Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday, 7-24-11
“All of my life, in every season, you are still God…I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship.” –Desert Song
            This morning we attended church at the house of prayer here in Uzhgorod. It is so strange that when I was 8 years old, my parents were here in Ukraine for the first time, helping to build this very church. Now I am 23 and here in Ukraine on my own, and speaking in the church—only for a few minutes, but nerve-wracking nonetheless! I relayed messages from my parents of well wishes and how much they wished to be here, and Vasya said that many people from the church commented on how much I looked like my dad…
            After church we had some lunch here at HOM and then a planning meeting with the team and our Ukrainian helpers. It will be a busy week here but sure to be a fun week! We all traveled to the supermarket for groceries…next year I will know not to bring American snacks…I keep buying Ukrainian ones instead!
            We had a little down time after returning from the market; we have been trying to stay updated on the attacks in Norway. Annette is very upset about it, as everyone is—so uncharacteristic of Norway. It is a terrible tragedy and very scary to imagine.
            Later tonight, Vasya took Annette and me to a gypsy settlement to show me a house they are building for a family of five that is currently living in a tiny house made of scrap materials. When I say tiny, I mean some of you have closets bigger than this family’s entire house. The conditions of living in this settlement are so terrible, and my shoes were caked with mud when we returned, but the people in this place still smiled and were very friendly to us. I had my camera with me, and the kids, like everywhere else I have been so far, LOVE having their picture taken! Many of the mothers were asking us for a printed copy of the pictures—I think it would be a nice thing to do for them. A few women invited Annette and me in their homes—one had a newborn she wanted me to take pictures of, and another was telling us about how her husband has tuberculosis and cannot work. Their roof is leaking and she has no good shoes for her four year old. All of these situations are very sad. Most of the kids do not go to school because they are not accepted in the community, so it is almost as if there is no way out once you are born into this culture. It is heartbreaking, but I am thankful that there are people here who aren’t afraid to reach out to them and help. Next week we will work more in this area, and I am looking forward to learning more about these people.
Joma, the boy I posted about yesterday who lived in a dark shed most of his life.
Small house for a family of five. The girl holding the umbrella is Annette.

Moses, the son of the woman whose husband has TB.

Some children standing outside the first house mentioned.

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