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September of 2009 I came back to the US, this time not to attend any class or training but to attend our pre-marital counseling in preparation for our BIG day. Pastor Chuck & Sherry Quinley did our counseling. I told Wade that I wanted Pastor Chuck to do our wedding ceremony, and God is good as the Quinley’s were still in the US at the date that we want to have our wedding. God made everything possible. The whole preparation of our wedding is all blessings and favor from God.

All the details was taken care of before I arrived in the US. God is good and faithful, He answered our prayers. He blessed us with people that took care the details of everything about the wedding.

God blessed us with a Ukrainian lady and who is a Christian, she works at David Bridal Store in Pittsburgh. She (Vera), found me a beautiful dress. She worked on it in a week’s time notice. She worked on it beautifully and it fitted me well. Vera did a great job on the wedding dress. She was so happy to meet me and so do I, we talked in Russian every time we come to David Bridal Store. She also found me the shoes that goes with the dress, the veil, etc. She took good care of me like her own daughter that is going to get married, bless her heart!

Thank you also for the labor of love of Tess Straley for the lovely veil that we used for the veil ceremony. Tess did a great job on making our veil beautiful, its a gorgeous veil. Thank you again Tess for all your help and presence in our wedding, we appreciate you!

God blessed us through the women of the Methodist church. They took care of the food preparation. When they found out that Wade is planning for our wedding and looking for someone to cater the food, the Methodist women told him that they will take care of it. And that they did, the Methodist women prepared delicious food!

The reception place is provided by the Eldora Methodist Church. When Wade was looking for a place for our wedding, he was also looking for a place for the reception. When Eldora Methodist Church offered the church for our wedding, they also offered their big dinning place that is inside the church and with a big kitchen. The Methodist women used the kitchen in preparing the food. And we used the church dinning as the reception area. It was very convenient and practical. Thank you again, Eldora Methodist Church for letting us use your Church, the dinning area and the kitchen.

Our thanks to Scott and Linda Patterson for letting their beautiful daughter, Lauryn to be our Flower Girl, she is adorable! Thank you too for taking care of our Wedding Cake, we appreciate you so much, thank you for taking part of our special day, YOU made that day special!

The music was provided by our Pastor, Mike Richards. When Wade talked with Pastor Mike if he can play during our wedding, we didn’t expect him to play through out the wedding ceremony, but he did and we are grateful to him. Pastor Mike Richards played all the music beautifully in our wedding ceremony, bless his heart. Thank you again!

And of course, the wedding without photos is not complete. Wade and I would like to thank Sherry Quinley, Kat Stowe and Cy Bagwell for taking turns in taking photos during the wedding. We will not have those beautiful photos if not for them. Thank you so much, especially to Sherry Quinley for taking lots of photos. We appreciate and thank you all so much!

God used the wedding ceremony to touch the lives of the people that was present, especially the non-Christians that was there. God answered our prayers, as we prayed and want our wedding to be of some form of evangelistic wedding, as we knew that many of the guests are none Christian. God is good and faithful!

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Last August of 2009 after Wade and I got the approval of the US Immigration of our application for Fiancee visa, I started packing the rest of my belongings (books, clothes, etc.)in my flat. I have posted several boxes of my books to the US ahead of time. I was just packing my chosen clothes. The rest of my belongings (furniture, kitchen wares, appliances, etc.) in my flat I sorted out and given to the families in our church in Donetsk. The rest of my belongings (board games, clothes, etc.) I gave to the youth and other people that needed them.

September of 2009 I’ve got my visa and spent most of my remaining days and time visiting my church family in Donetsk. Most of them came and dropped by at my flat while I was packing and sorting out my belongings. It was a bitter-sweet time for me as I packed and said good bye to everyone. I know that I can always come and visit my family in Ukraine, but I will miss my time with them everyday. Knowing that I will not see them often and will not get to spend time with them for a while.

God’s Gift Church people is the family that God gave me when I went and lived in Ukraine for seven years. And they are always be a part of me, they will always have a soft spot in my heart. They are always be a family to me wherever I go. One of the many blessings that God blessed us with is new family in Christ wherever He sends us to do His work.

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We started meeting for the Summer Kids Camp. We had another meeting with the kids camp two weeks ago. Started brain storming for the theme for the Summer Kids Camp. I will be sending out solicitation letter to raise funds for the kids camp this Summer. Please pray that God will touch people to give for this camp. And that it goes well from the preparation, planning and to the execution of the program. We need to raise $3,000 for the kids camp.

Praying and waiting to hear from the US embassy this month. Hoping that we will hear from them this week. I am fasting this week, seeking God’s favour in the processing of the fiancée visa.

Wade rang the Immigration in the US and he was told that our application will only be processed this month of June. He was told that there is a queue in processing the applications. That means, we might not hear from them until August, which means I might be leaving for the US sometime late August or September.

But we trust God, and we just lift this up to Him and let Him take care of this matter. It is out of our control, but not from God. He can speed it up or we just have to wait until His perfect time comes for me to leave for the US either way, we seek His will and perfect time in this matter and not ours.

So, I might be here during the kids camp, not sure yet, it all depends on the processing of the visa. Will see and wait. Will let everyone know when we have more news about it or if there’s a progress on it.


Prayer Requests:

1. Funds for Summer Kids Camp
2. Preparation for moving-out (emotionally and physically)
3. Favour in processing needed documents for the US embassy
4. Processing of Fiancee Visa (we are still trusting God that we will hear from the immigration this month)
5. Plan visit to LCC Philppines on December, that God will provide the finances for it, especially for the Pastor and his family and other Ukrainians couple that are planning to come.

Thank you for all your prayers and support all these years in the works here in Ukraine. Praying and trusting God, that He will take care of the ministry here, even if and when He put me somewhere else for a time. Everything has its own time, and my time to leave Ukraine is coming soon. And a time for new season and adventure of my life is ahead of me. Looking forward to what God is in store for me and Wade. Excited about the future and to unknown, but trusting God that He will continue to lead us to His perfect will in our lives together.

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random pics
Those were the days: Me with some of the members of the youth group. (Photo taken during my first year in Ukraine.)

It has been a while since I last updated this blog. I’ve been really busy. Thanks for your patience.

Here are some updates:

• I‘ve been spending quality time with my friends and ministry co-workers here in Donetsk. Bonding with them is very important since they are like family to me already.

I’ve been sorting things out in my flat in preparation for the big move to the US — things to keep and things to give away. In short, I’ve been doing some intensive spring cleaning! You will be amazed at how much I had accummulated all these years. Even though I normally do this spring cleaning annually, I still find myself very much surprised at how things pile up quickly year in and year out. Thankfully, I’m almost done sorting out my things. But somehow I know that this will be an ongoing process until my last week here in Ukraine. Some of my stuff were already given to individuals in need, while the others were donated to the church here for its humanitarian aid program.

I’ve also attended to some documents needed by the US Embassy in Kiev. At the moment, I’m still waiting and praying to hear about the status of the processing of my fiancee visa. My fiance Wade and I are hoping and praying to hear from the embassy this month. Please keep us in your prayers. We trust that everything will go well according to God’s will and plan for us. We will only know the date of our wedding once I get the fiancee visa.

Thank you again, dear readers and supporters, for all the much needed prayers. Know that it is much appreciated!

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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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trip to US 3908
Having fun at the food preservation class at SIFAT. (Photo taken in 2008, not 2005.)

First, let me greet everybody a BLESSED 2009! May God’s blessings be upon all of us as we start our journeys in the new year.

It has been a while since I last updated this blog, and I ask for your patience for being behind in doing so.

I am now back here in Ukraine, after a few months of being away from my base in Donetsk. Last year’s trip to the US — I attended the SIFAT community development course in Alabama — was the longest one I’ve ever made so far.

And now that I’m back here in Ukraine, I have lots of catching up to do…and exciting news to share!

How I missed everyone! Please keep checking back. 🙂

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I was accepted to take the Community Development Course at SIFAT in Alabama, USA. This course will start on Sept. 1, but all the applicants/students are required to be in the US on the last week of August at the latest for orientation purposes.

I’m getting busier and busier as the weeks pass by, planning and attending to the details of our church’s Summer Kids Camp together with the core group, among other things.

In this regard, I need your prayer support as I raise some funds to cover the airfare and part of the tuition fee that I need to pay to SIFAT. I need to raise approximately $1,500 ($1,000 for SIFAT and $500 for airfare). I’m hoping and praying that I will be able to get a cheaper ticket to the US if and when I get to book it earlier.

Another good news is that a Ukrainian couple, who are both core leaders at the Boshii Dar Church in Donetsk, was also accepted to take the course. I had asked SIFAT if it was possible to send an application for the scholarship of the couple and I had been told to send their application and wait for confirmation. When I was away during my birthday break, I received an email from SIFAT saying that the Ukrainian couple got accepted. Praise God for that!

If our plans don’t miscarry, I’ll be translating the lectures, from English to Russian, for the Ukrainian couple since their English is a bit limited.

Please pray with and for me/us as we prepare for this community development course that would equip us with all the skills and knowledge we need to be more effective in ministering and reaching out the Ukrainian community in Mine 12/18 and in other parts of Ukraine.

Thank you.

JULY 10 UPDATE: I thank God for His favor during the interview at the US Embassy. The interview went well and we got our US visas! 🙂 Our passports were delivered yesterday with the visas. Thank you so much to all of you who were praying for and with me/us on this one. We appreciate it very much. God is good and in control of everything indeed!

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