Jayne, my flat mate, went to the hospital for "treatments" of some kind so we went there to meet her and pick her up. I took some pictures of the adult hospital. It is quite different from home. I will try and post pictures when I figure out how to do it!! We met Zoya and Raisa at the hospital and then after we picked her up we had to go to the Orthodox park.
Monday...still a holiday for Ukraine...we went with Zoya and Raisa to a park that has a beautiful Orthodox church, kiddy park, and zoo. It was such a treat for the ladies to get out and fellowship with other people. Here it is so difficult to go any where (because of the expense) and their flats are very small so they don't invite many people to come there, and eating out is not done (again because of expense)...so for me to invite them is a treat for them.
We enjoyed the walk, and the time to visit and encourage one another. It was interesting to the whole group the way things are at this church. It is a beautiful day, there is a place to see a little zoo, there is a spot for the children to play, there are many trees (like a small forest) surrounding the area, places to picnic, and NO way to see the inside of the church. No one was there, and they are only open on Saturday and Sunday, and then sometimes you can have certain types of services if you pay. It was interesting.
While there, we met, and were able to greet, Oxsana, Galina, Ira (Galina's daughter from London), and their friend Marina. I usually pay to stay at Galina's flat but this year her daughter is here for a visit. It was a very good visit, and we also had a chance to talk about God, the church, His creation, and relations between people of different cultures. It seems to me that the Ukrainians are surprised to hear me say that I love this country! You all know that I DO! But I think it surprises them.
After the park we went downtown to a mall and developed the pictures I took that day. The ladies do not get a chance to have pictures of themselves so that was a treat for them. They are thrilled to get copies, so I make sure I go to some place that developes fairly quickly. It is a little cheaper here, but not much.
On Tuesday we went to Helen's house and had lunch. I brought the pictures from before and gave them to the ladies that came. There were several of the older ladies who never get to go any where who were there. A different Zoya came, Tanya, and Raisa, and Lydia also was there. Helen used to cook for the president of Ukraine several years ago...she can still cook like she did before!
We took more pictures, ate some incredible food, and had a deep time of discussion. There was a lot about forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Also, the important part the ladies play in the goings on of the church. It was an emotional, but necessary discussion. Again, I am drained from some of the discussion, but know that it will be okay...you are praying!
On Wednesday we will to the Dawn orphanage. We will take packets of school supplies and visit with the girls. I will write you again soon...you KNOW that I love you!