Thread: missionary interview with dlw
August 4th 2006, 12:32 AM #1
missionary interview with dlw
so dlw what organization was your trip organized through?
Lovelift Ukraine with the Minnesota Baptist Conference
where did you go?
I was in Cherkassy, Pridneprosky and Kyev Ukraine for a month and a half.
what was your role?
My family has sister church in Pridneprosky. Several members have been there in recent years. I stayed with the family of the pastor of our church there. I spent a good time with the church youth. They need younger role models, as Christians tend to be older in Ukraine. I sang songs for them(including Randy Stonehill's Shut De Do), preached a little. I interviewed many of them about the Orange Revolution that happened six months earlier and listened to a lot of stories about how Christianity in Ukraine was affected by Communism and its fall and the Orange Revolution. It took books with me, like John Yoder's "The Politics of Jesus" and let friends make photocopies of that book and others. I was part of vacation bible schools.
why did you decide to go on a missions trip?
I wanted to see my family's sister church and was inspired by the Orange Revolution, which was a special time for Ukraine when Ukrainians first stood up for their rights and the Holy Spirit was felt very strongly by many.
what were some of the things you did while there?
I visited a museum on Chernobyl. I ate a lot of food. Ukraine has the most fertile land in the world. I went to visit Eastern Orthodox Churches and looked at their icons, which I find very beautiful and awe inspiring. I was part of an interpreters camp and told my "salvation story" so they could practice interpretation and I worked with professional interpreters to give an oral examination.
how was the culture and enviroment diffrent to your own?
Ukrainians are very close to nature. Everyone has their own garden that they work on to make organic food for their own consumption. They are very kind to animals. They make you eat a lot and get unhappy if you turn them down from eating more. They have potatoes with every meal. On my last week, I told them that when I get back from Ukraine, I would not eat any potatoes....for a week.
how was it the same?
They love Jesus, are musically talented, and believe in cultural conservatism, though they have some who abuse their wealth to promote waste and sexual profligacy and there are skeptics and religious hypocrites(particularly the Russian Orthodox Church that is sooooo very much in bed with the Russian Gov't.).
how do you feel the people responded to your group?
I think I may have been been a source of hope. Ukraine matters a great deal for the future of the Former Soviet Union. They have the most religious freedom and if things get better for more people with Christians providing some leadership, it'll pave the way for more changes elsewhere and the sharing of the Gospel with many who are either not Christians or whose faith needs to be revived...
what were some highlights?
I sat with a friend/translator looking out over the Maidan Square where the Orange Revolution was centered and felt the traces of the Holy Spirit and its power and felt hope stir in my own heart.
did being on a mission trip meet your expectations?
I met God. I was inspired by the faith of the Ukrainian Christians. My hope for the future of Christianity is that the vibrant forms of Christianity that exist right now in the 2/3rds world can influence us in the over-developed world.
how was it diffrent to your expectations?
both good and bad. I didn't get as many interviews as I initially wanted and I lost my glasses and got sick. I also got a little homesick. I kind of went from an emotional high to a low when I returned.
what was the high point of the trip for you?
I got to hear some really amazing stories. I got to tell my own story to younger people, which made me feel again what it was like to be a teacher. I also later gave a lesson on the Orange Revolution and Romans 12-3 in a Ukrainian Studies class in January. It was fun and I got to share a little with others why I care so much for Ukraine.
what was the low point?
I lost my glasses(they might have been stolen.) and got pretty sick in the last week, I was both throwing up and having diarrhea problems. I didn't like it when some Ukrainians indicated they'd be interested in marrying me and moving to the US. It was semi-joking, but I don't care for that sort of joking and did not go to Ukraine for that reason.
thankyou for taking the time to do this for me dlw
I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
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