Thursday, July 3, 2008

things I've missed.

For the next month, I'll be in Ukraine (July 4-24) and China (July 24-August 4). The Ukraine team will be keeping a blog of our adventures during the 3 weeks we're there. Some neat stuff will happen so follow along: (you can subscribe via rss feed or Google Reader).

I didn't want to include real pictures, but some of the things I've missed about Ukraine.

The Litin girls.

My host family... and Gorodishe... the village they live in (I'm staying there this year too!)

The "jeep" that looked so much like it was going to fall apart but managed to get us to and from the church each day, squeezing as many as 9 people at a time.

Blinchke with homemade jam.

Church service outfits: t-shirts and tennis shoes with skirts. And even the spontaneous church services themselves.

The lake in Gorodishe - isn't it beautiful?


Countryside like this. Cows.

{scheduled to post on Thursday}

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I had dinner with one of my favorite people this evening. Goodness I love dates with Kristine. So much fun and laughter and just good conversation with her.

I was thinking how many things have changed since I first met her. The first real conversation was around a campfire at a retreat 4 years ago. She was wearing a Moody hoodie and I came up to talk because I'd wanted to go to Moody since I was in the 8th grade. We hit it off immediately but I didn't really think anything would come of that conversation until Kristine asked me to meet her for lunch at Upper Crust. I don't remember much about that conversation other than that I was praying really hard that we'd be able to get to know one another.

I'm very glad God thought that was a good idea too.
She led a Bible study that I became a part of and met with me often separately from that, really discipled me in a way that I didn't know existed (a way that is real discipleship... doing things along with me). We really got to know one another when we roomed together during our first trip to Ukraine. We had fun, to say the least, but I was also so influenced by her and her walk with God. I looked up to her even though she behaved toward me as a friend, not a ministry project. She went to school that fall and we didn't talk all that often but when she came back on breaks, Kristine and I were able to start right back where we'd been.

Without a doubt, she's been one of the most influential people in my life and it's all because of who she is... such a fun person and so utterly in love with God. It's neat to see her share with others and serve because she really enjoys life in the way few do. She's greatly influenced what I want to do (even though we're totally different personalities and such) by just being available for God and following Him even when she wasn't enjoying the process.

I can't say enough good things about this girl. It doesn't seem like it's been that long... probably why I can't get over that diamond on her finger! Ryan's such a blessed guy and I'm so thrilled to see what God will do through their marriage.

love you, kristine! :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

an answered prayer!

I wanted to share a little story with you all.

I was reading my Bible this morning when Mom came in my room to say hello and to ask what she could pray about while I'm in Ukraine. I mentioned a few things that I knew would need prayer during that time and a few concerns I had before the trip actually begins, just things I need to do. She nodded and made a mental note, I think, and then she added something, "And I'm praying that God would resolve all the things for school TODAY before you go and I hope you get a person on the phone who goes beyond their normal job to help you out." I thought, That would be amazing but I don't really expect that to happen. If I can get everything done by Thursday before I leave the next morning, I'd be amazed, and if I get a helpful person, that would be a miracle (Moody's customer service skills usually seem to be lacking to say the least). I was trying to be realistic. I didn't think I'd have time to even think about school things today.

Now, no day at my job can really be called stressful but I do have rare busy days. Today, pleasantly, has been one of them... I had quite a few things to copy and scan and print out. And in the middle of it all I get a fax... the fax from my apartment complex that I've been waiting on for several weeks. Today. I had nothing to do on my lunch break so I decided to call about tuition costs. The person on the phone was nice, helpful, and... went beyond their job title to help me out and answer questions that really didn't belong to her department. I got addresses I needed and deadlines I wanted and before I knew it, all my questions were answered. Today.
I got more things accomplished in the few hours here (even with more work than usual) than I expected to in the next two days. I even had time to go to the bank and make a much-needed deposit.

This could have been a five second post, "God answered a prayer and isn't it so cool?!" but I like sharing the stories. Days like today make me think... what could God be doing? He's working in my life in ways I'm only beginning to understand. He's not done with me yet, even though I doubt in the back of my mind and even though I don't trust Him all the time and have to learn the same things over and over. He is so good to me.

And I'm excited about the answered prayer. I'm not gonna lie. I thought it was pretty cool.
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