Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Perhaps one of the most daunting things a person has to adjust to in a new country is learning how to shop for groceries.  In countries where very little English is spoken, like Ukraine, it can be especially scary.  You have to depend on the pictures which might be on the packages.  But sometime you can make a mistake with that too----I picked up a packet that had a picture of what I thought was celery, dried celery leaves.  When we got home and looked up the word in the dictionary we found that it contained dried parsley leaves.  It wasn't a horrible mistake, but it illustrates how even pictures can mislead you.  It really helps to have a knowledgeable friend along to give guidance the first two or three times.  Fortunately Frank and I had started working on the Russian language before we left the U.S., although I am really poor at picking up new sounds and then pronouncing them.  Frank has really done good, so I like having him along to read the labels in Russian.  Oh-oh, another problem in Ukraine-----Ukrainians are very patriotric and are beginning to use Ukrainian more and more here in the eastern part of the country.  Everyone still speaks Russian, especially the older folks, but many of the products which are being made here in Ukraine have only Ukrainian writing on them.  It's very close to Russian, the writing is similar, but sometimes the words are different.  Okay, so there is the basis for my adventure in grocery shopping.

When I saw the nice supermarkets here in Berdyansk I was very pleased.  They are so much better than the grocery stores in India.  But India has one advantage----most products had English on them, so you knew what you were getting.  (That's due to being a colony of Great Britain for so many years.  Indians are very patriotic and want to use their own languages, but they want to know English too.)  The stores may not have looked as nice as these supermarkets, but they did have almost everything you might need, or want.  Perhaps I should mention here that Frank and I aren't afraid to try new foods (although I did draw the line at fish-head curry in India many years ago---the eye staring up at me was just too much for me to swallow, literally.)  So, what have I learned about grocery shopping in Ukraine?
  • Bring along your own shopping bags.  If you need a bag, you'll probably have to pay for it.  And you will bag up your purchases yourself.  No one will help you with that.  I was sort of expecting this, so in our shipment I included a couple of sturdy bags---a black Walmart bag and a larger green one from Joann's Fabrics.  I bought those too, but they are probably stronger than what I have now.
  • You can buy fruit and vegetables at the supermarket, but there is a better selection at the regular market, which is in an unheated building with various stalls outside as well.  You can also get meat and other items like spices at the market.  I bought potatoes yesterday, they are really dirty as if they'd just been dug up.  Carrots and onions are like that too.  Even in the supermarket root vegetables have not been cleaned.
  • At the supermarket there are lots of items that can be purchased in bulk:  flour, oatmeal, sugar, rice, and other commodities like that.  But there are also delicious cookies and crackers of all kinds that you can buy in bulk.  In the freezer section there are different fish, shrimp (looking up at you with the eyes still in!) mixed vegetables, and various Ukrainian foods including variniky which is somewhat like ravioli except it's stuffed with different things.  I have bought cheese variniky and chicken variniky, both very good.  Yesterday in a small grocery store downtown I saw frozen chicken heads just waiting for someone's soup pot.
  • When you buy a carton of eggs here, you get ten eggs, not twelve.  They probably work more on the decimal system here.  The eggs have very dark yellow-orange yolks, but they taste just the same as in the U.S.
  • Ukrainians eat a lot of fish, after all we're on the Sea of Azov.  There are many, many different kinds and I don't know hardly any of them!  Slowly, one by one, we will be trying some of them.
  • I haven't bought ice cream yet, but I've been told that it melts quickly so you need to get it home fast.  However, if it melts and refreezes it doesn't get ice crystals like that in the U.S.  It stays smooth and creamy.
  • The supermarkets have wonderful pastry sections.  We're working our way through different breads and cookies and haven't had one yet that we don't like.
  • The deli sections are really good too.  I'm trying a few things at a time.  Our latest discovery was something I bought in the deli last week.  It was a large oval-egg-shaped ball stuffed with something and then deep-fried.  I thought it might be stuffed with potato or other vegetable since I remembered something like that from 2007,  but when we heated it up in the oven and then opened it up, it was stuffed with tender chicken breast.  We each had one for lunch and it was delicious.  I asked our friends for the name, but they didn't know.
  • Paprika is a favorite spice here, probably because of the close proximity to Hungary.  I have seen chickens in the meat section marinated in something dark red.  I am guessing the marinade has paprika in it and I plan to buy one in the next week or so and give it a try. 
  • There are scads of different sausages in the meat section.  Some are salami, but most of them I don't know.  I hesitate to buy them because I can see big pieces of fat in the cut ends of them.  I want to try them, but we really don't need that high fat content.
  • One other thing that we have tried is pickled cabbage.  It's not like saurkraut at all.  It is very tart and I have added a bit of sugar to it to cut that sourness.  It's makes a good salad.  I get it out of the bulk section of the supermarket.
  • There are plenty of soft drinks including Coke and Sprite.
  • I bought a container of Pringle potato chips this week.  It cost about a dollar.  We have also tried some Ukrainian potato chips.  They are good, with a little different flavor.  Not bad at all.
  • We are tea drinkers.  We had the best tea in the world in India, and I was extremely happy to discover some of our favorite brands here in Ukraine.  Ukrainians love tea more than coffee, so they want the best.  There is also coffee, but we haven't tried any of that yet. 
I think this is enough about food for now.  I know more things will pop into my mind after I finish this, but I'll write more about food as we continue to try new things.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


