Early RisersOur visit to Karlovka today was earlier than yesterday, in an effort to catch the kids before they got involved in other activities (like going to the river). It worked well - we even beat the director to the orphanage! He was very cordial when he arrived, so I doubt anything was done intentionally yesterday. The kids were responsive to today's story - Jesus calming the storm. Our key word today was "Peace," and God has certainly provided that for us. Our ladies helped the kids make pin-wheels from construction paper and pencils. They were a big hit! We also taught them some more American games. Since they are mostly male, they love running and playing games with us. Tomorrow, we will give each of them a personal picture in a small frame. Every time we do that, I wonder how many have owned a framed picture of themselves in their lives.
During the time at Karlovka, David, Kostya and I went to check on the housing for our Krasnoarmeysk stay. We will have two houses with multiple rooms and even more beds. We were pleasantly surprised with how nice the houses are - they will work just fine for our large group of 12 Americans and 5 translators. We will be able to eat all our meals there as well, which will help with logistics.
We had our usual terrific meal at Lynn's apartment, and we shared some new songs and games with each other. Melissa's friend Eileen (who serves in a missionary role in Rostov-on-don, Russia) has been with us for a couple of days on her way to the Pan-European Lectures. She taught us (and the kids) a wonderful song about giving all your fears and problems to God. It fit in perfectly with our lesson today.
We just finished a wonderful meal at Sunset City in Donetsk. This was our feeble way of treating Ray and Lynn to a nice meal in order to show our appreciation. What they have done for us deserves much more than that, but it was very enjoyable. They are doing a good work here, and we are happy to be part of it.
Working with these kids has really reminded us of what is truly important. Our team has handled the luggage issue really well. As Ray put it today, "If you have a team member who is really upset about it, I haven't noticed at all!" But, it can be frustrating. We had a great team meeting today where several of us encouraged each other and really put things into focus. Our bags are still in Istanbul. We have set all the proper wheels in motion, and they are working to get them back, but we remided ourselves today our stuff is just that - stuff. We can replace it. What we will never be able to replace is the chance we have to teach precious souls about God's Word. Jesus showed us how important children are and commands us to receive little children is his name. That is exactly what we are doing. If one soul can be affected for God, then it will be worth far more than a few bags and some frustrating phone calls. That is what our trip is about, and that is what we are about.
Please be prayerful as David, Greg, and Tony travel to Athens and then to Donetsk. We look forward to welcoming them tomorrow night!
It's great to get the update today. I am so impressed with all that you are doing but especially with your optimistic, Christ-like attitude about everything. I feel almost as if I'm reading the Bible when I see such Christian attitudes in the face of frustration and adversity. What a thrill it is to read about Lynn and Ray helping so much. They are such wonderful Christians and I am so fortunate to have worked with them last year. The houses in Krasnoarmeysk sound great. It especially sound great that all meals will be there. That surely beats the peanut butter sandwiches that we made for lunch last year. Right? The work sounds as if it is going great in spite of the luggage disaster. All of us here at MJ are so proud of you for taking the Gospel to such a marvelous group of people as the Ukranian nation. I'm still sitting here each day disappointed that I'm not there. I ask that all of you pray that I will be able to be with you next year. Spoke with Greg last night and he was excited about the trip. Do pray that he, David, and Tony will be able to make it safely. Greg said that he had done some "repacking" - I have an idea that he has several days of clothing changes in his carry on bag. I sincerely believe, as I know all of you do, that God truly does move in mysterious ways and I'm sure that the luggage issue has been for a purpose even though it is difficult to see it now. God doesn't make any mistakes and certainly "all things work together for good to those who love him"..... May God continue to bless all of you richly. I'll be at the airport when you return to let you know how proud I am of you and all that you mean to the Kingdom. Have a great "rest of the mission" and know that all of us love and appreciate you more than you know. In the Master, Ben D.
