Sorry I haven't gotten the bios of all my kids up (first three are at the end of this post) quite as fast I would like to, but it has been pretty hectic catching up with friends and everything at home and just generally getting readjusted. I've learned that sometimes when people ask me how the trip went, they aren't quite prepared for the answer to the question they are asking. Most people want a much simpler answer compared to the one I am ready to tell. It is so hard to break it down to just a one word simple answer, but normally I have no choice.
I've broken it down into what I noticed as 3 phases I have gone through. On the first day I arrived home, my simple answer was "awesome". In retrospect, I see that this word is quite boring and generic, but honestly, it's because I was speechless. Even I couldn't dicate my thoughts into a descriptive word, so it needed to be generic.
After this, I moved on to "amazing". "Amazing" is still such a generic word though. But it is a bit deeper with the dictionary meaning of "amazing" being: "to fill with wonder". Yes, I definitely am filled with wonder at being a part of God's work in Ukraine.
Now moving in to phase 3, having had a bit of time to reflect, my thoughts are becoming more clear and organized. As of now, my one word simple answer is "exciting". Every moment in Ukraine was exciting. "Exciting", not to be confused with "fun". Yes, at times, Ukraine was very fun. But I would hardly call sitting in a suana like train compartment for 13 hours "fun". But was it exciting? OH YES! Not a step was taken, and not a minute passed without me soaking in some detail, or learning something knew about God's amazing :) creation. (Yes, I never cease to be filled with wonder at God's creation. But I just realized that now whenever I use the word "awesome", it will have no weight what-so-ever.) And to me, that is really exciting.
Given time, I'm sure as I continue to reflect, my description of my Ukraine mission trip will change, but for now, it was "exciting".
Here is a short bio on three of my kids. I encourage you to pray for them. The Holy Spirit was working in these kids hearts over the course of VBS, but now VBS is over. It will be a challenge for them to continue and inject what they learned into their lives. It will be hard for them not to just look at VBS as a week of their lives, and just continue on with their hearts unchanged. Please remember this over the next few days as I put up bios for the rest of the kids. I continue to pray the same prayer that I wrote on my postcards to the kids. Above all I pray each and everyone of them will continue to know Christ as their Savior, but also as their friend.
This is the type of girl that makes teachers proud! She was so attentive. A bit shy and quiet at times, probably not as responsive as a teacher would like, but she is still a very dedicated and intelligent girl. She has been taking English lessons, and she takes it very seriously. I pray someday her hard work and dedication will pay off and she will be able to impact peoples lives in a positive way.
This kid walks very close to where the line of being a trouble maker and being class clown meet. He can be a bit disruptive at times, and he might not be the most blessed with intelligence, but when he puts his mind to something he puts his whole heart in it too. Ivan was the one that had to leave half way through VBS because his family was going on vacation to the Crimea/Black Sea. It was tough to see him go. He really was excited for what I was teaching and he really wanted to keep coming to VBS, but had to choice.
This kid has respect. I really admired him for that, especially at his age, even though he was the most outspoken of the group and was prone to creating a rucas. He was always trying to help, whether it was passing out supplies, books, or snacks or even cleaning up, he was always right there. He was also pretty sharp. He's the type of guy who leanrs to work the system, like figureing out where to go in the text to directly read the answer to my questions. Not necessarily good, becaue its harder to tell if he actually understood the story.
In Christ Alone,