Thursday, December 27, 2007

Josie and Jaden's holiday programs at school...

Josie and Jaden had their holiday programs at school today. Unfortunately, I had to stay home with the baby and Jer-bear, who wasn't feeling well. Micah did capture lots of pictures and video of the events, so I could see just how adorable they looked! One thing we are learning about Ukrainian culture is they love to dance. Here are some cute pics and a special video!







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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Getting ready for Christmas...

The Women's Ministry at church got together Friday night to make Christmas cards. They had a great time fellowshipping and getting creative. Christy had a bunch of "scrapping stuff" she brought from Arizona that she added to the mix.





On the home front, our kids decorated our Christmas tree...or should I say, "Christmas Branches". I pruned an apple tree in the backyard and we got creative. Add some lights and some Christmas ornaments and...whola! We had fun as a family doing this. We also made those puppet reindeer that so many of us Americans remember creating in school. The kids traced their hands for the antlers and their footprint for the face. Then they put on a puppet show...enjoy!



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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Josie's First Ukrainian Recital

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Josie had a recital at school in honor of the holiday of St. Nick. Parents were invited to attend and hear reciting of the story and singing. Josie did very well reciting her lines in Ukrainian (with a western Ukrainian accent, so we are told). We are so proud of our little harboosik (pumpkin)!

Sledding Fun 101



Since it was a nice day today, I thought I would buy a sled and take the kids to the park. This would be their first sledding experience so they were all excited to get a sled. I know they had seen kids being pulled by their parents, and seen the sleds at school, so they were curious. After purchasing a sled at a nearby hardware store, we set off to find a good hill at the park. After a couple runs...my sled was hurting. The metal was bending and the pull rope broke. I should have expected it. We made it work and we all had fun.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Windows in Ukraine

I had some tempra paints brought over from America. Its always a good thing to have paints around especially with kids. These paints I have used for crafts and posters...and now windows. I painted windows during the Christmas season in America which brought in some extra cash for the holidays. Recently I decided to spice up our church a little and bring in something unique to our town. I painted the youth room first, then started to paint the children's room at church. I gave some painting lessons to Anya's english class and they painted most of the upstairs kitchen. It was fun watching them get creative. These design are fast, easy and washable with water. The goal is to just have fun and be creative.









Thursday, December 6, 2007

look who's walking...

Justin has started to walk! Of course, when we want to capture it on video, he doesn't cooperate very well. Here are some shots we caught of him practicing his new talent...

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jer-bear turns three...




Our sweet little Jeremy turned three on Friday! It is such a joy to watch him grow and see his personality develop. He has the funniest laugh, one that makes you laugh just hearing it. He has beautiful blue eyes and loves to have his hair spikey like Dad. He is very smart and loves to play on the computer and is a pro at puzzles. We are so blessed to have Jer-bear in our family!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Outreach at the Disco...




The Chai nights are starting to become a regular event. It's an outreach opportunity where we set up a table and hot chai or coffee and serve it for free. The goal is to build relationships and create a bridge for sharing the gospel. We normally have our table set up by the center market, but this time I felt inclined to try something different. Where would we go, I was asked. Let's go where the youth are! Let's go to the disco! A couple of those who were with me were intimidated and said no...but deep inside I felt we should do it. There are times in my life where the Lord prompts me to step out of my normal and comfortable routine. Many times this is where I see God work. So, I explained that to my friends who were with me and we headed out.

We pulled my van just outside of the disco and set up the table and drinks. I opened the tailgate of my van and plugged in my amp. I started playing and soon a crowd was coming over. Playing outside when its 2 degrees is a new experience, but I thought, hey, maybe the Lord will bless it. My friends who came started talking to friends from their school and soon they invited others for a hot cup of tea. There were those that were interested in playing the guitar so I insisted they do it. I got their name and mobile number as well because it seems there is an interest here to form a group and just jam. This could be a possible bridge builder...so I am pursuing it. Looking back, I shared with my friends the importance of just stepping out. God loves these youth more than any of us could and He is wanting to work. Tonight was another example of that. We left encouraged in our faith, and excited for what future doors will open.

ps...Check out how we spent our Thanksgiving on the Footes blog.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A baby at 10 weeks



Today, Karie shared at school #2. Later, we found out that this school has the highest percentage of pregnancies and abortions in Kaharlyk. After Karie's presentation, we opened it up for questions to be read from a hat; questions that the students posted. They asked very challenging questions and desired real answers. As we answered their questions, it was like the Lord gave us the perfect words to share for each question. Ukraine has the 6th highest abortion rate in the world, so Karie addressed the issue head on. What really challenged the students was to see an actual baby model at 7, 8, 9 and 10 weeks. To hold it, touch it and see what the baby looks like. I am excited for the impact Karie is making on these youth, and the opportunity to follow up as I see them around town. Please keep this area in your prayers. I can see major doors opening up to minister to the hearts of these kids in a deeper way in the future.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Karie's new blog



The presentations in the schools are going awesome! God is at work here and we are so excited to be a part of it! We stayed up until midnight last night getting Karie's cool new blog site up and running. Please check it out to hear her thoughts...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sharing Abstinence Education in School

Today Karie shared with 2 classes about the message of staying pure until marriage. As far as we know, this is the first time abstinence has been taught in schools in Ukraine. Please keep her in prayer as she will be sharing the rest of the week to over 500 students!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Karie is here!



