Post Number 900: Life, Lessons, Learning

On February 3, 2005 I began this blog.  It has seen several transformations over the years and due to that, I have probably written well over 900 posts.  However, through combining blogs, writings, deleting some, I am now officially arriving at post 900!

I remember exactly why I starting writing this blog.  My supervisor at the time, Mick Stockwell, had asked me to go to Karaganda, KZ for a temporary assignment.  He had mentioned that since I was going to be in the country by myself that I should consider ways to get more people involved in prayer support.

Blogs seemed to be in vogue in 2005 so I decided to begin a journey that has led to 900 blog posts and countless words being written and expressed.  I love the written word (all that training at Daingerfield HS and Midwestern State University caused it!), even to this day.  One of the first things I do whenever I get on a plane is to find a newspaper!

So, when I was contemplating a move to KZ from UA, blogging seemed like a natural.  I have no idea how many people actually read my blog.  I know at one time, there were people from all over the world taking a look from time to time.

In order to write number 900, I looked back at some of my initial posts from February 2005.  That month, I wrote about my first impressions of KZ, Valentine’s Day, and the extremely cold weather.  It is always interesting to go back in time and see what spurred me to write what I wrote.

I wish that I had journaled all my life.  The first time I did it with consistency was in 1994, when I moved to Lugansk, Ukraine.  From time to time, when I am home, I pull out the spiral notebooks and take a look at what God was teaching me at the time.  I didn’t continue journaling after returning to the states to attend seminary and I still don’t do it with any consistency now.

Some day I would love to write a book of the wonderful journey I have been on since 1994.  I have changed so much since then, I hope for the better!  This journey has been one that I would not trade for any amount of money.

I think back to my life living in a small town (my Ukrainian friends would say it is a village) in east Texas.  I could have never dreamed that I would have the experiences I have had over the last 25 years.  God truly has blessed me.

That first winter in KZ was extremely difficult for me.  Here was a boy from Texas living in a place where the lows would drop to -40 F during the winter.  My first month there I literally didn’t speak a word in English.  I remember the first time Mick called me and how excited I was just to speak English!

But, even as difficult as it was, I would not want to change a thing.  God used that time to grow me into the person I am today.  I realize that I am a life long learner and hope I learn till the day I die!

Thanks to many of you that have been around for all 900 posts.  Maybe one day I will use these writings and combine them into a book.

1 thought on “Post Number 900: Life, Lessons, Learning

  1. Joe;
    Thank you for your blog posts. It is a real treat to be able to know first hand about your ministry. By the way, Dima Volkov and Tanya Volkova came to our church (First Southern Baptist, Northglenn, Colorado) today and shared about their ministry in Donetsk. They mentioned that they had a close working relationship with you. It is a small world indeed. May our Lord richly bless you and your ministry.

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