Everything from A to Z

Each year, missionaries with the IMB have meetings called AGM (annual general meeting). Some years AGM has a thousand missionaries gathered in one place while other years AGM only has 75-100. The Orthodox Cluster, which is what the Eastern European countries can be referred to, had their AGM in Kyiv, Ukraine. A Christian camp just outside of the city housed all these missionaries, their kids, and a volunteer team from Arkansas. The days are filled with worship services, breakout sessions, and some other general meetings. The volunteer team from Arkansas led a VBS type camp for all of the kids, provided nursery, and held Bible studies for the youth. At night, the missionaries and their families participate in a game night, a talent show, Lottie Moon auction, and some free time! The picture above is of a world replica found in the Dream Town mall in Kyiv! It was pretty amazing!

My job for the week was to work with a fellow summer missionary, Stephanie Cowart! She is from Memphis, Tennessee, and she was absolutely amazing! We had the very difficult job of running the concession stand for all the missionaries! Stephanie was a very good salesman, and by the end of the week, she had taught me a few pointers also. We ended up selling out of everything, and we were paid off to get rid of the pistachios. We were pretty relentless! We were also able to help the volunteer team in the nursery. We got to play with some precious kids and just be silly with them. I made crowns out of weeds for the little girls, and we slid down this amazingly odd ramp that made a perfect slide for the kids. We had so much fun just helping out with AGM and providing help wherever it was needed! Overall, I had an amazing week. I got to meet so many missionaries from Romania, Armenia, Georgia, and all over Ukraine. I had the opportunity to talk to almost all of them personally about where they serve and the different ministries they have started in their cities/countries. I felt like I was getting the inside scoop of missionary life! This is definitely a place I want to be one day ... on the mission field! This experience definitely served to affirm my calling to missions ... some how, some way, some day!

This picture was taken in the middle of Kyiv on our last day before we caught our train back to Kharkov. I just thought it was a beautiful picture, and I couldn't pass up the Kodak moment!

This is just a picture of me standing in front of this gorgeous monument and scenery.

This past week I went to the WWII museum just outside of Kharkov. It was so interesting to see how Ukraine was affected during this war, and I loved seeing a part of Kharkov's history. This is just a monument just outside the museum.

This church just sits to the right of the museum, and I thought it was absolutely beautiful!

This is a picture of traditional Ukrainian dress back in the day! I actually bought a shirt similar to this to wear when I share about my summer and experiences.

My translator, Masha, and I in front of the WWII monument.

On Friday of last week, Wendy and I went to the graduation of one of our friends. Joy comes to our Bible study on Tuesdays night, and she has become a very good friend of mine. She is from Uganda, and unfortunately, she will be returning home very soon! She graduated with a bachelor's degree in interior design! I was so excited that we got to go to Joy's graduation, but I must admit that I experienced a very short moment of culture shock. This was the most unusual graduation I have ever been to in my entire life. the professors/administrators of the school all sat across the front of the stage, and they each took their turn to come up to the microphone and speak about the same thing(remember, in Russian).

This is a picture of Joy, Wendy, and me at the graduation. Flowers are a necessity when going to a graduation, and a good thing to know is that you can only by an odd number of flowers unless you are buying flowers for somebody who is dead! :) The graduation basically consisted of one man calling out the names of the students, and they one by one came up to the stage to accept their diploma. It was MASS CHAOS! It kind of made me anxious just watching the scene take place. Some guys were in T-shirts and jeans, and it really looked like the Ukrainians all showed up that morning like any other morning except they decided they wanted to graduate that day! This was a once in lifetime experience ... at least until next Monday when I get to attend another graduation. There will definitely be pictures to come!

This is our first day of ESL class for Chinese students! In case you don't know, I LOVE CHINA, and I love Chinese people and food! I am having so much fun getting to know these students, and today we ended up have SIX students which is double the number we had the first day of class! SLAVABOHU! I am so thankful that God is continuing to use here in Kharkov. I never expected for God to bring me all the way to Ukraine to minister to and witness to the Chinese and Africans! What a blessing! My heart has been so blessed, and I don't think I have ever been happier than I am now ... Living in Ukraine, teaching the Chinese, and hanging out with some AMAZING African girls!

This is more than I could have ever imagined! Eph. 3:20

Until the whole world hears,