Tuesday Tales

TUESDAY TALES – 07/05/16

By | Tuesday Tales, Village Ministry | One Comment

We’ve been working hard on our house since we all got to Ivanivka. If you looked at it now, you wouldn’t necessarily believe it but it’s true. The difference between two weeks ago and now is actually impressive. We’ve cleaned and repainted the “veranda” almost completely. Our yard looked like an overgrown jungle when we came back. Now it’s a couple of burn piles left to finish, a blow up pool, a mosquito-tented easy-up, a brick fire pit built by Boyko, and a even an awesome new chair that Melissa and Sasha made from an old “wheelbarrow.” The boys even dug out and bricked a pit with a closing door/lid that will soon be able to lock and safely store our water pump! We’re so thankful for Sasha and Boyko and all of their hard work! We haven’t had to hire out much work yet because they have been killing it with the work that we’ve done so far! We’ve even got an electrician coming out again tomorrow to rewire everything so we don’t blow the breaker every time we plug in our little electric kettle. And Friday we get new windows! We still have two rooms we haven’t even touched, but we are making a lot of progress. Restoration is happening! Please pray that we would continue to have the funds and the stamina to keep plugging away at our fixer upper.

Sunday we had our first ever church service in Ivanivka. It was wasn’t huge – just the 5 of us, plus Dusya and her kids, her dad and theirs. But the last two being around even for part of it was a small miracle in and of itself. We are so excited to see where God takes it, even by the end of summer! Please be praying for the growth, health and leadership of the Ivanivka church.

We also got to help out a growing family yesterday. You may remember us temporarily housing a young couple in the fall. Nastya and Zhora had a baby girl named Taya on July 1st! Unfortunately, he had to go out of town to work on Sunday while Nastya and baby were still in the hospital. So yesterday, Melissa and Sasha drove to Sumy to pick them up and bring them home.

To those of you who have been praying for us – thank you!! We were talking today about how evident the power of prayer has been already on this trip. Please continue to pray for our health, ministry direction, strength, patience, and love for this village. And again, sorry for no pictures in this post. The lack of Internet connection and bad cell service makes it tough. But check out our Instagram, Facebook or find us on Snapchat to see pics and videos (you should be able to search @OpenArmsUkraine on all 3).


By | Tuesday Tales, Village Ministry | 2 Comments

It’s been a week since we’ve all arrived back in Ukraine. We wanted to share some of what has already happened since we left. We have all been excited to see what this adventure of village living and this trip would bring us. We have quickly hit some road blocks that only God could bring us through. Even leaving California was an ordeal, so we were encouraged that God has big plans and the devil was already working to hold us up. The short version of that story is we had to be reticketed because of a visa issue with our flight itinerary to Kyiv for Sasha. We waited about 3 hours at the United counter, on the phone with United (don’t even get us started how that was) to try to get them to rebook us all on the same flight and not pay for their mistake. But finally, we got our tickets and boarded our flight(s) to Ukraine, all 4 of us together.

We stayed overnight near the airport, and our pastor came from Sumy to pick us up the next day. We crammed all of us and all our bags in the van and were on our way. About 30 minutes into our drive (and also 30 minutes after we posted a request for prayer for safety) we were cut off by a semi. We all watched and were sure that we were gonna slam into the back of it (with no seat belts). Nothing but a miracle stopped us. It was like at the last moment, something pulled us back and we stopped within a couple feet of hitting it. Praise Jesus!

We spent a couple of nights at a friends house in Sumy and then dove right into village life staying with Dusya. She welcomed us back instantly, even had a whole party with decorations and food for us when we arrived. We’re kinda cozy in her house – 3 of us on a 1 couch, 2 on mattresses on the floor, and Dus with her kids on the floor too. But she had been so gracious and hospitable to let us stay with them while we begin the work on our house.

We have no wifi and cell service is spotty so posting a lot is hard. We are doing our best to keep you all updated with Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. We will be working to keep you all in the loop with these Tuesday Tales, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly on a weekly basis. Stay tuned for more updates on our progress in our home restoration and plans for more ministry in Ivanivka. Please keep the prayers coming!