Day Three (Dec 30) – Reno Day [Ukraine Missions Trip]

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series, Ukraine Missions Trip 2009

This is the third 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.

  • started the day out with a breakfast of an egg omelet of sorts and a small dough cakes with a sweet cottage cheese sauce – very delicious.
  • For the morning, some of team went to the McJoyful today, some went with Ed to a children’s hospital (for infants) and a crew went to work on the boys rehab. I went with the team to the boy’s rehab.
  • These are the sinks we replaced at the Boys Rehab Center
    These are the sinks we replaced at the Boys Rehab Center

    At the boy’s rehab we ripped out some old sinks and set in the new sinks preparing them to be hooked up tomorrow. We also tore out the front entryway and got it ready to finish the next day

  • Thoughts on the work there:
    • We tore out the old sinks, stuff that would usually be thrown out back in Canada but here wanted to have them put to good use and reuse them in the workshop.
    • Had fun working with the guys I was with today and the two workers (Roma and Andrew) at the center.
  • We met up with most of the team for lunch. (Have I said they are feeding us well yet?) and enjoyed a meal of some cabbage salad, soup, and bread, cheese and meat.
  • Heard the story of how the team that went to the children’s hospital ended up buying some life-saving medication for a baby boy who couldn’t swallow properly which the hospital didn’t have money for. One life changed because of divine appointment! They were also given the news by the director that her hospital budget was being cut by the government by 50% and food budget by 2/3rds – this when they already struggle to make ends meet.
  • In the afternoon most of us went to a shopping mall where we bought diapers, soothers, a scale for weighing the babies and other things for the hospital. The mall was just like most shopping malls you see in the west, with prices very similar to what you’d find back home. You wonder how people can even afford to shop there (Ed informed us that this mall services a population of about 800,000) You can actually see the children’s hospital building from the mall. What a contrast between the wealthy and the poor in this country. When standing outside waiting for the rest of the team I noticed the old people and got wondering what it must have been like for them to see all the changes in their country over the years. Certainly the pace and rate of change has been dramatic compared with people of similar age in our country!
  • Going to the hospital and presenting the gifts to the women was absolutely amazing. To see their joy and gratitude at receiving this unexpected gift was extremely rewarding. To know that the gifts were paid for by people back home makes it even more worthwhile.
  • Cute little guy.  Konstantine couldn't swallow and we were able to purchase enough medicine to help him with that!
    Cute little guy. Konstantine couldn't swallow and we were able to purchase enough medicine to help him with that!

    Probably the most troubling/touching was actually going to the nursery ward and holding the babies that were there. We dressed in hospital gowns and washed our hands before entering in. I held Konstatine, the baby boy who was given the medication. You could literally feel and see these babies soaking up the attention we were giving them. Konstatine wouldn’t take his eyes off me. We learned that out of the eight babies in that room, all of them except one were abandoned babies. (talk about the culture of abandonment that has gradually seeped into this country over the years where the state did not discourage parents from giving up unwanted children to them – over years this gradually got accepted until there is no shame in doing so. Which has led to real problems today.

  • We went to an internet café afterwards.  It was fun working on a computer displaying Ukrainian – of course, thanks to the amount of time I spend on a computer it wasn’t difficult – ha!
  • Had cappuccino at the “Grand Central” pizza place (décor was not much unlike what we’d see in really nice restaurants in our part of the world).
  • Supper was a chicken schnitzel, fried potatoes and mushrooms, salad.
  • Met Pastor Gregory coming back for supper (Ed, Walt and I are actually staying at the guest cottage behind his home and the entire team is eating dinner in a dining room behind the guest cottage – the people in the church are cooking our meals and the money we’re paying for the lodging and meals is going towards the church). He invited me to preach at their Thursday evening service as well as their Sunday service. I’m looking forward to it!  Man what an opportunity – amazing that God had already put a couple messages in my heart and I was struggling with which to preach on the Sunday…now I know I’m to preach both of them!!
  • Here’s what came out during sharing time:
    • Contrast between rich and poor was much talked about.
    • Ed – one of the greatest challenges and “goals” is to get the “have’s” in this country to care and give to the “have-nots” right in their backyard.
    • Impact of the team goes beyond just the individuals but also as people in this country see what a group of ordinary people do from a different nation they are inspired to give more and do more here. (something I saw when in Zimbabwe too)
    • Pastor Gregory shared with Ed when asked (not at dinner but on another occasion) that the impact of the teams on the church has affected the giving attitude in the church.
    • One person mentioned about how this got them thinking about the opportunities back home we have to help those in need and what we can do there if we really open our eyes and allow our experiences here to motivate us when we get home.
  • Back at the cottage the three of us (Ed, Walt and I) got talking about what it’s like for missionaries on the field – very interesting conversation (won’t go into detail here). During the conversation, the passion in Ed for what he does really came through and you can see that his heart is really in what he does – how refreshing to see and experience.
  • Spent some time working on the messages I believe God wants me to share…trying to be sensitive to which one gets shared each day.

Series NavigationDay Two (Dec 29) – Getting our Feet Wet [Ukraine Missions Trip]Day Four (Dec 31) – Fireworks at Sunshine [Ukraine Missions Trip]

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