Unwanted trip ends with surprise

Have you ever had one of those days where you had to do something important but really didn’t want to? That was the case for me on Saturday. I had planned a trip to Cherkassy with Dema (one of the Ukrainian’s praying about serving in Kazakhstan) to visit his pastor, and also to meet his mother and grandmother.

After my trip to Odessa and all the work I have yet to do before leaving on Thursday, I didn’t really have time to go. Even on Friday, I was trying to figure out a way to get out of the trip. I had a meeting on Friday evening with Dema and Ivan (the other prospective missionary). I had planned to talk to Dema at that time, but then I saw his suitcase and bags and realized that I couldn’t back out.

So, early on Saturday Dema and I started the 2 1/2 hour trip to Cherkassy. It was a beautiful drive down. Cherkassy sits on the Dniper River just like Kiev, but the river is 2-3 times wider there. A road was built that literally splits the river in half except the area where the bridge allows barges and boats to flow from one side of the river to the other.

After meeting with his pastor and praying with him, we went to Dema’s mother’s apartment to celebrate his birthday. We had a typical Ukrainian lunch along with cake. Then, we visited his grandmother.

While visiting the pastor, I found out that he was from a city and church that I had visited several times when I lived in Lugansk during the mid-90’s. Moreso, he was the brother of one of the young men I knew from the city. Even more, his brother “happened” to be visiting him!

So, after visiting Dema’s family, we drove to his pastor’s home and visited with Edik and Lena (his wife). It was wonderful getting the chance to visit them and meet their two children. Edik serves as a missionary in western Ukraine.

After getting the opportunity to see Edik and help Dema’s family understand why he wants to serve as a missionary, I understand now why God didn’t allow me to back out of this obligation. So, I learned a valuable lesson to follow through with activities that sometimes may not be comfortable or wanted. After all, I would have missed the blessing God had waiting for me in Cherkassy.