|Everyone participated in the CPR seminar|
|Our students: Katya, Natasha, and Ira|
Our leaders, Sergiy and Natasha, were out of town and could not join us so the next weekend Sveta and I spent the better part of a day at their house. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful group of Ukrainian friends/family! I cannot imagine my life here without them.
August marked the one-year anniversary of our PT Training Center program and the 7th session we have conducted over the past 12 months. The second class returned to Agape for their 3rd session. Due to a variety of circumstances, the class size decreased from 9 to 6. As usual we covered much material and learned new skills. It was a tiresome but productive two weeks. These ladies have bonded in friendship over the course of this program. We had an enjoyable time of learning together, with many smiles and laughs to help us through the intense days of learning.
The atmosphere at Agape is truly special! When you live or work at Agape, you are part of a family, even if you are only there for a few days or a few weeks. Julia, one of our students, had her birthday during the session. Her fellow students organized a celebration from our class, but staff and patients at Agape also organized themselves to collectively drop by our classroom to sing to her and greet her. In the picture are patients, housekeepers, cooks, office staff, drivers, caregivers...Agape is a family and it is growing larger all the time!
|Students leave our sessions with a lot of new material|
|Vadim, our former student who is now the head physician at Agape, stopped by one afternoon to be a mock patient.|
Our room repeatedly transitions between a lecture hall and a lab.
|Gotta love the intensity and concentration!|
|See what I mean? These ladies have a good time together.|
As a result of this staff shortage, we decided we needed to cease providing outpatient pediatric rehabilitation and focus on adult inpatient rehabilitation. We will continue to offer one-time pediatric consultations when the schedule has holes, but will not provide ongoing pediatric rehab until we have additional staff. Please pray for the families of children with disabilities in Lutsk to find quality rehabilitation and for God to bring a full-time pediatric PT to our facility in His timing.
Also, to add to the shortage, I will soon be heading back to the US for 6 months. With all that is currently going on here, the timing seems less than ideal. When I made these plans, we had no idea what would be going on at this time, but God knew...and He knows what is ahead. So I trust His plan best and that He will provide for all of our needs, wherever we are.
So on September 28, I'll be leaving my Ukrainian home, church, friends and family and returning to my American home, church, friends and family. I sometimes wonder to myself, "Am I leaving home or going home?" At the moment, the answer seems to me to be "yes." Ukraine is home now in so many ways and I'm thankful for God's grace that I feel at home here...most of the time. But I'll always be a foreigner and may never fully understand all that is going on or being said and the various cultural nuisances. Lutsk, Ukraine has been my home for the past three years and I'm so grateful that I feel in a very real sense that I'll be "leaving home" when I return to the US. I'm praying for this transition from Ukrainian home to American home and all that it entails. And I'm eagerly anticipating how God will use the six months I spend in the US to grow and teach me, to spread the news of how He is at work here, to reconnect with family and friends, and so much more. I hope I will have the opportunity to visit with many of you who support and pray for this work.
To close, here are a few pics from our beautiful city of Lutsk (not all of which I took):
|I'll miss this view and the beauty God puts on display from my window|
|Notorious yellow Ukrainian fields|
|Gonna miss this dear friend, but thankful she has a trip planned to OK in December!|
|Aerial view of our castle - the village across the green pasture on the top right is where I run on Saturday mornings. Not everyone gets to run with a castle in view!|