Showing the love of Christ

I have mentioned on more than one occasion that some of the time we lived in Jericho there was a war going on. We could go up on our roof and see fighting between the Israeli’s and the Palestinians. That was a little over a mile from where we lived. This building was going to be a fish market and restaurant. But needless to say it got in the way of the fighting. Bob has just been there and they have rebuilt this building. I am happy for that and can hardly wait to see it. Continue reading

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Pro life ministry 2

Last week I introduced you to Hope Ministries. This week I am going to share a lot of what the girls learn while living in the village. One of the first things they learn is how to love and take care of their baby. They are very grateful for this as most of them don’t remember having parents. They learn how to plant and take care of a garden. Everyone in Ukraine has a kitchen garden. If they don’t have any land they plant in pots on their porches. It is very important to them so they can eat what they raise.

The first mother and baby to live in the house
The first mother and baby to live in the house

In the village there is a lot of land to plant and take care of a big garden. They are taught how to raise and take care of the different vegetables they plant. The ministry bought the original seeds and from that time on it is up to the girls to have enough to plant the next year. The girls can bring their kids outside and watch them play while they plant and weed and take care of the garden. There is also a root cellar to store the vegetables in during the winter.

But of course a garden is not all you need. It helps to have meat to eat. So Svetlana has a farm where they raise pigs and goats. The goats serve two purposes. They milk the goats for milk to drink and then of course slaughter them for eating. Pork is the main meat over in Ukraine so the pigs are also quite important.

Learning to handle goats
Learning to handle goats

The house they live in is so much nicer than what they are used to. It has four bedrooms and when completely full has two girls to a room with their babies. It also has running water but no toilet facilities. They have an outhouse and if they need to shower they can go to Svetlana’s house.

Another mother
Another mother
Another mother
Another mother

The vision doesn’t end there. Svetlana would like to buy more land or more houses in the village. But the houses that have been abandoned need a lot of work or need to be torn down and a new place built. The vision is for each girl who finishes the program to become the head of another house to train girls with new babies. The girls are excited to be a part of this program. It teaches them so much and they don’t have to go back on the streets.

Wanting to buy this to build another house for more girls.
Wanting to buy this to build another house for more girls.

This ministry is very near and dear to our hearts. We have learned to love Svetlana and Marina but also the girls and their babies. We are thankful for people with a vision and this is truly another God given vision to help his people.

Marlee saying goodbye after a visit.
Marlee saying goodbye after a visit.

Loving to help people,
Jan

My friend Kodra

When we lived at the Jesus House of Prayer in Jericho one of the things we did was give out food packages to people who needed them. There was a fence around the house and we locked the gate at ten at night and didn’t open it until after breakfast in the morning. This was mainly so someone didn’t come asking for something in the middle of the night. Continue reading

Difference in schools

As I drive in my home town I look at the schools. It seems like we are trying to make our schools more beautiful. As you drive by the newer schools they are so inviting. It is not like that in Russia. When we were there we visited many schools and they all, and I do mean all, look alike. I wondered how the children learned because they looked so dingy. When we went to Ukraine I discovered all the schools there looked just like the schools in Russia. Continue reading

Summer camp Ukraine style

When we lived overseas we wore many different hats and did many different things. When we lived in the village we decided to have a summer camp for the children of the village. Now in the former Soviet Union camps are a very big thing. It isn’t camp as we think of camp here in the states. It is more like a day camp. It is a place where the children come, have fun and learn about Jesus’ saving power. We were friends with a group from One Mission Society who were ministering in Kiev. We contacted them and asked them if they would come and hold a camp for the kids in our village. Continue reading

Jamaica is beautiful

I will say that Jamaica is a very beautiful country. The people are really loving and friendly and even though I had a hard time because of the heat I am so glad I got the opportunity to minister there. The ministry house was lovely but had no screens on the windows. When night came and you had to have the lights on, of course the bugs were drawn to the light. But those are things you manage to live with.

The view from the mission house
The view from the mission house

When a team volunteered to come build a house the cost of materials and food was included in the amount of the trip. The ministry would see that all supplies were purchased.

The people who were chosen to have a house built for them also had to participate in the building of the house. The ministry provided all the materials and all the meals including lunch out on the work site. The teams worked from eight in the morning till five at night Monday through Friday. At the end of that time the house was finished.Image_00133

It was always a big deal on Friday when the team leader presented the new owners with the keys to the house. On the day before the presentation the team would go out and buy things needed to keep the house clean. At the presentation the owners were also given the cleaning supplies.

Presenting the keys of the finished house to the new owners. Note cleaning supplies.
Presenting the keys of the finished house to the new owners. Note cleaning supplies.

All of the team members were from one church and a lot of them were youth groups. There were a lot of different denominations that came down. The love for the Lord was evident in all of them. We had five different teams while we were there.

A finished house
A finished house

Before I finish telling you about Jamaica, I want to say cool is a relative term. When they told me the house didn’t need to be air conditioned because it was in the mountains, it didn’t mean much to me. If it was any cooler it would have only been a couple of degrees and of course the humidity was still at one hundred percent.

Both time and laundry time at a typical house.
Both time and laundry time at a typical house.

I am so thankful to have had this experience. The people will always remain in my heart. For people who have so little they are a joyful and loving people.

Thanking God for experiences,
Jan

Living in Jamaica

A lot of people want to go to Jamaica. I know several people who have gone and loved it. I’m not one of them. When we lived there we were not in a lovely all inclusive vacation spot.

I probably shouldn’t have started this post that way and really thought about changing it. But on second thought I do believe in being honest . A ministry asked us to run a mission house in High Gate, Jamaica for several weeks until the full time couple could get there. We said we would before really thinking it through. I don’t like hot weather and Jamaica is considered warm, well actually hot, all of the time. Not only that it is extremely humid.

The mission house
The mission house

I called the ministry headquarters to find out if just possibly the mission house was air conditioned. I was told it didn’t need to be because it was up in the mountains. Our job was really very easy. Each week a different ministry team would come stay at the mission house and they would build a home for a family who needed one. A pastor would tell the headquarters who needed a home and different teams would come to build it. We had a cook for all the meals and a couple of maids to make sure the rooms were cleaned before a new team would come in on Sunday.

So what was our job? I had to get up very early and put the coffee on and set it up so people would have coffee when they got up. The cook came in and fixed breakfast. After breakfast we had devotions with the team before they left to go out to work. We also had to do the shopping. The cook would give us a list of what was needed and how much. We would go to town and buy what she said to get. That sounds easy but up in the mountains it is more like a third world country. So we went from place to place to buy what was needed.

All meals were eaten in the dining hall
All meals were eaten in the dining hall

Going to church was also quite an adventure. We went to a church in Berrydale. It was one of the churches the ministry worked with. The first thing we had to do was get to the river, then get on the rafts. Yes, we had to take a raft to church. But when we got off the raft we had to walk a half mile to the church. Remember it is summer and the weather is not only hot but with one hundred per cent humidity. We went to a different church each week but there was not one this exciting to get to.

Going to church
Going to church
still going to church
still going to church

Next week I will tell you about the houses that were built and show you the joy of the people receiving the houses. But I will tell you they are not houses as we think of houses.

Still traveling for the Lord,
Jan