Sunday, June 13, 2021

Spring News

Spring in Ukraine this year was long and cool, but also beautiful as ever...

It's kind of hard to tell, but this is a cemetery, 1 of 2 in our village

Several of the pictures were taken on my early morning runs and give you a taste of the beautiful countryside around us! 

So what have we been up to this spring? 

In April, the fourth class of the PT Training Center completed their final session. Not everyone was able to be physically present in Agape due to coronavirus, but this group of students has learned to be flexible and participate in distance learning, so we were able to complete the session anyway. Some of the students have joined or will be joining our Agape rehab team and the remainder will continue working together at a rehab center located at a church in Rivne, a city about an hour from Lutsk. We are thankful for all that this group of students learned and look forward to witnessing and hearing how God uses them in the future. 

The first session for the fifth class will be scheduled when we have a minimum of 8 students who meet our requirements. The application process has been slow, so we will be patient and wait for God to lead those who should participate in this program to us. 

Other events of the spring have included the annual tulip festival...

Walks in our central park with friends: This spring they deep cleaned the park and had a contest to make structures out of the brush, branches, undergrowth, etc. Some of the results were pretty good...

Cookouts with friends or just on our own here at home...

Gardening: Our garden gets bigger every year and my favorite addition this year is the 4 blueberry bushes. It was a very specific and somewhat time-consuming planting process, but they look good so far. We also expanded our strawberries, raspberries, corn and okra this year. While our garden doesn't compare to most in Ukraine, we definitely enjoy reaping the fruit and veggies it produces throughout the summer.  

Summer has now officially begun and I love the long daylight hours and warmth that beckons us outdoors. The work at Agape continues and we will soon be celebrating the 5th anniversary of the complex...more on that in a future (soon I hope) post. Camps have also begun. This year our ministry will host 3 camps, one each for children, young adults, and adults with disabilities. This will be the first year that Sveta and I are not participating in any of the camps, but will instead continuing working at Agape and hopefully make a day trip on a weekend to visit during the adult camp. 

The start of the construction of the Agape House for permanent residency for people with disabilities had to be delayed when it was discovered that the paperwork requirements necessary to break ground had changed since the Agape Rehabilitation Complex was built. The process is now much lengthier and beginning construction before it is completed would incur a huge fine, so for now construction is on hold with the hopes that it can begin by the end of summer. Please continue to pray with us for this construction, the finances necessary to complete it and that the work could begin soon. There are many who are eagerly looking forward to the opening of this home for them. 

I hope your summer is also off to a great start! And I hope you hear from me again sooner than later! 


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