We returned Wednesday from an exploratory trip to Kiev.
|Kyiv - Hero City|
We dodged potholes, forged gaps in the road, took advantage of the four-lane stretches, and inched forward through long spans of road construction. We managed to cross the distance of 770 km (480 miles) in just over 11 hours at a *dashing* average speed of 70 kph (40 mph). Once in Kiev we settled into a nice apartment tucked behind TGI Fridays in the center of the city.
Since Kiev is soon to become our new home city, we wanted the kids to see a few of the sites. Our intern, Jodi, was along for the cultural experience as well. Unfortunately, the weather was mostly rainy, dreary, and cold. No one really wanted to be outside. Nevertheless, we managed to see a few of the famous buildings and monuments.
|Central Universal Store - This old Soviet-style mall is being renovated into a modern shopping center|
|"House with Chimaeras" made entirely of cement|
|Pechersk Lavra is one of the three most holy sites in Eastern Orthodoxy|
|"Mother Motherland" statue is taller than the Statue of Liberty in NYC|
|"Assumption Cathedral" was destroyed by the Soviets and rebuilt in 1998|
We also took a drive through the suburban neighborhoods to explore where me might live. The first one felt more like a prison than a neighborhood.
The neighborhood in this next video was much better. We heard that other missionaries live out in this region so we wanted to see what it was like. (Our congratulations to any non-Russian speaker who can repeat the name of the region that George says at the beginning.)
Where we'll actually end up living remains a question to be answered sometime next spring after George arrives in Kiev in May 2013 and secures us a place to call home, hopefully before the kids and I arrive at the end of June.
We also did a bit of exploring of a budding partnership with the Association for Spiritual Renewal. George gave a presentation of Timothy Leadership Training at one of ASR's conferences while the kids, Jodi, and I paced the village streets through the rain and snow.
The most interesting part of the exploratory trip was visiting the Christian international school, Kiev Christian Academy. We had a 1 1/2 hour meeting with the principal and it looks very promising that the children will attend and I will teach in the elementary school. We got a tour of the school, although not attractive on the outside (I forgot to take a picture), we found a warm and inviting atmosphere on the inside.
Another long drive home and we are back in Mukachevo. We return with lots to think about, more questions left unanswered, a hint of uneasiness towards all the changes, and yet an excitement for what lies ahead. It was good to explore. Now we wait a year to see how God brings everything together to make Kiev our new home.