Was Honked At Today And Am Glad

Was honked at on the drive home today.

When I looked over, a Ukrainian man smiled and gave me the thumbs up.

Was trying to figure out why… no bumper stickers on my car, wasn’t driving particularly well… was he able to tell from my diplomatic plates that I was American?

At the next stoplight, he got out, ran over, gave me a Euromaidan/Ukraine ribbon and told me “Thank you” in Ukrainian.

I had tears in my eyes.

I love the soul of the Ukrainian people.

(And Kyiv friends, if you see a man driving a car with “Bullet” for the license plate — that is the kind young man who did this today!)

I’m pretty sure his response was related to the Ukraine Freedom Support Act 2014.

In a blitzkrieg vote on Dec. 11, both chambers of the U.S. ​Congress ​passed a landmark bill known as the Ukraine Freedom Support Act 2014 that authorizes Kyiv defense weapons worth $350 million.

Now it’s up to the U.S. President Bara​ck Obama to enact this bill by signing​. In the next few days​, Obama will get it on his table. But if he fails to sign by the end of the year, the bill will have to go through a new cycle in the U.S. Congress.

“Now we are rallying to ask Obama to sign the bill,” said C​onstantin Kostenko one of the leaders of ​the Pass2828 campaign that was launched by the Ukrainian diaspora.​ ​The campaign asked Americans to call their representatives and ask them to support the bill.​

More.

Looking for an “Angel Donor”

I wrote about my visit to Logos Center last week.

The heating system is still not fully funded, and the winter is getting colder.

There are rolling blackouts in parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv. This is to conserve the state’s energy resources for the winter.

The Logos Center heating system will help them be more independent of the state heating system, and allow them to both keep the current residents warm and welcome more refugees/IDPs.

With the Fedoriw Family Foundation’s generous pledge to match all gifts to the heating system, JUST ONE ANGEL DONOR who can give $10,000 will result in full funding of the remaining budget for the heating system!

Is there an Angel Donor out there for Logos?

Give online via Logos Go Fund Me.
To have your gift doubled, please earmark it: Heating System Fund Doubled By Fedoriw Family Foundation

Logos Center – Holistic Help in Ukraine

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting Logos Center, a holistic community health center which has been pressed into service to house over 200 people fleeing the war in eastern Ukraine.

Founded and in large part supported by Ukrainians, Logos Center has been involved in their community for many years. The seizing of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine by Russia has resulted in nearly half a million people fleeing their homes, often in fear of their lives for supporting a unified Ukraine.

These IDPs (colloquially known as refugees, officially these are considered internally displaced people, as they are in their home country), were at first welcomed with open arms, but are now facing more suspicion and discrimination. Some people mistakenly feel these people from eastern Ukraine “let” the Russians in, or should stay and fight. Yet, these are people who support a united Ukraine and have often been targeted because of that, leaving them no recourse but to flee to protect their families.

When I visited Logos Center, I was impressed at how much people were caring for one another. Cooking and cleaning schedules are well-organized, with everyone chipping in to make things run as smoothly as possible. Those who have been able to find jobs are working, children are in school, and people come together daily for times of prayer and community support.

Our guide was very respectful of people’s personal spaces, and yet we were allowed to visit one bunk room. In the space of my living room were about eight bunkbeds with makeshift privacy curtains made from sheets and blankets. Each bunk houses a family unit — in essence, a “new apartment” for them.

The Logos Center building previously housed a kindergarten, and so there are some classrooms which hold a smaller number of family groups — providing more privacy and dignity. Logos Center has been helping families successfully transition from the east to lives elsewhere, whether here in Kyiv or even in other countries. But even as families are leaving, they are getting calls every week of people in need of shelter and help, fleeing eastern Ukraine.

In our tour we were able to see the wing of Logos Center which is currently being renovated. I don’t know the details, but when this wing is finished I assume that Logos could double the number of families it is caring for. Work is stalled right now, however, due to funds.

