Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chernihiv Conference

This past weekend we attended the Chernihiv conference located at a camp in the forest. It was a rough weekend for us, actually. But God was so faithful to us and taught us some lessons through it.

The kids were a little out of sorts, mainly Justin and Jeremy, and were very clingy, whiny and not into the camp food. The first night our power went out and so our little heater was of no use, so it was a bit chilly. Justin woke up at 5 and was ready to go...but Mom was not! The next night was much better and our heater worked! Micah got a tummy bug on Saturday and was feeling pretty lousy. He did manage to play two soccer games, though, thinking that might help bring it up. But it wasn't until he laid down after the games and Jer came and jumped on his stomach, that it really came up! He was feeling better by Sunday, just in time to make the 3 hour drive home! Josie and Jaden, on the other hand, had a wonderful time with their friends, playing and exploring the forest for hours and hours.

The theme of the conference was "God's heart revealed in Scripture." Micah was able to hear Conor's session on Christ revealed in Scripture. I was happy to get to hear one session also...Jake's message on God's glory ministered to me. God showed me through the frustrating times this weekend how much He loves me and that He wants to show His glory through my life in every situation I am in. At 5 in the morning with a crying baby, when I was feeling so tired and cold and embarrassed, I was thinking, how can I find joy in this situation? Micah and I were talking about it and realized that it was not the right question to be asking. That is such a selfish way of thinking about it, how can I find joy? It should be, How can I glorify God in this situation? How can others see Christ in me when I am at my wits end and overwhelmed with life?

Another wonderful part of the conference was definitely the worship. Man, there was a lot of talented musicians there. But the worship sessions didn't seem to be focused on the talent, but focused on praising an awesome God! Micah and I agreed that hearing worship in Ukrainian and Russian is quite amazing. Our worship band was able to participate in leading one session. I got a nice surprise in seeing Micah singing acapella with the girls on one song.

So, even though we had some rough moments, we were blessed to have attended this conference. It was great to see old friends and catch up. We are so thankful to be a part of what God is doing here in Ukraine.

Monday, September 22, 2008


On Monday Josie and I had the chance to go to a nearby orphanage with some of the girls from our church. It was a great experience for Josie as she got to see what life is like for the kids there. We had a fun time playing games with the kids and meeting new friends. This is an orphanage that our church is hoping to minister to on a more regular basis.

a creative drinking fountain...

Zhovti Vodi

On Friday I took a four hour road trip to Zhovti Vodi along with Masha, Lyena, Katya and Lesya. We dodged potholes and puddles as we made the rainy journey. We went there to attend a leadership training seminar that focuses on team building in ministry. We attended last year and it was really beneficial so it was a no-brainer to attend again.

My van got stuck in the mud as we ventured off the path looking for the turnoff to camp. Everyone got out and pushed while I tried my best to get traction to get back on the road. Mud was flying everywhere as my wheels spun giving most of the people behind me a mud shower. We cut down some branches and placed them under the wheels to finally get us back on the road. What an adventure.

It was on Sunday I shared this story at church. The Lord showed me the importance of helping others and team unity through that experience. To come along side those who need help, who may have ventured off-course and who are stuck in the mud. Helping them will require you to get dirty, this is not something we always want to do. We like to help and come out clean and go on our way, but this is not always the case. You are needed to help push. Team effort is many times needed as well, all pushing for the same goal of restoration and unity to get back on the right road.

Looking back it was an encouraging weekend. Lyena and I had a great discussion about youth ministry and the direction the Lord is leading. We are excited to put into practice some of the things we learned.

Sasha teaching about setting goals and how to reach them...

The pastor baptizing two new believers at the camp...

Praising the Lord...

God's final touches on a great day...

Sharing on Sunday morning...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Yura turns 40!!!

Here is a picture of Yura, his brother Misha, Jono and I at Yura's birthday party. There was a huge spread of great food, some rockin' 80's music playing, and even some dancing. After the party a bunch of us went bowling in Kiev. It was fun hanging with everyone and celebrating Yura's 40 years of life! Happy Birthday, buddy!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back to school!

The kids had a successful first day of school, or as they call it here, first bell. And I didn't forget the poofy bows this time!!!