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).