Thursday, May 29, 2008

No fear in love


There are somethings that are very difficult living in a foreign country. those things exist because everything is foreign. But i praise Jesus for the gifts of familiarity he gives me, like peanut butter and peonies. The terrain here is roughly the same as the Midwest..., farms outside the city. Rolling hills with the blackest earth i have ever seen encompass the country side. I am told that in July, the fields will be covered in sunflowers and golden wheat.

On Tuesday Pam and i went to visit a sweet babushka named Vola and her mother. she has a large fenced in garden with gorgeous peonies, climbing roses, strawberries, tomatoes, current bushes etc.

This picture was taken tonight of my Dnepro bf class. They have good questions. It is expected to bf here but they have fears and concerns just like everyone else, especially when it comes to eating foods and giving the baby allergies. I was able to share about fear and the fact that there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4: 18). Its becoming more natural for me to talk about something that I am passionate about like breastfeeding and include truths from God's word. It is important for our motivation for our actions to be out of love and faith, not fear. Not eating any fruits after deliver for fear of giving the baby allergies is wrong. Being careful to avoid too much caffeine out of love for our baby is wisdom.

I travel to Harkov tomorrow with my friend and translator Kristina to teach another breastfeeding class. This will be my 4th class in two weeks. I am loving it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


This is the group Pam and I tought in Poltava. 2-3hrs of childbirth and 2hrs of breastfeeding. i call that a crash course. We gave little gift bags to the pregnant mommies w/ botties, sleepers, socks, onsies etc. They had a lot of good questions that reflected their superstition and fears in their culture. it is amazing to me how a culture can be run on fear and inferiority. many of the poorer people here expect to be treated badly b/c that is just the way it is, they are poor so they are inferior. i just wanted to poor out the love of Jesus on them and say, "Stop being so freaked out about everything!". God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind. i am excited to see what happens next in this unexpected gift. keep praying for these mommies.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

today is a good day to praise the Lord. I traveled to a city 5 hrs away (by bus.. really only 2-3hrs by car) on friday to teach a crash course on bf(breastfeeding) at a local crisis pregnancy center (cpc). Poltava is a smaller city then Dnepro, and has some beautiful hills and country side. We stayed in one of the center's volunteer's house in the country. They had a 5 yr old son named Teress who reminded me so much of my nephew Gabe. He was silly and kept eating all our food and giving us these little berries that looked like shriveled up blueberries. He kept saying.. in Russian. "Speak normally, i don't understand English." How i wished it was that simple. i don't know who is praying for me, but i feel like Jesus has given me extra measures of unexplained joy just about being here and I feel like someone is praying specifically for that. if its you, thanks sooo much. The joy of the Lord has literally become my strength as i have renewed energy to perform the good works He has prepared in advance for me to do. more pictures to come..

Thursday, May 22, 2008

marshutka

Today i finally feel like i'm getting back to normal... yeah i know.. as crazy as ever. i only dosed off for a few minutes while preparing for my breastfeeding class on saturday. i graduated from puppy dog to trained homing pigeon as i was let loose to ride the bus/marshutka/public trans, all the way from the center to my apartment in a differant part of town... all by myself. i know where to get off and what to say to get off, but everyone was soo worried about me, it was nice to know i'm loved. i got to peruse through the open air second hand clothing market today. they have really nice stuff from western europe. i am going to come home, a fashionable woman and no one will recognize this classy chic ( stop laughing mi familia).

Tonya (a volunteer) and i went to another baby hospital and washed and clothed the babies. They are precious. anyone up for adopting? i will send pictures... ok, well let me know. love love

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Artyom


this is Arytom. he is roughly 7months old and just so cute. he just woke up from his nap in this picture. he is currently one of the many institutionalized babies in this country. When his documents are complete he will be ready to be adopted by some really "blessed to be a blessing" couple. We visited him yesterday, traveling a total of 3hrs both ways to see him for 20 min. God's creations are worth it. His mother was one of Bear child's clients who decided he wasn't worth the transport money it cost to see him while he was sick and hospitalized a month or two ago. He was abandoned like so many babies like him. Jesus has a plan for his life, as well as for the tiny little HIV infants and FAS babies that are also in this room. Pray for families for these babies, the unwanted of Dnepropetrovsk. They are loved immeasurably by our Savior.

breastfeeding class


so, working through a translator i successfully completed my first bf class. it was trial and error but in a nice and small intimate setting w/ only two clients. I will be traveling w/ Natasha (friend and translator) and Pam to a city about 6hrs away to teach a two hr breastfeeding class. There is a lot packed into these sessions and working w/ babydolls and pillows gets a lot of laughs. this room is my bedroom by the way. we just moved my mattress into it yesturday. this little girl in pink's name is Anya and she insisted on giving pam and i a kiss when she left, sooo precious.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

5 Days

Today marks the 5th day of living life in Ukraine. It has been a whirlwind of activity, jet lag, travel, and more public transportation then i have ever partisipated in all in less then a week. I happily recieved my luggage from a very hurried delivery man who jabbered on in Russian about some form he had for me to sign. i don't think anything was missing from my luggage but if there is something gone, i'm sure i didn't need it anyway.

