Monday, 30 May 2016

Welcome to Vinnitsia / Ласкаво просимо в Вінниці

We know many of you are alongside us in spirit and support, so this post is to say "Welcome to Vinnitsia," to you...

 We are finally here in Vinnitsia, Ukraine and trying to settle in. We would love for our friends and family to come and visit to see us here; in the meantime here are lots of pictures so you can get a feel for the city and see where we are...

the two YWAM 'Transition Homes' side by side
 One of the first thing's we did when we arrived was to buy a table and chairs for the garden, so that we can eat together in the sunshine. We want our home to be a place where people find community and openness.  An outreach team from YWAM Vienna came for an afternoon to walk and pray around the neighbourhood, praying that we will be a blessing to those around us and that the local community's positive interest in our orphan ministry may grow. Hopefully we will soon have an opportunity to invite neighbours over for tea with us in the garden! 

Here is Vinnitsia on a map. We're a few hours drive away from Ternopil, our previous base (but still no-where near the fighting in the East)

'Roshen' chocolate factory's light-show fountain

Vinnitsia tram
wooden Orthodox church

we made a quick trip back to Ternopil to collect our visas
Praise God, we got our temporary residency visas, which will last us for the next year until we have to renew them. The process was miraculously smooth, from the start of the process in London (Notting Hill - where Josh found a parking space right outside the consulate!) to collecting our visas in Ternopil. We had to go to one derelict building and another wrong address before we found the right office - with a gigantic queue - and were waved to the front of the line for a quick stamp to finish our applications.

Zebedee's birthday cake, 'dog' (his favourite word)
We living together with the Washington family (who have been running Transition Home 1 in Vinnitsia thus far), until they move back to England in a couple of weeks. This was particularly fun when we were able to celebrate Zeb's first birthday together and Fritha helped me to make this lovely cake for him. He stayed in his high chair eating it long after everyone else had left the table, happily shouting 'DOG' at the cake tray over and over again. Please pray for the Washington's as they pack up and say goodbyes to be able to 'leave well', and for us to be able to settle in quickly and easily.
May 17th: Zebedee's first birthday
Vinnitsia clock tower
Here are me and the children in Vinnitsia's central square. The children are doing well, we are trying to get Zeb's first year vaccinations organised here (pray for that) and Joni has just started a new school which is lovely although she tells us she has 'butterflies' when she thinks about it. Please pray with us that she settles in quickly, has lots of fun, learns language quickly and makes great new friends.

Other news from us...

One girl who is leaving an orphanage this summer has agreed to move into Transition Home, her sister may possible come as well. Sveta has said she would like to stay on in the Transition Home with us, after the Washingtons leave. Please pray that the right young people would come to live with us and that the preparations and practical arrangements for this would be smooth and complication-free. The two boys we have been praying for, Oleg and Petya, would also like to move in. They will be living in the second house here, which is built but awaiting finishing touches. It looks likely that a couple of male members of YWAM staff will be sleeping in the boys house to supervise them and the girls will be with us. We will all be working together in a Transition Home community, with the boys and girls coming together for regular meals, time together and life skills workshops.

We attended an orphanage graduation day this week, which I could write a whole blog post about in itself. It was very emotional for everybody, especially for the young people who have an orphans summer camp to go but potentially no plans for where to go after that. The girls and boys who graduated looked lovely and, as is traditional, danced and sang together in a graduation concert. Some previous graduates came, smelling of alcohol. Some of the graduates had parents that came, some didn't. I found it very, very hard to imagine being a parent visiting my child on their graduation day from an orphanage. I saw so many really sad interactions and so much fear, as well as unknowing, in the teens about to enter the world outside the orphanage for the first time. I won't write any more, but please pray for a miraculous reduction in the numbers of kids growing up here in state care, for all families in Ukraine to be loving and healthy, and for the outcomes of all of the young people leaving orphanages this year.

1 comment:

  1. Loved that cake well done!! Sounds like it was a hit with Zebedee too. Thanks for the photos of the town and helping us get a feel for where you are. We will pray for those graduates.