Here’s what took place in my life from Christmas Eve to Christmas night…
At noon on Saturday, Christmas Eve, one of my colleagues called and said that the Price family (another IMB family) would be leaving for the states on Sunday (instead of Tuesday as planned) as Richard was having some problems with the incision from his surgery in October.
So, I decided to speed up my plans so that I could go by their house and say goodbye to them. I got to their house and we visited, his wife gave me some kitchen things and I bought some other things. They needed some things from the souvenir place, so I took off to go there as I also wanted to get a couple of things there for Christmas as well.
I went by Mega Market (a supermarket in town) to see if they had my Mrs. Santa Claus to complete my set since I got Santa Claus the week before. They still didn’t have any in. Then I drove to Andriivsky Spoosk where the best souvenirs are sold. I got the Price’s things and then I went to find the stuff I wanted. I found the lady and got a few really nice ceramic replicas of some of the Orthodox churches in Kiev.
I drove to our offices to get ready for our Christmas Eve service. I had not eaten anything all day, so I went by McDonald’s to get a burger. I don’t really like to eat there, and when I got there, the place was CLOSED (maybe a sign?!). So, I decided to tough it out and go without eating!
I got to the office and it was early still. I helped get a couple of things ready and still had plenty of time. The service was to begin a 4 p.m. We got started a little late since we waited for one family.
I got dressed and walked in on cue to greet the children as SANTA!!! It was the first time I ever played Santa and it was FUN! A little later we sang Silent Night and lit our candles.
After having some fellowship time, I brought Alex and Nick Greer and Tim Mabe home with me so that we could watch Narnia. I had found the movie earlier in the week. The movie was fantastic!
After the movie, the Greer boys went home with their mom (they are my neighbors), I took Tim to the metro so that he could get home. I came home around 10 pm and got things ready for my dressing that I had to cook the next morning.
I finally got to bed around midnight, then got up at 6:30 am to start my day. I got the dressing made and then I prepared chicken and dumplings. I looked out the window and we had gotten a couple of inches of snow during the night and it was still coming down pretty good. A WHITE CHRISTMAS!
I got ready for church and left my house at 8:30. Church started at 9 and I was a couple of minutes late due to the slick streets. I went to church at New Life with Bonnie and Charles that attend there. Their pastor had invited Bonnie to share her testimony, so we had to stay for part of the second service so she could share with them. Most churches here still celebrate Christmas on Orthodox Christmas which is January 7. (That’s a whole other issue for me to discuss some other time!)
After Bonnie shared in the second service we drove to their apartment to have lunch. We had a wonderful lunch, sat around looking at photos from the last year and then we exchanged gifts. I had found them a great coffee table book on Ukraine (that I want to get myself!) and they gave me a beautiful sweatshirt with “Wise Men Still Seek Him” on it.
It was now 5:30 pm and I had to leave to meet some Ukrainian friends from Lugansk. We met in Podil (the old part of Kiev) and we took pictures at the huge tree in the square. Then we went to one pizza restaurant that was packed (no room in the inn!). Then we walked down the street to a new pizza restaurant and ate there. It was festive and the waitress knew English and wished me a Merry Christmas.
After dinner, we went downtown and walked around Maidan. It was a year ago that people were celebrating an Orange Revolution. Last night, there was a concert down there, but there are concerts on many weekends there. We walked around and talked. Through snowballs at each other and had a great time.
Roma (my Ukrainian roommate whom I have known since my days of living in Lugansk) and I came home at 10:30 p.m. I called numerous people in America to wish them a Merry Christmas and then at 11:30, Roma and I had tea and chatted about scripture, about life, etc. At 12:15 Monday morning, we prayed for each other and then I went to bed.
It was a great two days. God has blessed me beyond measure. Numerous people asked me yesterday if I missed being in the US. Of course, I miss my family and friends, especially during holidays. But God has me where He wants me and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Happy New Year!