As January comes to an end so is my time on this trip to Ukraine. February 7th I will be returning to the USA to continue working on my long term visa. I hope to be in the USA for only one month before I can return to Ukraine. If for some reason my application is not approved that fast, the longest I would have to stay in the USA is 3 months. I’m very excited for the events of Spring. I would like to host an Easter event for our children with disabilities. I’m hoping to plan an Easter Egg hunt for them.
One of the new areas of ministry that we started on this trip was our Bible studies in the village. Thursday last week I visited the village of Matushi, Ukraine. We visited 6 homes. We have many people wanting to join our Bible study in the village. The difficulty is transportation in winter. Many of the people we visit are in wheelchairs or walk with walkers and canes. It is difficult for them to leave the house even if we provide a van to pick them up. The other difficulty is finding meeting places in the villages. There are not many large buildings, nor are there buildings that are easily accessible for people in wheelchairs.
Many of the villages we visit do not have their own church. Please pray for us as we are developing relationships with these villages and are getting to know the people. Many of the people in the village live in severe poverty. We often come across people with disabilities who cannot take care of themselves. They rely on families, neighbors or social workers just to get by.
Every Friday I visit the orphanage to teach the Bible. Since our camp in summer I’ve come to know these kids very well. They are so happy to have us come and visit and they are always excited to learn the Bible stories. They love to sing and they love to draw and do crafts. They always ask me if I will be back the next Friday and are so excited when I say yes. I have two fridays left with them before returning to the USA. I wish I could bring them all with me.
On the rest of my days in Ukraine I often join our wheelchair team as we go throughout the city and villages delivering wheelchairs and walkers to people who have had strokes, amputations or other injuries. Last Thursday, I visited a lady who needed a wheelchair. She was HIV positive, had severe shaking, and could no longer walk. She lives with her brother and his wife. We gave her a wheelchair and I spent a lot of time talking to her about her anxiety over her diagnosis. We talked about John 14 and Christ’s words “do not let your heart be troubled, trust in God, trust also in me.” We spoke about the hope found in Christ promise that he has prepared a room for us in the Father’s house. How her life is still a life worth living, that she is loved and God has promised to be with her in the midst of all her pain and struggle.
Sunday I went to the church of Living Water in Bila Tserkva. They have their service in Russian so I was able to understand 20% of it, as opposed to 5% if it were in Ukrainian. It was a two and a half hour service, and I had no interpreter, so it was quite a struggle for me. However, it is great to see people worshiping God, this congregation is in the midst of building a sanctuary. They currently meet in a music school. They have a drug rehabilitation center that I know has helped a lot of people in the city. Alcohol and drugs are major problems that Ukraine faces.
Thank you very much for your prayers. Thanks for visiting Scott’s blog.