Time to share a quick story. On August 2nd we celebrated our thirty-sixth anniversary. We decided to visit some places in Kyiv which we had not seen in the past. We took the metro to a beautiful park in the suburbs of Kyiv, a place called Babi Yar. There is a memorial to the over 100,000 Jewish Ukrainians and their sympathizers who were killed by the Germans in 1941, their bodies dumped and buried in a deep ravine. (See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/babiyar.html for more information.) We took a wrong turn at the metro station and wandered through the park for quite awhile before ending up at the memorial. It was lovely and relaxing. We found another memorial erected by Israel which is closer to the actual site than the one erected by the Russians after the war. The actual grave site was bulldozed over and many apartment buildings constructed on top of it.

Later in the day, we went to the downtown area and a huge memorial that sits on the edge of this area. I will write more about these sites in my living in Ukraine blog at a later date. What I want to share is that as we were walking down the hill to go home on the metro, I heard some people speaking English. And being the “shy” person that I am, I spoke to them. Mary, a lady around our age, from the Midwest, had been visiting Ukraine for a number of years. Her adult children were with her for a few days and she was enjoying sharing the sights of Kyiv with them. I believe she had come with a team originally in the late 90’s but had returned on a regular basis to help a hospital in a town about three hours south of Kyiv. Like so many people we meet, there are many, many stories of need and those who are helping to take care of the needs. We talked briefly and exchanged phone numbers and email addresses.

A couple of weeks later she called. She had several boxes of things she had sent over that needed to be distributed and wondered if I could find people who could use the items. Through several subsequent calls, she made arrangements to bring the boxes to Kyiv on her way to the airport. Consequently, on the day before we went to the YWAM retreat, Mary and her taxi driver friends delivered 15 boxes plus some bags of items to our apartment.

A couple of days before I received the boxes, my friend Tanya asked me if we had any clothing left from our humanitarian aid shipment. She explained that there were several very poor families in her church who needed desperately needed clothes, especially larger size dresses and men’s clothing. The things we had sent on the container were mainly for children and there weren’t many things appropriate for adults. Plus, they have all been distributed. But I told Tanya that I would check out what Mary was bringing. So after Mary left the boxes I spend the day sorting through them. I called Tanya for information on the church members, sizes, ages, etc.. And. . . again, it is so much fun to watch God at work. When the sorting was complete, four large boxes were filled with beautiful dresses, men’s clothing and children’s clothes—all in the correct sizes. There were enough things for each person to receive at least one outfit. I am always amazed and amused at God’s timing and provision. These boxes had been sent many months previously and to an entire different location, yet they arrived just when they were needed for specific individuals.

Yet the blessings in Mary’s boxes don’t end there. Five other large boxes were given to the YWAM ministry for the orphanage in Makarov. I am hoping to get there when we get back from our trip to the states. School is starting soon and clothing is in short supply. Another box full of fabric will go to Mostysche for their sewing program. Also, Mary’s boxes contained macaroni and cheese, tuna fish and other foods which she wanted some kids to enjoy. I am thinking that the ministry of Karitas would be a fun place to show the cooks how to make tuna casserole. This is where they feed very poor children a meal a day. Other practical kitchen and personal items will find their homes as well. And I am the reciprocant of largest blessing of all because I am able to enjoy the fun of seeing the joy and wonder when people receive these gifts sent by this incredible lady.

Richard and I had asked for a divine appointment on the morning of our anniversary. I wonder how often I miss out because I don’t ask. PTL!