September 30, 2015

Thoughts, impressions and attitudes from my journey to Ukraine

Brother Kevin spent several weeks with BOM. Here is what he says:

"Thoughts, impressions and attitudes from my journey to Ukraine: A mission trip to bless Bible Orphan Ministry’s missionaries and be blessed in turn by partaking in the joy and heartfelt thanksgiving of those they serve.

Not being my first time in Ukraine nor my first trip to visit Ukrainian orphanages I already had some pre-conceived notions and attitudes of what to expect in regards to the culture, condition of government ran institutions and all that the words “village” and “hospital” resonate to a Ukrainian citizen.

Having been a patron of BOM for a few years I had desired to spend some quality time not just traveling around Ukraine and helping at the institutions but gaining more insight and knowledge about the workings of BOM and spending time in Christian fellowship with my brothers and sisters.  After two unsuccessful trip attempts in 2014 thwarted by the war I was finally blessed to spend two weeks with BOM in September 2015; Praise the Lord!

Disembarking the airplane I noted that they did not lose my luggage. (A positive as last time it was lost for days and I never truly got it all back).  Waiting to greet me was BOM and Olga Kozac with the biggest smiles and joyful demeanors.  After many handshakes, hugs and photos we were off to a yummy Ukrainian café for some fine traditional food.

During my Two Weeks I had the opportunity to visit the mental institutions, create art and crafts with the children, feed Misha’s church, visit former orphans at the trade school, attend first bell ceremony, live like true Ukrainian in an apartment engulfed by a smoke cloud, experienced and cried with rest of BOM at “fine” Ukrainian hospital (A memory I could have lived without but God gave me anyways), Spent a blessed day with BOM and young adults exploring Ukrainian Culture, and performed counseling and prep talks with the young men. WOW it was a blessed two weeks that just flew by. It seemed I was there only for a moment and then I had to go home.

Some things that impressed me about BOM and Ukraine:

The example that Alla, Oksana and Nadia are setting for the young women by their modest dress and Biblical female roles they exhibit in their daily lives.

We were constantly smiling and laughing at the cafes almost to the point of rolling on the floor at times while other dinners were “enjoying” their meal in stone faced silence. (An eastern European trait)

Oksana’s unselfish unsolicited ability to help wherever she saw a need and her intriguing aptitude to soothe, love and entertain any baby or child regardless of its demeanor; which was a blessing to the young mothers who I could visible observe needed a break.

The large variety of sausages (50+), eggs (at least 20 brands) and bread at the supermarket. The variety of Ukraine food at the cafes: Salo, Varenyky, Borscht, Syrniki, Holubtsi…. I wanted to try it all but two weeks was not long enough!

Misha’s uncanny ability to navigate the “fine” Ukrainian roads, joyfully replacing a tire in a rain storm at dusk (all the while a crazy Ukrainian girl was running back down the road looking for the pot hole to make a photo). His inculcation of Biblical wisdom and his own life experiences in a reverent way that was uplifting and meaningful to the young adults, orphans and his church.

Alla repeatedly showed me her unwavering determination to help orphans and young adults by charging ahead to check out if what a director told us was true or just their version of the story’s. Chasing pot holes in the dark, inspecting outhouses at the trade school, inventing creative ways to present Bible stories to God’s children at the orphanages, counseling young mothers…….

BOM and the young adults treated me like family and they felt like family to me. They are true Christians not only in words but in their everyday actions always focused on asking God for direction in everything they do.  They are all constantly living by faith working hard to accomplish as much as possible with their limited resources.  I had the pleasure to often join them in prayer and thanksgiving as the physical, mental and spiritual needs of the young adults, orphans, and their ministry team are great.   

Departing Ukraine on my last day it was difficult to leave all of them at the airport. I dreamt for a moment to linger on there…… “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your
life? It is even a vapor that appeared for a little time, and then vanishes away.”  I came seeking an impression and found peace, I came seeking association and found friendship, I came seeking acceptance and found the Love of Christ." 

“I shall pass through this world but once! Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now, in his name, and for his sake! Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Kevin Ruth

September 15, 2015

Pirogovo - Museum Of Folk Architecture And Life

Last week we visited Pirogovo - Museum Of Folk Architecture And Life, near Kiev. We had such a great time with few young people! It was so fun!

Pirogov (Russian: Пирого́в), originally a village south of Kiev, is a neighborhood in the southern outskirts of the Ukrainian capital city. It is now home to an outdoor Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine.

Although the origin of the toponym is uncertain, pyrohiv is genitive plural form of the Ukrainian word for pie.

