When we lived in Ukraine there was a ministry we worked closely with other than the Widow’s House. It was called Angelina and is now called Hope. It was one of the two ministries that was pro life. This ministry had a unique approach.
First of all I must tell you that children raised in an orphanage never learn life skills. They go to school and learn reading a writing and stuff like that but they are never taught how to make a bed or cook a meal or do the dishes. Absolutely nothing practical to live outside the orphanage. At age eighteen they have to leave the orphanage. They are not prepared to live at all. So a lot of the girls turn to prostitution mostly for food and a roof over their head. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
When we lived in Ukraine one of the things that struck us was the way they honor their veterans. Once a year they hold a special day to honor them. It is always a big thing and the village where we lived was no different. The civic center was where the events were held. It was a very big deal in the village. Continue reading →
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 →
When we lived in Chervonoarmeysk, Ukraine we simply had to have a car. It was a town of about five thousand people and had a couple of small grocery stores and one restaurant with a limited menu. The biggest town was about an hour away. We had worked with a church in Zhytomer and the pastor of the church helped us find a car. The church also helped us keep it legal so we had all the right stickers. Continue reading →
I wrote some time ago about the Bedouins. They are a nomadic group of people who live in the Israeli /Palestinian area. They are neither Israeli nor Palestinian. However, most of them are cultural Muslims because that is what has been in the area for a long, long time. We had a couple of Bedouin ladies who came to the Jesus House for the Bible Study. Continue reading →
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.