Learn to read Russian:

Chapter 14


I decided yesterday to purchase some white-wash and finish the summer kitchen at the little house.  It would really make it look better, not that anyone sees its, but all the same, house maintenance.  I stopped at the home store and purchased what I thought was ‘paint’.  well, about burned my hands off…I THOUGHT I bought more chalk paint to finish the house garage, instead I think I bought some kind of remover, containing acid.  Interestingly, I mix this stuff with my hands, and last time I did it, it was really difficult to get off my hands, so this time, I decide to wear gloves…thank GOD, really, truly, God must have put that memory in my head…as I poured the stuff into the water, and started to stir and stir, because I had gloves on, I didn’t know that it was getting hotter…I could still feel lumps in it, so I decided to stick my hands in and mix, like I usually do.  Stuck one hand in and it was like BOILING water, and immediately pulled it out, but by then it was a boiling liquid…I grabbed the bucket handle and threw it in the grass, thinking that I was going to have some chemical explosion.!!   I immediately started rinsing my gloved hand, and throwing water on the steaming mess on the ground, it was totally weird…but I came to the conclusion it was a ‘remover’ for chalk paint, instead of the paint..I’m so thankful God prompted me to wear gloves. 

With no ‘white-wash’ to complete painting the garage, my attention turned to ‘fruit’ to make juice.   Juice is now doubled in price, so I’m taking advantage of the fruit we have and making my own!!    I have apples, plums, purple grapes, green grapes.  This is all a new adventure, but since we have such an abundance of fruit, I thought I could figure out some way to make juice.  I boiled grapes before leaving for the lake for afternoon swimming.  I will put them through the grinder and then working on apples, when I return.

The kids are enjoying going to ‘the lake’, but only Aloysha can swim.  I decided, if they go to the lake, then they must learn to swim.  The best way for me, is to find Russian speaking youtubes on ‘basic swimming’.  Everyday that they want to swim, is everyday they watch a video.  Once arriving at the lake, they must spend the first 20-30 minutes practicing what they learned.  Kids came at 2 and we watched a video on swimming.   Yesterday, Rada and Artur REFUSED to stay for Bible class, and I told them that they would not be allowed to swim the next day (today), if they left.  They left, and I told them, ‘you will not go tomorrow.’    But, here they show up, thinking I was going to allow them to go swimming.  I told them, ‘NO’, and Rada stomped out, and slammed the door.   About 20 minutes later and their mother calls asking why they can’t go… and apologizes for them.  Like that is supposed to do anything for me!!!   It really upsets me that this mother won’t allow them to reap their consequences.   So she pleads and pleads, it is totally ridiculous to say the least, Olya is desperately trying to explain that they were disrespectful and that this is the consequences.     She isn’t ‘hearing’ me at all, and she doesn’t seem to understand why I can’t bend the rules for her kids!!!.     The conversation ends, and about 10 minutes later, they both show up, Artur and Rada!   Rada appears to have been crying, and comes in and immediately apologizes for her behavior, Artur, as usual says nothing…just like he is so innocent.     I told them ‘NO MORE CHANCES, LISTEN TO ME< OR YOU WILL NOT GO WITH US AGAIN…   COME TO BIBLE STUDY< OR YOU WILL NOT GO AGAIN.!    They seemed to get that I really meant business here, and I wasn’t going to take this anymore!      So after watching the videos, we were off to the lake for swimming…    They both were MUCH better, and thanked me profusely for allowing them to join us.  I dropped them all off at home, and returned to the center, to try to make the juice.

Well, we have no internet…which means, no talking to the family today.  I guess I will cook/bake,  glad I had looked at my juice recipes before we lost the internet.   One has to plan that when you leave your house, you may lose power, or water while you are gone…so, you always have the dishes done, toilets flushed, etc.   I usually try to write the family in the a.m. so that they know how the day is going…and then if I lost internet, they will at least know what was going on prior to that.   The things you have to think about when you live in a war zone.   I used to leave the house with everything…documents, computers, change of clothing, etc.  It was terrible to go out, very difficult, but now since the army is here, I do feel better, but still, everything is packed, and I can be out of the house in about 10 minutes, if need be.  This is not a way to live!

8:27 p.m.  is the precise time it started to RAIN, we desperately need rain!!!  And this is the first rain we have had in probably 3 weeks, maybe longer!!!   The ground is terribly cracked, and the gardens are burning up.    Please let it rain and rain!!!  

9:05 p.m.  still raining!!! And still no internet…..

9:15 p.m.  the rain has slowed to a drizzle;  like a faucet, it seemed to turn on full blast, and then just STOP.   Praying that it may start again, it would be perfect to drizzle all night…and saturate the ground.    But I’m thankful all the same to this rain we had.  God knows our needs, every one of them.  He is in control.  There have been so many times, that I have questioned, and then later, we see the reasons why things happened that way that they did, or plans changed, whatever the reasons…it always come to light.  God never fails us. 