The territory of historic Pyrohiv now serves as the location of a 1.5-square-kilometre (370-acre) outdoor Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine. Founded in 1969, the museum contains over 300 pieces of folk architecture brought here from all parts of Ukraine and carefully reassembled. The picturesque hill with several windmills is the museum centrepiece and the entire territory of the museum is divided into sectors, each representing the folk architecture and life of a specific Ukrainian region. The oldest church, situated in Pyrohiv, is Naddnipryanska, it is built in 1742. In the museum you can also find more than 40 000 items of household and traditional culture such as costumes, old textiles, embroidery, carpets, ceramics, metal handicrafts, woodwork and glass-ware as well as musical instruments, paintings and houseware.

Commoner's homes, buildings of small trade, commerce and local administration, and old wooden village churches contain authentic items that represent the everyday lifestyle of Ukrainian villagers and townsfolk. Local volunteers and modern Ukrainian artisans selling their wares dress in old-style clothes and demonstrate the use of authentic everyday items to visitors.

One of the main distinctive features of the museum is its theatrical performances and open-air celebrations dedicated to different folk holidays. Also in Pyrohiv you can often meet workers of the museum and visitors who are dressed in national costumes as well as those who are participating in ancient crafts like weaving, molding and others. In autumn and in summer holidays of folk crafts take place here. Blacksmiths, potters, weavers and other masters show their crafts to public and create works of art in front of your eyes.
From Wikipedia

While we observed the museum a company of milk products has advertised its items. We had lots fun playing different games.

We won different presents as rewards. One of them was free food. As all of us were hungry a little. It was such a great blessing and joy! :) Yay!

It was fun to hear singing these grandmothers using national instruments.

As it was a festival and yarmarka( kind of Ukrainian bazar), where masters sell handmade items.

You can buy a Ukrainian rushnyk and vyshyvanka.

Most we loved these handmade beaded dresses! They are gorgeous!

Such a tiny house

Here lived pigs on the first "floor" and chickens lived over them during cold seasons.

The view inside of a house.

 Wooden Orthodox church

 I'm short. But what is a low down house! :)

Very old an Ukrainian stove

Beehives. One of them is about 500 years old!

One more wooden orthodox church.

The view inside

The village

It`s the oldest house in museum. Can you believe it`s 500 years old?! Wow!

Ok. And here is some of my favorite houses ;)

Tiny chicken house

Houses with flowers look so pretty!

The very old well. People still using it in villages.


 Girl`s favorite stuff, circlet of flowers :)

 We had a beautiful weather and blessed time. Everyone really loved this place.We spent all day long and were able to see only half of museum! Yes, it is huge museum and there lots of interesting stuff to see. We hope some day come back there and see the other part.  I hope you did not getting tired to see pictures. Those who know me in person, they know I love lots of pictures. Ha ha! Have a blessed day! ;)

September 8, 2015

What we have seen today

  We had such a sad and emotional day today. First. I would like to thank everyone who praying for Zhenya. She was so glad to hear people from abroad praying for her and caring. Thank you all! But she still need a lot of prayers...
   Zhenya had a surgery today in the morning. She was trembling and very scared. If you don't know, she had lost her baby yesterday. 

   We came to the hospital to visit her again today. And at this time a doctor wanted to check out everything or young mommy is okay. And they made a surgery again... Second time for a day. Zhenya felt absolutely everything and it was terribly to hear her screaming. When we asked a nurse to make an injection for Zhenya that she would not feel a pain. She said it is too late. A doctor is cleaning everything away right now. Than a nurse said they made her a novocaine, probably it did not help our girl and they can do nothing. Poor soul. Imagine this all, her screaming and tears made us all sick and we went out on the street to pray and wait until doctor finish everything...

 Then maybe 40 minutes later when doctor finished, we could visit Zhenya.

This is free government "nice" hospital in village. But you always have to buy medicine for your own money. If you don't have money, it is your problem, simply to die. Also hospital feeds you but very cheap food. It can be a soup, where few pieces of potatoes, maybe you will find there a carrot and you get a piece of bread. If your friends or relatives would not bring you food and not feed you, you would survive or become more sick or die. Maybe a nurse would feed you but there no guarantee.

The shower and toilet is only one for all corridor, where can be about 50 sick patients and plus staff who work there.If you don't have money to pay for medicine, staff can yelling at you, humiliate, don't take a good care, ignore you and so on.

Second day in a row we are crying and feel so sad about Zhenya... We prayed with her and comforted. My hands are trembling typing to think about what this poor mommy has to go through. She  trembling from fear and pain...

Zhenya should be 4 more days at hospital because she had a big term of pregnancy and she will get antibiotics that everything will be well and she be healthy. She has some problems with health. We are asking you to pray for poor girl God help and heal her.Thank you!

We got used to see this often, when we visit sick young adults, orphans or support and to be present with young mothers, when they give birth of little babies. Imagine how it can be hard if you don't have someone to help you? People feel lonely and depressed. But brother Kevin, who is our current guest from U.S. these days, he was shocked and cried...

We don`t know, who it was boy or girl whom the mommy lost. The baby was dead more than a week or two. Zhenya knows she will see her baby in the Heaven someday. Prayers, please, for our sweet girl.Thanks.


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