Things have been going just great in Ukraine.
The last few days of June and into July were spent with friends, old and new, at the Kerch United Methodist church a few paces from the Black Sea.
A team of Americans from Tennessee led a youth and young adult leadership conference for United Methodists across Ukraine. Five of the students from the student center joined in on the fun and they were a huge asset to the team. We all found ourselves translating and leading - in Ukrainian and Russian. It was exhausting but a huge amount of fun. I swam at night in the warm water - but never found a chance to lie on the beach and soak up any sun.
I trained for a day in Kiev with Bill and Helen Lovelace. In a few short weeks I will begin volunteering full time at the center for street children that they run in Kiev.
The Virginia-L'viv team flew into Kiev and put me up at a nice hotel. I stayed with one of our students who was from the village. It was so much fun watching him play with all of the levers, knobs, and switches in our fancy hotel room. He spent about 10 minutes trying to open the window - and when I told him that we probably had air-conditioning he said, "No, Michael." When I turned the air-conditioning on his eyes got as big as saucers.
The Virginia team led us in a trek into the Carpathian mountains for a week of English camp. 30 students and 18 American helpers shared a week of fun and learning. It was great to spend time with people and to rest. I napped not infrequently.
This week is Kid's Club. We had 15 kids this morning (as well as several moms, dads, grandmothers, and grandfathers!) show up for a Bible based Kid's Club. Erika will begin holding Sunday School on Sundays - so we're praying that at least some of these kids and their families will join us.
Next week will be spent in Berlin at the Global Young People's Convocation. When I return I will immediately travel to Kiev and set up residence there for a month of volunteering with homeless children and at risk families.