A famous comedian (I think George Carlin) had a really hilarious skit about "STUFF". Stuff is like food we have to have some to live, but stuff can be a near addiction at times, so your updates on the luggage hold a valuable life lesson. ……. Tansy's room there must actually be clean (don't tell her I said that), no better yet someone please take a picture. Please let Lynn know she has to be a most excellent cook because Tansy's a very picky eater, but she has raved about the meals Lynn has prepared.
Tansy, tell Greg I send many "Thanks" for transporting the care package “IN HIS CARRY-ON LUGGAGE” instructed. God hold you and the team in His care until we meet again..... trw
What an amazing story! First task when I get home every day is check for the next episode. You are all doing an awesome work! Tansy, I'm proud of you especially. I'm not suprised, I've seen you and your VBS team work with temps at 100 degrees, humidity levels at 100%, gnats that would choke a horse, 140 kids when you expected 40, 25 kids stuffed in a room that would hold 10! Awed, yes, but not suprised. All of you are moving on, planting the seed in spite! I can't help but think of Paul in Phil 4, content in whatever state and continuing with the power of Jesus. Love you daughter! (and everyone else, too!)
Leaving for weekend. Hope latest MJCC people got there safely. And about your luggage - where is it today? Hopefully on it's way to you ASAP. You all are TROOPERS! Love all the updates. Thinking of you each day and praying for you all. Been busy this week with Make Me A Servant Week, but all have survived and it went well. Be safe. Miss you. Love, Carole
Hello to all. I just wanted to check in and let you know I have been thinking about you and pray for your continued success. To echo Carole comment I hope your luggage catches up with you soon. Keep posting it is good to hear from you. Love from MJ to all of you, Celeste B
hey Andrew- can you remind my dad that when he's writing bulletin articles that show up in writing and on the front page of the church website that not everyone knows that the "liz" of "Scott & Liz have gone back to Memphis" is a cat and not a girl!
(i can see a bunch of questions about that one sentence coming my way when i come through MJ again!- yikes!)
also- i hope you guys are doing well...really sorry to hear about the luggage... In support of what you must be going through- I've decided to wear the same pair of pants every day until you get your luggage- i guess this makes day 8 for me...
Hope you all had a safe journey to your next destination.
Just had about 4 kids from 6-7 come to the door with a wagon. One of the little girls said, "would like some of our stuff?". Then opened a garbage bag that had dolls in it. Gives a whole new meaning to a yardsale. More like a 'We bring it to your sale'. It was cute. Thought you'd get a kick out of Daddy.
Hope you all have a great day today.
Ken, Tina, Sarah and David
PS David has had 11 smiley faces in a row....its been a good week.
Hope you are getting settled in your new place. Just wondered who is going to do the cooking? I'm hoping that today is the lucky day for your luggage. Linda and I are keeping very busy, this a.m. Teresa, Seth & Hannah were here. Seth was playing birthday party with mints and his imaginery friend "Jack-in-the-box". You had to be here. He was funny. Hang in, it sounds like you are doing great in spite of it all.
Melva & Linda
Hi, Team! I was writing a long note and it disappeared! Suffice it to say that you are kind, loving, resourceful friends and we are proud to be represented by you in Ukraine. Remember to keep your "new cool Ukraine outfits" to show us when you get home--assuming you have something to bring them home in! You could get one of those red,white and blue plastic bags that we saw so many using 2 years ago! Mine cost $1; so maybe you can afford it!
Have a great next week! I know you are glad to have your reinforcements there! Love in Christ, Myrna
I'm glad to hear that things are going well and that everyone is having a great attitude about the luggage. I know it must be frustrating!
I hope this week goes even better for you!
I love you, Momma and Daddy!
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Mt. Juliet Church of Christ
1940 N. Mt. Juliet Road
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
Mt.Juliet, TN 37121-0248
Sunday Early Worship: 8AM
Sunday Bible Study: 9:15AM
Sunday Late Worship: 10:15AM
Night Worship: 6PM
Wednesday Bible Study: 7PM