Wednesday, 24 January 2018

the hard update

Where to start? Those who know us personally have received newsletters and updates over the last few months, which we could not publish publicly. In short, some horrible things happened within Transition Home. Once a family of 9, we are back down to 6. (including Sveta who is happily apartment-sharing with church friends but still very much part of the family). Really we cannot say more than that in this very public forum, without bringing unnecessary shame to those who we still need to seek to love and protect.

Whilst drama and heartbreak was unfolding in one area of our lives, God encouraged us in perfect timing in another area. When we were just about ready to give up in the rebuild of the fire-damaged house, we suddenly found a new set of of good builders, some more finances and most of all some good friendship and support.
This followed a year of very hard and pretty lonely efforts to make the house habitable again, so, when we could see the house suddenly transformed within 6 weeks, by new builders and friends who were motivated by their care for us to be home again, we were completely stunned. We moved in about 3 weeks ago and still find ourselves in an (open-mouthed, "are we dreaming?") kind of celebration that we are actually here. 

God used his people and his resources to turn around a stressful and very bleak situation into a miracle. Really, it's a miracle. For those who have watched 'changing rooms' or any other kind of home renovation TV show, it has nothing on this! There weren't stairs, flooring, lights, furniture or even plaster on all the walls only 2 days before we moved in. Josh and our friend Denis were working through the nights (after Denis's two other day jobs) with Denis's wife, Luba (expecting a first baby) working extremely unsociable hours to help. The actual house move itself also happened overnight, with me packing as the kids slept and Josh running back and forth with Sveta to bring things to the house and tree included... so we could surprise the kids in the morning.

Here are some snippets from a recent newsletter:   
We have just about unpacked and Zeb is now content in his “big boy bed". After 9 months in the apartment with just a few rooms and no oven, we are rather enjoying the space as well as the roast potatoes. Now we are on the other side of the annual onslaught of Ukrainian, international and Soviet public holidays and festivals, we have an important couple of months ahead of us.
From now until the spring, as well as finding a family rhythm in the new house and serving in the orphanages, we will be seeking guidance and wisdom in prayer and from experienced individuals and other organisations whom have been working in the same area as we have been. We want to better understand if/how Transition Home ministry can move onwards and upwards from the problems which occurred, as well as keeping ourselves open to what God has in store for us as a family.
One unavoidable big decision to be made soon is how to manage Joni’s education, she will soon be 7 and due to graduate from ‘sadik’ (ukrainian pre-school). Prayer in this area (as well as for Zeb, being new to ukrainian-speaking nursery) would be much appreciated. 

We will be happy to make time for skype calls with anyone who wants more of a chat. There is so much more, as always, that we could write about. For now, here are some recent photos:

Christmas at the apartment - in matching jumpers (thanks, Auntie Francine!)

our first day back home

Swedish DTS (Discipleship Training school) visiting Vinnitsa for January/February
Sveta's birthday
in the garden - just a little bit cold!
Tallulah & Joni

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