Just a young suburban American girl

Sometimes when I think of our move to Ukraine, I get overwhelmed with the feeling of inadequacies. How can I, a young suburban American girl, really make a difference in Ukraine? I don’t know their culture. I don’t know their language. I have not experienced the hardships they face daily.

But God sent me a little reminder yesterday that He can still use me to reach those who are vastly different than myself.

There was a young man that came in to ‘volunteer’ (he had had a little problem with a cop and was sentenced to do community service) with us at my work. The 20-year old Hispanic boy moved here 3 months ago from Los Angeles; his mom finally made the decision to escape the violent streets of L.A. to find a safer place to raise her kids. “Eddie” walked into our work with his baggy pants sagging below his knees, his large oversized white shirt draping on him like a dress, and his “Los Angeles” black hat was tilted to the side. His overall appearance screamed “Just try to mess with me!” We get many young community service workers with the same look, but there was something different about Eddie. On the exterior, he looked tough and intimidating; but the moment he spoke, I realized that this young man was respectful, dedicated, and had a softer, shy side to him.

When I brought him into the office to talk to him, I decided to probe a little deeper into his background. Amazingly, he opened his heart; he shared with me some of the tough life he left in L.A. and that he was hoping to start new here. We talked about his family (a father who’s left, a mother who speaks no English, trying to raise 3 children the best that she can, how he’s now the man of the house and can’t find work b/c he dropped out of school). We talked about his faith (his mom became a Jehovah’s witness, but he always felt that something was not right with their beliefs). He shared how he is not a Christian but he knows that God is calling him to be a “son of God” (his words) and that even when he was involved with all the bad stuff in LA, he knew that there was something more. I just listened, asked questions, and let Him speak. I shared with Him my faith, some of the things Josh went through, and encouraged Him as best as I could.

Eddie did not receive Christ as His Savior yesterday, but I know that it will happen.

As for me, God reminded me that my background, culture, language, or experiences holds no significance when it comes to Kingdom work. We all have the same God, the same Spirit. As long as we love His people are willing to be used by Him, He will use us to draw others to Him.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. royalfarris
    Sep 22, 2007 @ 19:17:48

    God will be able to use your humility to do more than you can imagine…


  2. ukrainiac
    Sep 24, 2007 @ 04:02:23

    Hey, Lindsey. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a message — that’s how I found you! Will be praying for your work in Uzhgorod! We actually know a young family there (he’s American, she’s Ukrainian, they have 2 children) and he is also involved in youth work throughout Ukraine (and some in Russia, I believe). They moved from Kyiv to Uzhgorod last year.

    I am continually amazed that God uses people like US to reach these precious folks in Ukraine. It sounds as if you have a “safe place” for youth to visit and to express themselves…especially to ask questions. To God be the glory! Press on!


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