Our friend Karie is here now and is adjusting to the different climate and time change. She will start her teaching in the schools about abstinence today. This is so exciting for all of us and we can't wait to see what God will do! Please keep Karie in prayer, that God would speak through her and that kids' hearts would be changed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Ouch"

Our puppy, Emily, is very playful and has quite a bite. My sister-in-law told me that it is better to tell the dog, "Ouch", instead of "No", because it is less confusing. So, I have been trying that with her lately and for some reason, Justin finds that word hilarious. I just had to get it on video because it is just too funny!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Snowfall





We woke up this morning to snow. Last week it snowed, but it didn't really stick, so we consider this our "first snow" of the winter. The kids and the dog couldn't hold in their excitement, so we let them out first thing in the morning to play in it.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Lord, Your will be done....



This is a call for prayer. We have an opportunity here in Kaharlyk to present Abstinence Education in the schools. This is a huge ground breaking opportunity. We know Ukraine is suffering and struggling because of the extreme promiscuity and poor choices in this area. We have been asked by the mayor's assistant to present this "awareness talk" in schools. In America, I have a friend who would be perfect to do this. Her name is Karie Hughes. She founded Passion and Principles, an organization that teaches Abstinence Education in school and promoting "saving sex" till marriage.

We are praying that the Lord would open the door (if it be His will) for her to come to Ukraine next week (Nov 13-19). Please pray for funding and costs involved to fly her from America on such short notice.

http://www.classervices.com/kariehughes.htm

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fun Fall Family Pictures...

The beauty of fall is all around us here in Kaharlyk. We have taken some fun excursions out into the forest with the kids and the dog. The kids call it going on an adventure. Here are some pictures of our recent adventure...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chai Outreach

Friday night we had our first outreach for the youth group. Petya, Cergei, Volva, Lenna and myself planned to serve chai outside the Boomi. The goal of the night was to meet youth and develop friendships. We decided to go where they hang out and just love them through serving free chai. I brought along my guitar and portable amp as well. It was a great draw and many youth played my guitar as well. It seems there may be an opportunity to have a jam session with guitars here in the near future. As I was watching the night unfold, I am amazed at what is happening as I help lead our small youth group into ministry and reaching out. I said to one of our leaders as we were serving chai, "you see all these kids, this is going to be our future youth group, keep praying and lets see what the Lord does."


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bob and Jeanne's visit

Micah's parents came to visit Kaharlyk for a week after spending 5 days in Bulgaria. We had a great time having them here with us. The week filled up quickly with ministry opportunities and also plenty of family time. Bob was able to visit missionaries in Rzhyshiv and Billa Tserkva as well as witness first-hand the different enterprises our church is involved in. He taught at church on Sunday, sharing from Phillipians about allowing God to work in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Jeanne also had a chance to share from God's word to the ladies on Friday night. She was able to visit an orphanage outside of town, blessing them with dolls brought from their home church in Phoenix. Our kids were ecstatic to have Mimi and Poppi around all week. They were happy to show them around their school and meet their teachers. The week went by too quickly, but we are so thankful for the special time we had with them!



Monday, October 22, 2007

Raking leaves at church

Saturday was our clean up day at church where we raked and disposed of all the leaves and trash. Even Bob and Jeanne, who were visiting us, joined in for the cleanup. Bob and Yura made quite the team gathering the piles that were raked and tossing them in the trailer, or as you can see in the video, on the little children!

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Emily

So, we have a new member of the family. One of the neighborhood girls that visits us regularly brought Josie a present. A little puppy. We were not quite sure what to do, if we should keep her or make the girl return the puppy. Well, so far, we have not been able to part with her. She is quite cute and the kids really love having her. Here is a picture of Emily...

Visiting the MacNamee's

We made another trip up to Chernigov and stayed a few days with the MacNamee family. We had a great time hanging out with them. We are very thankful that God brought them into our lives! They are a very precious family and we can't wait to see them again.





Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Olya's Birthday

Our pastor's wife, Olya, had a birthday on Tuesday, and since the kids are in school now, we were able to spend the day with her and Wayne in Kiev. Ura and Oksana Zahurski went along too. We had a really great time bowling and then had a delicious lunch at a sushi restaurant on the river. Here are some fun pics of the day...