After a long night on the train, morning came. As we arrived at the Kommunarsk station, I noticed the snow had turned to a brownish and blackish color. I remember asking the interpreter why that was. Surrounding the station was a huge coal mine belching out lots of black smoke!
Upon arriving in Lugansk we were taken to what we called the “Mission House.” It was located on Obberonaya street, toward the airport. It was a large home that a Ukrainian family allowed us to use since they had immigrated to the US.
I did not speak any Russian when I arrived. So, any conversation that I had with people happened through interpreters, or sometimes with hand motions or dictionaries!
I was definitely going through some culture shock. I even questioned my call. Then Sunday came!
It is a little bittersweet to walk through “memory lane” and know that a trip to Lugansk is not in my future any time soon. To know that the group of believers in the city cannot meet in their building today as I prepare to worship in several churches in Dnipro.
There were so many “feelings” I had in those early days. But one thing remained… I knew why the Lord had me here! That call on my life 25 years ago is as strong today as it was then!
I will close this 25 year tribute with some words I wrote on February 24, 1994. I think they sum up what I feel today, and hopefully everyday that I have left on this earth: