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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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The year 2008 is been an eventful year for me!

First, during and after the Summer Kids Camp, me and two of the leaders in our church in Donetsk, Ukraine(a Ukrainian couple)was working on our US visa application, to attend a three months Community Development Training/Practicum at SIFAT in Alabama, USA. God was blessed us with partial sponsorships with the training (which I believe I have already posted earlier).

During the course of study in SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Technology), I met students from different countries (students from five Continents). There was sixteen students in our class. There are American students as well that are taking the course, these students have a heart for missions and wanted to be equipped to do missions to the third world countries. Some of them have been doing short-term missions already. And one of the American students is, Wade Robinson, he’s been doing missions to different countries (South America, Africa and Russia).

Wade and I got know each other very well during the training at SIFAT. We both have the heart for missions and passion to reach out to the people that doesn’t know Christ. We spent much time talking during our breaks from our class and after classes. We became very good friends, and later on that friendship bloomed into a relationship as we continue spending time with each other during the training/practicum.

We both decided to pray and fast about how we feel towards each other. We want to know that this is from God, and that we are not only attracted physically because of spending much time together. We are aware that after the training/practicum, I will go back to Ukraine with my two Ukrainian friends and will continue my works in Ukraine where I am working with a church as missionary.

Before the end of our training/practicum, and before I went back to Ukraine, Wade and I got into a relationship. We asked the whole class to pray with us as we seek His guidance wisdom and leading with our new found relationship. I introduced Wade to my Spiritual parents and friends that are in the US after our graduation at SIFAT. He then introduced me to his family and friends before I left for Ukraine that year (2008).

I went back to Ukraine after Christmas of 2008, and we continue to talk and communicate with each other regularly through email and Skype, thank God for technology! Early January of 2009 when we both felt sure and decided to get engaged. We both knew and agreed that God ordained everything for the two of us to meet in Alabama after much prayer and fasting.

Wade did mission work in Africa before he went to SIFAT and planning to go back to Africa after. And I was in Ukraine doing mission and planned to go back to Ukraine and continue doing my mission works there. And in God’s sovereignty, Wade and I ended up at SIFAT in Alabama in 2008 where we met. God is amazing and sovereign, He will make things happen in His own perfect time!:)

God bless you all!

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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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What is Real Love?

“Love is a many splendour things” as the song says. There is truth in that line though.

Love in Hebrew “ahavah” and Love in Greek is “agape.”

Here are some of the definition of Love from Collins Gem English Dictionary:

Love is: have a great affection for; feel sexual passion for; enjoy (something) very much; great affection; sexual passion; wholehearted liking for something; beloved person;

Many people are looking for real love. Others look for it in their job; profession; success; achievement; possessions; family; friends; etc.

But to some people the real love seems evasive and hard to find or get a hold of.

There are people that are seeking for real love and found it after several relationships and experienced the pain on the road to real love. But the point is, there is such a thing as real love, it’s out there for those people that are looking and wanting it.

Love is everywhere we hear it. The question is “is it the real love?” People can feel the love and fall in-love for different reasons. But whatever the reason is, as long as they feel happy and their feeling is reciprocated then it’s a happy relationship.

But there is a greater love of all. And that is the agape love. Agape love is the kind of love that doesn’t need conditions or reciprocation. It is the kind of love that is unconditional.

An unconditional (agape) love is the kind of love that gives and doesn’t expect anything in return. An uncoditional (agape) love is the kind of love that will accept a person for who he or she is no matter what. It is a kind of love that knows no bounds. An agape love is a kind of love that is willing to sacrifice, give, and forgive someone that they love unconditionally. A kind of love that is willing to give-up everything or something for someone.

Many people missed or haven’t experienced this kind of love for an obvious reasons. Perhaps, they are scared to give themselves completely and scared to get hurt and scared of, or doesn’t like being vulnerable.

In other cases, people didn’t experience or feel the real love because of self-centeredness or selfishness. That they are not willing to give unless they will receive in return. A conditional kind of love. A self gratifying kind of love. The kind of love that only think for himself or herself happiness.

But then, if we do not allow ourselves to feel and experience the real love or the unconditional love (agape love), then we will never know what true love is, and how it feels to really fall in-love without reservations. Even if it means that we will get hurt in the process, at least we knew, felt and experienced the true love, the agape (unconditional) kind of love.

I think, we can always look back and learn from the agape love of Christ for the humankind. He sets an example to follow when it comes to agape (unconditional) love when he gave and sacrificed his life for humankind. And this applies to all kind of relationships that we have.

To give an unconditional (agape) love to those that we love and care.

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Here’s wishing you all a Blessed and Merry Christmas! May you enjoy the Yuletide fellowship with your loved ones.May your Christmas be filled with love, joy, peace and may we all experience the true meaning of Christmas and the reason for the season: Jesus Christ. HE is the greatest gift of all.

*****

God has blessed me with the opportunity to spend the holidays with my friends here in Mainz, Germany! My good friends Dietrich and Nila Prohl invited me to come over and celebrate Christmas with them.

After I got my Ukrainian visa in Edinburgh, I flew back to Stockholm and then took the flight en route to Germany.

I know that my visit to Germany has a divine purpose. God always has a special plan whenever He sends us to places and meet people. And I just pray and hope that I will be sensitive to His voice as I take some time off and have fellowship with my friends here in Mainz.

God is good: He has met all my needs during my vacation. Indeed, He knows how and when to bless us with what all that we need. And He truly knows and wants the best for His people. God never ceases to amaze me on how He works in ways that will bring glory to His name.

I just feel so blessed and in awe in what God is doing in my life right now, in spite of the many other things that are happening with my family back home. He never lets these things hinder me to enjoy His blessings and provisions, and I am just so THANKFUL to Him!

(Note: To view more photos of my trip to Germany, click here.)

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Yummy Home-Made Cake

There’s a nice Ukrainian lady near my home who bakes delicious home-made cakes. Her cakes are really good and a lot cheaper compared to those being sold in bakeshops and supermarkets.

In the picture is one of her cake creations. We order cakes from her whenever there’s someone in the church family who is celebrating his/her birthday.

Doesn’t it look yummy?

(Note: More photo essays can be found here.)

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My Visual DNA

Hey, guys. Here’s my visual DNA  according to Imagini, a cool site. 

 Try to find out yours by taking the test. Know yourself some more and get to know others as well. I guarantee you, it’s so much FUN. 

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