Tried to watch the T.V tonight, thinking that maybe some channels were freed up…well, no internet, no T.V., which may be a good thing, since so many people believe the lies they are playing on the very few channels we have;  I have never seen so much junk on T.V.  they basically have 5 types of shows.  T.V. consists of cartoons, news propaganda, soap operas, old movies, and music T.V.  That’s it!  News is the most obvious, and do they have a lot of news, and BAD news at that, incorrect news.   News showing old war footage, some not even in  UA at all, but putting captions on it like it is happening today!  People believe that junk, it is like, ‘where is your brain??   Cartoons are just STUPID, can you imagine 24 hours of that type of stupid stuff.    Music T.V. is nothing but SEX, beauty and emptiness, unfortunately, SEX SELLS!!!   That is the same with ‘soap opera’s’, sex, and do they have sex, all over the T.V.  just like, WOW, shut that junk OFF!!!   I just think about what kids minds are being filled with!!  So no T.V. and no internet…. Hummm…so time to try and get some rest.

Woke up at 3:15 a.m., it is hot in the house.  I sleep with the windows closed and locked, because there have been incidents where people have been kidnapped from their homes.  Since I’m the last American here, I can’t take any chances on this.   I must be very careful.   I’m so exhausted by the time I go to bed, I sleep soundly, and though I haven’t had ANY problems so far, I don’t want to ‘test’ the situation.  Granted the dogs go crazy when there are people on the street, but again, I might not hear them.   Anyway, it was hot, so I lay there trying to find a cool spot on the sheets.  Finally dozed back off….

Got up this a.m. with family on my mind.  I so miss them, and wish there was a way for us all to be together.   The cost of living here is so cheap, it pays to live here, but then there is the fear factor, and language factor.   Plus, some of my family members don’t want to live here,  the U.S. is quite comfortable.  It all goes with the lifestyle in the U.S., it isn’t just them, many people stand under the same umbrella.  When you put criteria on service to others, it seems to take the element of God from it, and becomes your own mission.  Many times God is unpredictable, unplanned, service just happens before your eyes, and you step in and serve the need before you.  One has to be looking, intentional and attuned to needs, and not just be duped into helping, when there is no need but manipulation.  And, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  Service isn’t always comfortable.  It is hot, tiring, expensive, dirty, stressful, sacrificial.  Many people haven’t ventured outside of their comfort circle.  Traveling is scary to them, and would require great sacrifice, which they aren’t ready to give up.  In the meantime, their time and many times money, will be spent on restaurants, movies, Disney and frivolous things for themselves.  Maybe one day they will see that those things really don’t matter to God and that God never put His own comfort before the comfort of others.   

8/8/14 – so we still have no internet at 12:10 pm, still no getting it on the horizon, seems that a tower was hit, so who knows when we may get internet again.   Could be an hour, or a week.  ~~

Miraculous!  Internet returns late afternoon!!  Yeah!!!   Thank you Jesus!!

Andrei (Commander of the local battalion) calls me around 3, asking if we are at the Center.  I have the kids at the lake today, still trying to get through this 95 degree+ heat.  He says that they have some ‘presents for the kids and wanted to bring them by, and what time is good?’  I reply that we will return by 5, as we have Bible study in the evening.   The kids are excited wondering who our guests will be…I keep it all a secret, to just intrigue them!   We swim a bit longer, and then gather our things and leave at 4:30, with plenty of time to return to the center, and tidy up a bit before they arrive at 5.  5:20 comes, and they still are not at the center, so I text Andrei to let him know we are back and that the kids are excited to meet ‘their guests’.

Within 10 minutes of my text, a large army jeep arrives with 6 men.  They are fully armored and suited as professional soldiers.  I meet them in the yard, and they pull through the gates.  They unload and start to carry boxes in the center.  One by one, they bring 10 boxes of various sizes.  We don’t open the items then, the kids want to meet them and see their equipment.  Despite the reality of the situation, it was all very exciting for the kids, and some of them even held the guns.   The men were all VERY nice, and several spoke English.  One, in particular shared that he lived in Ireland for 4 years, and he has returned to UA to help his countrymen.   He mentioned that he is a Christian, so I offered him a Bible, which he gladly received, saying that when he came to UA, his space was very limited on what he could bring.  Unfortunately his Bible didn’t make the ‘cut’.  He was very happy to have a complete Bible.  I was so happy that I could give this precious gift to him.   I would really like to invite them to join us for church, but with church members, Volodia and Ira’s opinions about the war, it may be best not to open that ‘can of worms.’   These church members, though sweet friends, believe that UA is at fault, and that RU isn’t even involved in this war at all, that it is all just small groups of men that don’t want the EU (which they don’t want the EU) in Ukraine.  It just seems so odd to me that people think this way, as when the DPR were in Dz., the DPR did NOTHING for the community, with exception to ‘taking’…they didn’t offer any help, food, water, nothing to the community people, or displaced people.  It was obvious, at best, that they had no interest in any relations with the locals.  They were only after a ‘land grab.’     The UA army men, quite the contrary, have been nothing but generous, offering help in any way. 

After unloading all the aid, the soldiers insisted on photos with the kids, and it was all a lot of fun, they were a very good group of men to have at the center to represent the UA army.  We prayed in a circle with them before they left.  They brought wonderful gifts, of: soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet tissue, napkins, cleaning supplies, cookies, and a box of beautiful fall jackets for our young teen girls.  They left, and we continued our Bible study, and later had more conversation with the kids about the soldiers and their job, ending with how we need to respect them, as they are our physical protectors. 

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