonight as we started our conference with a time of singing and praising together, for a minute I didn't know where I was. I was looking up at a plaster ceiling with a light hanging down and it dawned on me that geography is irrelevant! I did not care where I was or what country I was in, I was just caught up in the moment pouring my heart out to God. I was surrounded by people who share the same passion for people in different parts of the world and we were singing with one voice to bring God praise! I will remember that moment for a very, very long time.

From Sunday to Wednesday I have been in 4 countries and have traveled in planes, cars, trains and a bus to get here. It is a sweet time. Tomorrow we spend the day as a group, in our teams and individually praying and fasting. Please pray for all of us to seek God's face and to listen to His voice.

I'm in Wisla, Poland for the European ReachGlobal conference with the Kyiv, Ukraine team and next week I will be back in Ukraine for a few days to touch base with ministry partners, look at some apartments and talk with the language school about this fall's schedule.

Thanks for walking this journey with me!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Where did the word 'stuff' come from? It's so all encompassing... Several years ago when I was in Ukraine on a short term trip I realized how often we said 'stuff' and how concerned we were with our 'stuff'. It was always, bring that stuff, leave that stuff, we'll get that stuff later and make sure we get rid of that stuff before we leave.

Is it based in our American-ness? We have telvision shows that run entire seasons on several networks focused on cleaning up and throwing out stuff that people accumulate. As affluence comes to a country or a region, do they get consumed with stuff too? And, is it difficult or freeing to get rid of stuff?

As I prepare to go on one last visit to Ukraine before moving there in October/November, I am getting rid of stuff. LOTS of stuff. I went through my clothes once and donated about 75% of what I own, but I realize I will need to do it again one last time so that I only take what I really want and need.

My task in my house is to pull anything that I am shipping to Ukraine in my bedroom. (This is not much...) And, pack up whatever I think I'll get excited about opening a box and finding several years from now... also quickly narrows things down when you think about it in that light. And, simply leave the rest to be sold in a moving/estate sale while I am overseas for 2 weeks.

It's not letting go that is difficult. In fact, more often than not, it is quite liberating. But, the ambiguity of where am I going to live in Kiev is sometimes the hardest thing to grasp. Hopefully I will find an apartment during my visit to squelch my nerves!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Torn between 2 countries...

So... tonight I'm riding my bike on the White Pine Trail. One of my favorite things to do on a gorgeous Michigan summer evening and I'm thinking about stuff... I'm wondering how do I adequately explain to people here that there is always a longing in my heart to go to Ukraine but that I still love people and things here too.

This hits really hard sometimes. Especially with my niece and nephew. Do they know how much I love them even though every part of my being is compelled to go across the ocean? Do they understand that I long to hear their voices in person and not always on a broken phone line but that I need to go... That I treasure the memories of birthdays and holidays spent together, but that I am happy and have peace when I am gone too.

And, even others. Friends and family in both the US and Ukraine. Do they all understand that I miss the ones I am not with? Maybe some do, but I think many struggle with this...

I cannot think too long about this. I simply pray for understanding and that I'll make the most of every moment that I have, both here and in Ukraine.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Saying goodbye

Tonight I walked to the store to buy last minute stashes of Ukrainian chocolate and tea. As I walked through the streets, it was a wonderful opportunity to pray for my many friends here and for millions I do not know. It was a great way for me to say goodbye for now to a place that I love dearly.

I never dreamed you could love two countries that are so differant this much. The picture is the view from my friend's balcony. This is one of the first nights here that has been clear enough to see the lights across the Dnieper River.

My meetings all went very well today. Thank you for your continued prayers as I travel back to the States tomorrow.

Monday, February 9, 2009

meetings, meetings, and more meetings!!

Please pray for me! I have one more day in Kyiv and it will be a busy one. I start out meeting with the USAID office to gather some information, then meet with a friend who is going through a difficult time and run to meet a team leader.

Pray that the timing works. Public transportation is always a bit of a gamble! And, my ability to navigate maps and directions in Russian always plays a part as well... My time here has been busy but so, so profitable. As I reflect on the past several days I am amazed at God's hand and timing.

It's hard to believe that I leave on Wednesday morning already. Kyiv continues to be rainy and fairly warm for this time of the year. (About 38 degrees today) I cannot say thank you enough to those who helped financially and for the many who continue to pray for me on this journey. I could not do this alone. Together, we are God's army!!

I have posted a few pictures from this weekend. My Ukrainian friends at Richards home Saturday night when he cooked chili for us all! And, the house church I attended on Sunday where we celebrated a young woman's birthday. And, my friends Sasha and Natasha on Sunday night when we had a chance to catch up.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This morning I woke up to a fresh blanket of snow in Kyiv. It was very pretty. Fresh snow always reminds me that God's grace makes me appear to be white as snow. Just like the snow today makes everything a little brighter and definitely cleaner, so do our lives become fresh and clean because of Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection!

I had another meeting today that went well and spent some time working on my Russian! Marina, you will be happy to hear that many have commented on my clear pronunciation. Then I had the chance to spend the evening with a friend who works in Kyiv at the embassy. It was fun to catch up!

Tomorrow I have a meeting with another organization, ReachGlobal. I will talk with their Kyiv director and his wife. Please continue to pray for guidance and insight as I meet with many about long term ministry opportunities. I will then have lunch with a Ukrainian friend and end the day with missionaries I've been friends with for many years!

Thanks for you continued prayers!