Saturday, June 18, 2011
We were greeted with hugs, kisses and roses. It was such a joy to finally meet Sasha (the kids older brother)! He smiles as much as Pasha and is working so hard to do something with his life. We were so happy to have some time with Sasha, Jenya and Grandma Galina. They are all doing pretty well.
Sasha is home from sea for a few months, taking some more classes to try to get a better job aboard the ship. He and his girlfriend are expecting a baby any day now. We had a talk about this new responsibility and he seems to be taking parenthood seriously. Please pray for him along with Sabrina and little boy Pochinok! We will let you know when he arrives. Sasha really like to read and we bought him several Frank Peretti novels, and one by Joel Rosenberg. We asked if he had a Bible. He said he did but that it was really old. We gave him a brand new one. We pray that the Spirit use it in ways we can't even imagine.
Jenya didn't want books, but dinner now that was his language. He eats as much as he did a few years ago, but it was obvious to both of us that he had lost weight. He was also sporting quite a shiner. It seems he has taken up boxing. For extra money I suppose. Jenya had quit corresponding for a while and even friends in Odessa weren't sure where he had been. However a few weeks ago he showed back up at church with Dr. Paul. We tried to encourage Jenya. He needs vision. He's not looking much past today. Please pray for him. He just needs Jesus.
Grandma was so excited to see us. We received LOTS of kisses. She moved in with a friend and seems happy staying there. We are just happy to know that she has power and water and a safe place to stay. The kids sent her a couple new dresses, shopping bags,small gifts and lots of photos. The highlight though was Grandma skyping with the kids!! Not sure who was crying more, Grandma or Steve! It was an amazing moment. We have called her regularly...but to see them as they talked. Technology is an amazing thing.
They did not want our help on the apartment. At least not now. Maybe in the future. Time will tell. For now we will encourage them, love on them and help them in whatever ways we are able. Thanks so much for your prayers for them! Please don't stop.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
A song of ascents.
1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD had done great things for us;
we were joyful.
4 Restore our fortunes, LORD,
like watercourses in the Negev.
5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with shouts of joy.
6 Though one goes along weeping,
carrying the bag of seed,
he will surely come back with shouts of joy,
carrying his sheaves.
The tears flowed freely during our travel. We don't usually cry so much but this was not a choice...the tears just flowed.. The Psalm above was very comforting. We continue to cling to it's promises for this land.
Andrew's orphanage #9
The director was so kind to invite us in even though the children were all napping. Most of the kids we knew are no longer here. They have either aged up to the next orphanage or been sent somewhere else. We learned that one little girl that was a friend of Andrew's is in Kiev in the hospital. She has HIV and is often ill. Please pray for Val. The director did ask if we wanted to bring more home! What a loaded question.
Steven looks out over the Black Sea
Back at the apartment time with Yulia and Anya before dinner.
EVENING IN ODESSA