Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I had to get in here quickly and write a disclaimer.
Precious friends are sending me sweet notes about how wonderful I am.
I just need to say...I'm not wonderful at all...
I'm human and I've said and done things that I never thought I'd say and do...Those little tidbits were cleaned up for blog posting!
And many tidbits were left out...there was a reason!!!
Jesus is wonderful and has been the sustaining ONE!!!
We also know that our friends and family have prayed for us and encouraged us through these years and know what prayer can do...so you can celebrate too...fourteen years of lifting us up in prayer...
Don't stop now!!! CAUSE we STILL aren't perfect or wonderful. Just serving a WONDERFUL LORD!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
In 1994 Stockwells over the Ocean did SOAR...
Today, October 14, 2008 marks fourteen years of living and serving in Ukraine.
We came with 24 bags (with more in the states to be brought by volunteer teams.)
Rumor was that we could not even buy tooth-paste here. Were we surprised to find Colgate and many other things we thought we would not have.
Still, the pickings were bare and our first Christmas was pretty pitiful (that’s for you Teri Pope!) So pitiful in fact, that the next year our home church, Houston Northwest, sent us packages and the Leveretts…we had to send the Leveretts back.
I remember being in the middle of Culture Shock and thinking about Jesus…how He must have felt when He left the splendor of Heaven for me…talk about Culture Shock…to come from Heaven to earth! I mean, I thought that leaving America (TEXAS) was bad, but think about it, to leave perfection (and God the Father) to come to EARTH…wow…what LOVE!
I try not to remember much of language school…but I do remember when Mick told me that he thought we should move out EAST (go East young woman!) My feet kept walking (we were on our way to language school) but my spirit stopped. I didn’t want to go out East…that was further from America (TEXASJ) and further from the capital, further from the doctor who knew that Americans (TEXANS) loved NEW needles when being poked!
But the Lord quickly reminded me that He didn’t bring me half way (really, more than half way) around the world to not be in His perfect will. So, I said, “Yes, Lord…if You want us to move East, it is East we go!”
And East we went. What fulfillment we found! Our boys grew up there. They learned Russian, made friends, worked in the churches, served with volunteer teams when they came, and became men in Kharkov, Ukraine (out East.) I’m so glad we obeyed.
We are back in Kiev now. Serving in a much different capacity…but fulfilled all the same. Because we are where He has put us for this time.
Life is different in Ukraine. Mick and I walked the main street of Kiev today and saw many new sights...we still don’t have a Starbucks or Pizza Hut or SONIC. The clothes do seem to match better these days. People smell better and I can understand MOST of what they are saying!
I enjoy church services now and have Ukrainian friends!
Our personal life looks different…it is just Mick, KoKo (the dog) and me in our home... I still miss the boys, but as I've said, it is such a pleasure to watch them as MEN...and MEN can not live at home (too bad!) We love having a girl in the family (even though she lives with Christopher in the states) and are thrilled to be getting another soon. I am well on my way to being a happy LONG DISTANCE MOM.
Christopher called today and we talked about life issues as grown ups. We spoke of days gone by here in Ukraine and of the future.
Though there are changes daily...I am not afraid of the future as I walk in obedience to Him.
Fourteen years and counting!
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I Corinthians 15:58
The song, GREAT ADVENTURE was our theme song in 1994
Enjoy it here!!!
Stockwells in 1994
Mick shopping for our dinner...or is that sugar?
Well, either way, sugar could make a good dinner!!!
Saint Andrew's street in Kiev
The boys and Ms. Zoya
Stockwells and Shevchenkos
The Stockwells today