Day Nine (Jan 5) – Last Day [Ukraine Missions Trip]

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Ukraine Missions Trip 2009
This is the ninth (and final) entry in the series I am writing about my trip to Ukraine?–?I didn’t have daily internet access while there so I recorded each day for later publishing.  And later [much later actually] is now.
  • Woke up around 9am and left the Bible College around 10am. Traveled to a square downtown Kyiv. The architecture is amazing and got lots of pictures around the square. Interesting that a lot of the shops and stuff is under the city. Some of the team traveled by subway.
  • St. Micheal's Cathedral
    St. Micheal's Cathedral

    We had a quick lunch at a McDonalds and then we made our way to St. Michael’s. We entered the church – guys had to take their hats off – ladies had to wear hats. Couldn’t put hands in pockets or take pictures or video. Incredible paintings and artwork BUT sad that it’s the church is really doing nothing for the people of

    A mural at St. Micheals
    A mural at St. Micheals

    Ukraine….(with all the money poured into the building…was this really what Christ was thinking of when He started His church?)

  • St. Andrews Cathedral
    St. Andrews Cathedral

    From there we walked down the road by St. Andrews Cathedral (known as St. Andrews descent because legend/history has it that he was led to his crucifixion down that road.

  • We stopped in a little café and crowded into there for some tea and to warm up (very cold day..was -11 to -13 degrees Celsius).
  • St. Andrew's Descent (and a VERY OLD cobblestone road)
    St. Andrew's Descent (and a VERY OLD cobblestone road)

    After the café we did some souvenir shopping. There were a bunch of different little stalls lining the road on St. Andrew’s descent. You had to bargain if you wanted to pay a fair price for the souvenir’s. I was looking at a jewelry box to get my daughters at one stall and the vendor was asking 90 grivna for it. I said no. He said 80. I said no and started to walk away and then he said 70 grivna. I told him I might be back. The very NEXT stall had the same box marked for 45 grivna! At one of the last stalls a gentleman said I could have a box for 50 grivna and I bargained to get two for 80. I realize that it’s still probably marked up an incredible amount (and that setup of stalls is probably planned somehow so that by the time the tourist makes it to the last stall they think they’re getting an incredible bargain…) but nevertheless I came away happy with the purchase – alls well.

  • From there we walked to an internet café in one of the below ground malls – man what a busy place! At least 100 computers networked together. My internet usage was sparse and limited while in Ukraine so I welcomed the few times I could get connected. I was able to get connected and chat with my wife – awesome.
  • From there some went to see “Mother Russia” while I stuck around with Walt, Ira and Johnny to shop around the area we were in. We went in various shops and I picked up some Ukrainian chocolates to take home.
  • Dinner at TGIF Ukraine
    Dinner at TGIF Ukraine

    For supper all of us went to TGIF (yes there is one in Kyiv). Then we took a cab back to the Bible College to get ready for the next day (going home yay!)

The next day was rather uneventful as we made our way back to Waterloo.  It was kind of interesting going through customs and in some ways I was more nervous getting through Canadian customs than I was through Ukrainian!  The Canadian customs agent I went through GRILLED me like crazy with all kinds of questions (while the other team members made it through no problem)…I must be special or something.

Day Six (Jan 2) – Driving Around [Ukraine Missions Trip]

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Ukraine Missions Trip 2009

This is the sixth entry in the series I am writing about my trip to Ukraine – I didn’t have daily internet access while there so I recorded each day for later publishing.  And later [much later actually] is now.

I didn’t really do a whole lot today other than driving around with Ed and Walt to various places in Krivoy Rog (I got to see a lot of Krivoy Rog through the day):

  • One of the girls from our team holding a baby from the children's hospital.
    One of the girls from our team holding a baby from the children's hospital.

    To children’s hospital to drop off girls who were going to visit with babies there.

