Monday, September 25, 2006

More from the Ukraine

Here is an new email from Pastor Jeff...

Good morning,
We are up, but I am going a little slow. I did not sleep well last night, although Steve and Wally said I snored very loudly last night. My nose is stopped up a lot. There were mosquitos bothering us in our room. It is weird that the lows at night are in the uper 50's but still mosquitos. There are not many, maybe just one or two, but it has been 6 years since fighting mosquitos at night.

We are going to Gorlovka today and Kent will pick us up at 9:45am. Yesterday was a great day as we had church service at the beach by the river. There were 27 people there. Kent said they had been averaging 10 people for church. If you don't include our group of 6, there were 21 from Donetsk. Five came as a result of our English conversations on Friday night and Saturday. The girl, Masha, that I had been talking to on Friday and Saturday came to church, which really surprised me. She is not a believer, but is really seeking. She asked a ton of questions of me and then many more of another Ukraine girl yesterday. Just keep praying that she will be saved.

Everyone in the group is doing well. We went to have pizza with the couple who is next door to where we are staying. They are from Russia, but he is studying at DCU. He will finish in May 07 and will go back to Russia to work in a prison ministry. In the area where they will live, there are 10 prisons with a total of 20,000 inmates. He is a former inmate. He said he was in for 4 years, got out for 6 months, and then went back in for 4 years. He got saved while in the second term. His name is Andrew and his wife is Tonya. They have 3 children Oksana, Abel, and Andrew (small). They say "small" and didn't know anything about "junior" when we asked them. Their ages are 14, 6, and 4.

They live in a two room apartment with a small bathroom. Here at DCU there is one kitchen on each floor that everyone shares. So, approx. 8 families have to use the one kitchen. Ukraine is very poor. The average wage for a business person is $300 a month. The DCU is having financial difficulty because they have relied so heavily on Western (american) money donations, and have not been self supporting in some way. Then when the partnerships end, they just stop what they are doing right in the middle. There doesn't seem to be any long-term planning. There is a building here on campus that is a shell. It was started and then the money stopped, it hasn't been worked on for over a year.

The children's playground is falling apart, because there is no money to replace the boards that are rotten. It looks very dangerous, but the children still play on it. The parents here, just let their children run free and don't even check on them to see where they are. I am talking 3 or 4 year olds too.

We will be going to the train station tomorrow night (Tues.) at 7pm. Then take the overnight to Kiev. Our flight out of Kiev is then on Wed. I can't wait to be home.