Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our Ukraine trip - continued

     Where did I leave off on the last blog?  Oh, I know, we were in the water!  What fun we had!  The other two days we spent in Znamenka were filled with stories, music and crafts with a couple of afternoon excursions.  Here's some pictures of our days in the orphanage.

We were blessed with good weather and got to spend some quality time outdoors after the teaching and crafts.
Just a few pictures of  a pink whale and some friendly looking lions
We asked our good friends Majdi and Alonna who own the Food Gallery in town if we could bring the kids by for dinner.  They were delighted and put tables together to accommodate our party of 21.  The cafĂ© is not far from the orphanage so we were able to bring 5 kids in wheelchairs.  It was quite a parade!  Znamenka will never be the same!
Some of the girls were dressed up like they were going to the prom!  It was truly a delight to take them and watch their absolute joy at eating out! 
 What a great meal we had - pizza and fries and even bread!  They loved it all!  When we were absolutely stuffed Majdi said dessert was on the house!  Somehow everyone found room for dessert! 
Our farewell to most of the kids was the next morning.  They sang to us much better than we had sung to them I might add.  It was delightful!
That afternoon we took a bus to the neighboring "big city" to go to an amusement part and then to the races.  Big day!
We said our goodbyes and picked up some pizza and  lasagna for the train ride to Kiev.  What an amazing time we had.  So many memories!
It was Jeannie  and Alicia's first conference but our fourth.  We held it at the same place as last year.  Our dear friends from Almaz were our volunteers and let us use their equipment for our presentations.  All our presenters this year were from Ukraine with the exception of Dave and I.  We had people there who have made a difference in the lives of these special children in Ukraine.  It was a rich conference.
This is our registration table.  CBN gave us Superbook CD's to give out to each attendee and a book by John Piper was translated into Russian especially for this conference for each person to have.
God bless these volunteers who were everywhere from the snack room to the kid's room to the classrooms making everything run smoothly.
Our lunch this year was enjoyed by everyone.  Some even ate under the trees on this lovely day.
Some of  our friends did not think many people would show up with the troubles Ukraine is experiencing right now.  We just felt God would bring those who needed to hear this message.   And He did!  Seventy percent of the audience were first time attendees!   It was a great time of networking and learning.
We met so many new friends and renewed many old friendships. Everyone left with a certificate for the training they received.  We envision a Respite, Resource Center coming out of this conference.  It's called RC Squared.  We have a name and a dream and a big God.  Please pray for David as he leaves for Ukraine in October to do some follow up work there and see how God directs.
 A last dinner with some of  the speakers and volunteers was delicious and a great ending to our trip.  Thanks for following us and praying for us.  If you feel led to donate our paypal button is at the top left.  God bless you all!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My overdue blog on our Ukraine we go!


     I have been wanting to blog for so long but my computer at home crashed and well I have been home since Ukraine.  Summer is always challenging with nine kids looking for something to do.  I have been busy trying to keep them busy!   But now SCHOOL is in session!  We are in our second week and I made it in to the office to the computer that actually does something when you tell it to.
What did we do before technology?  Anyway...Ukraine in July.....It was awesome...let me show you.
     Dave and I left from Washington with our friends Jeannie and Alicia Turner.  It was their first time going to Ukraine and we thought them brave as we left the day after the Malaysian plane got shot down.  We flew United/Lufthansa. They are a great airline and so safe.  We had four wheelchairs with us and we were praying that we could get them on for free.  Used pediatric wheelchairs are like gold in Ukraine and we were anxious to get them on that plane.  The ticket agent we had was a lady from of all places,- Ukraine!  She remembered us and our ministry and was glad to put the wheelchairs through for us!  One of many miracles!
     We were so happy to arrive in Kiev and see our friends who had made all our accomodations.  We had rain that day only.  The rest of our trip was 80 degrees and sunny!  We stayed the weekend in Kiev to attend Almaz Church and see our friends.  We have had volunteers at our conferences every year from Almaz.  This year was no exception.  We had 40 volunteers!   The young people there continue to amaze me with the depth of their faith.
We traveled by train on Monday to Znamenka to see our friends at the Level 4 orphanage there.  Our friend Vita came with us to be our interpreter.  So glad she did.  It made all the difference!
We made our plans with the acting director Lena on Monday and she was agreeable to all we wanted to do in three short days.    We had plans to do a mini vacation Bible school for the children.  Dave told the stories with Vita's help of course, Jeannie and I sang songs and then we did crafts.  Alicia took these beautiful pictures.
The kids are always so happy to have guests and love to sing to us.  This time it was our turn but Jeannie and I aren't ready to go on the road yet!  We sang a song that they knew, the folks from Almaz had taught it to them.  We asked them to sing it to us but Lena said they would wait until Thursday when the accordion man would be there.  It was so sweet!
We felt impressed to get the kids out if possible.  We did get on the playground with some of the kids but we wanted to go beyond the walls of the orphanage.....where they never go.  Our first outing was to the river!  Lena told us they would go in to play volleyball maybe but would not go swimming.  We felt quite sure they would love the water once they were there.  Oh, the squeals of delight are still ringing in my ears!
That's how we started.
Then Dave ventured in.....
And everyone followed!!  They didn't want to leave!
I have got to close this blog for now but will continue our adventures soon!!  God bless you!!!   Janie