Saturday, March 23, 2019

Oh my, how time flies!

These first months of 2019 have passed remarkably quickly and we are now slowly welcoming spring to our part of the world! I am more than happy to say "see ya later" to snow, cold, and limited daylight... 

...and "hello" to warmth, flowers, and sunshine!

In January our rehab team welcomed a new member into our family - sort of - as Ira gave birth to little Tima. They are both doing great and we are glad that we still get to see Ira from time to time - but we will have to wait 3 years for Ira's return to work at Agape as that is standard maternity leave duration in Ukraine. 

We held the final session for the third class of students at our PT Training Center in February. Five students officially graduated and two other students plan to retake certain aspects in the future in order to graduate. Teaching this group definitely presented Sveta and I with some new challenges, but God was faithful to provide and answer our prayers. One of the students, Alina, is now a member of our team, but the others all live in different regions of Ukraine so we look forward to hearing how God uses them in their communities. 

This session involved LOTs of simulated practice in an effort to help the students integrate and use everything they have learned. Sveta and I both spent plenty of time as "patients" before flipping the switch back to teachers and giving feedback and instruction.

The students living in Agape spent one of the final evenings at our house, fellowship and sharing God's work in each of our lives. I am thankful for the friendships God has given us with them. 
Graduation Day!
These students were super kind and generous, giving rocking chairs to each of us! 
Prayer before parting ways
Sveta and I were excited to finish this session for several reasons, not the least of which was that we headed out as quickly as we could with several members of our rehab team for a weekend in the mountains! For most of us skiing was the primary agenda, but Sveta says she thoroughly enjoyed her days at the cabin and serving as the cook for our crew. Our rehab friends are more and more like family and we truly love spending time together. This brief 2-day trip was no exception. God blessed us with beautiful sunny days and no injuries and we are ready to make it an annual trip!

Night skiing

Agape hosted a team of nursing students and professors from America in early March and Sveta and I got to open our home to two of the students. We enjoyed getting to know these girls and get to invest in their lives for a few days.

With the assistance of this team from America, our ministry held a 3-day camp for families in which the husband, wife or both have a disability. We were not present, but it has been exciting to hear how many of our former patients were in attendance. The testimonies about how beneficial their time at Agape was in their lives - for more than just physical rehabilitation - have been encouraging for the entire team. Rehabilitation is not always as successful as we would like it to be in altering the present lives of our patients, but we always have the opportunity to be instruments used by our mighty God to change lives for eternity! 

Prayer Requests:

- The presidential election in Ukraine on March 31

- The students who recently graduated from the PT Training Center. For God to use them in their work and for them to appropriately apply the knowledge and skills they've learned to help those in their communities.

- For the next class of students at the PT Training Center. We have received less applications than in previous years and are also being more selective. As a result, we have now postponed the first session for this class twice and we still do not have a full class. Please pray for the class to form according to God's timing and to be composed of those whom God would have us to teach.

- Agape: For God's provision of employees and finances and for God's love and truth to pour out through His people to those who come through our doors. Also for the future growth that our leaders believe is God's will for Agape - for exactly what that looks like and how and when to take steps forward.

Thank you to those who pray for us and the ministry here!

Come on spring! We're ready for ya...