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

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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

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

Enjoying different cultures

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Our first apartment in Jericho

Our first apartment in Jericho was about 2 miles from the Jesus House. As the crow flies it probably wasn’t even a mile but we had to walk on the roads to the house. Our apartment was on the second floor of the building and it was quite nice.

It didn’t have a washing machine and there were no laundromats so I did laundry the old fashioned way, by hand. The Jesus House had a washing machine, so when I had a load of towels or jeans we called a taxi and took the clothes there to wash them.

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doing laundry the old-fashioned way

One of the fun things about living at this apartment was the neighbors. The woman who lived downstairs with her son was really nice. We called her momma and her son’s name was Mohammed. Every evening they would sit outside and, since it was winter, they had a fire. Many of the neighbors came out to chat and the children would play in the street. Of course we didn’t know the language, but they always made us feel welcome when we joined them

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Momma & Bob

Evening wasn’t the only time they sat outside. They sat out during the day too. Mohammed was crippled and couldn’t talk plain so he didn’t work. Many days he and momma would sit outside and neighbors would come and talk with them for awhile. There were opportunities for prayer for people and they let us pray with no problem. We prayed in the name of Jesus, but they didn’t care. We saw several healings.

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Momma, son Mohammed, and a neighbor

After awhile the neighbors started bringing us food they cooked. Most of it was absolutely delicious. We figured some neighbors weren’t such great cooks because other neighbors brought us the same dish that was excellent.

While we lived there I so enjoyed the times together even if we didn’t understand each other. I also remembered when I was little and people sat outside and talked in the evening. I loved those times when all the kids played together and their parents talked.

Feeling nostalgic,
Jan