I was thinking the other day about how to summarize this year. Every month has been some new adventure for our family. Here are a few highlights from each month:
- In January we prepared for evacuation, while I recovered from surgery
- In February Russia attacked, and we evacuated our family and a good friend to the EU (Katya Snead, Таня Стоколос, Irena Stokolos, and Olya Romanchak + two dogs and a cat)
- In March we all got covid, and I did a humanitarian run into Ukraine with a friend
- In April we served refugees, and I preached and led worship in refugee churches
- In May we took in humanitarian aid and took refugees out to the EU
- In June we bought a bigger car in Ukraine and flew to America
- In July we were in America, visiting churches
- In August we were in America, visiting family
- In September Katya and I graduated from seminary and started spending more and more time in Ukraine
- In October we translated for chaplains and prepared for an evangelical concert
- In November we worked at the Ukrainian seminary—Katya translated for one class while I taught another—and I published a book about Ukrainian holidays
- In December we prepared for winter (there’s often no power in Ukraine), I started my master’s degree, and Katya translated at the seminary
Some cool things we’ve learned this year:
- Sitting in a line for 62 hours is not too bad if you’re with people you love
- Pets are a wonderful stress reducer, especially if they’re well-trained and behaved
- You can still get a lot of work done if the power is out and the internet doesn’t work, just make sure your computer is always charged
- Always fill up your thermos with hot water before bed, because you don’t know if there’ll be electricity to make coffee in the morning
- If the power goes out while you’re cooking, the electric stove is usually still hot enough to warm up leftovers from yesterday
- Camping stoves are awesome, and so are sleeping bags and all the other camping equipment and experience we’ve had over the years
- A balcony makes a great refrigerator during the winter
- Jesus really is all you need, but you really do need Him every day!
For some reason, I feel like this year still has a few more months left in it. It’s hard to believe that 2023 is just around the corner. God, please make this war end quickly, so that by the end of next year, we’ll be able to praise You with all the rebuilding we’ve already done in Ukraine.
In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.