Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ukrainian Playground

When we were in Ukraine recently we took the kids to a playground in Ternopil.

I had read before about the elaborate, and sometimes strange, playgrounds in the former Soviet Union - such as the one in this picture below, so I was interested in checking one out.

Playground Kremlin

We were not disappointed. The playground we went to was both elaborate and strange. A perfect mixture of both elements which I had hoped to find.

The kids really liked it, and they had some pretty cool stuff - like a police officer that you could climb up into

There was also this cool castle that they could climb on

And this giant slide

But there were some strange things as well - like the "slide of death", a 3 story tall straight drop designed to give near-death experiences to toddlers

I heard stories of dads taking their kids up to the top and trying to make them go down, while the kids shouted "No!" and cried. Sounds like a nice family day at the park :-)

There was also a new prefab part of the playground

Ukrainian playgound, you did not disappoint us!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

From the Mouths of Babes


Lately Felicia has been having days where she wants only dad or only mom. Sometimes she has to have ONLY mom change her diaper and get her dressed, or ONLY dad put on her shoes or her jacket.

Tonight when I kissed her goodnight, I told her: "I love you Felicia" - to which she replied: "I love mom!"

On my way out the door tonight I told Nate: "Be obedient to your mom tonight" - to which he replied: "Ok dad. And you be obedient to Kati!" (the translator in the church).

Thanks Nate...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Brief Ministry Update

The last few months have been very encouraging and exciting.

In August we started a Bible study in the town of Heves, about 45 min south of Eger by car. This is something we had prayed about doing for years, but didn't feel that the time was right before. We started it in part as a way to reach out to people from our church who live in and around Heves, but shortly after we started it, the people we had originally started it for were not able to come for various reasons - however the Lord led a whole different group of people to the fellowship there.
We have started calling the Heves ministry a church plant of our Eger church, and there are an average of 25 people coming to the meetings, which are held in a house. Most of the people attending are Roma (Gypsies), and so we moved the Bible study from the culture center in downtown Heves out to this house in the Roma part of town. As a result, we have had a lot of people who aren't believers attending our services out of interest, and some of them have gotten saved.

We will have a baptism this coming Sunday (Nov 20) in which 3 new believers from the Heves church and 2 believers from our Eger church will get baptized. We are expecting a full house with our church and the Heves church together, and praying for a blessed time.

We have had a wave of new people in our church in Eger, which is encouraging for us. There are some people whom the Lord is raising up to take part in ministry as well, so we are praising Him for that as well.

Rosemary has been doing a women's book club for the women's ministry, which has been well attended and fruitful. She has also started a group for moms with small children as an outreach to non-believers, as well as a ministry to some moms in the church.

We have been doing a bit of traveling as well. We spent 2 weeks in October in Colorado visiting family, friends and ministry partners, and then the first week of November in Ukraine, where I (Nick) taught church history at the School of Missions at CC Ternopil.
The travel was a bit hard on our kids, mostly in that Nate is now having to get back in the routine of going to preschool and speaking Hungarian there. He was doing quite well in it before we left for the States, but after being out of that environment for about a month, he needs some time to get back to where he was.

Thank you for praying for us!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spelling Matters

One of the hardest things about English for those who learn it as a second language is that there are a lot of words that we don't spell phonetically.
Spell check filters out a lot of mistakes - but it doesn't when the word you spell is an actual word which means something else.

For example: at this restaurant in Ukraine, you can get a delicious "stake".

I hope that is just a misspelling of steak and not a comment on the quality of their meat.

If you aren't in the mood to eat a stake, you could always order some pancakes, AKA: "craps".

Again, I hope this is simply a misspelling of crêpes, and not a warning about what their pancakes taste like.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

A Few Thoughts After a Week in Ukraine

  1. I like Ukraine. Maybe it is the great people I know there. There is something about the country that I like a lot. Maybe I just like a bit of imperfection and incongruity. Maybe I just like a bit of grunge. I can't put my finger on it - but there is something I like about Ukraine.
  2. L'viv is a beautiful city. I would recommend everyone to go there. And it is closer to Eger by car than Krakow. Only 5 hrs away by car, and the roads are good. Not all roads in Ukraine are good - but that one is.
  3. Hungarian roads are GREAT. Whoever those people are who criticize Hungarian roads as bad, they have no idea what they are talking about, and they need to get out more.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Border Lines

It seems that this Ukrainian tea company doesn't believe in the existence of Hungary or Slovakia.

Probably it is a conspiracy from Romanian nationalists... :-)