Thursday, April 16, 2009

Always just beneath the dawn

I believe that Love is greater, never ceasing, always hoping

It's all happening so fast. It's difficult to believe that I've already been here for more than a week. And really, things have been going very well so far. It's going to take a while before I find myself truly acclimated to my new home, but as a famous psychiatrist once said: 'Baby steps.'

The best part of this week has been that I've been able to participate in some ministry activities. On Wednesday I had the opportunity to go with a portion of my team to travel about an hour outside of Kiev to the city of Volodarka. We did some work for a local church helping to till in their garden. There are some pictures on my Shutterfly account, and although you may find it hard to believe, I have had no professional tilling experience. Honestly. I promise.

I was also able to sit in on an English class at a church downtown. Our team is involved with a teaching ministry there a few nights a week, and I'll be getting to teach one this Monday. Makes me wish I had payed a bit more attention in ESL training at orientation.

It's been a good week, getting to meet some more of my colleagues in the area, as well as getting to interact with some Ukrainian nationals for the first time. I still don't know what the rest of my time here will look like, but I'm excited to find out. New opportunities, new ministries, new people to meet. Keep me in your's going to get much more interesting from here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Again, for the first time

Cause we`re moving on and on and on. We`ll head out towards the sun

After a lengthy journey, both figuratively and literally, I have arrived here in Kiev.

It's really very hard to describe how I'm feeling at this point. I don't think it's all sunk in just yet. Sitting in my apartment or walking around the city, it's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this is the place I'm going to be spending the next 2 years of my life. It's all very new, as you can imagine. But with the help of my team, I have begun to acclimate myself to this new environment. I have gotten to meet many of my colleagues in the city, and they are slowly but surely introducing me to the many elements of my new home. These first few days have just been sort of a blur, traveling, meeting people, all the while battling that insidious fiend known as jet lag.

As I ride the metro around town, surrounded by a sea of humanity, it reminded me of why I'm here. It's not just to have a cool experience and to learn about a new culture. It's so these people can have a chance to hear the most important message of their lives. I feel very humbled, but extremely fortunate at the same time to be called to share the Gospel with those who might never hear it.

This post is really just an introduction...I'll be able to get into more detail later, and hopefully post some pictures of my new home. Please remember me and the people of Ukraine in your prayers.