Even more crucial than the expanded housing space, is a new heating system. This heating system will allow Logos Center to be less dependent on government heating, which itself is in a precarious position due to coal and oil being supplied in large part by Russia. In addition, their energy bill be cut by 2/3rds. This heating system will heat the whole facility, including the wing currently being renovated. Furthermore, it will provide a reliable source of hot water — currently they only have hot water about 2 hours a day, and the families take turns showering and bathing children.

This heating system is vital. And costly. The full budget for the heating system is $40,000 and HALF has already been donated by generous people in Ukraine, the US, and around the world. BUT IT IS GETTING COLDER EVERY DAY IN UKRAINE. Yesterday the high was just 19F/-7C. It is imperative that the heating system is finished as soon as possible.

And you can help.

The Fedoriw Family Foundation has generously offered to MATCH all gifts designated for the Logos Center Heating System as well as wire the money, at their expense, to Ukraine. Your donation given through this 501(c)3 is will be tax deductible, doubled, and sent to Ukraine on your behalf!

Can you send $100? It will become $200, and is a big step towards providing heat for these 200 refugees, and allow Logos to open its doors to more people in need. If just 100 of us can give $100, with the Fedoriw Foundation’s matching, then the heating system can be finished before it gets colder!

I know $100 is way out of budget for many of my friends. . . Can you spare $10? Every little bit helps, and God uses all our gifts. This is something I believe in. I have seen the families living at Logos Center and seen how they are both in great need AND working together to meet one another’s needs.

Give online via Go Fund Me.
To have your gift doubled, please earmark it: Heating System Fund Doubled By Fedoriw Family Foundation

Thank you for praying for and giving to Logos Center and the displaced people in Ukraine. Please share this with your friends.

Autumn and Apples

I want it to still be summer. And it mostly is. This morning, though, it smelled like autumn.

My friend Joanna (of Eating Like an Immigrant) keeps mentioning crock pot apple butter. When I saw apples on sale (ordered online, 3 kg for about $3), I decided it was time to make some.

I used Erin’s recipe for Crock Pot Apple Butter, but made some modifications. I cleaned the apples in a water/vinegar soak and then cut them

Modifying it to NOT peel the apples, but used a quick apple cutter like this to cut the 6 kg of apples quickly. Oh, I cleaned them in a water/vinegar soak first and this apple cutter made the prep take no time. To be extra cautious about the canning safety, I added a little citric acid to the bottom of each jar before doing a full 10 minute water bath.

Besides these jars, we had another large jar which is already gone!

Apple Butter

Heartfelt Discipline: Interview with Clay Clarkson

I’ve really enjoyed the podcasts from ThatMom, Karen Campbell — I can’t believe that she’s been recording great mommy-inspiration for almost seven years! Recently she’s put up a great interview series with Clay Clarkson of Whole Heart Ministries. I remember a girlfriend lending me a set of cassette tapes (!) in 1999 of Sally Clarkson encouragement about mothering. I was knee-deep in toddler / preschool / kindergarten busyness and found them just the inspiration I needed.

With a houseful of teens, I still seek sources of encouragement which help me refocus on the Lord and minister to my family. Both the Clarksons and Karen are good sources for that sort of in-the-grind, look-to-the-Lord encouragement.

Heartfelt Discipline, by Clay Clarkson has been recently republished (I can’t believe I first read it in 2004, and yet still haven’t written a review!) It is definitely worth the read, but if you don’t have time for that. . . at least listen to the podcast interviews!

Years, Miles

War Baby

I met Irina for coffee and a walk the other day.

Last time we were in Kyiv, we still had dial-up internet and people here often went to cybercafes and the world was a lot less connected. We said we would stay in touch with our friends in Ukraine. While we had good intentions, even with e-mail, it was hard to stay connected. Facebook has helped make that easier, and while I value online relationships, it just isn’t the same as people who are nearby, in our local lives.

Such patience and forgiveness so many of our dear ones have had with us. We are slowly reconnecting with people who are important to us in Kyiv. It is hard, though, because it is also a reminder of those in Nairobi. . . the in US. . . who we aren’t in touch with on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis.

Probably the dearest gift of our transient lifestyle is the people God brings into our lives. Sometimes we know it is just for a short season. But many times it is for a lifetime.

Friends over the years, over the miles. . .