As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Packed and almost ready

I have finally got my bags packed for my flights tomorrow.  I'll fly out around 3:30 in the afternoon Wednesday and get to Dnepro at 8:30 pm Thursday.  You lose eight hours flying to Ukraine from Winnipeg.  I discovered while checking in today I could check two bags, so some of the stuff I wasn't going to bring is packed now.

I did stay until after Canadian Thanksgiving as I planned.  We had to do it on Monday because even though we only had rain here at the farm, two hours west in Morden there was two feet of snow! That's where we went to eat and after dinner the kids had fun making snowmen.

Meanwhile Garry has been busy, he taught the new guys on Monday and Tuesday with Victor translating.  Victor also translated for the Crawford's student dinner and devotions Monday evening. Victor sent me some photos from class. Larissa's going to teach on Thursdays this year. I may do cooking class on Wednesdays.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

He made it

Garry arrived safely in Ukraine on Monday and made it back to the village from Kyiv by train and Victor picking him up, arriving in the wee hours overnight.  He spent Tuesday checking on everything,  which I'm happy to report that he said all looks great. They planted the wheat a week ago, and had a couple nice rains since.

He met a new student, Arthur, and played some pingpong with him. The students had their first day of class with Larissa Tuesday and she posted a couple photos.  Only two new guys in the photo, and the Sasha who returned after working his way around Ukraine. 

You might notice Vika (pink jacket) in one photo,  she had a couple days off work and came out to the village to visit. She does have a new nephew to visit now (she's Oksana's sister).

Monday, October 7, 2019

Garry is on his way

Its still too wet to get in the field here in Manitoba.  On Tuesday evening we drove out to Morden for a lovely dinner with our daughter and her family.

Wednesday we helped our oldest son and family pack the UHaul truck for their move to their new church and home in Saskatchewan.  I helped with more packing all day Thursday before they drove out on Friday. 
They made it

Garry went on a three day road trip to Wisconsin and the World Dairy Expo, with son #2.  They got back home Saturday around noon and he immediately packed his suitcase with various free samples he brought back and all the parts and tools he bought while he was here. He also tucked in Leila's birthday present,  because her birthday is in the next week. Right now he's somewhere over the ocean on a plane from Toronto to Vienna enroute to Kyiv.  Then he'll take the train to Dnepro. 

We had a bit of a family dinner  (the ones that live in the village of St Labre) and then this morning Garry drove to the airport (in the rain of course). I drove home later in the day, not as much rain then, but its pouring and thundering now at seven pm. 

I have booked my ticket for ten days after Garry, after Canadian Thanksgiving as planned, and hoping my return will get me here before our new granddaughter arrives. 

Monday, September 30, 2019

Rain, rain, go to Ukraine

Well, its fall in Ukraine and the guys need rain so they can plant the winter wheat. Every year, they work up the ground where the sunflowers were planted to plant winter wheat on for next year, but wait until there's moisture to plant so it will germinate well and grow. Of course,  they want it to grow a bit (but not too much) before winter arrives. This can happen anytime from September through the end of October, even early November,   as early winter is usually cool and drizzling. 

However,  the corn still needs to be combined, so hopefully  the rain doesn't come with a big  windstorm.  I'm sure its dry enough,  but they haven't been able to sell the sunflowers,  and both sides of the storage shed are full of the sunflower seeds they combined back in August. Garry was sure that it would be done while he was gone.

Garry will be back in Ukraine next week Monday,  we booked his ticket this week. I am sure he has bought more parts than will fit into his suitcase already. This week he hopes to help the guys make more corn silage,  but its not looking good at the moment.  Sunday afternoon and evening it was pouring rain, again.

His vacation plan to come help the guys make corn silage has not gone as planned. This past week he got to drive truck two days. Thursday it dried out enough to chop before more rain came.

Photo by 2 year old
Friday he helped Micah install a new door on his house, because it was too wet to work in the field. We had lunch there with Matt,  Kari and missionaries with AIM (they went to Nepal with them last year).

Saturday our youngest son was on a tractor helping pull the trucks that got stuck in the mud all day. They went until 10:30 Saturday night and then covered the pile with plastic because they knew the rain was coming. At least it hasn't frosted here yet, although I have seen some fields that have driving out to Morden. 

Sunday morning found most of the family in church in Piney, for our son Matthew and family's farewell service and potluck with pig roast.  They will be moving at the end of the week and next Sunday Matt will be preaching at his new church.