  • To McDonald’s to drop off one of the team members for McJoyful.
  • Went to hospital to talk with the director of the hospital and pick up the girls who we dropped off earlier.  We then dropped the girls off to shop at bazaar (they were getting makeup and nail polish and beauty supplies for using at the Sonshine orphanage in the afternoon).
  • Took lunch for guys at rehab center who were continuing on the renovations there.
  • After lunch we drove the girls to SonShine Orphanage so they could do the “beauty day” with the older girls at the orphanage.
  • Went and picked up Brendan at McJoyfuls (went around to a few shops with Walt and his future daughter-in-law).
  • Ed, Walt, Brendan and I went to another orphanage on the other side of town. They were in the midst of doing a presentation to a team from Georgia USA…we didn’t meet that team. Director of the orphanage was dressed to the nines in about $1,000 worth of clothing. Apparently her husband is very wealthy. The orphanage is really top notch and it is evident the kids are well looked after.
  • Director told us about a boy who had excelled at school and athletics and had been invited by a family from a church in Georgia to come to university there and they would pay all his tuition, lodging and food while there. Problem is, the boy did that and finished his grade twelve that he needed to finish (in America – Ukraine only goes up to grade 11) and then the people told the director they can’t pay for his university education there. This leaves the kid in a terrible bind because IF he hadn’t gone to America he would have been able to get a FREE education at Kyiv’s top university – but since he’s been out of the country he can no longer avail himself of that education!! Not nice. The director is hoping that the church in Georgia will help him. 
  • Two guys on the left are from our team.  Guy on the right was one of the translators (he translated for me when I spoke on the Sunday)
    Two guys on the left are from our team. Guy on the right was one of the translators (he translated for me when I spoke on the Sunday)

    Went from there to see how the guys were doing back at the rehab center. Things are coming along with the construction but still moving slowly.

  • Took the guys with us to the Okeh supermarket (what an interesting name for a store…) to pick up comforters for the shelter place. We managed to get 17 (at roughly $10USD apiece) that we delivered to the shelter. Pretty funny stuffing it into the minivan with 7 of us guys! We are giving Ed money to purchase 18 more for all the kids at the shelter.
  • Headed back for supper with everyone else and we shared stories of our day.

Day Five (Jan 1) – A Brand New Year [Ukraine Missions Trip]

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Ukraine Missions Trip 2009

This is the fifth entry in the series I am writing about my trip to Ukraine – I didn’t have daily internet access while there so I recorded each day for later publishing.  And later [much later actually] is now.

  • It was a beautiful bright sunny day today (although cold!)
  • Today we didn’t have breakfast until 10am allowing us some time to sleep in because of the late night before.
  • It was a bit of a slower day today because almost everything was closed with it being New Years Day
  • Ed Dickson with some of the kids who were at McJoyful
    Ed Dickson with some of the kids who were at McJoyful

    The entire team went to McDonald’s for McJoyful and we ended up having lunch there.

  • Following McJoyful we came back and got ready for the New Years day service at 4pm at the Krivoy Rog church (Pastor Gregory’s church).
  • The service was not a typical service but it was awesome with a wide variety of skits, special music, the worship was amazing, loud, special guests and of course I had the privilege of speaking.
  • Before service I met with the pastor and deacons in his office for prayer. Very moving. They had just been talking about not worrying what man thinks about you but being more concerned about what God thinks of you. My contribution was that our identity is in Christ.
  • I spoke on the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and who touched Jesus and was healed. The topic of course was faith. What’s interesting, and is something I didn’t know…when I started the message Pastor Gregory turned to Ed and asked him if Ed had said anything to me about what the church had been teaching and Ed said no. Apparently, the focus of the messages for the last month have been on faith! Wow! It’s things like that that are so encouraging. Here I was, not sure what I should speak on and simply trusting that God would direct me to the right message. It turns out that it was the exact message he wanted spoken. Praise God!  I LOVE it when God shows how He is at work even in the smallest things!!
  • I gotta say I love speaking with a translator.  While he was translating I had time to think about what I wanted to say next.  Sometimes I had to remember to slow down though…when I get going I can speak pretty fast sometimes.
  • Spent some of the evening loading some pictures from Dan’s camera onto my computer and then Walt, Ed, Dan and I watched a quick slideshow of the pictures he had taken so far. It was pretty cool to see the pics of the past week and I’m sure will spark some memories when I view them later.