Sunday, October 30, 2011

What Time Is It?

We turned our clocks back one hour this morning and got an extra hour of sleep.  Even the kids cooperated by staying in bed longer than usual.  But this change was apparently a very difficult one for the government of Ukraine.  It had been made into law that Ukraine would stay on daylight savings time eternally - thus making our time zone essentially Moscow time and two hours different than our western neighbor, Hungary.  In October the Upper House rescinded the decision but apparently parliament has failed to approve it.  So, what time is it?

To make matters even more complicated for those of us living on the western edge of Ukraine, ethnic Hungarians living inside the border of Ukraine function on Hungarian time which is (under normal circumstances) one hour earlier.  So, for example, you are in our town of Mukachevo and you want to meet a Hungarian-speaking person for a cup of coffee you must always clarify: "Hungarian time or Kiev time"?  Yeah, it gets confusing.

So, I really many people will be on time for church this morning.  And what actually is "on time"?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How to Bless Missionary Kids

I had never really thought about it before.  What would be a real special treat for the kids?  What would be something so unusual that they would cherish every moment?  What would be so exciting that their voices would rise above a crowd?  What could awaken their spirits that they couldn't fall asleep at night?  Seriously, it had never entered my mind before.  But it happened, unexpectedly and thoroughly delightfully:

Lian with the kids at the castle
A nine-year-old boy became a friend.

Lian came with his mom and dad on a short-term mission's trip to Ukraine.  His parents came to encourage church leaders in biblical worship of God.  Lian came along for the experience, but ended up being a tool which God used to encourage and bless three young missionary kids. 

I don't usually think about the sacrifices our children make living on the mission field.  Sure, there are plenty of privileges and advantages to growing up overseas.  But there are most certainly sacrifices too.  We have seen this most poignantly with Matthew.  He's usually a quiet boy who prefers to stay at home and play with Star Wars figures.  He struggles with speaking Ukrainian and Hungarian and is therefore shy around people.  Most of our acquaintances have daughters and there is really no other boy for Matthew to call a friend. 

When Lian arrived, Matthew became alive with energy and enthusiasm.  There was no language barrier to hamper their imaginative play.  Lian wholeheartedly played alongside Matthew as if the three year's age difference didn't even exist. 

The children spent just shy of 6 days together - hiking to up to a castle, jumping from one gold stone to another in order to avoid the hot lava, racing cars in the children's room, having a sleep-over, and struggling to piece together a deformed Chinese-made Lego-imitation. They were good, special days.

Who would have known that a nine year old boy could have brought so much joy and blessing to one week in the life of three young missionary kids?  Thank you, Lian! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Acrostic Poems

Abigail's assignment in school today was to write two acrostic poems.  The first one just made me laugh!

Drinks coffee
And watches TV
Dreams of golf

I wonder what she would say about me!

Ukrainian is the language
Kyiv is the capital
Russia is a neighbor
An interesting place to visit
I live there
Need to try borsch, shashlik, kvass and pelmeni
Everybody has to come to UKRAINE