Monday, March 30, 2009

2700 year old grave found

The grave of a 2700 year old person was discovered in the Yanghai tombs in China. There are apparently 2500 tombs dating from 3200-2000 years BP. The grave included bridles, archery equipment, a harp, a leather basket, and a wooden bowl with some vegetative material. Very cool!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I'm going to buy a guitar today. A friend from Church is helping me as I'm buying it used from someone. I'll post some pics once I have them. Also, another friend from a city in the south of Ukraine is coming to Kiev for the weekend and we are spending the day with him. It is supposed to be sunny and 10 degrees Celsius today! Then we'll finish the day off with mafia club. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Jesus speaks in Russian

I've been meeting with my Russian tutor who also happens to be the Pastor of the other EPCU Church here in Kiev. During the first 20 minutes of our lesson we read a passage from the gospel of John and try to talk about it, in Russian of course. It's been pretty challenging just to understand what we are reading let alone talk about it. But, this morning I had a little breakthrough. We read John 4:1-26: Jesus talking with the woman at the well. I was able to understand most of it and was completely struck with Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman, in Russian of course. It was fresh and full of meaning. I am filled with gratitude for all that Jesus was to her: compassionate, tough, a teacher, friend, and Messiah. And I am thankful for who he is to me and for me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Valley of Vision - Praise and Thanksgiving

O My God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee
in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears to do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love thee above the powers of language
to express,
for what thou art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

Monday, March 16, 2009

God's goodness

Yesterday was a testimony of God's goodness.  I awoke to a gray sky and more snow.  Unfortunately it's not as pretty since we've had enough warm weather that the snow doesn't stick to the ground anymore.  The 10 minute walk to church was cold and nasty, but the greeting at the door as we ducked in out of the rain/snow was so heart warming and full of love the gray weather was soon forgotten.  The music of the praise band warming up coupled with the smiling faces greeting us with words we are finally coming to understand made me laugh.  Waiting for the service to start I looked around and my heart filled with the sense of God's goodness.  Bringing his children together to sing his praise around the world.  This feeling was completed when we spoke to our home church on Skype later in the day.  I am so thankful for God's mercy and goodness to me in allowing me to see something of what the Church as a whole, across the world looks like.  What an awesome God we serve! 

In Christ,

Friday, March 13, 2009


So, yesterday I went to this place called "RadioRynok" about 10 minutes walk from our place. It's basically an electronics market and is definitely one of the coolest places I've been to since moving here! Jeremy Gonyea, or any guy for that matter, would love this place. You can find anything you could ever possibly want or need there. Guy stuff that is. And it's not limited to just electronics either. They've got tools, auto stuff, etc. Anyway, I found a pretty good deal on a wireless router.

I decided while I was there to count how many women I saw and I don't remember running out of fingers... It reminded me of Lebanon Valley except not quite as farmerish and with a city feel to it. Come to Kiev and visit us and I'll take you there!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Yesterday was a national holiday in Ukraine: International Women's day! Since most people had off school and work today, we trounced around the city with some friends and visited this cool mansion built by V. Horodetsky in 1903. It's called the 'House of Chimera's'. Pretty cool!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Russian on the mind

Recently I've been thinking about some of the struggles I've been facing since being here in Kiev. Things like not being able to understand someone when they ask you a question or say something to you. For the first few weeks it's ok but it's starting to get more frustrating. Every now and then I have little breakthroughs where I actually understand that someone is asking me if I am getting off at the next bus stop or if I had a good time at mafia night last evening. Now if only I could respond with more than a few words!! 

I've also found that I've been alot more quiet since coming here, especially in groups because I can't really say all that much in Russian. I'm really thankful for Kristen and for English club on Tuesday nights! I want to be able to enter into people's lives here and get to know them. I want to be able to understand jokes and not be the only only not laughing after a joke or anecdote is told. It's shocking how the lack of that social ability really makes you feel so lonely. I wish to be able to understand why people here do certain things or don't do certain things. I want to be able to discuss scripture with people. I want to understand their questions about God and be able to engage them. 

All this is to say that I earnestly desire to learn Russian. And learn it well. Keep us in your prayers as we study and learn here in Kiev.