Chapter 9

There are many things that I used to classify as ‘noise’.  Noise can be anything from temporary things, such as a car pulling up next to me at a stop light playing loud music, to things that distract us from what we really want or should do, to actual audible noise.  We already established that Russians know I, as an American, live in Dzerzhinsk, and I’m not supportive of their invasion.  I have had my phone ‘tapped’; strange men have walked up and down my street, standing outside the children’s center; cars with dark tinted windows have stopped in front for periods of time…I understand this danger, but God provided the funds for this ministry, and me being here does keep the property safe.  No one wants a scandal to hurt or harm an American woman; so I stay here to protect the building and the houses, and allow the ‘center’ to be a refuge for those who need help.  Since our phone communications have been ‘tapped’, Rich and I have come up with code words to convey the real situation and possible danger that is around me.   For us, the word ‘noise’ has been the code word for ‘shooting or shelling’.  We have words like, ‘I’m going to go down under’, which to any person would mean, that I’m going to New Zealand or Australia, but for us that means, I’m going in the cellar, thus Rich knows the ‘noise’ is pretty bad.  I only ‘go down under’ when it is unpredictable that the house may be ‘hit’ by shelling or stray artillery.  We have other code words, but since the war continues, I really can’t share them here. 


Today was ‘noisy’.  Noisy, is our way of telling people that we were ‘shelled’ without actually saying that.  There was shelling most of the day, all day, and we could hear it in the distance…people say it was Ukraine shelling the separatists checkpoints of Konstyinavka and maybe the ones on the way to Gorlovka and Kardomfka too!!!  One thing one needs to remember, is if Ukraine military is firing at the DPR, that means they are firing ‘at’ Dzerzhinsk, because we are under the control of the DPR.  The likelihood of an exact aim is almost impossible, so hitting something in the surrounding area is quite possible.    The U.S. Embassy has already warned me that I am ‘here on my own’, they don’t recommend me being or staying here, and ‘they aren’t coming after me’, if I need help.  Comforting thought…not, but if I leave, it is too unpredictable what will happen.

The noise is intense, the windows are shaking and my supplies are ready, if I need to get in the cellar.   I have a rain poncho, my rubber ‘high’ boots and black socks, a Styrofoam cooler with flannel sheets, some food, utensils and napkins, matches, candles, a whistle, a hammer, one bucket, 2 folding chairs, light and extension cord (plugged in), change of clothing, toilet paper, some plastic sheets, a few plastic bags for trash, and WATER.  I have a broom laying next to the cellar, and a large crowbar.  If I must get in, I won’t close the door all the way, but lay the broom down to allow air to come in and if something were to fall on the house, at least there is some opening for someone to find me.    I have told several people, ‘if there is bombing in Zabalka (my district of town), and you don’t hear from me…assume I’m STUCK in the cellar and can’t get out.’  Just saying that sends a chill…but it is reality. I keep my computer, along with my phones plugged in at  time to keep them fully charged at all times.  It is scary to think through all this, I don’t like to think about it at all; and never in my years did I think going to Ukraine to minister to orphans would take me down this detour.  To think that 6 months ago, no one saw this coming, all was ‘activities at usual’, and all due to the greed of one world leader, and the mess the UA government was in at the time, Russia jumped at the chance to seize weak and unsuspecting Ukraine. Seeing this happen, and basically no one coming to Ukraine’s aid, was shocking. A treaty broken, a country invaded, UA citizens being randomly shot if they questioned ‘what was going on’…no one seemed to care, thought it was isolated to Crimea, when all along Putin had big plans…plans to go into the east for a land grab with the Donetsk and Lughansk oblast which boarder Russia. God calls us to ‘GO’, we are only told to ‘obey’ and never once do you read about people praying for protection when they ‘went out’ to minister to people.  People say, ‘I’m praying for your safety’ and I do appreciate that, but New Testament Biblically speaking, praying for ‘safety’ isn’t there.  Where does Paul, Peter, John, etc. pray that the path to share the gospel is easy, safe, without rejection, persecution; I can’t find that; we are just called to ‘go and share the gospel of Jesus Christ’, what happens… happens, God is with me.  So far, God has protected me, providing a hedge of protection, I continue to trust Him for my time here, or my time to ‘leave’.    But for right now, my mind is racing with the noise outside, and I watch from the 2nd story window of the center to see if I can see the direction of the bombs. 

In the hours after the airliner being shot down, a video surfaced, and I watched it. Clearly, it was filmed in Torez, having been there many times, I knew they were in that town. The men were laughing, and talking on the phone/radio to someone about what they were doing. They were given an order to ‘fire’, and you could hear and then see the missile…then moments later, you can hear the man on the phone curse and say, that was an airliner, NOT a UA military they shot down. You can hear several men cursing at each other at their ‘mistake’…This video has since ‘disappeared’ from the internet, when it was found to be so damaging to Russia. It is sad that the terrorist may not be held accountable for their murder of 300 people on that airliner….as Putin is scurrying to get that BUK missile launcher out of UA and back to RU.   What I can’t figure out, is how people can’t see this for what it is…it is like, do they WANT these terrorists to be their leaders…someone who will just go out and shoot you for what ever they trump up as a charge…no courts, no justice…just guilt and sentencing without a trial??   Pastors being kidnapped and questioned, or worse murdered… arbitrary taxes, curfews, basically they just make up the rules as they ‘go’ along….and it is amazing that perfectly intelligent people support this ridiculous ideology!   People are so ‘bent’ on NOT going with the EU, they are willing to go the extreme opposite and blindly follow this ‘little man.’

Sunday – 7-20-14

War noises have become more frequent, and seem to be getting closer…Gorlovka has been hit hard, and the UA army is trying to get the separatists block posts cleared out… I try to stay busy.  We have church at the children’s center, and 22 show up!  It is a good service, though I still think that Pastor talks too long.  He needs to learn to make his point, and stop going over and over the same points, it bores people after a while and then they just shut down.   Lera came to church, so that was good!    Later, more kids arrive, but by 5:30-6 they get really loud and unruly, so I have been sending them home.  Without a translator, it is difficult at best to work with them.  Trying to maintain ‘order’, do activities with them, and calm their fears; as their ‘go to’, is to be loud, trying to dispel the noise.  Later in the evening, the ‘noise’ is even louder, and it seems that it is getting closer to Dzerzhinsk.  Then about 9 p.m. an eerie silence falls on us, and it was ‘quiet’ the rest of the night…

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