Saturday, February 28, 2009

Funicular



This morning Kristen and I went into the center of the city and rode on the Funicular! It goes from St. Michael's Church (old part of town) down towards the river. It was fun and we thought you might like to see some pictures. The first one is taken from the top looking out over the river and the second from the bottom after we exited.

Wiki says it was built in 1902-1905 by a Belgian owner of the Kiev trams. It only cost us a 1.50UAH and was only about 3 minutes long.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Apartment Update

So we finished putting together our bedroom and also bought a couch. Two of my friends came over and helped me bring the couch up to our apartment and put it together. The couch has a pull out bed so if you ever want to come visit us you'll have a place to stay and a bed to sleep on!

video

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prayer Update

Dear Praying Partners,

This Sunday in Church we were struck once again by our need to learn Russian! Jon Eide, our team leader and unofficial translator was in the States for a short support raising trip. His absence left us quite frankly in the dark during the church service! We were able to discern the passage that was being preached from and every now and then a word or two that gave us some clue as to what was being said. It was an excellent exercise in listening to say the least! Please pray that we will not grow weary in learning Russian!

Thank God for the little break-throughs that brighten our days! The other morning I asked the lady who watches the door to our apartment building how she was doing. She responded, "Sophia." I thought, wow, I've never heard anyone reply in that way! Then I realized she was telling me her name! This led to a little conversation about my name and Garrett's name and some other things that I didn't quite understand. But now I know Sophia and I can smile and say what little I know to her whenever I see her!

We've started a project to get us out and exploring our city. We are visiting every metro stop, every church and most of the parks in Kiev. (just a side note!) Today in our exploration we found a little park that commemorated Gregory Gogandze a reporter who was murdered in the late 90's because he was reporting on corruption in the government. Please pray that we will grow in our love for Kiev and her people as we explore!

Please pray for protection of the unity of our team. Pray that the devil will not be allowed to get a foothold, that we will be unified in our vision to see Christ glorified in our work here and in our lives.

Psalm 89:15-18
Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted. For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted. For our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel.

In Christ,
Kristen and Garrett

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mafia!

This morning we went to Church and then in the afternoon we got to play mafia with a bunch of people after our Active X meeting (The college ministry and outreach). It was so much fun to play, especially since accusations and defenses were flying around the room in Russian. I would be sitting there focusing so hard on what people are saying and then all of the sudden, out of the blue, I would hear, " Ya doomayo shto Garrett Mafia!"
"Whoa hold on there, Ya ne Mafia, Ya ne mafia!!"

Yeah that was about the extent of my defense.

Afterwards I sat down with a friend Andrei and he taught me some simple prayers in Russian that I can pray throughout the week. Looking forward to it!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A New Piece of Furniture!

The last piece of furniture for a couple of days! We are excited to be completing our bedroom set.

video

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

English, Glue, and Projects...

Last night we hosted the English Club at our house for the first time. Jon will be gone all of next week and so we'll be leading it for him while he's away. He thought it might be good to participate in one before actually having to do it! There were about 15 people and most of them spoke English pretty well. I had a blast getting to know some of them and needless to say am really looking forward to it next week. It was fun to meet some new people!

Today we spent a good part of the day looking for wood glue and then gluing some pieces of our furniture back together after busting them yesterday. Hopefully, it will hold!

Along with video blogging our furniture setup process we also are going to start a project where we'll travel all throughout the city and visit Orthodox Churches, museums, parks, monuments, etc. throughout the next few months. The goal is to get to know the city very well and learn as much about it as we can. So, we'll keep ya posted and include interesting photos, facts, and experiences. Poka poka!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Home Making

We thought you would enjoy seeing us making our house into a home! We are going to be video blogging for the next couple days as we build our furniture and get everything in its place. Today they delivered our bedroom set and kitchen table and we are starting to put it all together. Enjoy!!

video

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ok, so while in Brussels about 2 weeks ago a bunch of us decided to rent a van and drive to Paris on our day off. So, yeah it was a great trip despite the rain. It took us about 5 hours to get into the center of the city from Brussels. We spent about 8 hours in Paris and then drove back to Brussels. Definitely a fun experience driving in Europe, especially in a 1980's Ford van that could do max 100 km/hr and only 80 up a hill. It was fun to watch all the BMW's and Peugeot's zing past us doing 140! We got the see Notre Dame, Eiffel tower, arc de triomph, and walked down the Champs de Elysees to the Louvres. All in all not a bad day! Here are some photos.


Notre Dame



Mass beginning at Notre Dame



Eiffel Tower



The gang



Napoleon's Arch



The Louvres

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back in the big city

Just wanted to let you all know we arrived back in Kiev yesterday, safe and sound. We're glad that a few people were able to stay in our apartment while we were gone and we also had the smaller of our two balconies closed in for some storage space. It looks great and I hear they had to lift the window up 20 stories since it wouldn't fit in the elevator!

Today we went to this furniture store and bought a table and bench for our kitchen and a bedroom set!! Tomorrow we'll get the kitchen table and the bedroom set in a week or two. I think Kristen is very excited!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Finished!!

Complete! This morning we had our last meeting and are now completely finished with Prefield Training. We are excited to return to Kiev and I just want to share something the Peter Beck shared with us this morning from Ezekiel 47:

The River From the Temple

1 The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side.
3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits [a] and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, "Son of man, do you see this?"
Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, [b] where it enters the Sea. [c] When it empties into the Sea, [d] the water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Great Sea. [e] 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.

Pete said this is a picture of what we are going out into. We are wading out into Ukraine, and it is deep, and we won't be able to stand. We are diving into this new world. But, we are also diving into the river of God's love which is filled with life and leads to life. We are diving in...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Brussels Update

Kristen and I are in our last full week of pre-field training here in Belgium. We've started to reflect on what we have learned throughout our time here and how we can take those things back to Kiev and apply them there. I have been particularly thankful for the lessons and lectures on Evangelism, Church-planting, emotionally healthy spirituality, language, and others. They have been uplifting and have encouraged me.

It's also been such a blessing to take part in the Persian Church here in Brussels. I've learned more about Christ and the Church than I ever thought I would. In a weird way I've found that our time here at pre-field training has helped to give me more focus for our life and ministry in Kiev. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement!