Wednesday in Glendale

An absolutely beautiful day in Glendale, a village with lots of green, green, green. Jim and I took a stroll down to the village square and back following the winding roads past homes containing so much history. Family history at that. We walked past the home where I had my first formal tea — I was aghast at the spectacle when the hostess actually dipped her fingers into the small bowl of lemon soup. Hey, we didn’t use finger bowls at home! How was I to know? I just kept remembering Mom telling me to simply follow the hostess…

We borrowed the car later in the morning to visit the new offices and warehouse for Caring Partners, International. Wow! That ministry has been so blessed…and has been such a blessing to so many. To date, UMO has worked with two medical teams that they have sent this way.

We didn’t have time to dilly-dally because today would be the day that Jeanne and Kolya would be arriving in America from Ukraine. Kolya’s first flights (from Kyiv to Germany, then to Cincinnati). We were so looking forward to seeing America through Kolya’s eyes. We knew that they would be exhausted from the trip and so we planned a simple lasagne dinner at Mom’s. One of those dishes that can hold if we didn’t make it back at a specific time.

We were a little surprised to see them come strolling down the hallway with only their carry-on bags…we were sure that they would have had to have their bags clear customs. We were picturing them dragging or pushing all of their earthly belongings in the 4 suitcases, 2 roller-boards and a couple of backpacks. Turns out that after clearing customs the bags are put back in the system and appear on the belt of a regular baggage claim site. Closer to the exit. Pretty smart, actually.

So, anyway, we shoved their belongs into Mom’s mini-van and surprised them with water and their favorite chips…salt & vinegar for Jeanne, sour cream and onion for Kolya. Neither of them seemed too hungry and I totally forgot that Kolya would have preferred sparkling water. Good grief. We were amazed at how relaxed…almost rested…they seemed.

And then we got the story.

Actually it’s a long story, so I’ll just give the “twitter: 140 character or less” version. These stinkers flew first class from Germany!! They have no idea why they were bumped up (Kolya asked Jeanne whether her parents might have done that for them. She assured him NO WAY!), but they sat in row 4. With footrests. And good food. And drinks whenever. No wonder they weren’t hungry OR thirsty!

We were glad to deliver them to Mom’s and sit down for dinner. The five of us around the table in Glendale. Who would have ever dreamt this up?

Needless to say, after emailing family in Ukraine to say that they had arrived safely, they disappeared into their room for a more-normal night’s sleep. The next day was going to be very full!!



  1. First class is nice. I’ve been bumped up once in my life and it has made a difference in travel! Could not have happened to a nicer couple (except if it happened to you guys) 🙂 Glad you are back in Kiev. Praying for your ministry and for more people to be saved! ~ Wendy in Novosibirsk

  2. Oh, I love the update on Jeanne and Kolya arriving in America and the photos…they look great! Please keep us posted on them with more updates! Glad you arrived home safely. It has been a joy to read about all of your travels!
    Luv~ The Halls

  3. Wendy: The last time that I rode first class across the ocean…well I was 14 years old. Man, I would LOVE to travel that way now! Thanks for the prayers, my friend.

    Melanie: They are still not sure where they’re going to live…still living out of suitcases at this point. They are troopers!! Pray for steady work for Kolya!!

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