New Friends

July 26, 2014 – I realized that I must keep my ‘new friends’ a secret, as they are well hidden at the stadium, and RU can’t find out this information, or they will be targeted, along with the rest of Dzerzhinsk.   Still no internet at the house, thus I sit many nights at the center talking with the family.   Tonight was especially scary, as I could hear in the distance helicopter(s).  Nightly I hear them, they seem to be circling Dzerzhinsk, looking for movement at night since we continue under a dusk to dawn curfew, people should not be out on the streets, this is when the separatists take their chance to advance or invade.   I can hear in the distance machine gun fire, though it isn’t uncommon to hear this throughout the night.  But tonight the helicopter seems closer, so curiosity got the better of me.   I’m sitting at the downstairs window looking out towards the volleyball court, so if the motion sensor lights flip on, I can see what is ‘out there’.  I see on the frame of the window, very bright lights, too bright to be the flood light from the house, and directionally incorrect to be the flood light on the center.  I stand up to look out the window, and ‘oh my goodness’, the helicopter is literally over the top of Zabalka, about a block away, and they have their huge lights pointed to the ground.  I hear machine guns just blocks away.   I could hear the copter getting closer to the center, and it hovered over my house with their lights pointing at the open space, which was the volleyball court behind the house, but next to the center.  Their lights were directly in the windows of the center, I hit the floor  slapping my laptop closed, and lay there behind the radiator, that was as far as I could go, as their lights were too close, and they were probably looking for movement.  I KNOW they would not intentionally hurt me, but in an effort to stop separatists, they could shoot, if they saw me standing at the window, as a threat of any kind.   Earlier, they obviously WERE shooting at something, as I have been hearing the gunfire.      They finally moved on, and I took my chance to run home, must hurry.   The rest of the night was on and off gunfire, but no more helicopters.   I lay in bed most of the night just tossing and turning, and thinking about the events earlier in the evening.  Adrealine racing, my mind is scattered, but I’m able to utter thanks to God for continued protection.

July 30, 2014 – received a call today from Andrei asking if we needed food to distribute to the community.  I said, ‘sure!!’  So he and 7 of his men brought over about 1000 kilos of food:  Egg powder, milk, sugar, pasta, kasha, rice, cookies, condensed milk, gretcha, yellow peas, candy and another grain, (not sure what it is called).  Much of it was in huge bags, and I would need to separate it to smaller bags for distribution.   We stood and talked a while, and they took a tour of the center.  I invited them to come anytime they would like for some rest and ping-pong, basketball, volleyball.  Granted, I realize that this is a war, not summer camp, but they needed some ‘down time’.  The men were all very nice, and we took some photos.  The neighbors were getting an EYE full, that is for sure…But, the food will be a great ministry tool, so we are very thankful, and thankful for this new friend, and that we could minister to the men also.   Unfortunately, there were NO children today, due to the booms in the community, they all stayed home…but it was probably best, though the men wanted to see the kids.   ~~  After the men left, I set to work to start dividing the large bags of food…It was going to be a task alone to do this, sure miss Angela (((((.   Anyway, I got 4 bags ready and went to the neighbors, and gave out food for 12, the first night.  Thank you Lord for this ministry of food.!!   My back is just killing me, and I must get a shower, some meds, lay down…and sleep.… 

July 31, 2014 – Receiving this gift of food from the UA army was wonderful, but now I must repackage the food for distribution.  Several 100 kilo bags of rice, sugar, grains, and more will feed so many people; but it is labor intensive, so I must ask the kids to help me.  Spent most of the day packing food into 2k smaller bags. Fellow sister in Christ, and neighbor, Larissa came and helped, along with a few of the older kids.  We have enough food for about 25 families, with about 1-3 kilos of each product in each box.  I collected boxes when I went to get the plastic bags, so that we could put the food in boxes, the bags are really thin and the less handling the better.    I let the kids know that we were blessed, and that if they knew of families that needed to please let me know.    Olya and Rada brought 2 families.  Larissa knew of 2, then we went to other families in the neighborhood and gave them boxes of food.  They were all so surprised and thankful; we in turn thank the soldiers and gave glory to God for this divine meeting. 

8/1/14 – Due to the events of the 21st. I never was able to complete the painting of the house.  I needed to finish my painting work, but with my new ‘friends’, and  their ‘gift’ of food, this was keeping me busy.  Today I decided to work on painting the little house, it needed it, and looked pretty rough.  Was able to get the exterior 3-side completed, and it looks great!  Despite the booms most of the day, children came to Bible study, and we had 3.  Sasha stayed, and we decided to deliver a few boxes of food in his area.   Sasha went along with me, as he was familiar with the families that needed food.  It is always a blessing to bless others.  To see their unexpected joy must bring happiness to the Father! 

8/3/14 – Sunday – church today we had 14, 3 visitors, Dima Chorna, Dasha (a friend of Nastia’s), and Vlad, an orphan coming for food.   Artur brought him, and was so silly throughout the service, he finally left, but Vlad stayed.   After services, we had tea and muffins.  I made zucchini muffins yesterday and sure glad I did, because we have not had power since about 3 a.m.   Don’t know what is going on…but hope it returns.    After tea, Ira and Sasha helped me pack food bags, and Ira, Dima and I left for the Servna (north) district of Dzerzhinsk for food delivery.   Stopped off at 3 houses, and then dropped them off at home.  What a great day, then I took the kids to the lake to swim.  Seems there is a lake basically in the middle of town across the street from the Lenin Hospital.  I have lived or visited Dz. for 16 years, and never knew this ‘lake’ was here.  It appears to be ‘man made’, but the kids enjoy it, and it is free, free is good, and it gives the kids something to do.   

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