Update from Ukraine #3

Email Received 02/25 – 5:00 PM Ukraine Time:


Hi!

We actually didn’t get to sign the lease – the landlady is nervous about renting to Americans because she fears that we will get homesick and will take off in the middle of the night. So, Lori (the missionary here) is going to sign the lease in her name for us and will serve as our middle man. We trust Lori and she trusts us, so it is a good arrangment. We believe that after the 3 first three months, Tatiana will trust us and will allow us to put our name on the lease. Although she is nervous about leasing to us, she is taking good care of us. She will fix a few things (which originally we were told we had to take it “as is”), and she decided to buy us a rug for the main living area. The floors are all wood and rugs are expensive, so this is a huge blessing. She also told us we could change the locks and not give them a copy. It is common here for landlords to come and go from their tenants apartments as they please; if you complain, they make life difficult. There is one missionary who’s landlady would come several times a day and use her water so that she didn’t have to pay as much for her own; she figured the American was rich enough to pay for more. So, we are blessed that Tatiana respects our privacy. She has also agreed to let us paint, as long as we get her approval on the color scheme. Right now they are all bright pastel colors.

Our tutoring has been secured. We will be studying with a friend, Snezhana. She lives about 30 minutes away, but we think she will be wonderful. We instantly connected with her, and she was already giving us advice and small lessons as we hung out with her during the day. We are going to have lessons 3-4 times a day for 2 hours. She warned us that we would have tons of homework, but since language is our main focus for a while, we expect it to be strenuous. There is also a professional translator and interprator who teaches English at a university here. We met with her and she has offered to meet with us weekly just to help us out and give us hands-on practical application – ordering food, shopping, etc.

Other than that, God is opening many new relationships who serve in ministry here. Many work with youth and orphans, both of which we have a heart for. I’ll give more information about those later.

We leave to return to Budapest tomorrow – a day earlier than originally planned – but things have been so smooth here that everything was taken care of more quickly than anticipated. It will be nice to have 2 days to just do touristy things – visiting castles and museums.

Love you all. See you soon.
~Josh and LIndsey

Update from Ukraine #2

In addition to the email below, I also spoke briefly with Lindsey on-line; she said customs and the train ride into Ukraine were a breeze. Everyone else joining them on the trip also arrived safely. This was a concern of theirs (see previous email posted below), so I wanted to make sure all of their faithful readers knew they didn’t have any problems.


Email Received 02/25 – 5:30 PM Ukraine Time:Hello everyone!
 
I don’t have long, as there are 4 other people needing to use the internet; but a few updates for you.
 
God has been so faithful, constantly pouring His favor upon us.
 
One of the biggest goals of this trip was to secure our housing.  After much discussion, we decided that getting our own apartment (as opposed to living with a Ukrainian family) would be a better choice.  A missionary friend helped us look through the newspaper and we found about 10 apartments for rent.  Out of all 10, only one was available.   We will give more specific details later, but to get to the point – the apartment was PERFECT!  It had 3 very large rooms, some furniture included, a new water heater and heating (which in Ukraine is rare – most people only get freezing cold water and have to boil it), DSL internet already connected (another rarity), and the price was in our budget.  We will signing a lease agreement on Wednesday!  This apartment’s floor plan and size accomodates for both our home and missionary base/office.
 
All we have left is to secure our tutor.  Tomorrow we will be meeting with two.
 
That’s all our time we have.   We love you all!
 
~Josh and lIndsey

Updates from Ukraine

Hey guys, this is Jeremy: Lindsey’s brother and Josh’s favorite brother in law. We’ve received two emails from Josh and Lindsey during their current trip to Ukraine. I’m re-posting these for them as they do not have long when they do have the chance to jump on the Internet.

God Bless


From their arrival in Turkey on 02/23 – 4:30 PM Ukraine time: We have made it to Budapest! Our flights were changed yesterday when we checked in at DFW, so we’ve arrived 3 hours earlier than originally scheduled – but it was perfect because instead of 2 layovers, we only had one brief one in London.

More

On our way

Tomorrow (Feb. 22) at 4:10 pm our flight takes off for Ukraine.  Actually, it’s not that simple – we have layovers in Memphis and Amsterdam, and end in Budapest; only to then take a 6 hour train ride into Ukraine in order to catch a taxi, which will take us into Mukachevo, the town we are moving to.  Phew! In total we will be traveling almost 24 hours!

This 10-day trip is our final preparation trip before moving full-time!  Our goals are to establish our housing, language studies, and other small but important details that go into moving.  We will also be meeting with local pastors and other organizations.

Please be praying for safe travels and that we will accomplish all that needs to get done.  It’s really a lot to do in just 8 – 10 days.

Thanks for your continued support!

I hope I don’t encounter this!

Ran across these pictures today posted on a really cool blog called English Russia. The site posts unusual pics from Russia.

Look at the first picture. Do you know why the sticks are stuck in the snow? Look down to the second picture to see the answer.

russian-snow-1.jpg

russian-snow-2.jpg

Yes, that’s right. The sticks are to mark where you parked your car! According to the website, “The municipal services warned people that everyone needs to mark his car, so that he could find it in the morning and so that if some municipal ambulance would try to crawl its way through the streets [they] won’t hit [the cars].” If you’d like to see the ambulances they use…click HERE.

Anyway, I don’t think we’ll encounter snow like this in Mukachevo…at least I hope not.

tree by rivers of water

Blessed is the mantree by rivers of water
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

I have been meditating upon these verses of Psalm 1 over the last few days. There is one phrase that is stuck in my mind, which I take as the Holy Spirit wanting me to focus upon. It’s the phrase, “That brings forth fruit in its season.”

I have a tendency, probably like many people, to want to see productivity and success flourish at all times. I feel I must always be on top of my game, seeing results and “fruit”. Yes, God promises us that we will be blessed and will prosper…but we forget this phrase “in its season.”

Fruit comes seasonally. We know that fall is best for pumpkins and apples. Winter brings forth some of the sweetest grapefruit ever tasted (esp. if they’re from S. Texas). Summer produces succulent berries, while spring brings us mango and pineapple. Our grocery stores find ways to keep many of these fruits all year long, but they are poorer in taste and not at their sweetest. But bite into a sweet, ripe strawberry in spring and, MMM, you’ve got fruit perfection. God created the fruit to naturally grow its best during one season of the year.

So, why do we expect to see our “fruits” all the time? When we don’t, we become frustrated, depressed, isolated, and throw our own big pity-party. We give up too easily and question God’s will in our lives, or if we are fulfilling His purpose.

We must remember that we have to have seasons of growth if we want to see the best fruit.

Allow the living water of God’s word to refresh your spirit, to revitalize your passion for Him, and soothe your wounds. In time, we will again taste the sweetness and goodness of God.

Leaving Soon!

We are leaving for Ukraine 2-22-08 till 3-2-08.

This trip is for us to make preparations to move there in a couple of months.

Please pray that we find a place to live, a tutor, and that we will make a lot of connections for future ministry opportunities.

There are several things we need to figure out such as phone, transportation, and more.

Pray for favor and that we will meet other Christians already there willing to help us in our transition.

Thanks and God bless

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