Here’s an outline of my time in Ukraine so far:
July 27th (Tuesday) – fly from Indy to Chicago and then London
Wednesday – fly from London to Kyiv, then take an overnight train with Mike from Kyiv to L’viv
Thursday – arrive in L’viv, immediately take a bus to Ternopil for the 2010 Ukraine Worship Conference
Thursday-Saturday – in Ternopil for the conference
Saturday – went to L’viv, hung out with the Pratts during the day
Sunday – church at the Pratt’s house
I’m having a great time, learning a lot already, and meeting a bunch of really cool people. While I was in Chicago, there was a big group in the airport of students and their leaders heading for North Africa to do some missions work. That was super cool. They needed some guitar strings, and I happened to have some in my guitar case. On my flight from Chicago to London, I met a family from Switzerland that was returning with their daughters who were exchange students. I got to talk to the dad for a long time. While in London, I met another group coming back from Africa that was there teaching some kind of youth seminars or something with Salvation Army. A bunch of them were from Messiah College. There was another young woman in the airport that went a similar area in Africa that just got done teaching first aid.
When I got to Kyiv, going through Customs was a total breeze, praise the LORD! Mike Pratt picked me up, we dropped off my bags at the check-in at the train station, and then spent some time around town. We got my cell phone up and running (which, subsequently, has had a LOT of problems… :P), had some ice cream, and talked about vision. God’s good, and He’s showing me through those talks that I really need to grow in prayer.
Something kinda crazy happened in the train ride to L’viv. After I fell asleep on the train, I woke up once and knew where I was, especially because the conductor lady was talking to us in Russian to wake us up. Then, later, I woke up again and thought I was in Indiana again. When I realized where I was, I didn’t believe it. I honestly thought, “No… I’m in Indiana.”
I think I spent about an hour in L’viv. Mike and I went to McDonalds, and then he dropped me off at the bus stop. I was soon in Ternopil, worshipping the LORD with the others at the conference. God really spoke to my heart there, confirming a lot of things and encouraging me toward more pure worship of Him, spending time with Him personally. It was so cool. I also met Alyosha, the pastor from Kyiv. That was really cool. He was very encouraging. A few of my friends were there from my other travels in Ukraine: Nate Medlong, Levi and Nastya Brinkerhoff, Jon Markey, and a few others. It was a really good time of worship, the Word, and fellowship. A-mazing.
Now, I’m back in L’viv, hanging with the Pratts. Thanks a lot for all of the prayers and encouraging messages. God is good.