Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Our week is progressing nicely. We have a relatively small crowd of children this week comprised almost entirely of girls. As I type I can hear "Shout to the Lord" playing over and over and over again. The participants in VBS are learning it to present to the corps on Saturday and Sunday. They are so eager to learn more and more things. Everything we present, they want us to teach. It is very encouraging to come across such willing and open children and young adults. The let's-get-this-over-with-as-fast-as-possible-scowl to earnest-desire-to-participate-and-learn ratio is far lower here than in the states. Something to ponder, I reckon... (side note: that's the first time in about two weeks that I've even thought the phrase "I reckon". :]) Aside from the pantomime of Shout to the Lord, the children are learning "King of Kings" in English as we learn it in both Russian and Ukrainian. It's easier than it sounds, trust me. Also, they are learning "This is the Day" in English as we learn it in Russian. It is so much fun. The constantly smiles and stream of giggles whenever we speak in Russian and/or Ukrainski indicates to me that our pronounciation may leave a little to be desired. Still, we all love learning the language(s).
Now to less (and more) jovial topics. Yesterday was a very challenging day. We visited an orphanage for severely disabled children. I (Eddy) had never experienced anything like that. There is a huge problem in this country with the treatment of people with physical, mental or any other disability. They are basically hidden, not integrated into society like in the states. This orphange we visited is the very best in all of Ukraine and still they suffer from a lack of funds and outdated equipment. It is heartbreaking, yet encouraging. The director told us that in the last ten years such tremendous strides have been made. We were informed that ten years ago, 90% of the inhabitants of this home were not mobile, and now, through improvements in equipment, training and funds over at least 70% ARE mobile. Some of the children are now reading. Most are communicating. Some are able to feed themselves and wash their own clothes. It is very encouraging, the strides that have been made. Still, my heart is in my throat even as I type. The smell was not pleasant. The equipment desperately needs updated. They need more well-trained staff. And the hardest part is that this is the very best one in Ukraine. Each of the 24 Oblasts (regions/states) in Ukraine have one such orphanage, but only around 10 are even close to the standards of this one. Pray for a change of mindset in these people. They need to know that these individuals can function and deserve respect and love. I have video of the experience that I will share when the trip is over.
I also have video of the Kirovograd hospital which services the entire Oblast. In both of the institutions, the Salvation Army provides an enormous amount of help and aid. Lives are being saved because of the work of God through the Army. I am very proud to be associated with such an organization as this. It almost inspires me to use the slightly arrogant "Doing the Most Good" motto. Almost ;).
Well, the pantomimery is over and the water balloon toss is on going. I better go out there and goof off.
My love and thanks to everyone.
Grace and peace be with you.
Team Ukraine - The Seed Planters, Path Cutters and Ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Our second week has been spent mostly in planning. The rain here is immense, which prohibits our work in Santa Clara. Still, today we took advantage of our time by taking a prayer walk around the neighborhood. Through it, we were able to share a moment of witnessing with a man walking close to the corps. In addition to this, we have been taking advantage of our time at home to pray and grow personally in God.
With that, we ask for your continued prayers for not only our team, but also the country of Chile….
PS. Chile has advanced to the next level in the World Cup. We were able to witness the explosion of screams around our home when there was the only goal of the game made, as well as the history making victory….VIVA CHILE! (the next game comes Friday, you know where we’ll be.)
Monday, June 21, 2010
Our time in Karkiv was incredible. The children there are so amazing. They make the best of what little they have. Many of them never changed clothes the entire week we were there, but they were not concerned with such things. They were just so very happy to see us and laugh with us and sing with us. The young adults of the corps and surrounding area were also very warm and welcoming. We had an ice cream social werein we introduced them to the wonderful world of Ice Cream floats. Regrettably, root beer is no were to be found in this country, so the float were made from Pepsi. Rather interesting.
My apologies for the brevity of this entry, but internet is pay-as-you-go, so I am going to go. This is just one quick update, but there is so much more to say. I hope to have more time to update in the upcoming days.
Thank you so much for the continued prayer and support.
Grace and peace be with you all.
Team Ykpaina - out.
Friday, June 18, 2010
We arrived in
Our second day was spent partly in sleep, but we awoke to find a warm lunch of soup, bread, chicken, and noodles. We must say though, there will be no way we come home smaller than we arrived. The food here is very good and is given in large portions.
After this we were taken on a tour of
In the four days since our arrival, we have spent our mornings in
We have been working within an outpost of The Salvation Army in the community, where workers and citizens alike gather for lunch. Our Spanish has grown in leaps and bounds through our work there. Our first day on the job, many doubted our ability to witness, but the Lord is providing the Holy Spirit for assistance.
We are currently planning for our first “hora de goza” or hour of joy. This will consist of songs, games, a bible lesson, and warm milk- all for the children of
Other minor details/events to share include our first experience of an earthquake after shock. Now, please calm yourselves-these are completely normal, and even necessary. If the earth does not release its energy it will only be stronger when it finally does. The tremor occurred at about four in the morning on Thursday. Some of us were a little more worried than others (Gabrielle and Melanie), while others of us quickly returned back to sleep (Fabienne, Morgan, and Beracah).
Other things include the witnessing of the victory over
We have also rearranged our furniture to create our common area around the wood stove we have in our living room. They supplied a television, but the fire is our priority. Honestly, it has brought us closer as a team, and can be granted credit for many good times thus far, including devotions, planning, and simply hanging out.
Continue to pray for us, for our work is just “heating” up! We love you all and miss you!
Dios vendiga y VIVA
El Equipo de Chile
(written by Morgan Irish - team journalist)
Greetings from the Ukraine! The team is all doing very, very well. We went to McDonalds today (18 June 2010) with the children from the after school program her in Xapkib. Our time here in Harkiv has been incredible. The kids are so warm and loving and accepting. Many of them come from troubled backgrounds with only one parent due to alcoholism or abandonment. Still, they are full of joy and gladness. It is a beautiful thing to see.
We have eaten SO much good food here in Ukraine. Last night four of the young adults from the Harkkov Corps came over to our flat and cooked vareniki and draniki. They were similar to pierogi and potato pancakes. It was an amazing time of fellowship and food and discussion. The team and I are REALLY going to miss them when we leave this city. We may not miss the metro, though. We are crammed in there like sardines every morning for about 30 minutes. Not that I am complaining. It is better than walking mile after mile. Who knew my first time on a subway would be 6,000 miles away.
On the whole, the team is adapting very well. Our hosts are so very kind to us. The Home League here in Kharkov is for both men and women. They put on a special presentation for us yesterday and presented us with many gifts. It was very heartwarming. The brotherhood of all Christians worldwide is readily evident in situations like this.
Grace be with you, and peace.
From the Ukraine,
Team Edward - Out.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
I will update when they have reached their final destination!
He has provided a phone number for the apartment where they are staying. If you would like that information, please email me at Joy_Mikles@uss.salvationarmy.org and I would be glad to pass that along.
Please remember that they are 5 hours ahead of us.
The team has survived their international flights and Kiev traffic. Most are finishing up some showers and then we're off for dinner. Looks like a good bunch! as we knew...
I got this note just after lunch today letting me know that the Ukraine team has landed and are doing well. I love getting good news like this.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I'll keep updating as often as I hear from them. I'll especially try and post when I hear of their arrival.