Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Land of Unknown

The Land of Unknown
I remember the day I surrendered my life to God and since that day I lean on His guidance. It hasn’t been smooth and perfect but I am so glad that He holds my hand and leads me day by day.
Just few months ago I didn’t know what a halo traction was or how would a wheel chair fit in a living room, much less could I imagine one of my kids in it. I remember the day I typed “a halo traction” in Google search and was devastated from the info I found. I had many questions and only a few answers. And yet the peace and calmness overfilled my heart, I know it sounds impossible,  but I felt the Hand of my Heavenly Father holding me and giving me strength to take another step by faith. Sometime it’s scary and frightful.

I am so thankful that He reminded me through His Word that just as the Israelites were scared and frightened that night they spend by the Red Sea, they did not see anything happening yet God was working on a miracle, the miracle that would open the door to the Promised Land -the Land of Unknown.  It says: “The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land.” Ex. 14:21  Praise God for working on so many miracles even when we cannot see it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Exciting News

Well, here I am again,trying to remember things I want to tell you.
About our family:
We are so thankful that God is blessing and leading our family. 2013 was very blessed and yet challenging  year for us. Those that read my posts (sorry for such a long delay) know about a little boy Artem (or Tyomka) and how God spoke to our hearts to take him into our family. At the very moment we knew the answer yet our minds were straggling with all kinds of "What if..." questions. We said yes to our Maker and started the documents process. Well, it took much longer than was expected. But it is in the past now. We got our legal documents on December 31!!! So we all started a new page of our lives in 2014 and so far it has been great!!! Both boys fit so well together that I can only thank God Who does not make any mistakes. After we told Timka that now he has a big brother, he prayed that night "Jesus thank you for the BIG brother not a BABY brother"! (If anybody asked him if he wanted a baby brother or a baby sister, he always answered in a firm "No, NOTHING!")
Tyomka needs a lot of help physically as well as educationally but with God's help we will get there.
Timka is growing too fast for me, we just celebrate his third birthday. He is all in cars, trains and music. He makes up songs about everything than takes a little book, holds it as a guitar and "plays" those songs on his "guitar". He is very boyish. A few weeks ago we visited a little mountain church. When we came to the building he looked at it and said " I am not going into this church, it's for girls". I looked, and yes, it was pained in pink:) When his grandma says that he is beautiful (and in Ukrainian it is the same for both beautiful and handsome) he makes sure to let her know that he is not a girl, which did not make sense to the grandma until I gave her an English lesson on these differences:)
 About our ministry:
with God's help we started Christian English kid's club in the mountain village where we have been having VBSs and youth camps for the last three years. For now we are going there only once a month due to the absence of a transportation (but we started to save for our first car:) There is a big potential for an Evangelical church since there are none yet!!! And the people are pretty opened but now we are praying for our situation in Ukraine because we do not know what can happen if it goes like this.
Also we continue to work in our church, Steven as youth pastor and preacher  and I work with women. We have A bible study in our home twice a month and in between I meet with young girls. We are very blessed to to able to serve and give to God because He has done so much for us. We love Him with all of our hearts and it is our daily goal to live in the way that will please our Father.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Living by fath

I cannot believe that the summer is almost gone... it seems that yesterday we were making all the plans for the summer VBSs, youth camp, trips and other activities. But now I have to look back and try to remember how everything went... I know I will forget many details but it's ok. The most important that in every step we took, we saw God there.
For those of you who are like me, (visual, pragmatic, precise, and all planed ahead) you know that living by faith is so apposite from our nature and yet God was teaching me to do just that. But when it was getting to tough He let me “touch” and “see’ just enough to continue my journey. 
In June we made a trip with both boys to visit our “new grandparents” (as Tyomka calls them.) I was nervous how he will adopt to bunch of new people and how they will react to him. I want others to see him and love him as we do but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way or it takes more time for people to see what we see. But God was teaching me that it doesn’t matter what other think, His opinion is the most important. Praise God both boys didn’t want to leave Grandpa’s place, they loved playing with dogs, watching cows on the pasture, feeding piggies, chasing chickens and many more fun things they did at Grandpa’s mini farm. I watched Tyomka learning many new things about family, which I think is very good for him. For example, my younger sister, who was pregnant, was visiting with us as well. I noticed that Tyamka was very confused when being around her because he would come and stare at her belly, or even wanted to touch it but was shy to do so. Finally he was comfortable to ask her why does she have so much FATJ When she told him (notice he is 9 years old, but his development is for about 6 year old) that there is a little baby and soon doctors will help to “get it out”, he ran to her and hit the belly thinking that she was joking with him. She was very good at explaining to him and letting him touch it to feel the baby move. After he realized it he was so good and protective telling everybody to be careful around the belly-baby (as he called it).
July was filed with camps and ministry trips. I started the month with going to women’s evangelical camp where I was a leader of a small group of ladies. It was a blessed time of many hours spent in prayer, Bible study and Christian fellowship. In the end of the week we had 11 beautiful ladies giving their lives to God for the first time!

