Monday, June 4, 2012

3 cups of tea

May 11th – – There was a book published some time ago with the title “Three Cups of Tea.” Today, I experienced the Ukrainian version of this. I had a lunch date with one of my friends here in Ukraine, Tanya. It was the first chance we had to really visit since I arrived. I am amazed at how her boys have grown and it was nice to catch-up. She loves to hear stories about my dad and family in America. After lunch, we sat and continued to visit over a cup of tea and some sweets. I thought to myself, how much I love having tea parties. This is something Tanya and I did a lot of when I was in Ukraine before. We ended our time together with a promise get together again with hopes of really reestablishing our friendship. Next I head to Pastor Sasha’s house. His mother, Natasha, had invited me over after church on Sunday, but I was not able to come. Today I was going to visit with her. I arrived at their house and we had a time of visiting. It was exciting to see the changes in their home since I have been gone. They now have running water in their house, I was excited to see their indoor toilet and sink and other improvements they have been able to make. We sat down to visit and I was served tea and sweets. It was lovely to have time to visit and try to catch-up. In the middle of our visit, Pastor Sasha left and Natasha and I continued our time together. Natasha received a phone call from one of the ladies in the church that is handicapped, also named Natasha, asking for help. So Pastor’s mom and I went to help the other Natasha. When we arrived, Natasha was delighted to see that I had come. We helped her with what she needed and then she insisted on serving us tea! When I tried to declined she showed me that she had “special London tea” – it was earl grey. Then she went on to explain that it was English so I had to like it. This made me laugh a little and I agreed to have tea and more sweets. Another lady from church came over as well and the four of us had a lovely tea party that ended with a time of prayer and singing hymns. I was excited to remember some of the words to a couple of the songs – it is amazing how my brain can store and access information that I do not even know is there! In the end, it was an amazing day! Admittedly, I completely ruined my supper, but just the simple act of sitting down and spending time with people over a cup of tea made a difference to each of us. So often I think ministry has been be these grand programs, but time and love are gifts and ministry as well. Thankful for my three cups of tea.

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