Sunday, 28 September 2014

After what felt like forever planning to, we finally left the UK for Warsaw earlier this week...

We got to Ukraine late on Wednesday after flying to Warsaw then getting a 10 hour bus ride to Lviv in Ukraine and then a few more hours on a train to get to Ternopil. Joni held up quite well on the journey and it feels so good to finally be here unpacked and ready to get stuck in, it feels like we have been waiting to get here for such a long time! It was a shock arriving to find pretty much no-one speaks English out and about, and all the signs are in Cyrillic. When we got to the train station, I had absolutely no idea how to find out where the toilet was without doing really embarrassing sign language - thank goodness for Josh's Russian lessons!

Lots of news and change recently (we are still having to suppress nerves and just trust in God with every change and bit of uncertainty). YWAM has had to delay the Discipleship Training School for now there were too few people wanting to come here as students or new staff this year. They were pleased we wanted to come to volunteer until the DTS starts and we are excited about getting going with language learning and helping with their existing areas of ministry. The local schools are closing for the winter months because of the economy here (to save money on gas we have been told) so YWAM is hoping to put on lots of kid camps and classes as outreach. Josh has been invited to go for a week-long trip to Central Ukraine where the Ukrainian soldiers are camped up, to play concerts in the region. The idea is to play worship music and share the gospel between songs, with particular emphasis on having a personal relationship with God (to encourage the soldiers to pray and seek closeness with Him). Another YWAM team is going into the eastern regions to do outreach with civilians. We need to pray and try to discern what God wants us to be focusing on in the next month, as YWAM needs help here in Ternopil with their children's ministries and youth camps, too. 

Some more exciting news is that we found out I'm pregnant :) We had just enough time for an early scan in the UK to check everything is OK before we left and we can have phone appointments with the midwife in the UK. If all goes as planned we are booked to have the baby at St. Peters hospital in Surrey in May. We feel so blessed,  and we sure God has been helping to look after us at this time -  a lot! 

Joni has already said she prefers Ukraine to England because we have seen lots of play parks this week, it's a relief that she is continuing to adapt well even after a long and tiring journey. Josh's passion for this part of the world has had him beaming since we arrived, he says he already feels a sense of 'home'. I have discovered what a difference anti-sickness medication can make, I needn't have worried about missing out on anything or being stuck indoors. I also discovered today that if you order 'hot chocolate' here, you end up with a cup of steamed pudding mix which is just like hot 'Angel Delight', pretty nice on a chilly day.

Lots and lots of love,
Nina, Josh & Joni


  1. Great to hear from you all. Please keep us updated.


  2. Hi! So glad you now have a blog and a site to direct people to when they ask about you. Will add it on the Langley Marish webpage, use it to keep the parish updated and also as a prayer guide. Lots of love.