Sunday, June 14, 2020

Two steps forward, one step back...

Well, in this case it was actually "two weeks of work, one week off." Agape was open for two weeks of outpatient rehabilitation and then had to close again as that format was simply not sustainable. Thankfully, however, we only closed for one week and tomorrow reopen with our normal inpatient rehabilitation format. Of course, our work will not be completely "normal." There will be less residents in the building initially, new guidelines for how we work, and all employees and residents have undergone/will undergo testing for COVID-19, but we are excited to be taking this step back toward normalcy.

Of course, opening Agape is not without risk. Ukraine is still in the process of easing the quarantine restrictions and the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ukraine actually hit record highs this past week. Much prayer and discussion went into the decision to open Agape and much prayer and discussion will need to continue as we begin our work. Our trust is in God to provide, protect, and guide! We ask you to join us in prayer!

In other news, summer finally hit here - at least for one week! Warm, sunny days were a welcome change and the week off from work allowed us to travel to visit friends and spend plenty of time outside.

Late spring and early summer in Ukraine are truly beautiful as everything grows and blossoms. Tulip season (my favorite) is now behind us. Wheat fields have taken on a lighter green color and are now often dotted with red poppies. The bright yellow canola fields of May are gone, but large fields of sunflowers will emerge before long. The sky provides some incredible views and rainbows can often be seen after the rain, particularly here in the village. I hope you enjoy seeing some of Ukraine's beauty...

"And the waving wheat, it sure smells sweet..." from "Oklahoma" suddenly popped into my head while taking this picture. I have yet to smell that sweetness but I do enjoy the beauty of the rolling wheat fields!

While this may not be part of the "beauty of Ukraine," shooting around on this little court in our village park has brought me some extra joy lately. Now to convince some friends to join me!
In closing, I want to thank those who responded to the request to help us raise the salaries of our therapists. God has used you to answer our prayer and we believe we now have adequate funds to raise their salaries beginning in July. The caregivers are the next group of employees for whom our administration wants to raise salaries. These men and women work 24-hour shifts every 3-4 days to care for the residents and patients of Agape. They help them dress, eat, bathe, transfer to and from wheelchairs, turn in bed, go for walks...whatever the need is, they are there to help fill it. It is physically taxing work, but the opportunities to share the gospel with patients are also abundant. If you would be interested in helping to raise the salaries of our caregivers, please contact me ( and we will discuss how that is possible. Please join us in prayer for God's provision of this need.

Also, we would ask for prayer for summer camps for adults and children with disabilities. They were on, then one was cancelled, then both were cancelled, and now they are both back on. Please pray for the leadership teams of both camps to have wisdom and discernment as to whether they should hold the camps and if so, what they should look like in these partial-quarantine days were are living.

Nearly three months of closure at Agape is coming to an end and it's back to work we go!
God is good!

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