When publishing yesterday's post, I realized that the next post, this post, would be number one thousand. It seems incredible that I have written that many blog posts over the last eight years, with most of them over the last four, I think.
So obviously this should be a momentous post. An incredible story, or something like that. While I try to think of something, let's remember how we got here... too bad Garry is not here to ask for his thoughts, but he is in Ukraine, while I am in NJ, visiting my Dad.
It was 2007 and we were dairy farmers in Manitoba Canada. Three boys still in school, four finished and working on the farm, at least part-time. Our daughter was teaching two hours away from the farm. Oldest son married, with a grand baby on the way
1- Garry went on a mission trip to China.
1a- He felt called to become a missionary
2- Chuck convinced him that I should take TESOL at Providence (missionary wives need something to do)
2a - I went and finished my long delayed college diploma. Class of 1981* nope 2009!
*my graduating class out of high school at DelVal, where Garry got his BS in dairy science in 1980
3- China wasn't working out, and Wasfy told Garry to consider Ukraine, which has lots of cows.
4- To get my BA, I need experience in another country teaching English, and after not being selected for a different team, end up in Dnepropetrovsk, with Garry tagging along July 2008.
4a- We meet Victor, and spend a weekend at his house in the village of Nikolaipolia.
5- We apply to become mission associates with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada, and Garry flies back to Dnepropetrovsk to figure out the details of moving to start a demonstration farm.*there is a great story about Garry, jet lag, sleepwalking, and looking for the bathroom. If you ever meet him ask him to tell it, I can't recreate it on paper or screen, and do it justice.
6- We move to Ukraine, two teenage boys, eight suitcases of stuff, leaving Manitoba the morning after their older brother graduates from high school. Just in time for me to teach English for the month.
7- Renovate the other half of Victor's village house, added kitchen, bathroom and living area. Finished in October but still had to cook in the summer kitchen until we got back from our Dec to Feb vacation at home.Started home schooling for the first time.
7a- Met John and EV Weins, who invited us for Canadian Thanksgiving. John talks about the trade school he wants to start for orphan grads.
8- In 2010 build barn, host our first work team. find a herd of cows, milkers and feed for the winter.
9- Boys return to Manitoba in 2011 for the summer and stay to go to school. Garry and I start teaching at John's trade school.
10- After John's death, Garry runs trade school 2.0, the economical version.
That sums it up, or you can read the first 999 posts for the details...except the fact that Garry is still renogiating my contract. When we started in 2009, we we going to have the demonstration farm up and running in two years so we wouldn't be in Ukraine full time.
That's why the boys went home then but Garry found a new project in the school and lost his heart to a second family of young people who need him. Don't worry I have had better benefits since year two, more trips home. Even though Garry and his other kids miss me while I am gone.