Busy Holidays

Our holidays were filled with plans and busyness, but also filled with peace, joy, and Jesus – everything the Christmas season should be filled with.  We started off with a family Christmas in December.  “Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays…”  We celebrated Christmas a bit differently this year – instead of sitting around the house, cooking and participating in heinous amounts of gluttony, we decided to love Lviv’s poor and elderly on the streets of the city.  (You can read more about it in the previous blog, which Krista wrote.)  Needless to say, we were so deeply blessed & afterward, all agreed that it was the most wonderful Christmas we’d ever experienced!   How amazing it is to be the hands and feet of Jesus and see Him show His love to people who feel forgotten.

After Christmas, it was time to ring in 2011!  We celebrated the New Year here, at Bethel House, with about 30 people from our church family.  Everyone had a wonderful time in each other’s company – eating, playing games, playing with legal explosives (aka sparklers & fireworks), remembering 2010, and looking forward to 2011.

What's a New Year's party without lots & lots of FOOD!

Our church leaders - all wrapped up!

Lindsay's team's work of art.

Making paper chains! Ah, childhood.

Happy New Year! З Новим Роком!

2011 - all things new!

When the party ended (around 2 AM), Mom & Bria got to work putting the house back in order, while Krista, Lindsay, and Dad took the car to the Ukrainian-Polish border.  Ukrainian law requires that foreign-registered cars (ours is still registered in the US)  leave the country every 2 months, so we take a quick border-hopping trip.  Bria & Krista had tried to take care of this the week before New Year’s, only to be met with a monstrous line and realized it would take at least 8 hours to get across the border!  They decided not to bother with it that day and we figured, since we were awake at 2 AM on January 1 and there probably wouldn’t be anyone else trying to cross the border, it would be a good time to get this taken care of.  Thankfully, our expectations were met and we were the only car trying to go either way across the border; We got into Poland and back into Ukraine in less than an hour!

After New Year’s, it was then time for Christmas!…again.  Ukraine celebrates Christmas on January 7 and we had some wonderful celebrations as a church family – we had a beautiful Christmas service on the 7th, followed by a lovely, reflective women’s Christmas party on the 8th.

Any good women's party consists of some good baby lovin'.

Women = beauty.

Someone likes pizza just a little.

Dirty Santa stealing - all in good fun.

Life and laughter should always go together.

There's nothing like Sister time!

After Christmas on January 7th, Ukraine then proceeds to celebrate New Years!…again.  January 13th/14th is affectionately known as “Old New Year”, which we have never actually adopted into our own celebrations of the holiday season, but it’s definitely a fun and very charming piece of trivia about Ukrainian culture.  You can find a little explanation about Old New Year on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_New_Year).

As the 3 of us have been looking forward to 2011, praying for God’s will and guidance in every area, we have been evaluating our finances and working out our needs to better convey them to you.  We have crunched the numbers and found that the minimum monthly needs for each of us total around $200.  Our prayer right now is that the Lord will raise up monthly supporters to meet that need for each of us.  We would be so honored if you would partner with us in the work God is doing here in Lviv, Ukraine, and if He so leads you, tax-deductible donations can be made one of two ways.  You can mail a check made out to “Blessing Ministry to Ukraine” (please attach a note to the check, indicating the donation is for Blessing Girls, but DO NOT put our names on the check) to

Blessing Ministry to Ukraine
P.O. Box 1944
Stafford, TX    77497-1944

Donations can also be made online through Blessing Ministry’s blog site at http://blessingministry.wordpress.com/support-2/ (for first-time donations through paypal, please send us an e-mail at the address below, informing us that the donation you have made is meant for us).

As always, we appreciate so much your prayers, financial support, and love.  Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  His love endures forever!

 

The holiday season is always such a special time of year, and we are so thankful for every moment and for all of the wonderful people God has surrounded us with.  We pray each of you also had a wonderful holiday season filled with joy, light, and Jesus.  We also pray that the Lord will abundantly bless you in 2011, drawing you closer to Him, enlarging your territory, and using you to expand His kingdom and spread His fame.

All for His glory,

Bria, Lindsay, and Krista
blessinggirls@gmail.com