Friday, July 29, 2011

Giving Up Trust

When I left America, I gave up something that I used to take for granted - trust.  I didn't used to wonder if whether this name brand is a fake, whether this CD player will work a week after I get it home, whether my children's toys will make it through one day of play before they break, whether the DVD I just bought is a re-packaged copied film, whether this person is telling me the truth, or whether the food I buy is spoiled.  It is really hard to give up trust, but that is what is required to live in this society.  Probably daily we hear of someone or we experience being ripped off, taken advantage of, lied to, and deceived. 

Today went shopping at the only "supermarket" in town.  As we walked down the aisle of frozen foods we realized that absolutely everything was defrosted - the fish, the vegetables, the ice cream - everything!  George asked one of the workers why it's all defrosted and she brushed it off with an explanation that the electricity was out over night.  When George went further to say that it's potentially dangerous to sell fish that was frozen, defrosted and then will be refrozen, she brushed off his comment with an attitude of "too bad for you."  At the meat counter we asked again whether their refrigerators were also working and the attendant said no.  All the meat is sitting neatly out but for the past 8 hours or who-knows how long, it hadn't been refrigerated.  No thank you, no meat for us.

A solution isn't so simple to find because this is the possible scenario anywhere you shop.  There isn't a single store that I would trust and the market is just as bad.  A few times I have bought eggs only to find that a few were completely rotten - the kind that even Templeton the Rat in Charlotte's Web ran away from.

So, today's experience was just another of many disappointments, another reminder that we can't trust anything.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lead On And I Will Follow

About this time 15 years ago I was in the final weeks of preparing for my first year of living overseas.  I remember sitting through training for Educational Services International (ESI aka and struggling over which country I should go teach English as a Second Language in.  I had initially intended on going to Czech Republic but at that time they had a change in law or something and didn't need so many foreign teachers anymore.  Then I thought about going to Romania because my great-grandmother was from there and it would be interesting to explore those roots.  In the end, I went to Hungary - a country I knew nothing about.  The whole process of getting to Hungary was a battle of wills.  I had to let go of control of my life and let God lead me.  It was not easy then, and it's still something I am learning now. 

I spent three years in Sarospatak, Hungary teaching conversational English at a Hungarian Reformed high school.  It was there that I met George and was wooed across the border into Ukraine.

I had been to Ukraine once before when my dad led a two-week missions trip to Kiev back in 1990 and took me along at the age of 16.  I don't remember saying this but my mom says that I came home to announce that I would go back again some day.

Here I am!  I have lived in Hungary for 3 years and in Ukraine for 12.  I have been overseas as a missionary for the past 15 years! And now, what can I say?  I am content.  I have seen God lead and guide me.  Through the {figurative} deserts and beside the quiet waters, I have experienced the ever-faithful guidance of God's hand.  I know that there will be new paths to follow and more unknown places, but in the past 15 years I am starting to learn that I am not in control of my life.  And that's exactly as it should be! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Horsin' Around

Eight years ago our firstborn entered our lives.  To celebrate this special occasion, Abigail chose to have a "horse party".

We were able to go to the outskirts of town to ride horses and play games.  The kids each had a turn riding a horse and they were also able to help brush other horses in the stalls.  They admired the two week old foal and fed the ducks.

We played a hoola hoop relay game and bobbed for apples.

Back at home we ate cake and ice cream and then learned a simple country line dance.

Happy Birthday, Abigail!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Languages Around Us

We made this video for a church's VBS that is featuring our life as missionaries.  Abigail did this segment to explain the languages that we hear and 'speak'!  Would you be interested in seeing the text and photos for the other 4 segments on our lives in Ukraine?


Candied Love

Elizabeth wanted to talk to the video camera and here's what she says about her parents.  This kid makes me laugh!  I guess now I know what her love language is! :)