Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Departure of The World Race (for lack of a better title to describe what I've been up to all month)

The last of The World Race teams left Ukraine Tuesday. The four teams that were in Odessa and Lugansk began arriving last Thursday. So for the weekend all 8 of the January 09 World Race teams were in Kyiv for their monthly debrief. You can learn all about their month of ministry in Ukraine by clicking "Blogs" and "Blogs by Group" and "January 2009" at The World Race website.

From all that I've heard, I think they had a great month of ministry. Three teams worked with ministry friends in and around Lugansk. Some of them taught English and lectured in classrooms. Some of them visited orphans throughout the month. The team in Odessa was met by a Ukrainian friend that led to a great month of relational ministry among University students. Teams here in Kyiv also taught English and ministered alongside Ukrainian University students. Some of them worked outreaches to Drug Addicts several times a week. Some of them worked with street kids. They made friends that will last beyond their brief time here.

The last night was pretty memorable. We had rented an apartment where two teams of girls had lived for the month. Most of the teams left town on Monday, but 2 or 3 teams couldn't leave until different times on Tuesday, so we put them all in the apartment that was already paid for.

So...Monday- right after my language class- I went to a local Ukrainian Baptist Church to host a Coffee House Ministry for some IMB friends that were out of town this week. Not long after arriving at the Coffee House, one of the guys at the apartment called to tell me the Police were there, asking a lot of questions and threatening to confiscate their passports! Apparently a suspicious neighbor called- what with all the loud Americans coming and going.

I told them to bow up as best they could and try not to let them leave with the passports. If all else failed, to appeal to be taken to the US Embassy and to write a "Ticket"...but not to pay a Bribe...and not to give up the passports! The closest thing to a "charge" was that the apartment address was not the same as the address listed on their Immigration Cards.

Fortunately for the team, one of their Ukrainian translator friends was nearby and arrived in just a few minutes to help communicate with the Policemen. As I understand it, I think the scene got pretty heated but in the end, it was agreed that the Police would not take the passports but that one of the team members had to appear in court the following morning.

So...on Tuesday morning Tim Dixon, his friend Galina and I went to the Police Station. I stayed outside and prayed...we didn't feel the need to introduce a new character to the play at that point. A few minutes later, Tim texted me that after the Police finished writing their report then they would go see a judge. A couple hours later, he called to tell me that the Judge read the report and concluded almost immediately that there was "no crime- case closed."

Prayers answered. Adventures had. Blogs written. Another day in Ukraine.

I mentioned that some of my IMB friends were out of town this week on a Retreat. So, I've been house-sitting/dog-sitting for one of them. The apartment is really nice and comfortable. Staying here this week really worked out well for me since my usual abode- a Ukrainian friends Ministry Office/apartment- has been really hectic this week because they are hosting a major conference this weekend.

So...that's October. I have been originally planning to return to Mississippi when this school semester is over in December...but due to cash-flow issues, I may be home the week of Thanksgiving. I should know for sure in a few days.


Vickie (Clinton's sister) said...

Amazing... what a month! Wow... storms survived... memories made... blessings begun...

Simply amazing... God used you for them, and them for you, and all of you for Him...

Johnny (Clintons Dad said...

Hey Man that was quite scary.
You be carefull and I will keep praying for you and all our guys there.