One of the first places Frank and I were invited to go to was the First Stage Orphanage here in Berdyansk.  Bill Brower, our WGM missionary in charge of youth work, goes to the orphanage twice a week in the mornings to play with the kids and be a part of their lives. When he invited us, we were eager because we had been talking about the orphanages for two years and had shared about the spiritual and physical needs of these kids.  So we piled into the van with him and his co-worker, Vika, a young woman who also works in the youth ministries.

At the First Stage Orphanage children are usually brought by their parents or other family members to stay because the family is unable to give them proper care, for various reasons.  The children can stay for three months to begin with, but some stay as long as nine months.  After that if the parents still can't care for them the children are sent to Azmol Orphanage, which is the regular long-term orphanage.  There aren't lots of children in the First Stage Orphanage, but there are enough to break your heart.  We spent time with the younger children who don't go to school yet, and they are as adorable as they can be.  We also saw some of the older children who are probably between the ages of ten and fourteen. 

As soon as we arrived at the orphanage, the small children were peeking through the door and couldn't wait to get their hands on us for some hugs.  Bill and Vika had brought some games and puzzles for the kids to work, and we played with them too.  Sasha, a nickname for Alexandra, took a liking to Frank and he helped her set up the blocks.

Daniel was a cute little guy, but he could be a handful too.  Look at his wonderful smile.

Bill Brower has a special love for these kids.  Look at him and Andrei, who is a first class show-off!

Little Denis seemed very sad and withdrawn.  The matron said he was used to getting a lot of attention from visitors, and today he had to wait his turn.  Whatever, the little guy is so very cute.

Pasha, Ulla, and another girl whose name I missed enjoyed the puzzles.  Pasha worked the same puzzle over and over again, afraid to let any other child have a turn just in case he didn't get it back.

We stayed with them for about two hours in the morning.  They are well taken care of, fed well and kept clean and dressed warmly.  In fact, we had our sweaters on and were pretty warm the whole time, so the kids are kept warm too.  The older children go to the local school, although it was a holiday the first day we went so they were there too although they didn't want to mix with the little kids too much.  The director of the First Stage Orphanage is a kind man who seems to have the well-being of the children as his first priority.

We were told that children who grow up in the orphanages don't want lots of people to know about it because it is somewhat of a stigma for them as they get older.  People of their own age look down on them and it is difficult for them to find their proper place in the world around them.  What an opportunity for ministry! not just in orphanage, but to follow-up on them after they leave and try to help them adjust to their world, as well as to give them the spiritual message that even if no one else cares about them, Jesus will always love them and care for them and give them the security they need.


