Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings from Summer in Ukraine!! As I sit in the comfort of my host family’s home I watch in amazement as my sister Daria (pronounced as Dasha) irons my shirt for the next day. Mama Valia and sister Dasha refuse to let Jorie or I do any household chores. They feed us, put food on our plates, clean our dishes, go for medication runs late at night, and bundle us up before we step out into the cold. I have so much emotion as I write this blog; where do I begin? How can I possibly explain the extent of the selfless, loving, Christ-like actions of my Ukrainian family? First I must say from the moment I stepped foot into the airport of Kherson I was embraced and kissed by beautiful Russian-speaking Angels. These people are not strangers. They are family from the moment we met each of them.
While preparing for my first mission trip and first time overseas I stayed in prayer because I was so nervous and anxious. How would this trip go? Would I be safe? Would the people be nice? Would I be comfortable? How will Christ work through me? Now the question is how could I ever doubt God calling me? This trip has been amazing and life changing. The amount of compassion, thoughtfulness, nurturing, and love they give us is Christ himself pouring out of them. The perfect definition of them is noted in Colossians 3:12-14. It states: “Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love- the perfect bond of unity.”
Back in the states I am an Emergency Room Nurse. I am blessed with a great job that has unlimited supplies and resources. Here, all I have is the Lord. I feel helpless when I have nothing to give these patients. I don’t have antibiotics for their infections, blood pressure medications, or glasses for the elderly. All I can do is pray for them, love on them, and spread God’s love through my actions. What is crazy is even though they have so little and that they don’t even realize it, they make it work. They are so happy and grateful for what they do have. They love their country, their culture and their church.
As we wrap up clinics for the week I compare The US to Ukraine and I feel humbled and appreciative for what we have in The States. We are blessed beyond measure. I am so grateful for this experience and I will be back!
Love from Kherson,