A week of celebrating 50 years of life! 31-40

It has been great to reflect on people, places and events that have impacted my life.  Here is 31-40…

31)  Work at Catholic Charities: outside of what I do today, working at CC was the second best job I ever had!  I got to work with refugees from around the world, teaching them English, preparing them for the GED, and helping them navigate the new world they lived in.  Sandy Myers and Julie Torres were a tremendous blessing.
32)  Another job I held while in seminary was working at Mardel Bookstore.  It was there that I met David Bryant, Craig Sims, Jonathan Whitlock and John.
33)  Moved to Kiev, UA in Sept 2003.  Culture shock seeing all the changes that had happened in the 4 years since my last visit.
34)  Team retreats in western Ukraine: the Carpathian mountain region is beautiful and Mukachevo is one of my favorite places.  During those early years back in Ukraine, Sam and Deanne Taylor were a tremendous help and blessing.  As was Carol R.
35)  Being at Grace Church from the first worship service and seeing how God has blessed them.  Valodia Omelchuk is being used by God to do great things in Troeschina area of the city.
36)  Great friends from my time in Kiev: Pasha, Tolik and I have birthdays in August and we had a great time one year celebrating together.
37)  When Grace started, I was the oldest person there and there was one couple: the pastor and his wife.  It has been great watching all the singles from Grace get married and have children.  It is still a blessing to see these young people living out their faith each day and in the mates they choose to marry.
38)  Mick and Dalese Stockwell letting me watch NFL football late at nights and then crashing on their couch.
39)  Then, Mick taking to me Kazakhstan to live for a few month and leaving me there when it was -35!
40)  Stateside (furlough) has been great.  Getting to travel around the US, staying in people’s homes, eating great food.  Some of my favorite people to stay with is Dale and Billie Woodard.  They know how to love on a M.

Tomorrow, Aug 9, I will reveal the last 10.  This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination.  I may have to save those for a book to write some day in the future.