It's been a week since I wrote and a lot has happened since then.  We have seen more of Berdyansk and continue to learn a little more every day.  Some impressions:

  • It snowed last week and the streets are a mess.  We haven't seen a snowplow around our ministry center, and as I look out the window I see people navigating through the ice and slush very carefully.  We did see one snowplow downtown, but the streets were pretty messy there too.  By "navigating" I mean that they are walking, probably to the bus-stop just down the road.  The cars move very carefully.
  • We went shopping for some clocks and cell phones.  The cell phones are nice and probably priced about the same as they are at home.  I got one in "romantic pink"----it really is pretty and has a bunch of stuff on it.  Now, if I could only read the instruction leaflet---it's written in two languages, Russian and Ukrainian.  We didn't sign contracts, we got a starter pack which gave us our phone numbers and then we buy cards with a certain amount of time on them and enter them in the phone for use.  Somewhat like what we did in India.
  • We learned that the Ukrainian people put a high value on "image."  This includes what you wear and how you behave in public.  You would never go out in public dressed sloppily or with your hair messy.  In summertime you would never wear shorts to go shopping.  At least we understand that's true for men, I'm not sure if it holds true for women.  I guess we'll find out next June. But, you must be dressed "properly".  You must always look good, preferably in the most current fashion.  I'm pretty sure Frank and I haven't reached the proper status yet!  Along with the clothes image, the women wear lots of make-up and do their best to look really good in that respect.  Of course, it's not hard for them because the women are so beautiful anyway.  Lots of blondes, but also a lot of people with very dark, almost black, hair with blue or green eyes.  They are gorgeous.  The dark hair may be a throw-back to the time when the Tartars invaded from the east and stayed in the area of both Ukraine and Russia.
  • Ukrainians love bright colors.  Perhaps it is because they often have drab lives.  They live in tall, gray ugly apartment buildings.  In winter everything is gray, cold, and cloudy, with the sunshine only shining now and then.  The clothes are colorful, the shops are colorful, and curtains and other household linens are colorful.  We haven't been inside a Ukrainian apartment yet, but the chances are good that they are  decorated with bright colors.  There is nice furniture in the shops, but it isn't exactly like what we would find in the U.S.  Every country has its own taste in design and functionality.
  • At Christmas there are lots of decorations available.  We bought a small tree (made in China), various ornaments, garlands, and lights.  Total cost:  about $30.  Actually, although it's December 22nd here and we are in the mood for Christmas, the Ukrainian Christmas isn't until January 7th.  That's because of the Orthodox church traditions which have a strong influence on the lives of the people.  The missionaries here will have a small dinner together on December 25th, but the big celebrations will be two weeks from now.  Frank and I are looking forward to seeing what happens in the church as well as all around us.  We especially want to try some special Ukrainian foods that are prepared for Christmas. 
These are just a few of the things we have noticed.  I'll write next about our trip to the orphanage and the Christmas program we saw there.

Monday, December 14, 2009


One of the churches we had visited in 2007 was the Primorsk congregation, which met in the local theater while their building was being constructed.  It was a lively group of people with lots of singing and enthusiasm for participating in the worship service.  It was at Primorsk that we met Larissa Prechunk, the school principal who gave up her secure position to work in the church and serve the Lord full-time.  We shared her story with folks in almost every service we held in the U.S. during our HMA assignment. 

So, when Bill Brower called us on Saturday and asked if we would like to go to Primorsk on Sunday, we had no hesitation if accepting his invitation.  We were really interested to see how the church was doing.  We were warned that although the church building was done and there was electricity, there was no heat in the building and it would be cold.  Okay, we knew this was going to happen sooner or later, so we might has well just get used to it.  On Sunday we dressed very warmly, long underwear, two pairs of socks, etc., etc., and climbed into the van to go to Primorsk.  We drove along through the flat steppe landscape and arrived just in time for the service to begin.  As we settled into our seats, Rev. Arkadi suggested we sit where we could put our feet on the rungs of the seats in front of us to take our feet off the cold floor and help keep them warm.  I'm all for that----I always have cold feet in the wintertime.  The outside temperatures were in the low 30s, so it did feel cold in the church, but we were inside without any wind, so it wasn't too, too bad.  The service began with lively, good singing led by a worship team of six young adults.  There were testimonies and a good sermon, lots of amens in the congregation, and a warm atmosphere.  We were briefly introduced and people were encouraged to meet us after the service.  This is where the story gets good!

