Life happening... year-end 2015

Anticipating even more in 2016!

Ending 2015 on a sweet note!

My plans as we end 2015 were to compose, this week, a year end pictorial of life and ministry in Ukraine and abroad, but then.... happened!! A family in crisis... and the Lord's grace to meet the need.

...another reminder, too, of why I'm here. (Or rather, why the Lord has returned me here once again.)

Instead of pics today, to end the year, would you walk with me, for a few moments through a small picture of 'life happening' in Ukraine?

Thank you!

Happy New Year!

* * *

Nothing was sweeter than hearing over the phone, "Dima* wanted you to know that we got the graphic done, together. We start tomorrow. We know it will be tough but it is good. Thank you, Renee', so much for your help." (* name changed for privacy)

I had been seeing it all with my own eyes ever since my return to Ukraine in May...tantrum throwing, angry and harsh words, rudeness in front of guests, slamming of doors, plates and silverware...but more significantly, the breaking of hearts...

...from a soon-to-be12-year old boy
trying to figure out how to do life.

My plans for one day
with these friends rapidly turned into three as I helped with some baking projects (loving every minute of it!)...and unbeknownst to me, a former teacher, to walk with Dima down a difficult road.

On the second day,
after what seemed like the dozenth tantrum in a matter of days, the Holy Spirit prompted me, in a moment of quiet with otherwise normally playful and cheerful Dima, to sit with talk real with him...he's a sharp kid...A few games here and a few laughs there, relationship was developing enough to get to the heart of the matter...

...and share first about my own rebellion.

I was frank
about the time just a few short years ago, in the 10 years of my absence in his life, when I too was throwing tantrums, slamming doors (if not literally then figuratively, in my heart soul, and mind) and how people were worried for me...

...and fought for me...

...speaking hard words
of truth...and yes, even at my age, disciplining me...

I was angry
I was no longer in Ukraine. I was angry I was stuck behind a computer when I was wanting to ministering among the people as I had for years. I was angry that people weren't listening to me. I was just simply...angry!

So many ugly things
were coming out of me. In my rebellion, I pleaded with those around me, "Really, this isn't me!" Yet none of us could deny the was me...and it wasn't pretty.

And then...God's love...and especially His grace...broke through...exactly 6 years ago this week, on Christmas morning.

Dima's eyes showed he was tracking every word.

Through gifts I didn't deserve...from those very ones receiving my wrath...I understood God's grace...deep in my soul...and his love through His people...fighting for me.

My circumstances didn't change...but I did.

grace and loved reached me.

Just like
his mom (and me) are trying to reach Dima.

Dima is listening...
(and working out a behavior/job graphic to help him)...and ready to receive his mother's...and God's love for him.

So proud of that little man. :-)

* * *

I'm off now to bring in the new year with Dima and his family. Can't wait to see what God is doing.

Thank you for joining me on this little journey of faith...and for sending me to walk with Dima.

Happy New Year!!


Creating in 2015...warming up for 2016!

Here is just a glimpse of my first painting in a long time. Another few days this week the internet was down so I finally sat down to create. I am praying to make a painting a day for the next 30 days until my arrival to the States for two months. (Lord willing, with upcoming trauma healing plans.) Join me in prayer for these creations and the stories they will tell. I would plan to sell them to help with financing my ministry. Thank you! Happy New Year!
2015 Year-End Gift

I anticipate 2016 filled with many more stories like Dima and Tanya's. Your gift is part of God's provision to minister here in Ukraine. Given today, Dec. 31, it will be tax-deductible for 2015, if later, then it'll start my 2016! Happy New Year!!