Ukrainian Christmas

You know, I had originally planned on writing a blog post signally the start of my sophmore year. It was going to give lots of exciting life updates about what I had done over the summer and what I was going to do in the fall. 

I never got around to it. 

Then I was planning to write one when decided to go to Ukraine. It was going to tell you all about our plans and how excited we were for the trip. I never got around to that one either. 

Life happens that way sometimes. I’m learning that’s ok. I’m learning finally that’s it’s ok to slow down. It’s been a tough semester, and I’ve learned that the hard way, and it’s not been fun. But it seems the best way to really learn something is to fail at it…over, and over, and over. 

Now I’ve begun a 20+ hour journey to Ukraine, so I figured now would be a good time to tell y’all about our trip, as well as a couple life updates. 

Mitch moved to Nashville in early October. He was able to get a job and is currently also living with my grandparents until he saves up enough for a place of his own. After over a year of dating long distance, it’s sooo nice to have him be nearby and be able to see him every day. It’s definitely stretched and changed our relationship, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re excited and getting ready for our wedding, which is now five months away! 

We also decided to go to Ukraine over my Christmas break. I am BEYOND excited to go back. It’s been 552 days since I’ve been there. FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY TWO. I have missed it dearly. We’ll get to visit some of our ministries and catch up with old friends. Since Mitch stayed longer than I did, he’s going to take me to some new ministries and new friends as well. 

You may remember me talking and/or writing about Plyskiv, the institution for adults with special needs. One of our fellow DTS students who originally took us to Plyskiv, Gert, is taking us back on Monday. He and his team have continued to serve the institution and helping with improvements. Since visiting the first time, I have a huge passion for this place. I can’t wait to visit again. I’m hoping some of the same residents will still be there. 

Mitch spent most of his second Ukraine trip in Kyiv. He’s going to take us to an after-school tutor ministry for kids with special needs. I’m very excited to see how the special education system works in Ukraine now that I’ve seen it Stateside. It will also be my first time meeting kids with special needs outside the orphanage, and seeing how they are treated. I’ve only seen two or three people with special needs in the cities before; it’s still fairly rare for families to keep their children with special needs. 

Both of these ministries lie at the heart of what I want to do when I graduate. Hopefully we will also get to meet Mitch’s friend who is an occupational therapist for special needs as well. All in all, this is a wonderful trip to build bridges and maintain connections for our future missions here. I’ll be posting Short Facebook posts occasionally, and I’ll do an actual blogpost when I get back.

Thank you for your support and prayers!

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