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Archive for March, 2009


We all don't know what's at the end of the flowing river or what’s under the calm waters.

I was just reflecting on my years and time here in Ukraine and the thought of leaving — that is, not using Ukraine as my base — makes me sad.

Ukraine (Donetsk) has been my homebase for almost seven years now. I had gotten used to living and working with the locals, whom I have grown to love.

The major change of plans involving my personal ministry in Donetsk will take place this year. I recently got engaged and this will cause change in terms of my work, my base, and my life in general.

After telling the core leaders the big news, I’ve been spending more time doing visitations with the church people. I had been gone for five months (I attended a community development course in the US), and so I’m trying to reconnect with the people.

The thought of me leaving Ukraine makes me sad. Sad that I will not be able to see and have fellowship with the church people and do more for the ministry once I’m based in another country. You see, there are still lots of things I wanted to do here in Ukraine. But I know and believe that there’s time for everything, as what is stated in the book of Ecclesiastes.

This is probably the time to change my role here in Ukraine with regard to ministry/work. I know God has other plans for me; to accomplish things with a partner, whatever they may be. I trust God completely with my life. And whatever it is that He has in store for me, I know in my heart that it will all be for the best.

Turning over some ministry tasks slowly but surely was actually done three years ago, knowing that I would not be in Ukraine forever. I believe that it is my part to train the pastor and his leaders and establish ministries, and later allow these trained leaders to take over when the right time has come. And I’m happy to say that for the last three years, the locals have been the ones who have been attending to ministry needs. I’m confident that they will be able to continue the task at hand, all with God’s grace.

Of course, I’m having mixed emotions now as I prepare to leave Ukraine and face the forthcoming changes in my life. However, I feel that that my involvement in the Ukraine ministry will not end here. It won’t be like how it was before, that is for sure, but I might still be involved in many ways. I can, for example, help bring a group of young volunteers to assist in the church’s summer kids camp. Or I can organize leadership/discipleship trainings and seminars whenever I’m in Ukraine.

I have always believed that healthy things grow, growing things change, change brings pain, and pain brings gain. Progress always brings about change. And to gain something, it will cost something. I also read that “the only thing that doesn’t change is change.” 🙂

I will keep you updated in the coming days on what’s happening, and I will definitely share with you the new adventures that I will have with God in the coming days.

Blessings!

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Read an interesting article on vodka written by Kyiv Post’s guide editor Alexandra Matoshko here.

Here’s an excerpt of the story:

Vodka (“horilka” in Ukrainian) stands high among the top stereotypes used to describe Ukrainians. What do Ukrainians like above all? Vodka and salo, of course. We have already done an article about the lard. However vodka proved to be a much more extensive topic.

Anyone new in the country can tell that vodka is indeed a highly popular national drink, simply by viewing the vodka section at any supermarket – it runs several meters, showcasing an amazing variety of vodka brands. There are no less than 40 of them produced in Ukraine, while an average supermarket holds as much as 20. Besides, most brands offer a number of different kinds each. Naturally, Ukrainian vodka is one of the common souvenirs any tourist tries to take home. And that’s where he faces the difficulty of choice. Unless there is a vodka connoisseur around to give coherent advice, inscriptions like: “honey with pepper,” “on milk,” “rye” and “on birchtree buds” on the labels can easily confuse not only a foreigner, but even a Ukrainian, who is not an experienced vodka drinker.

A classical definition of vodka is “a drink of water and ethanol, containing a small amount of impurities, sometimes with berry or fruit flavorings as well as spices.” The alcohol content may range from 40 to 56 percent. But there is much more to know about the beloved drink of the Slavs.

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It seems that pedophiles find Ukraine an ideal place to roam. This is alarming. See complete story here.

Here’s an excerpt of the story:

Nobody knows the depth of the problem, but the nation is seen as a hotbed of child pornography, sexual abuse.

Pedophiles roam where they can sexually abuse children with impunity. Unfortunately, Ukraine – with its lax law enforcement, shaky economy and endemic corruption – may provide just the haven they seek.

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