Right after I got back we started to prepare for the youth camp. Praise God for the Boyd’s family who initiated this youth camp 3 years ago and since then they have been faithful by coming all the way from the state just especially for this time of the summer to help us out!!! This camp is a very special time because the location we chose is right by the village of Chornoholova where we have been doing evangelical work for 3 years. Every day one group of campers went to the village to invite the youth to come to join us for the evening service and fellowship by the fire. It was amazing to see youth boys (almost young men) and girls coming and asking so many questions concerning our faith and God we believe in.
Right after youth camp we did a VBS in that village. Praise God for the opened hearts of parents who let their children to come to Christian VBS. We had between 35-45 children everyday. Now we are planning to start an English Christian kid’s club where we plan to teach elementary English and Bible lessons. For now we can go only once a month but we are praying that God would provide a place where we could come more often. Right now we have to rent a cultural club every time we do something there.

In August God gave me tremendous opportunity to help translating for a Canadian group who did a VBS in the orphanage where our Tyomka has lived for the last 6 years. It was a great time for me to get to know him better, to meet his friends, and to feel the atmosphere he was growing in for all his conscious live. I am so thankful that God put him in this particular Christian orphanage because I could not asked for a better, loving place for my boy to grow in. I am calmer and secure knowing in what environment he grew up; all of the workers are good Christians and love the children.
Also we did a VBS in our village where God blessed us with more that 70 kids every day. 90% of them were from unchristian families. I am so thankful that God is leading us and can use us for his kingdom. We love serving our Savor who did so much for us.

 I made a birthday cake for Tyomka and we all went to his orphanage for his Birthday. He was so overwhelmed that he did not want to blow his candles so Timka so very happy for the opportunaty to help.
 But soon we got a pretty smile from him.
And this is the latest family picture.

We are still waiting on the final approval and some special classes we have to take before Tyomka can live with us. It is so hard to wait when you don’t know how long…. But as I said God has been teaching me to walk by faith not by sight. I am so thankful that He is patient with me.
Timka is growing fast. He talks fluently in both languages now. He loves to work outside with his daddy which means a lots of laundry for mommy. After all the VBSs he learned all the songs so now I don’t have to look for him, I can hear himJ this boy Loves to sing.
Well these are all the news I can think of for now . Thank you for praying for us.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

                                                            Our handsome boys!!!

Life is beautiful
“Look what my daddy did for me, look what he gave me!” The last words of the movie “Life is Beautiful” made me stop and think one more time of how precious the gift of life is. So often we are so busy that we don’t have time to stop and thank our Heavenly Daddy for His precious gift to us.
Life is very precious and not only mine and yours but every life. It’s why God did everything from His side that we would have an eternal life. But what can we do in return? First of all we should appreciate His gift to us. We must spend our life in a way that brings glory to the One who gave it to us.
This month had its ups and downs for us. There were times we saw God working and being on our side and yet other times it seemed like God just watched from far away. But now when we look back we see how God was teaching us to lean on Him and stand firm on His promises.
One big thing was when Steven was working on the documents for Tyomka. In the beginning it looked very easy and we thought that in the beginning of the summer we should have our big boy home but there were many “little thing” popping up in the process. One “little thing” was that the social workers wanted Steven to do the documents as if Tyomka was his nephew. To say it straight, they wanted him to lie because it was easier for them. After Steven said that he cannot do God’s work using the worldly methods they decided to make things look so complicated that Steven would agree. He came home and we prayed. We knew that God was on our side and that meant that victory was ours. We waited a few days and than got a call saying that if we don’t do something fast Tyomka will be adopted by some foreigners. Steven went to the office again standing firm on God’s promises. Well, to make story short, they saw that they cannot break him and accepted the documents. But it is not the end yet, some other thing needs to be done, so please pray for us.
It is hard to wait when you don’t know how long. But as we are waiting for Tyamka to come home, we are preparing his room and It’s almost ready.

Timka is growing fast. He keeps all of us busy and entertained. I spend lots of time training him and being there when he needs me. He loves to go fishing with his daddy and I was so surprised when I saw him standing with his fishing pole for 30 minutes!!! One thing I can say that you cannot become a fisherman you have to be born one. I see how rewarding it is to spend time with you child. Another day we were having lunch when Timka ran to his daddy hugged him and said: “daddy you are my best friend!” Yeah, it made daddy’s day!!!

