Crazy traffic

When ever we travel I marvel at the traffic. It seems in the West Bank there are no Rules of the Road . The first thing I had to do was remember you don’t stop to look both ways before you cross the street. It makes no difference because the cars will either stop or go around you even if it means driving on the sidewalk. In fact in most places the people walk down the middle of the street ignoring the cars. They wouldn’t dare do that in this country. Continue reading

Advertisements

Ministering in Guatemala

I have been on many mission trips through the years. I thought I had seen it all. I had never been south of the United States. I don’t know what I expected but I was surprised.

poverty
poverty

We took a team to Guatemala to work with a local church. They needed people to help paint rooms and to hold healing services. The team God put together was amazing. We had Sonny, who is an evangelist and has a healing ministry. At least he did for that trip. We had young people who could minister to the children and who also had energy. We had many people who are equipped with the gift of helps and filled in where needed. We even had a young lady who took Spanish in college and could interpret for us so we were not dependent on some one else. Continue reading

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

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

Home Groups in Zelenograd

Hospitality means “Friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests.” I will admit I am not that kind of person. I’m the kind of person who will pour your first cup of coffee or tea and tell you where you can get your second cup if you want it.

When we went to live in Zelenograd, Russia it was to help people learn how to be small group leaders. We had a small apartment where our living room served as our bedroom and three times a week we had people over to show them how to invite people to their home and be hospitable to them. Needless to say, I felt out of my element. But I made coffee and tea and always had some sort of sweet. Continue reading

Apparently Manners are not Universal

I was born and raised in the Midwest. As I was growing up, I learned several sayings I was told were polite to say: “Please”, “Thank you”, “I’m sorry” and the one I want to talk about today “excuse me”.

I was taught to say excuse me if I walked in front of any one or wanted to get by someone or touched someone accidently. I was and still am a polite person, but there are countries where you cannot be polite.UA 62 Continue reading