Our summer has been flying by and here’s a little update on some of the regular things that are a constant part of our lives.
The house our parents are building consists of 2 parts – the old structure, which they originally bought and we have been living in, and the new structure, which is the extension they have been building onto the old structure, and in which will be new rooms for all of our family. Dad & Mom have desperately been trying to get enough completed in the new structure, so that our family can move over there, as the roof on the old structure leaks and needs replacing. They expected this to happen a long time ago and already bought the roofing tiles, which are starting to warp. So, time is of the essence! Construction is at the point where we can be a big help to them in getting it finished. It’s summed up in one word – painting! Hours and hours of painting! Unfortunately, there is no such thing in Ukraine as paint with primer, which means they have to go on separately. In addition, the best quality paint we can afford still needs 2 coats to have complete, even coverage. And the walls are colors, the ceilings are white, so the ceilings have to be done separately. Basically, depending on it’s size, a room can take up to 4 days for us to paint. So far, we have completed 6 bedrooms, 2 large closets, a few half-baths, the large game room, the kitchen, the dining room, and a long hallway. You do the math! 🙂 We feel as though this painting will never end, but we are in the “home stretch”, although that still means probably a good 2 weeks of painting. On average, we spend about 3 days a week painting. It is exhausting and has definitely gotten a little monotonous, but we are so thankful to be here and able to be a part of Bethel House being completed, and to bless our parents in this way.
Praise the Lord, the garden is flourishing, and praise the Lord, it is at the point where it only requires about 1 day a week of work. Spinach, lettuce, peas, and cilantro have all run their course and were thoroughly enjoyed. Green beans are growing faster than we can eat them and give them away, so today, helping Mom freeze a bunch of them is on the agenda. Corn, pumpkins, zucchini, carrots, and beets are all looking beautiful and we’re looking forward to their near harvest. Most of these also include more fruit than we can consume or give away, so much of them will be frozen, as well.
We continue to go with our church family every other Saturday to distribute food bags to the poor that are begging in the city. It continues to be a blessing every time, as we develop relationships with the ones we see regularly, and hear the stories of the new people we meet. Last Saturday, we met a woman who said she never had to beg before, but now she has developed such sever cataracts in both eyes that she can barely see. When she went to the doctor, he callously told her that surgery was the only option to save her eyesight and it would cost $600+! This is probably a year’s worth of her pension! When she told him there was no way she would ever have that much money, he coldly told her to get on the street, begging, and save it up. When we met her, she had maybe $0.25 cent worth of change in her cup. She was so grateful to receive the bag of food, so that she could put more of her money back for the surgery. How we would have loved to give her the money right then and there for her to get off the streets and have this surgery, but we know this culture all too well. To receive such a large gift leaves these people feeling overwhelmed, humiliated, and crushed by the knowledge that they have a debt they will never be able to repay. (Even among our neighbors, if we give them the smallest of gifts, simply because it’s something we’ll be throwing away if they don’t want it, they immediately turn around and give us a gift of produce from their garden or eggs from their chickens, so that they will not have to feel indebted to us!) However, we were encouraged after Mom shared this woman’s story at church, that one of the young women at church told Krista that she would be more than willing to sacrifice some of her money, and if all the people in our church (around 70) split the cost evenly, surely we could pay for this woman’s surgery. Perhaps many people giving smaller amounts would make it easier for her to receive. We are praying that, as a church, we can figure out how best to come together and show this woman the amazing love of God through helping her practically. Another woman we gave a bag to for the first time recently, was so overwhelmed that she began to cry as she told us she was begging for money to go buy the things that were in this bag (bread, tomatoes, tea,…). One woman we have been developing a relationship with for many months has come to our church 3 times now. Coming from an Orthodox background, she says our church is very strange for her, but she continues to come back once or twice a month. We pray that many of these people will begin to have an insatiable curiosity about why we do what we do and fall into the arms of Jesus in their search for answers.
Thank you so much for your immense support through prayers, financial giving, and encouragement, as we serve our Lord and those around us, in whatever opportunities the Lord provides. Remember that you can subscribe to our blog at the top right of this page, and if you would like information on financially partnering with us, you can go to the About page. We never stop thanking our Father for you and pray His abundant blessings on you!
In His love,
Bria, Lindsay, and Krista