Yesterday Nastya, one of the pastors of the Vineyard here, showed us around town. It's very different than Kiev. As Nastya put it, "No one is in a hurry here." It does have more of a relaxed atmosphere, even though it's a big city. We walked through downtown to the Black Sea. We walked past the Opera House and decided to peek inside. We found out that tickets to see a show are less than $20, so we bought a couple tickets to see a ballet on Saturday night. Woohoo! That should be a blast. I mean, when do you have the chance to see a ballet in a fancy Opera House for a total of $35? We just had to do it. :) Jed's excited because Rachmaninoff conducted on it's stage.
|Umm...I guess I was excited??|
|The Opera House where we'll go on Saturday!!!|
|Which way is home?|
|Nastya and me by the Black Sea|
|On this bridge couples put their name on a lock, attach it to the bridge and throw away the key :)|
|This one's for you Alexis!!! I thought of you and had to take a picture of the glory|
Today we met with an American missionary named Michelle. It was AWESOME. Michelle has lived here for the past 6 years working with orphans. She has built great relationships with kids and has watched them grow up. When they get transferred to other facilities she follows them and visits them at their new home. She is a consistent presence in their lives. Michelle came here on a two-week missions trip when she was a sophomore in college. When she got home from her trip she kept pictures of the kids in her Bible and started praying for their salvation. One night after praying for a bit God asked her "Michelle, how are these children going to come to know me if no one tells them?" Soon after that she knew God was telling her she was the one to go. She answered the call, and here she remains! Cool. We had a great time talking about visions, ideas, passions, and obedience. Michelle is here doin' the stuff. It was an honor to meet her.
Tonight we will share at the Vineyard small group. Tomorrow we are hoping to go with Nastia to an orphanage that she visits weekly.
My brain is spinning- in a good way! Ideas are brewing, faith is rising; this city has been great so far. The more we talk with people, the more we realize that the dreams God has given us are truly impossible without Him. There are many people doing great orphan care, of course many more are needed, but there are some amazing people doing great stuff. So far though, we have not heard of anyone addressing the specific need we are burdened with. No one is allowed to see these "laying down children". They are hidden from the world. Today Jed and I were talking about how big our God is. Governments, authorities, directors- none of them are above Him. These are HIS children. He created them for a purpose and He is not surprised or overwhelmed by their circumstances. Our God IS mighty to save. He is not sitting up in heaven wishing He could do something about this problem. He does need people who are willing to step out and say "God, we are willing. If you want to use us to tackle this problem, here we are. We know it is not by our might or strength, but in yours alone. Let your kingdom come and your will be done." While we risk sounding naive, I say we are full of faith. :)
Those are where our thoughts are headed. We don't know timelines, we don't know logistics, we don't know details. We just know we are willing. I guess we'll see what God has to say about that!
Listen to this and let your faith be built.
Thank you for your prayers. We are so encouraged by the support of the church. You are a part of this love story. We feel very loved and supported and it means the world to us.
Go God Go!