Yesterday marked three months since the accident that changed our world.
Illya's mom came to Pilgrims student worship service on Thursday. She introduced herself to our community and she apologized that she hadn't come sooner. She said, "Illya always dreamed that I would one day come to Pilgrims and see this wonderful community. I'm so sorry that I never came with him while I had the chance."
Illya's mom worshiped with us, and shared with the community her son loved so much.
And we face the reality of moving forward in the face of pain. It is hard to look at pictures of the past, because they are filled with faces of those we have loved and lost. It is hard to ask people to move forward into a new day until all have grieved fully.
Each person grieves differently. I remember when my great grandmother died, I was so angry at my mother because she wasn't crying at the funeral. I was seven or eight or even younger - but I had been to enough funerals to know that tears were mandatory. As an adult, I understand how grateful my mother had been for her grandmother's life and that she had passed away peacefully after a very long life. Each person grieves differently, perceives the situation differently, and processes in his or her own time.
I look on in wonder at the ways God has sustained our communities here in Ukraine. It continues to amaze me to see the way that leaders have emerged and stepped up to lead. God continues to bless these ministries in spite of all of our weaknesses. Love and time heal all things. Our wounds are slowly healing, and we continue to feel God's presence during this difficult time.