Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What an American Does in Odessa

My portrait was drawn by dear Misha... I think that maybe I need to start wearing make-up again. ;

Karla, Misha, Me

Our picture... A community project- each of us had a part in it.

Said my goodbyes to these dear ones and their parents and aunt today. :( :( I am so grateful to have been able to meet them all and I will miss them. :( :( :( 
They have to leave town for a few weeks and likely won't come back until I have already departed. 

Kimberly and I had pancakes, nectarines and ice cream for supper last night... Yes, ice cream comes in a sausage-like roll here.

When we were at the store getting supplies for our supper we also happened upon matching socks and decided that it was meant to be. 

It hasn't rained very many times while I have been here... Three times actually, to be exact. This was on Sunday and it POURED for a good hour to two hours. The streets still have puddles! (Take note, it is Tuesday afternoon here already- not Tuesday morning like it is in the states.)

SO... After a wet adventure of getting to the cafe all of us girls from Ivano Franko waited out the storm in the cafe and had tea, conversation and a small hawaiian pizza.

Ivano Franko Bible Study

I actually led the Bible reading and vocabulary this Sunday but no pictures to mark the momentous occasion. ;)

More pictures of the rain...

Kimberly and I at the Kutless concert

English Club on Saturday


So what does an American do in Odessa when the camping trip is cancelled and you aren't old enough to go to the war zone-without-a-parent-because-if-you-die-the-government-would-have-issues...
I've been able to go to Anneke and Arkadiy's twice and hangout with them and play with Misha and Karla which has been such a joy.
Zhenya and I were able to get together last week and hopefully she will be able to come and read the Bible with Sasha and Lily (two friends of Kimberly's) and Kimberly and I tomorrow.
Staff meetings, English clubs have started on Saturdays now, Sundays are always busy, prayer meeting, church, lunch and Ivano Franko Bible study occasionally meetings after that, wandering Odessa with Kimberly... Oh, last week I was also able to go to Michelle's house and attend a birthday party for an orphan graduate there which was fun.
Last week when I met with Zhenya was also pretty momentous because it was my first time taking the bus by myself and having to talk to people on the bus, in the grocery store and in the coffee shop (AKA McDonalds... plans changed when I realized the actual coffee shop wasn't open) That was an experience in and of it'self.
We also had Zhenya and Lidia (a couple on our team) and their little boy Matthew, over for supper and ice cream, cookies and conversation. It was a wonderful time.

It is so hard to remember what I have told which people and who actually reads this blog to know what I should leave out saying for the fear of redundancy... Hopefully this is a decent overview.

I've been learning about trusting God as I have been trying to make plans for when I come home, work, further education and future... etc... I hate making decisions, as you probably know! Even trying to decide what to eat at a restaurant is stressful so I usually try to stick with the same thing... I know that God works through our decisions and it doesn't really matter to Him where I decide to work, what to study, where to live and do ministry- if I am seeking His will and lining up my decisions with scripture I can have the freedom to choose what I want to do and He will guide and lead through that.
I can tend to worry that some how I will make the wrong choice and God won't be able to work as much as He may have been able to, had I chosen the other option.
 This is a verse that God brought to mind that has really encouraged me.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I can have the freedom to choose, trusting that God will use my choice for His glory. Of course, hold every plan loosely and surrendered to God for Him to mold and shape or change completely but also have freedom to live 'to the hilt' every situation that I believe to be the will of God. He will guide and He will lead, in all my ways, acknowledge Him.

It was an encouragement to me even though I have heard those verses a hundred times and I hope it is an encouragement to you as well!

17 Days until I come home. :) Can't wait to see everyone at home but I will miss everyone here very much. :(

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