Oh rainy Sunday afternoon, how I love thee...
Havalah asleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed,
Seth asleep in his bed,
Addy and Ez watching Sponge Bob (I secretly love Sponge Bob too...),
Jed asleep on the couch,
Cup of coffee at my side,
Warm socks on my feet...
Now seems like a perfect time to answer your questions!
Who will take care of your kids while you volunteer at Mission to Ukraine? How will you involve the kids in what you are doing?
This has been a super common question, and it's actually one that we think about quite a lot. I think the involvement of our kids in this ministry will be something that evolves over time as our roles in Ukraine change and as our kids grow older. We very much desire our kids to be involved as much as they are able. We believe that when God called Jed and I to Ukraine He called our whole family. He knew the exact kids we would have and how this would shape their lives. He created them with gifts and talents that He wants to use to bless others. I so can not wait to see it unfold!! It's amazing to see how God has given them such soft hearts for children and adults with disabilities. I pray He continues to work in their hearts to prepare them for where He is leading our family.
While at MTU Jed and I will alternate staying home with the kids. We homeschool already, so that will be nothing new. But, it will be new for me to leave the house and for Jed to be teaching the kids some, and we are excited for that change. I have longed for Jed to be able to be more involved with the kids' education, but it hasn't really happened because he is gone all day at work. I'm lovin' the tag team idea! At this point it looks like we will each volunteer at MTU 2 days a week and then possibly alternate a a third day, or reserve that day for language study. We will know more about our schedule after we visit MTU in May. I want our kids to be out and about, loving on people and helping at MTU if possible. I guess we'll see what God has in mind!
Do you speak Russian or Ukrainian?
We're working on it! We are studying Russian on our own right now, and will hire a tutor when we arrive in Ukraine. It's extremely important to us to learn the language. It's a work in progress!
Will you be able to use your medical training as a nurse at the
orphanage or will there be licensing/other obstacles that might prevent
Well, that is a question we have been discussing with MTU. I won't have a Ukrainian nursing license, so I won't technically be able to practice as an RN. There are many things I will be able to do to help, because of my knowledge and experience, but I think in some areas I will be limited due to licensure. Grrr. I wish it wasn't so. When we travel to visit MTU in May I will discuss this more with the MD they have on staff. I'm interested to know how their nursing scope of practice varies from ours. That will determine what hands-on things I can do. Maybe their scope of practice allows for more delegation than ours? Hmmmm...
Thinking ahead to when we have our medical homes, I've thought perhaps we could hire a nurse that could "delegate" to me, similar to how a state RN delegates to medical foster parents that aren't RN's. We'll pray for God's wisdom in that and work out the kinks as they come along. I just need to become fluent ASAP so I can take the boards there and get a Ukrainian nursing license! Ha!
Has the host organization told you what you will be doing specifically or will that wait until you meet with them?
Jed and I will visit MTU during the month of May to nail down in more detail what exactly we will do there. We have made it very clear that we desire to be a blessing and don't want to come with our own agenda. We want them to put us where we will be of the most help. They know what our specific skill sets and interests are, but they also know we are completely open to their lead. In May we will talk with the different department heads and see what the needs are, and how they envision us coming alongside.
I have a lot of interest in the medical, hands-on side of things. I would love to help with the day to day care of the children. Jed has a lot of skills in different trainings for the staff, and in the early childhood development stuff. We are both absolutely in love with the work being done at the Romaniv orphanage. But, we are also willing to clean toilets and mop floors, whatever needs to be done to support the vision. We'll know more about this after our upcoming visit.
How many hours per week will you be working (i.e., volunteering), if you know?
Right now we are thinking Jed will volunteer 2 days a week, I will volunteer 2 days a week and then we will alternate Fridays. The team from MTU visits Romaniv every Friday morning, so we can take turns going on those visits. We also need to fit in language study sometime...so maybe Friday afternoons? I'm not exactly sure. We told MTU we are flexible to their needs, but we definitely want one of us to be at MTU whenever their doors are open. They also do many different special events that we are excited to be a part of. Those will most likely be whole family events. Yay!
Will you update the blog regularly to keep us informed, sort of like
Bible Orphan Ministry does? Will your host organization/the orphanage
permit pictures and updates?
YES! YES! YES! We will totally blog and keep you informed! We are excited to keep sharing what God does. MTU will definitely allow us to blog. It's important to us to keep our supporters and prayer warriors in on the action, plus I'm pretty sure the grandparents will hunt us down if we don't keep things up to date! ;)
Do you know if you'll be able to get a permanent visa? I had read that
American families have a hard time getting permission to stay
You heard right. Visas are definitely a tricky situation. We won't be able to obtain anything permanent, but only visas that will need to be renewed. Americans must be invited by a registered organization in order to get visas. MTU is inviting us, so we are praying for no problems with obtaining visas! Please pray with us!!
After you all are set up and in a routine will you be having or allowing people to come on mission trips?
Oh my, you don't know how much this question makes me smile!! We love short-term missions and totally see the value in it. For the first year, since we are volunteering with MTU we will not really be in the position to accept teams. BUT, once we are more established and God starts busting open the gates for the dreams He has given us we hope to have lots of teams! We will need good help, and plenty of it. We dream of our church sending teams, medical teams coming, orphan-lovin' teams coming...yes yes yes!!! Stay tuned!
What is your #1 prayer request today?
Why thank you for asking! I think right now we need prayer that we would keep our eyes on Jesus. It's so easy to get lost in the details of the move, or the details of our May trip. We get distracted by the sadness of leaving friends and family, or by the need for money, looking to people to be our provision instead of God our Provider.
We look to people, we look to money, we look to details and Jesus says "Keep your eyes on Me."
If we look away we start to spin our wheels, we look for affirmation in the wrong places, we have meltdowns. It gets downright ugly. So, please pray our eyes stay on Him alone. Thank you!!!
If you have any other questions please feel free to ask anytime! As you can see in our answers, we will know much more after our trip in May. Things are coming together and it's quite unreal how God is making the way. Thank you for your continued support!