Saturday, May 5, 2012


The trip from my home in Indiana to my home in Ukraine was much shorter this time than on previous trips because we are now able to fly into an airport that is much nearer to our home. Before we had to fly into the capital city and then travel by train and by car, making the average trip about 36 hours long. This time, I left Indianapolis around noon on Wednesday and arrived at my apartment in Berdyansk, Ukraine at about noon (Indiana time) on Thursday. Quite lovely! I was rather tired when I arrived, but I was delighted by the surprise that greeted me. As we opened the outer door to the building I was confronted by a humorously dressed “security guard,” my friend Igor. He stopped me with a sign, a demand for my papers, questions, a hand print “scan” and a face check. I felt my weariness fading away replaced by joy and excitement. My apartment is on the second floor and the requirement to climb the stairs was that I had to read the words written on each step (thankfully they were written in English). They were all words of affirmation, it was such an encouragement! As we got to the top of the stairs, one of the other WGM missionaries Frank Dewey opened my apartment door. I turned to thank Igor for the greeting and for carrying my luggage up the stairs for me – behind me, there was a popping balloon and a shower of confetti as my friends Veka, Katya, and Allosha all jumped out to surprise me. What a gift and a blessing. I have cleaned up the confetti, but I have left the rest of the decorations, balloons, and welcome sign. How long do you think I can leave them up?
a picture of my welcoming party - Igor, Veka and their daughter Jessica. Katya and Allosha - the flowers are for me, I love receiving flowers!

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