  It's hard to believe that the two little granddaughters we left behind nine years ago are taller than me now, but we have photos.  At least their two younger sisters,  and all their cousins will be little for a while longer.

She's only eleven! 

This week Garry's going to World Dairy Expo in Madison Wisconsin, so he'll get to do one thing he planned when he booked his trip home  (Garry and I debate where home is, for me home is here in Manitoba,  for him, he says in Nikolaipolia).

Today he's helping Josh and Matt with herd check in the barn in the morning (some of the younger guys headed to Madison this morning) before we go to meet with Doug and Marcie Rempel, who will be organizing the mission trip next spring from Steinbach.

Wednesday evening we met with the prayer group at Emmanuel EFree, and Garry could not resist heading into choir practice with Doug and Marcie afterwards.  He's booked his ticket back on December 3rd, so he can practice with them and sing in the Christmas Eve services again this year.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Family time

We have had some family time of the four generations kind this past week.  Garry's dad arrived on Tuesday morning  (he drove up after visiting Garry's sister near Chicago).  Tuesday and Wednesday they tried some fishing and on Thursday and Friday until the thunderstorms came through,  Garry finally got to drive silage truck like he planned to do here in Manitoba. 

The weekend has been family time with great grandpa as it was too wet to do much! We had family dinner with most of the family Saturday night and celebrated a birthday this afternoon. 

The sun is supposed  to come out tomorrow,  so they hope to go fishing again before Garry's dad heads back to Ontario on Tuesday.  It will be a few days, or longer, before its dry enough  to get back in the fields. 

2020 spring work teams

We met with three guys from the global impact committee (former mission committee) from church Monday afternoon to talk about the project Garry would like to get some work teams (hopefully from several churches) to help build next spring. 
Ten years ago

Not in the village this time, but in the city of Dnepro,  its an addition to Morningstar church's house that will become the sanctuary or meeting room. Morningstar is one of the two Evangelical Free Churches in Dnepro,  and was formerly known as the International Church. It has almost had a new church building a few times in its history. We started attending the church after moving  to Ukraine.  A number of members speak English. At the time, they met in the auditorium of a military truck driving school.  We attend the church in the village more often recently but still go there at least once a month. The Crawfords attend regularly since they arrived, Scott has preached with a translator a few times.

Not long after we came to Ukraine,  they had money to build a church of their own. Unfortunately the builder they gave the money to invested it in building some houses first and lost it all in the economic downturn.  Eventually they got his home in place of the lost money, and for the last couple years, instead of renting a building to meet in, they have met in the house, after opening a wall downstairs to make a larger room.  They continue working on turning the upstairs into Sunday school classrooms.  It is very crowded,  especially during praise and worship time before the children go upstairs to Sunday school.

If you're interested in coming to Ukraine to help with this project next year please contact us! 
We are also considering another VBS or camp in the village during spring break, like we had in 2017, and a small home build in the village for one of our married couples.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Open Farm Day, part two

We had a busy day, Garry was out to the barn early and I visited with Abby and her parents from six thirty am until eight (she's an early riser). Then we got changed and drove to Steinbach for church.

We talked to lots of people before and after church, some of them said they were coming out to see the farm in the afternoon.

When we got home, the guys had already been doing tours for almost two hours, the hotdogs were almost ready and it was warming up fast.

Garry ended up giving several guided tours of the farm, some to people from church, some with the pickup truck (there's a lot of walking for the regular tour). Some of our friends went off with one of the boys. The official count (based on registration for the steak knife giveaway) was about 200, but I don't think that included all the kids. There was a steady stream of visitors all day, from ten to six pm. Josh went out on his last tour with an RCMP officer at quarter to six.

I was out there most of the afternoon,  helping greet people in the hot sun. It was suddenly summer, after days of cool and often wet weather.  There was a number of families from our granddaughter Alethea's class from Sprague and area, she was celebrating her sixth birthday,  so those kids and her cousins got goodie bags, over and above the food and dairy promotional items.

 The ice cream machine was very popular with everyone.  Some people started and finished the tour with a cone. It was a mix we bought,  not from our own cows, but made with real milk from cows.

After most of the crowd was gone we started the family party and Alethea enjoyed dinner, presents, and cake (made by Aunt Crystal),  with her other grandparents coming to celebrate.

 Before the end of the party, the Philadelphia Eagles game started, and Garry managed to stay awake until the end, as different families headed home with tired kids.