Saturday, i helped pam w/ her childbirth class. i was able to use that deep breathing all my voice lessons pounded into me to teach pain relieving breathing... i know I'm so experienced:)

Sunday i went to church and met many people. one of them was a collage student named Lena, who immediately took me under her wing. she knows a little English but not enough to spoil me so we are trading words back and forth. she is very patient w/ this ridiculous, overstimulated, and jet lagged woman. I have a feeling that several of the girls i have met here will help make this time in Ukraine memorable and such a great learning experience. i went on a walk w/ pam on Sunday and decided, spur of the moment to attend an Ukrainian Orthodox service. i covertly took a video of part of it. a lot of chanting, bowing and crossing yourself, lighting candles of prayer, and standing in a gaudy building. It is so hard for me to understand the attraction or bondage to that kind of religion b/c i have so much freedom in Christ. Pray for these people. i will try to capture more of the culture as i can.


Friday, May 16, 2008

luggage receipt? What, i need that?

The beginnging of my journey to Ukraine, i lost/ misplaced an important receipt i needed in order for my suitcase to arrive in kiev w/ me. Well no one told me Air France (pronounced w/ a snooty french accent) needed this reciept thingy(which i found convienently in my purse 30 min after i needed it). ha ha ha. well, blessing in desguise. the airport is delivering the luggage to my door in Dnepro and i didn't have to lug it around kiev, yey! after more time sitting then i ever care to do again, i can now sympathize w/ my pregnant clients w/ the swollen ankles. i would love to put a picture on here, but i only have one so far and its of a very tired pam and bethany on a long train ride. i have discovered that i need to learn to shop at the market in order to get things cheap. i need to develop my haggeling vocab. don' t even have a basic vocab yet. Praise Jesus for Pam, a bed and safe travel w/o my heavy suitcase. love you all.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

count down days

Counting down to three days before take off. I am excited, but i think its starting to hit me, as nervousness is creeping in. Lauren Hanna, my beautiful roomie is now Lauren Sterrett and it was a wonderful wedding. God is so clever how He thought up something so ingenious as marriage to symbolize His relationship w/ us. I had to participate in the quaint tradition of catching the bouquet, so i figured i mind as well win. so, watch for wedding invites in the mail, j/k. I am so tired, i don't think it will be hard to sleep on the plane. I haven't had a chance to cry about moving, Ukraine, the recent hitch'n, etc. so i am expecting it at any minute. i have so many things to do and pack up before i go, i don't even want to think about it. that's how i deal w/ things, i don't. Please keep the move and travels in your prayers as i avoid prep time like the plague. i praise the Lord for your love, support and prayers. Please comment and let me know how i can be praying for you. 3, 2, 1, ... blast off.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

videothis is a videa of all my meager possetions inside my car. i got rid of a ton of stuff. i love being a minimalist. its great. today i moved from my home of six and a half years, in Muncie Indiana, to Waynetown Indiana where my parents have a Christmas tree farm. its pretty here. very peaceful. i am awaiting the next seven days to pass w/o mishap so i can fly away to Ukraine for three mon. I leave May 14th at 12:20pm. Pray!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Moses Glory


I just spent five days in the Bahamas visiting a friend and relaxing. I got to witness one of the most powerful examples of Gods glory in creation, a sunrise over the ocean. it looks like a glimps into heaven doesn't it? It must have been what moses felt like when allowed to witness God Almighty's glory with his back to Him. It must have still blinded his eyes even from the back and caused him to stagger and fall to his knees. It was one of the most amazing worship experiances i have ever had! if He can do things like this, surely He can guide us through the rest of our time here on earth. Today is the National Day of Prayer and it starts the National Prayer week. Be in prayer for His Kingdom to come and for the enemies kingdom to falter and fail. Prayer for the church's in division, and sin. Pray for Spiritual allertness in this country. For Jesus to be worshiped and proclaimed as Lord!