As we stood at the back of sanctuary, the first person to come up to us was Larissa!  Even though we had met only briefly in 2007 she remembered us, and she remembered that we were going to be involved in lay leadership development!  I suppose she remembered because this is such an important issue for her since she wants to see the church grow and the people develop into leaders.  Anyway, she told us (through an interpreter) that she had been praying for two years that we would return to Primorsk and begin our ministry of leadership development there.  She had been praying for us specifically.  Wow!  what else can I say?  We were overwhelmed by that.  But there was more----the whole church had been praying that a missionary would come to their church to serve, they wanted a missionary, in particular they wanted the Deweys to come to work in their church.  We are humbled and in a little shock with all this.  We had no idea anyone would even remember that we had been there since it was two years ago and we were only in that one service at Primorsk.  Lots of Americans come to visit the work here, and we were here at a time when one WGM work team was also here, so we were just part of the whole group. 

At this point we have no idea how all this is going to work out.  We live in Berdyansk, about 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) from Primorsk.  Larissa said the church wanted us to move to Primorsk so we could be in the ministry full-time there.  Pastor Arkadi was there with her, although he didn't say a lot, so we want to get to know him better and learn what his thinking is.  We need to work with our missionary team here, and with our field leader, to pray about it and find the Lord's leading in all our decisions about this.  Probably nothing will happen for a while because we are entering the Christmas season here and it lasts through the first week of January.  In fact, Ukrainians celebrate Christmas on January 7th as part of their Orthodox traditions.  Pray with us about this opportunity, that everything will be done as the Lord wants it to be.  To us this is just a confirmation from the Lord that we are where we are supposed to be, and that He has work for us to do here. 


  • We haven't seen the sun yet, although as I sit by the window and write this the sun is trying to shine through the clouds for the first time since we arrived.
  • Driving to church on Sunday afternoon, the road was not busy with a lot of traffic.  Our driver, a Norwegian (sp.?) missionary, was stopped for driving too fast!  A patrol officer standing by the road with hand held radar caught him.
  • The water in our building was off quite a bit this weekend.  It was off several hours on Saturday afternoon, and then was off again all of Sunday morning .  Frank didn't get his morning shower!
  • The ladies here like to be very fashionable.  Knee-high high-heeled boots, nice coats with fur collars (not old-fashioned fur collars, but very trendy looking fur), make-up, hair, etc., all really nice.  I felt rather clunky!
  • Drinking water is brought into the building in large 5-gallon containers.  We use this water for drinking and cooking.  We go down to the office and get a new container when we're getting low.  The tap water is used only for laundry, dishwashing, and showers.  The water in our kitchen tap has a distinct sulphur smell. 
  • No tv for us at this time.  We could get a satellite dish, but the channels are basically all in Russian or Ukrainian, there is one English-language channel (BBC news), although we could pay more and get some other English channels.  We'll wait and see how we feel about it.  Right now we're getting our news from the internet, watching the nightly broadcast of Katie Couric on CBS News.  Not our favorite, but it works.  Checking other news channels for more stories.
  • Having long, long winter evenings is an adjustment.  It's almost dark by 4pm, and by 8pm we're thinking it's bedtime!
  • We realized we were spoiled in India.  We could go almost anywhere and find someone who spoke fairly decent English.  In fact, we could go to the city and never have to use Kannada, our local language, at all.  Lots of English bookstores.  In Ukraine very few people speak English, although many want to learn.  No books in English, except for what we have with us or what the other missionaries have. 
More next week.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


On Thursday, December 3rd, we said goodby to Laura, Brent and our grandsons as we headed to the airport to get on our plane.  There were no tears, but it was tough to kiss them goodby.  And we know it was hard for Laura, because she had come to depend on us for backup when things got hectic around her house.  And she always has a hard time saying goodby.  But she also wants us to do what God has planned for us.  So, she was smiling and waving with little Lance as we went through security at the airport and blew them a last kiss.

