Wednesday-Thursday, May 12-13: A 3-D experience for VISION!
Some 31 hours after their 4am wake-up call Wednesday morning to get to the San Diego airport, we’re thankful to report that Thursday night the VISION team members have settled in with the Christian families who will host us for the first week of our ministry here in Ukraine.
It took two vans, three planes and two minibuses to get us here. That’s one more bus than expected, because, though the trips were all safe and without serious incident, they were not completely trouble free.
DELAY: After our five-hour flight across the country to a rainy Dulles airport near Washington, D.C., we boarded the jumbo jet bound for our eight-hour hop across the Atlantic After pulling away from the gate, however, we stopped out on the taxiway and began a 75-minute wait for weather nearby to clear, along with the heavy air traffic that had been re-routed around it.
Finally we took off and “enjoyed” the long overnight flight to Vienna’s airport. The trouble is that the delay gave us only a half hour to get to our connecting flight to Dniepropetrovs’k, Ukraine, and in the process, we found ourselves in very large herd ( to call it a line would be too polite) of other travelers with our same problem trying to get though a security line. Though we actually arrived at the gate over 10 minutes after the announced departure time, the Lord held the plane for us, and we climbed aboard for the last leg of our journey.
DIVERSION: So the last leg turned out to be a little crooked. In the air we heard our flight was being diverted to another airport some 50 miles AWAY from Dniepropetrovs’k, due we believe to some diplomatic activity that closed that airport. Then, when we did land at the alternate airport, the customs officials held us up, brought in an English speaking person so they could question us at length about our intended activity in the country. (Our sweatshirts with John 3:16 on the back in Russian could be a clue.) Finally, after some conversation with the missionary traveling with us, John Townsend, they relented, and all was well. The airline (Austrian) arranged for a minibus to haul us over to Dniepropetrovs’k airport which took about 90 minutes. (That was the extra, unintended bus.)
There we met some of the Ukrainian brothers and sisters who have been arranging our schedule this week, and we all got on ANOTHER mini-bus (the one planned for all along), to take another hour’s drive to Dnieperzerzhins’k (Do not adjust your computer monitor...these are real places!)
It is here in Dnieperzerzhins’k where we will sever until next Thursday morning, when we take a train to Kharkov.
DINNER: On arrive, we were treated to a wonderful meal of borsht (the Ukrainian national soup) and a type of pasta stuffed with potato. I’ll have to get the name, but it sounded like “Brenneke” the family name of a former VISION member from the 90's.
While in the process of recovery from jet lag, we will hit the ground running Friday from morning to evening with 3-4 ministry opportunities that have been set up for us. Please pray for stamina after the grueling travel (I could use some just to finish this message!), and especially for the Spirit’s empowering of our presentations and interactions on Friday (starting at 10pm Thursday California time). Ukraine is 10 hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Time.
Signing off for now...some photos to come...Thanks for supporting and praying for VISION XVIII and Ukraine 2010.
VISION Team Faculty Adviser