Hello from Ukraine!
We are so happy to finally be here! The trip was long, but by God’s grace we made it here with no problems and only one bag lost (sorry, Ryan!). Praise God! We were picked up at the airport by some of our Ukrainian friends, and brought to the church where we were greeted with a very special traditional Ukrainian welcoming ceremony and some delicious breads and tea. They even sang happy birthday to Emma and gave her a gift! (They also threw her a birthday party once she got back to her host home! Happy Sweet 16, Emma! 🙂
Our friends from Kherson Christian Church are such gracious hosts. Many of them have taken the entire week off of work or college so that they can interpret for us and serve us while we are here. Can you imagine making that kind of sacrifice to host people who you have never met?! They take hospitality to a whole new level. The thing that I find so special about their hospitality is how they do everything with such joyful, loving, and sacrificial hearts. Our friends here do things that would be considered inconveniences to most of us, with genuine excitement. When we express how thankful we are to them, they usually respond by being happy to serve us and to serve Christ. That is such a POWERFUL example to me! It reminds me of the picture that Paul paints of the early church in Acts 2:46-47…
”Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
They have shown so much love to us and have done it all with glad and sincere hearts. They are a true example of what it looks like to have a servant’s heart, and to love others selflessly. Don’t worry- they are also REALLY taking care of the “ate together” part of that verse! I have never been fed so often in my life (and for those of you who know my mom, Peggy McCoy, that is saying a lot!) J
The church service today was wonderful. It was a privilege to be there, and it also made me thankful that our church supports ministries as incredible as this one all over the world. It’s great to see our ministry partners here in Ukraine sharing the love of Christ so passionately.
After lunch at our host homes, we enjoyed a tour of historic Kherson. It is beautiful here and it was very interesting to hear about the history of the city. We ended the evening by spending time with our host families at their homes. And of course- more eating!
Tomorrow is the first day of clinics and I am so excited to see how God uses this opportunity to bring glory to His name. Please pray that we will allow God to lead us as we strive to be His hands and feet to the Ukrainian people.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I am learning more and more each day about how to trust God and I can certainly feel his peace that surpasses all understanding covering me. I am certain that has a lot to do with your prayers, so please keep them coming!