Our travel was fairly routine except for the part of it that crossed the north Atlantic.  It was rocky!  We had lots of turbulence and a bumpy ride off and on for several hours.  But we arrived in rainy Munich and got our flight to Donetsk which arrived at our destination right on time.  The airport at Donetsk is the smallest international airport we have been in.  One other flight was on the ground, loading passengers for takeoff.  We came down the plane's steps and were taken to the terminal in a bus.  The flight had not been full so there weren't many passengers who had to go through immigration, which was about the easiest we have experienced.  However, when we went to get our luggage (five fairly large suitcases), it was on a cart just outside the terminal, there were no luggage carts for passengers to use, and so we had to move it ourselves one or two at a time into the terminal.  That was a first for us.  The other WGM missionaries in Ukraine were waiting for us and there was a happy time of greeting and shaking hands.  The other missionaries are Bill and Betsy Tarr, and Bill and Oksana Brower.  Bill B. met Oksana here and after some time they were married and she is now also a missionary with World Gospel Mission.  After a drive of 2 1/2 to 3 hours we arrived in Berdyansk and the Home of Hope ministry center.  We both slept very good that night, at least a good ten hours. 


  • It gets dark early!  It starts to get dark before 4pm and is completely dark by 4:30.  That's because we are so far north, much further north than we have ever lived before, particularly in India.

  • The land is flat!  After spending a wonderful summer in the mountains, we are now in an area of Ukraine that is part of the steppe of western Asia and eastern Europe.

  • Our apartment is quite nice.  It is small, but just right for two older missionaries like us.  A living room, bedroom, nice kitchen, bathroom and storage room, which is large enough to accomodate a desk and become Frank's office.  The rooms are all in a line with a fairly wide hallway going alongside them.  The appliances in the kitchen are really good, and the cook (me) is very happy with it.  We have radiator heating in all the rooms, with a second large heating-cooling unit in the living room.  We are comfortable.

  • Shopping is interesting.  We went to the supermarket on Saturday and were thankful to have Bill Brower and Betsy Tarr along to guide us through the different foods and labels.  Frank can read some of the labels, so he could recognize a lot of foods, but I'm really slow with that.  (Language study!  Language study!)  Lots and lots of fish (Berdyansk is on the Sea of Azov), cabbage, good cheeses, pork products (very fatty pork), chicken, not much beef, delicious-looking breads and cookies.  On Monday Bill Brower took us to the open farmer's market, part of which was indoors, but unheated.  Lots of good vegetables and fruit, nuts, sweets, odds and ends.  The meat market was also in the building----again, a lot of fish and pork, and chicken although there was some beef also.  In the cold weather, it's okay to go to the meat market in the afternoon, but come summertime the morning will be the time to go since there is no heating or cooling in the building.  Outside the building lots of stalls were set up for individual vendors, mostly women, to sell their produce.  I felt sorry for the women because it was a cold day with a brisk wind, and their faces and hands were red and chapped with the cold.  I had on my heavy coat with the hood pulled up over my head, so I wasn't too bad.  They had good coats and hoods too, but their hands were bare so they could do their work.  And in a brisk wind after a while even a good coat is not enough.  My plan is that before I go grocery shopping next time, I will make my list in English and then write it in Russian so I can begin to read the labels for myself and develop my very small vocabulary.

  • The last time we saw sunshine was Thursday morning in Oklahoma City on our way to the airport.  The sky has been cloudy and sometimes drizzly since we arrived.  The temperatures have been in the lower 30s.  But I comfort myself with the thought that today in Oklahoma, Kansas, and states north and east, the temperatures are much lower and there are heavy snowfalls, sometimes blizzards.  Our turn will definitely come, but not right now.

