I Hear Istanbul is Nice This Time of Year......I don't know firsthand, but apparently our luggage does! Since the airline was trying to get our luggage here as soon as possible, they sent it on a connecting flight in Istanbul, where it apparently never made it onto the plane. We're hoping and praying that it comes in tomorrow. As for craft supplies - have you ever heard the expression "drop back and punt"? Our team continues to adjust creatively to every challenge, and we have a plan for tomorrow worked out. What a blessing that three of our apartments have washing machines!
While the luggage saga continues, please know that it has not put a damper on the work we are doing. I only include this information because I know you will be curious about it, but our team has not let it get us down, and we are not dwelling on it. The Lord provided us with a wonderful day today. We worked with an almost exclusively male group at the Karlovka orphanage. Many of these boys (age 11-16) are in this facility for rehab-related reasons. Once the director found out about Doug's experience as an addiction recovery counselor, they had a long conference! This is great, since the director is not affiliated with the church at all. We are hoping our presence can aid the work that is being done by Ukrainian Christians. We want to use our presence as a chance to further the cause of Christ. The boys soaked in the story of Jesus' birth and brief summary of His life. Each day's theme is part of the fruit of the Spirit, and we are using Jesus' life to illustrate each one. As we talked about love today, we stressed that God loves every one of them, which is why He sent Jesus.
We then proceeded to Lynn's apartment, where she treated us to meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and even...wait for it...sweet tea! She has done us a tremendous service by agreeing to prepare lunch for us this week. We then began our VBS at Proletarski, gathering children from the neighborhood into the building. While many came and went, we had 13-14 tonight (a much larger group than last year's first day). Many have promised to bring friends, and we are very optimistic.
Our team has truly enjoyed the blog comments! As far as Krasnoarmeysk is concerned, they added another row of benches in the room, and a couple of the men sat in chairs in the hallway during our worship service. That is the only way our group could fit in that room. And for those of you who are wondering...no, the hippo song (or any VBS song) is not the same without Phil! We are thinking of you - God Bless!
Sorry about the luggage problem, but you all have a great attitude. I always think of David Burka's motto from our first stateside mission trip "It's just the way we like it. I know the kids love Phil but my little Mackenzie thinks you are wonderful. My prayers are with you all. In Christian Love, - Annie Smith
Hello to all of you,
Well I will try again, I thought I had sent two comments already, but apparently I didn't do something right, David says you didn't get them. Oh, well!
We had great services yesterday, as usual. I think we had 977 in attendance for a.m. services. It is such a blessing to have access to this blog. Thanks to whoever set it up, I would guess Andrew.
Sure hope you will get your luggage soon. I miss & love you all, especially David. I am praying for all of you. Ben Dennis led a really nice prayer for you all yesterday as well.
Hi Daddy!!! We servived the big Rat Saturday (Chuck E Cheese). David had a blast! Thank you for sending the email. We were wondering about you.
I'm glad that everyone is getting some "sweet tea". The mention of the hippo song reminded that Sarah was singing it the other day. What a song that one is.
Sarah was asking for me to show her how to put eyeshadow on her last night. I told her she needed to wait a year or two. (At least she asked!!) I might still 'show' her. I'd rather it be me than another teeniebopper.
It sounds like you all are having a great turn out. That is wonderful. Hope the luggage made it today. I know that will make things a little easier when you get it.
Better get back to work. My prayers are with you.....lyl---
PS-I just realized I think I write like Grandma Evelyn. Several thoughts in one paragraph.
What an unbelievable turn of events regarding your luggage. I know (I REALLY KNOW)how important it is to have your VBS materials. You guys are to be given the true "Christian Optimist Award" for your attitude. You'll also need to get the "Christian Creativity Award" if you don't get your materials soon. I remember very well Lynn's meat loaf dinner last year and how delicious it was. She is to be given a super pat on the back for providing your meals. The work sound as if it is going great. I'm there with you in spirit - wish I were also there with you in person. All of us are so proud of all of you and for what you mean to the Kingdom. May God bless you in every way, every day. Take care and I look forward to seeing all unique Ukranian clothing that you'll be wearing back home ha....Andrew, be sure to tell Niki, Masha and Kostya that I said hi and that I miss seeing them. Also, please tell Vera that she promised that she would learn a few words of English but I'll not hold her to that since I'm sitting here and haven't learned my words of Russian that I promised her that I would learn. Please give my best to all the wonderful Christians at the Krasnoarmeysk congregation and tell Sasha and Julia that I send my best as well....May God bless....Ben D.
Just wanted to tell you all how proud we are of the work you are doing. I am impressed that you can maintain such a great attitude with no luggage! Hope all is well and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
The Kindall Family
Rich, Erica, Johnathan, Ben and Abby
Hey gang, thanks for doing such a great job keeping us updated on your work! (Andrew especially.) Don't worry about the luggage ordeal. It may seem terrible right now, but I'm sure you will be laughing about it in a few more days. (Who needs clothes anyway? Ha ha.) Just remember that the kids you visit in the orphanages probably only have a few pieces of clothing to wear each week, as well. Tansy, so sorry about your grandmother--hang in there girl! You are all in my prayers! Love, Elizabeth Pelfrey
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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