Every day we step into the shower and never think about it. Most of us don’t bother to thank God for the opportunity or the shower we are in. Having traveled I have been in a lot of showers. The first one I was in was in Russia. There was no shower stall, just a shower head in the bathroom so when you took a shower the whole bathroom got wet and if you weren’t careful so did the towel you were supposed to dry off with.

In our first place in Jericho there was a hot water heater but you had to build a fire under it to get the water hot. Bob fixed a gas container under the hot water heater that ran on bottled gas and when we wanted to take a shower we had to turn the gas on and wait for the water to get hot. Now while that is inconvenient we did have a tub with a shower curtain and it was pleasant when the water was hot.

I have also been places where there was no hot water. Now to me that was miserable. I love a nice hot shower. I have also been where the shower head was so stopped up that not much water came out of it.

Over the years, things have improved over seas and in the Middle East especially. When we were in Bethlehem in September we stayed in a fairly new apartment building. The apartment we stayed in was so new no one had lived in it before. But the shower was different.
As you can see it has no doors. Oh it is a modern shower stall but no doors and no where to hang a shower curtain. So when you are done with your shower you take the squeegee push all the water that got out down the drain in the middle of the floor. So in reality you can work up a sweat before you get dressed or get your shoes on. But it is clean and you can be careful not to get water all over the bathroom.

When we went to Kurdistan in November we stayed in a nice hotel in Duhok. When we got to our room we looked at the bathroom and we were excited to see the shower stall had doors.
So when Bob got up to shower the next day we found full technology had not yet arrived. Yes, the stall had doors but they didn’t close all the way. In fact they were open about two inches on the bottom and an inch on the top. There was no way to get them to close any more than that. Now in all honesty they did have shower shoes for you to put on when you stepped out of the shower so you didn’t have to get your feet dirty on the wet floor. But of course you still had to get the squeegee and push the water down the drain.

When we got home I was so happy to get into my shower and know the water wouldn’t run on the floor. But I also thank God whenever I get into a shower where the water does not run on the floor.

Thankful for modern conveniences,

Shopping at the meat market 2

Last post I told you about a meat market in Zhytomer. It was very different. One thing I didn’t tell you is that there was no refrigeration in this market at all. Now if it was winter that would be no problem but when it is summer it gets quite hot in Ukraine. Continue reading

Shopping at the meat market 1

Shopping over seas can be a great adventure or maybe not. In this blog and the next one I’m going to introduce you to a meat market in Zhytomer Ukraine. This was a huge place that was a full block square. It had a lot of open doors so you could go in from almost anywhere. I want to tell you that as far as I know I have never eaten any meat from this meat market. I say that because when you are invited somewhere else to eat you can’t be sure where they purchased their product.  I don’t know what this is but it was for sale at the meat market. Continue reading

Funeral in a different land

Living overseas introduces one to a whole new culture. When we lived in Chervonoarmeysk (also known as Pulin) we attended a funeral. One morning we heard that a woman and her son were hit and killed the night before while riding their bicycles home. The daughter of the woman came to the Widow’s House regularly for computer classes. We figured we needed to pay our respects so we went with Nadia the teacher of the computer classes. 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,

Sight is important (part 2)

We were told it would be expensive. When we asked how much, we were told $700. I then asked how much the hospital would be.To make a long story short that was the total for the hospital, doctor, and a new pair of glasses.

We called our friend Kahlil to take us to the hospital since we didn’t know where it was in Ramallah. We made arrangements to take Bobby with us and Tim and Louise followed us in the car. Louise said she would spend the night with me.

The hospital was nothing like our hospitals. You got no amenities. You had to ask for a wash cloth and water. You bring your own tooth brush and paste and comb. I was fed, but not much. Continue reading