Thursday, October 23, 2008

First Week in Kharkov

Today marks one week for us in Kharkov, Ukraine! It has gone by so fast but we feel that we are settling so well. We both are starting to feel at home here as we learn and settle in to our apartment. Everyday something exciting happens or we discover something new.

This picture is of our team together on Sunday. The Hindmans are on the left and the McDougles are on the right.

A favorite event for David now is grocery shopping; the grocery stores and the little shops remind him of the supermarkets and dairies back in New Zealand (even though he can't read any of the product labels). David came to the Ukraine with the impression that they didn't have any of the same foods, so when he goes and finds something he recognizes, it is like finding a lost treasure and he gets so excited he tells everyone about his find.

Olivia has loved being close to the other families on the team. We are all within 5 minutes walking distance (if you have no kids to slow you down) of our teammates! When our team moved apart from each other at the beginning of the year, we didn't realize how hard it would be to be a team, but not together. Now that we are together again it is a lot easier to function together, as a team. It has been great to become reacquainted with each other, and a close team once again.

For the first time this last Sunday, our team met as a church in Kharkov, Ukraine. It was a great time of praise, communion, and worship. As we worshiped together, the reality of what we were a part of became clear and we all got excited. We were sent here, partnering with many of you, to be the Body of Christ in a city filled with people who have yet to know the Good News. This Sunday was only the beginning of what God is doing and will do through his people here!

This picture is of Malachi Hindman (back) and Canaan McDougle (front) playing at our house in the train tent we brought with us.

Of course over this last week we have discovered many things which remind us that we are not in heaven yet. There have been some good things and bad things. To our blessing though we have been able to view everything with a humorous attitude. Once we hit culture shock that attitude will probably become scarce, but for now, we are loving even the difficulties.
I'll share some of the good and bad sides of the things we have come across:
  • There are supermarkets with everything we need... but we can't read what any of the products are.
  • The apartments all have radiators in every room... but for some reason the heat hasn't been turned on yet.
  • Our apartment has indoor plumbing... but the bathroom floods if we use a lot of water.
  • The kids on the team are together again... but one of them is sick, so they can't play together.
  • The people smile and look friendly... but we can't talk to them.
  • I was able to bring my computer here from USA... but I blew it up when I plugged it in.
  • Computer stores sell replacement parts... (no bad side, it is all good! My computer is fixed.)
  • Our apartment is all set up for internet... but the building is not; no internet (for now)
  • We have been able to meet with a Russian language tutor... but she spoke no English
  • There are many things that are different we will need to get used to as we make Kharkov our home. With time, those differences will fade and we will hardly notice what really stands out right now, but until then, we doing our best to enjoy it all!
Thank you all for your prayers. From all the horror stories you hear about people moving to other countries and having so many difficulties in the move, we expected it to be tough. But, because of your help in prayers and supplications we have had one of the easiest moves possible. Thanks be to God and to His Body!

Love you all!


payton said...


i'm so glad you guys are safe and are getting settled in. i love you guys and am glad that i got to know you a little bit before you left. maybe god bless your time and i hope we can keep up with each other.

payton giacomarro.

hey david, we're on our third lesson, thank you for the books. they help.

Jay Jarboe said...

Great to see you all together in Kharkov.
Praying for you all,

Nancy said...

The picture of the whole team together made me smile! I loved the list of fortunately/unfortunately! That was great!
I hope Livia is feeling better!

Mihills Family Blog said...

I was so glad to find a new posting from Kharkov!! I'm also glad to see that you haven't lost your sense of humor. I can't even begin to imagine the difficulties that you're facing every day. But I can imagine you finding a Russian tutor only to find out that she doesn't speak English. How funny!! Although...that may make you learn faster.

You and the rest of the team are in our prayers daily. We look forward to more posts and pictures.

Love to you both,

Russell & Debbie

Anonymous said...

Your team picture put a lump in my throat! So happy you are finally together! I love the list too! I wanted to comment on the the fact that your language teacher doesn't speak English - that's actually a good thing! My teacher spoke pretty good English and by the time we finished it was even better - but our Slovak, not so much!

Love you guys!

Guy & Nan said...

Fun times! Yeah I never understood having a Russian teacher who spoke no English. It works eventually but is so frustrating! It is good to see Chi and Canaan playing. i am sure Canaan is enjoying having a friend! We think about all of you a lot and I especially wish I could walk down the streets with you and be in that environment! Glad your attitudes are good right now!! Loev you, Nan

Rechele said...

So glad to hear you made it okay. I remember all too well the feelings of the good and the bad even with the same events. I lived in Germany for 4 1/2 years when Ashleigh was a baby. God bless your team. We will continue to pray for you.

Rechele Bonner