Day Eight (Jan 4) – Sunday Morning Live! [Ukraine Missions Trip]

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Ukraine Missions Trip 2009

This is the eighth 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.

Today was our last day in Krivoy Rog.  Here’s a quick rundown of the events of the day:

  • woke up and ate Breakfast @ 10am
  • Preaching at Krivoy Rog Church
    Preaching at Krivoy Rog Church

    Church Service @ 11am – I preached – service was awesome! What was really moving for me was the response of the congregation as I preached and the freedom I felt in speaking. Having to go slower for the translator gives me time to think what I’m going to say and I often veered from my notes. Of course, that was due to the leading of the Holy Spirit as well. During the service Pastor Gregory gave me a note asking me to give the altar call for repentance – that I was nervous for BUT I followed through because I believe we give the invitation and it’s God’s job to draw people.  Well 7 people came forward and I led them through a salvation prayer with the translator using 1 john 1:9 (If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness). It was awesome! The entire church cheered for those who had given their hearts to the Lord and after praying I hugged each one of them. Pastor Gregory also had me  pray for some needs people had written down and handed in. That was cool too!  I was just blown away by this Sunday morning service and SO EXCITED about the new people joining the family of God!!

    Praying for people at Krivoy Rog church
    Praying for people at Krivoy Rog church

    Following the message Pastor Gregory had the team members and I pray for people who came to the front for prayer.

  • Following the service we packed up our bags and loaded them in Ed’s van then had lunch.
  • One of the boys I befriended at the Boys Rehab center (at farthest right is Yarris one of our translators).
    One of the boys I befriended at the Boys Rehab center (at farthest right is Yarris one of our translators).

    Then we went to the boys rehab center and they presented a program they had prepared for us. They also presented a framed picture taken of all the boys there.

    • They taught us some Ukrainian Christmas songs
    • They took us on a tour of their rooms
    • It was evident they were VERY grateful for everything we had done (hallway, showerstalls, hand washing sinks)
  • Restaurant on the road to Kyiv
    Restaurant on the road to Kyiv

    Following our time at the rehab center we then got on a rented Mushuka (bus) and started on our way to Kyiv (a 6-7hour trip). I don’t know what was worse, riding the Mushuka or taking the train! About 1 ½ hour into the trip the bus driver noted that one of his axles was hot and so we decided to have dinner at a restaurant down the road while a new bus was called in from Krivoy Rog. So we had dinner at this Ukrainian Restaurant with paintings of naked women on the wall by each table. Yeah, you read that right – it was “art”, everybody was kind of giggling like schoolkids.  And no, this wasn’t a sleazy joint – it was a genuine Ukrainian restaurant…  The food was really good however! (and no, I didn’t take any pictures of the art *rolls eyes*).

  • When the new bus finally came we got on and started off again to Kyiv. However, we think the bus driver got lost a bit because we ended up not arriving until about 3am (were expecting to get there at 1am @ the latest (even with the bus troubles). I was almost delirious by the time I arrived there from lack of sleep. Boy was the bed ever good.
  • We’re spending the day in Kyiv and sleeping overnight at the Bible College here in the dormitory rooms.  Looking forward to exploring the city tomorrow!!
The finished renovated hallway at the boys rehab center
The finished renovated hallway at the boys rehab center

Day Seven (Jan 3) – Beuleuka [Ukraine Missions Trip]

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Ukraine Missions Trip 2009

This is the seventh 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.

Today I started out by going to the children’s hospital and holding babies in the morning. Took the Mushuka (spelling? – Ukrainian bus)

  • Me holding Konstantine
    Me holding Konstantine

    held a baby girl about 3 months old who had been taken from her mother just the day before because of poor care.

  • Held Konstatine who we had brought medicine for.  Konstantine had a problem with swallowing that would be easily solved by medication.  The hospital didn’t have the funds to pay for this medication and there was no one else as Konstantine’s caregiver.  The medication only cost about $150 USD – easily provided by our team!  Without it, his future didn’t look too well.

After that I went to one of the shops with the girls. Most Ukrainian shops are kind of neat being basically in an apartment building in stalls (kind of like what our flea market would be) – usually in the center of an apartment complex. You have to watch where you walk because of open sewers. While walking there I noticed slits in the basements of some of the apartments….they came across to me as a “defense” architectural feature where machine guns could be pointed out (but maybe not the case?).

One of the handicapped people at Beuleuga
One of the handicapped people at Beuleuga

After lunch the entire team went to a place called the Beuleuka (spelling?) home. It is a place where handicapped and deformed people are shipped out to by the city. It’s one of five such places that Ed’s ministry has got involved in helping. The first thing that hit us was the smell – it was hard trying to ignore it but it was ever present like a third person. People living there have all kinds of deformities and/or handicaps.

Feeding a banana to one of the bed-ridden at Beuleuga
Feeding a banana to one of the bed-ridden at Beuleuga

We passed out bananas and chocolate bars and just spent time with them. The place itself is in a terrible state of disrepair and honestly I don’t know how anyone could live there but Ed says you should have seen it when he first visited it! A lot of renovations and repairs have been done since he started helping out. Now there are other local churches involved in visiting, holding services and even bussing people to their services.

This is the first convert to Christianity at the Beuleuga.  He's so on fire for Jesus that he's called the "pastor" by all the other people there!
This is the first convert to Christianity at the Beuleuga. He's so on fire for Jesus that he's called the "pastor" by all the other people there!

Ed introduced us to one of the inhabitants who was one of the first to receive Christ and is on fire for the Lord. Ed says he calls him a pastor because of all the spiritual care he gives the other inhabitants. Their spiritual fervor is amazing and they are probably closer to God than I ever will be. It’ll be neat getting the chance to meet them again in heaven someday!

After supper together with the team we all travelled together to downtown Krivoy Rog to try and find a place to do something fun together (i.e. play pool, bowling, laser tag). There was one place that had that kind of stuff but it was closed and so was another place. So we ended up going to the Grand Central pizza parlour again and enjoying coffee and a sundae. Nothing fancy but just a night out together with the team.

Latte at Grand Central Pizzeria
Latte at Grand Central Pizzeria