Right now we are preparing for the summer’s camps and VBSs. Praise God we have a good group of youth from our church that wants to help us. We want God to use us for His glory.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

When God knocked at our door…
This is what I recently wrote in my jeornal: (Sorry for all the mistakes) 
When God knocked at our door….
It was an usual day. We woke up, dressed, ate, prayed and went to work. Nothing was special about it but only until someone knocked at our door. “Who could it be?” – I thought, hurrying to open it. I could not believe my own eyes. Right there, in front of me, Jesus was standing. I started to nervous. I wanted to offer Him something but I was motionless. Finally He smiled and asked: “May I come in?” “Of course, please, come in and have some tea with us.” “Thank you, that’s very nice of you but I need a place to  stay not only for a visit…” “ Do you mean, stay with us forever?   Of course Jesus we would love to keep You but we are not ready yet. Look,  your room is not ready yet, it still needs lots of work, and right now we are very busy and cannot give you as much of attention as you need…It’s not like we don’t want you to stay with us, we do, we always wanted. We even talked about it but it’s not the right time for us yet, do you understand? “Yes I do, but it is not want I am asking you for. All I really need is a heart that can love, a place that can be my home and someone I can call Mommy and Daddy. 
Only than I saw that the person that was standing in front of me was not Jesus anymore but an eight year old boy whose eyes told the whole story, a story that was too much to bear.
He looked into my eyes while waiting for the answer… and than he was ready to leave.
But could I let him go? Go where? There was nobody he could go to. He had already waited for nearly 5 years without an answer….
No, we could not let him go. He belongs here. Yes, maybe we don’t have a perfect place but we have a loving place. We are not perfect parents but we are willing to change. We have fears about the future but we know the One Who holds it.

So, we said yes to this sweet little boy, whose name is Tyomka and soon (we hope the documents will be ready soon) he will come home to live with us. Timka is very excited and prays for his new brother every day.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hello everybody,
I know that it has been a long long time since I wrote anything but I am going to try to keep up.
God is blessing us sooo much in everyday life that I cannot stop thanking Him and singing Him praises.
After a very good time in USA (Nov - Dec 2012) we are back home trying to catch up with so many different things. The very same day we arrived  on January 31 we were involved in a youth program. Youth prepared a very good program for the New Year celebration and we were blessed to be a part of it. It was so nice to see our big  church family again. For us our church is our life!!! We are thankful to God for our precious young people who are so open for God and His work.
January went very fast for us because half of it there were all kinds of celebrations and that meant going to church, visiting friends and resting.
I started teaching English the second half of the month. And this is another reason to thank God for. We often talk with Steven about the job God gave us so we can do ministry and be with the family all the time!!! For those of you who doesn't know what I am talking about I will explain. In our schools children study English but not always it is taught good enough so parents asked me to help their kids. So now I have 4 groups of kids (about 5 kinds in each group) which come to our house after school and I try to help them with English. It is  not high paid job but we like it because it allows us to do what we like - to do the ministry God called us.
In Feb. we visited grandparents (my parents) who live 140 mls away. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the time of fellowship with the family and old friends. God gave an opportunity for Steven to share God's Word in two churches (he preached 4 times)
I am so ready for the sun to come out and bring to life everything around. It's been cold and raining almost  the whole half of March and I hope that soon it will change.
Timka is growing very fast. I cannot believe that he is already two. He is keeping us very busy.
His favorite things now are to jump in puddles, help his daddy to build our house, help mommy to cook, sing songs, play with his the most favorite toys - trains, read books and to go for long walks. Oh, and yes, his recent passion is to ask mommy hundred questions, "What is it? and Where it lives?!  It is so funny when he speaks with his Ukrainian friend and tries to explain to them something in English. But he is getting better and better in making a difference between the two languages. He would be talking with us in English when the grandpa comes in, and right away Timka starts speaking with him in Ukrainian. I am so thankful to God for the privilege to watch a healthy boy grow.

I know I am forgetting tons of stuff but I will write next time. Now I want to say that I am so blessed to have you , my friends. I pray that as I am writing these words God would visit each of you no matter where you are and meet your needs as He sees fits best.
We love you and are waiting for your responses, God bless you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Baby shower!!!

It was a real surprise for me when after Saturday ministry in Perechin, we came home with Boyds' family and all of a sudden girls from the church came in with Charyl caring gifts and cakes .... 
 I could not figure out first what was happening, it was a real surprise for me!!!
We are very thankful for all the gifts. It is a big help for us. Thank you all who participated!!!
As we are getting closer to the due date, January 5th, we are very excited to meet our little boy.