Monday, March 02, 2009

The Best of Kharkov, Ukraine

I'm overdue to introduce you to special folks in Kharkov. Followers of this blog - all five of you (smile) - will remember that I'm living a gypsy life 50% of the time this visa year and believe me, that's not by choice. But I have so enjoyed visiting churches across Ukraine. And the new congregation in Kharkov is a favorite. Last December I paid a quick visit to meet the church-planting team there, newly arrived last fall. And I knew that I'd need to visit again. So I did. (Click photo to enlarge.)

This is a team of talented, resourceful missionaries. Lucky me, I got to stay several days with Rob and Denyce (2nd from left, back row and front row) and their two boys. Like the rest they are fine young people, all sharpies, I like to call them. Rob is a computer whiz, editor of video and he helped me in many ways. Denyce is a wonder in the kitchen and with their two boys. The photo above is courtesy of Brandon and his wife Katie, left. They are in Lubbock, preparing to join the team in 2010. And another addition since the photo, little baby Max McDougle joined the group a month ago.

Malachi doing *homework* on the computer. He and I had fun singing My Little Puppy in English and Na Ladoni Bozhi (In the Loving Hands of God) in Russian.

David, right, has a background is home-building and construction. He's always got a project or two going and if that doesn't make a person popular. . .

Another brother in Kharkov, Valera works with youth camps and Eastern European Mission. Valera is a cook by profession and in December, Valera treated us all to homemade borsht. It was so rich and wonderful. Valera was my first link to all things Kharkov. Thanks to friend Jay in Atlanta for getting us connected.

With dear sister Lyba who graciously shares her apartment with me. Lyba works part time with the Alekseeva congregation in northern Kharkov. She's so very special and has a gift for serving elderly of the congregation. And gypsies such as myself.

Robert - what a great, dependable brother from the Aleseekva congregation. Getting me and my luggage from one place to the next is no small feat. Robert is a strong, dependable logistics guy.

Sisters on the Kharkov team meet together Thursday mornings. I got to join in recently at McDonald's. It's so nice to be together, plan together and pray together - even with Micky D looking on.

These fine folks are from the Alekseevka congregation which has been meeting in northern Kharkov since the early 90's. What a very special congregation. I wanted a group shot - but this was just a few after the worship service on a recent Sunday.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Interesting as Kharkov is - it's history, culture and scenery - that pales in comparison to Christian friends there. Maybe you'll get to visit sometime.


~~anna~~ said...

I love how the LORD knits the hearts of the believers together.
Right now at our ministry here in the DR, we have Argentina, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, and the USA all represented with missionaries on staff. What fun it is to learn about other cultures!

I'm so glad that the LORD is allowing you to be encouraged and blessed (and to do the same in return) with so many in the body of Christ~

My blog currently has one pic of a whale we saw. Unfortunately, with a rolling sea (the Atlantic Ocean), it is hard to look thru the view finder of the camera. (I tried and spent the rest of trip 'feeding the fish') So, my hubby just held the digital camera up, pointed in the right direction and hoped to get good shots. Didn't get quite as many as we'd have liked, but was best that we both not 'feed the fish'.

It was so amazing and incredible to see these creatures that the LORD created. What an imagination He has!

~~anna~~ said...

Would you mind if I added a connection to your blog from mine? Right now, I to to Charity's to get to yours...just wanted to be sure before I did it.

Hope you are having another adventurous day following the path the LORD has set before you today!

Tammy said...

Great shots, Eileen! You're a great storyteller. From: Down to earth, small town Iowa girl ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this story. I was searching for pictures of Kharkiv and was happy to see familiar faces on your blog. Sister Luba is same hospitable and cheerful person that I remember meeting in early 90s.