[U’10] July 7, 2010 – We’ve Arrived!

July 7, 2010

Dear NHF,

It’s evening on our first night here in Kremenchug; the adventure has begun!

(Blackberry service is wonky but we have WiFi in the church we’re staying in — my thumbs are thankful for the opportunity to type updates on a real, human-sized keyboard.)

The day started off interestingly: thanks to Chae’s awesome Gold Medallion status, we got priority all-sorts-of-things (checking in more bags & heavier bags than normally allowed, early boarding, etc.)  But as it turns out, although we boarded first, we had to wait on the plane for about an hour while the mechanics fixed a BROKEN WATER VALVE. 

What.

So, we busted open our massive bag of snacks, passed it around the very-slightly-boarded plane, made some friends, and practiced our Russian.  Julia & Rachel also infiltrated the cockpit (photographic evidence in possession).

Soon enough, we were on our way; we landed in Kiev & met Luda without further incident.  Stopped for lunch about 2 hours into the drive to Kremenchug; then another 2 hours and we arrived here at Spring of Life Church, the mother church of our sister-church.

Reuniting with Interpreter Sasha and Luda was so sweet — as Chae prayed tonight, they were so familiar, even to the new travelers from NHF.  And it was so good to see Pastor Sasha, his daughter Ela, Zhenya (the Chae-equivalent) and his wife Sveta . . .

Had a casual dinner over at our beloved Am-Store food court and strolled back to church.  The men are now at — wait for it — a local Beer Garden, watching the Germany-Spain World Cup match.  I wanted Raimund to paint his face — no dice.  Given that there will be no beer-drinking on this trip, the men are doing the next best thing – chomping on the beef jerky we brought with us. =)  It’s a free night; the ladies are resting, as genteel ladies are wont to do (genteel?!?!?), and the guys are doing their soccer-thing, and we shall re-convene in the morning as a team.

There are many changes underfoot here at NHC.  At this early stage, it’s difficult to know how to describe it, what to say, how detailed to be.  Suffice to say that the one thing that hasn’t changed is this: the importance of the community of believers — even cross-Atlantic, and cross-global — to be in prayer for each other.  To pray that God would nourish, feed, admonish, encourage, teach, move, etc. etc. etc. 

Sorry, I’m really tired right now; for a variety of reasons, this first day has been extremely exhausting.  But I’m well, not sick.  All of us are well, not sick at all.  We all traveled well, ate well.  (Julia ate some suspected meat dumplings — coulda been mushrooms, but who knows — and fared alright = trooper!)  The rooms at church are cozy — all the ladies in one room, all the men in another.  We went grocery shopping for breakfast fare, and all things considered, we’re quite comfortable.  It’s sorta like being back at college (for me & Sunny anyway) . . . our girls are doing great, by the way — keep lifting them up, and asking God to make this a formative experience in their walk into womanhood . . .

My thoughts are disjointed; I’m sorry I can’t be more eloquent, descriptive, evocative.  But know that we got here safely on the wings of your prayers.  Please, please continue to pray: for our team, for our team & NHC, and for NHC.

Tomorrow: the day spent at the urban Children’s Camp (about 60 kids!) where we’ll perform our skit, run around in games & sports, and do a few crafts activities . . .  pray for those kids, too!

Alright then.  Good night, all.  Talk with you tomorrow.

In His arms,
c.

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