Sunday, February 15, 2015


Last night I couldn't sleep.  I kept wondering whether the ceasefire was holding or not, whether there would be a declaration of martial law by morning or if it was still a day or two away.  I admit to having no confidence in the latest peace agreement, Minsk 2.  The first one didn't hold and I don't see any indication that the second one will either.  But it's not just me.  I haven't read a single news report or heard a single person in Ukraine who thinks there will now be peace.  I don't see hope anywhere.  The Hryven continues to drop in value.  I can't even keep up with it.  A year ago the exchange rate was 8 UAH to 1 USD.  Today it's 24 UAH to 1 USD.  And prices go up while the Hryven goes down.  Today I heard of two men I've met who were wounded as soldiers fighting in the east.  This is a very hard time for Ukraine and my heart aches for the country.

But in the meantime our life is full of good things too.  Matthew celebrated his 10th birthday and we had a Minecraft birthday party with 8 of his friends.  One of the things I love about living in Ukraine is that you never know what to expect.  Check out the wording on Matthew's cake!  The kids all sang, "Nappy Birthday to you" and we had a good laugh.

I continue to love teaching 5th grade.  I love my class. 

 I love seeing them enjoy learning.  We're studying World War II so there are so many connections with what is happening to Ukraine now.  I'm planning a field trip to Kyiv's World War II museum, named "The National Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War."  How does a country deal with history so complicated that Ukraine (under the control of the Soviets then) hails their victory in World War II along with the country that is now invading them? 

Elizabeth broke her arm rollerblading at an indoor rink but the cast is now off.  Somehow it doesn't surprise me that she was the first of the kids to break a bone.  Thankfully it wasn't a bad break (a crack in both the ulna and radius at the wrist) and I had help getting her to the hospital from one of the Russian teachers at school since George had left the day before for the US.

Lately, George is gone more than he's home.  He traveled to the US for the Worship Symposium and just returned Friday night from Turkey where he participated in a conference on caring for missionaries in hard places.  He went in order to learn how to care for local pastors here in Ukraine.  Next week is a half a week of Timothy Leadership Training just outside of Kyiv.  The following week he'll be meeting with a pastor in southern Ukraine and then another week of TLT in the east (outside of the war zone).  I'm thankful for a reliable car, a warm home, and a sense of peace as he travels out of and around the country.  

Last night George and I had a rare opportunity to go out to dinner with our good friends, Scott and Victoria Andes.  It was so refreshing to be out with them and to hear Scott's testimony of how God brought him to Himself and to Ukraine in full-time ministry.  

Despite the ongoing insecurity in the country, our lives are full of blessings and opportunities to serve God and others.  We wouldn't want to be any other place.