One of those days

Good grief! What a day…

Started as usual with Jim: together reading a devotional, a bit of Scripture, and a chapter of a book (currently reading “Humility: True Greatness” by C.J. Mahaney.)

Jim left for the office and I prepared my regular bowl of oatmeal with a banana and began to work on my Ukrainian homework. I know, I know, I had all weekend — but the time truly got away from me! I was working on the written assignment plus reading the text right up to the time my tutor arrived. I did take one break to brew a half-pot of coffee for during the lesson…

As soon as the lesson ended, I had some dishes to do, and needed to get myself a bit organized before a 1:00 meeting with the leadership of the Kyiv Christian Women’s Fellowship. That meeting lasted until about 3:00. We were again meeting as a committee for dinner before the evening meeting, so I needed to have things organized around here before we left. I was so thankful for Georgia and Cheryl who jumped right in and vacuumed the living room, helped make the beds in the guest room (2 guests tonight…), and kept me compay while I finished the dishes.

We met for a great meal, and made it back to the flat with ten minutes to spare before the speaker for the evening arrived — we always invite the speaker to arrive early so that the leadership can pray with and for her before everyone arrives.

The meeting began at 7:00 and we had about 17 women here to listen to Liz Baker share information about the AIDS soon-to-be epidemic in Ukraine. She started with a short quiz to test our knowledge and dispel any myths we may believe and ended with challenging us all to brainstorm outloud about how we and our churches can help meet the problem. In between we watched a powerful DVD featuring the stories of real people here in Ukraine who are HIV-positive. Some have full-blown AIDS.

Liz and her husband have spent hours and hours in prayer about this issue. One truth that they became aware of came to them as they pondered what Jesus could only do by coming to earth. That he couldn’t do from heaven. One of those things was the compassion that He showed by touch. And by His physical presence. Couldn’t we reflect that compassion ourselves in some way? (I know that I absolutely adore hugging the HIV+ babies at the hospital — and pray that the workers will see Christ in this tender care.)

And lest we think ourselves better than, superior to, or are thinking “at least I don’t have AIDS”… Liz reminded us of a statement made by a speaker at the AIDS forum here last fall: We may not all be HIV-positive, but we are all SIN-positive.

Please continue to pray for creative ways to meet this growing challenge here. And for the 140 people in Ukraine who will be diagnosed with AIDS this week…



  1. Wayne Burgess says:

    “SIN-positive”, I like it. Well, I mean the term. I despise it in myself. You make an excellent comparison in that sin is sin. HIV is a consequence of sin, usually the sin of the individual. Unfortunately, there are many innocent victims which you encounter in the orphanage settings. We are all guilty of the sin. Thankfully, the Lord has provided a “cure” for the terminal effects of sin.

  2. I like that –> “sin-positive” … or wait, I don’t LIKE it, but I absolutely agree with it.

    Sin is sin, yes.

    I’m glad to have found your blog.

  3. Last night was an excellent meeting and I enjoyed it a lot. I realize that everyone who is living in Ukraine is going to be dealing with AIDS in some way. Especially those who work in ministries. I am praying that Christians leaders and pastors will open their hearts and “get educated” on this subject so that Christians can respond effectively!!!

    I am so grateful to your Marianna for your ministry to these children, and I valued the time when I visited the hospital with you. It was so eye opening in so many ways. When I think about how God put it on the heart of a women to adopt Nadia, I know that He can do anything and will raise up many to help AIDS orphans and street children.

  4. Wow, what an amazing ministry you must have. I’m interested to read more. And I Love the “sin-positive” line. How true.

  5. azhometeachin says:

    Very grounding, very true. HIV is indeed a terrible thing, but not having the hope of salvation is worse. I remember watching a movie once about HIV and AIDS in India and it tore my heart out. I know it is ravaging the third world nations and we need to pray. I have friends in Kenya that deal with families torn apart by it and children orphaned. One friend has adopted two children whose parents died from AIDS. It is an every day occurrence, unfortunately. Now, the people of Kenya have a more immediate and frightening thing before them–the riots and violence there. We haven’t heard from them since a few weeks after it began. And so we pray. We pray for all of the unrest and the disease and the lost. God is good and He provides for His children.

    I hope this doesn’t sound too preachy. My prayers are with you and the people there. Thanks for your post.


  6. Wayne: Amen, bro!

    OMSH: Thanks for stopping by…and commenting, to boot! I am amazed that you would find time to visit…

    Michelle: It really was a good meeting; I’m glad you came and thanks for bringing Emmychka! You know that you are always welcome to join me on a hospital excursion, but I also know that your days are FILLED with your ministry to the children on the street…and, thankfully, in rehab. Thank YOU for your work here!

    dcrmom: Sin-positive pretty much describes us all! Thanks for visiting my blog…I am very much enjoying yours…

    Jenn: Don’t ever worry about sounding too preachy here…we’re all just sharing what’s on our hearts. Thanks for praying for the people of Ukraine AND for God’s work here, even through us. We’re humbled that He would see fit to use us here, and count it a privilege to be His hands and feet. We join you in praying for your friends in Kenya, as well as all those who are being so affected by the latest chaos. May God use even those circumstances to call people to Himself.

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