Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm Not Procrastinating, I'm Waiting on the Lord!

AHAHAHA. Sorry, I was still laughing at the hilarity of the title of this update. Sometimes I have to just sit back and enjoy how incredibly witty I am.

Just kidding. I'm actually not as arrogant as I am witty.

Moving on ... Yesterday God showed us a thing or three about waiting patiently for Him and His timing. The work we are doing here in Lviv is unique in that the official Salvation Army presence here was all of one week old when we arrived. So, our mission is to get out and spread the word that the Army is here and ready to integrate into the community. Our first day was okay, but difficult as the weather was non-cooperative. (I was equipped with many tools as team leader, yet failed to receive a simple weather-control machine? Ridiculous.) However, we did make a few contacts in the time we spent in one of the parks. We were able to lure them in with the gift of that fanciful, if temporary, toy - the balloon animal. So the line was cast and we had a few bites. Good stuff. We set up a time to meet them the next day, in the same place. We arrived the next. In the same place. We waited. (On the people, and possible the Lord too. Still researching.) They did not show. We did not lose heart though. We simple grabbed our various satchels full of handcraftery and balloonage and headed off in a random direction. As we neared the exit of the park, (Which, sidenote, is gorgeous beyond words. Like something out of an old timey movie film.) the group of kids we had met showed up! It was nifty. We busted out the parachute, which induced incessant laughter from the kiddos, I tied off a few more balloonskis and the day was won!

Well, the day hadn't ended yet, Eddy, you're getting ahead of yourself. Indeed I am, inner-monologue. Indeed, I am.

So we moved on. Regrouped and went to attack another park in hopes of drawing children nigh unto us. We arrived, and lo, nary a milechik or devotchka to be found. Dude! Weak. We thought this was going to be a treasure trove of kiddos! Take that confidence and hope! But alas, again we did not become discouraged. There were girls rollerblading who rollerbladed their lil' selves over to us and struck up a conversation, at which point I hit with a one-two punch of intense balloon art, action-packed awesomeness. I was all like BAM - Flower! BOOM - Dog! And they rolled off into the sun, happy as a bowl of borscht (Editors Note: "Happy as a Bowl of Borscht" is an uncommon saying in Ukraine, as no one ever says it in Ukraine. It's origins are unknown, but can be traced back to the fact that I have had some strong Earl Grey this morning, making happy as a bowl of borscht. The More You Know!) We decided that being in this park at this moment was just not right for the outreach we needed to do. Even though it actually was right. More on that at 11. We told the Rollergirls that we'd be back that evening, and to spread the word.

From there we went and acted like tourist for a few hours. I bought a gift for a very special lady in my life (you know who you are [hint: it's my Mom]). Even while we were on our way to the homewoven handicraft section of town, the Lawd was a-workin'! Amen? Amen! On the bus ride, a woman asked me what we were doing here. Not that unfamiliar a question, except for the fact that it was in English. That was surprising to me. We ended up having a short conversation about what the team and I were doing in Ukraine and so on. Maureen then talked to her and told her about the English language club that the Army would be offering. She was very interested, since she said her English was waning in recent years due to lack of use. It was just another example of God working in His perfect time. We actually missed our bus stop because of that conversation, but it was "all good" as the kids say. A few extra footsteps for the chance to spread the word of the work going on here is totally worth it, ya feel me?

Following the touristy stuff, we headed back to the park we had visited earlier and busted out the ol' trusty 'chute again. Immediately, even before the parachute was unravelled, I started twisting balloons. I didn't stop until over 2 hours and 4.7 million balloons (out of which approximately 3 are still inflated and shaped like a recognizable figure). The parachute and the supposed former carnie (me) attracted TONS of people. The word of our presence here spread. People we extremely interested in the programs. It was very, very cool. The parachuting only started though because the Roller Derby Queens came back and brought a couple of their friends. How cool is that?

We all left that place, my fingers twisted into the shape of a dog and flower and the girls upper arms aching from parachute play, feeling on top of the world.

We waited patiently, God inclined His ear to us and He heard our cry. Awesome.

Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

-Team Ukraine

PS. Photos are forthcoming!

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