On Sunday morning we attended our first worship service as missionaries in Ukraine.  The service is held in the Home of Hope ministry center, which is also where our apartment is located.  So we didn't have to go outside, we were quite close to the place where the services are held while the sanctuary is being completed. 

The service was three hours long, which is about par for most mission fields, although we were spoiled in India with shorter services at the seminary.  The service here started with one or two songs, after which Rev. Sergei spoke for fifteen or twenty minutes welcoming everyone and making pertinent comments.  The singing resumed and lasted for at least 45 minutes.  But the music was wonderful!  I loved the melodies, and the Russian words were shown on the screen, so with our little bit of language study we could follow somewhat, although we didn't try to sing except on the refrains.  The music was upbeat, catchy, and easy to follow.  After the music finished, the floor was opened for testimonies, and a number of people got up to testify.  I won't say they got up to say a few words, because it seemed that many of them were telling their life stories!  Actually, except for one person they were usually relating one particular incident where the Lord taught them something new, or worked out a problem for them.  We were fortunate that we had some translation done for us through earphones, since Oksana Brower is Ukrainian and she did the translation. 

After the testimonies, the pastor's message focused on Passover in the Old Testament and how that led to the ritual of communion, and its importance in the family life of the believer.   He is a lively preacher with use of humor and illustrations.  At the end of his message communion was served and so we were able to participate for the first time in a meaningful act of worship with fellow believers in Ukraine.  It was a special moment for us.

Well, we are pretty much settled into our apartment, so the coming week will be spent getting more information about the work here and how we will fit into it.  We want to get Frank's office set up so we will feel more "professional" or at least make it look like we're busy!  We will definitely be getting back into our Russian language study several hours a day so we can understand more and make some primitive attempts at communication. 

If the opportunity arises and the weather permits, I plan to start taking some pictures soon and will try to get some posted here and on Facebook.  Stay tuned for the next installment.


Well, the last time I wrote was November 15, when we were packing our shipment to send to Ukraine.  That was three weeks ago, so I will just give a fast run-down of events up to December 3, when we actually boarded a plane and headed eastward toward the place where God has been leading us.

We did finally get the shipment packed and sent.  The books (which were giving us the most trouble) were packed separately in smaller boxes and sent along with the main shipment.  When Frank checked at the post office about sending them in one big mail bag, we could still do that.  The big catch:  they would have to go airmail.  The USPS is no longer sending these big bags by sea mail, and the cost of airmail is just toooooo much to send books overseas.  So, we were back to square one and finally decided just to pack the books in separate boxes that would each weigh up to 66 pounds, which was the size limit.  It worked okay and we finished packing.  When we were done we had nine boxes that each weighed about 66 pounds.  A good friend from our Sunday School class, Craig Guy, helped Frank load the boxes into his big pick-up and drove with Frank to Tulsa to the Ukrainian shipping agent.  They went on their way and we could turn our attention to packing up the house and preparing to leave.

Thanksgiving week was both hectic and fun.  Our son Evan and his wife Lori, with their three little girls came on Tuesday to spend 3 1/2 days with us.  Evan and Frank worked all day Wednesday cleaning out our garage and doing other jobs around the house that needed to be done before we could leave.  They continued the work on Friday and got just about all of it done.  Our garage had not been totally empty since 1992 or earlier!  My mother had left things there, Evan and Lori left things there, and we left things there at various times.  Evan helped move the big pieces of furniture into the the storage units we have rented, so our house began to look more and more bare as the week went by.  Thanksgiving itself was good.  Fourteen of us sat around the table at Laura's house.  Frank's mom, five Tevebaughs (Laura's family), five young Deweys (Evan's family), two of us and a good friend of Laura's.  The food was traditional, turkey, etc.  We divided up the cooking between us, so Laura didn't have to do it all.  She tried an interesting way of roasting the turkey:  around midnight before Thanksgiving Day, put the turkey in a roasting pan, cover it with foil, and put it in a 275 degree oven.  Let it cook slowly all night until noon or so on Thanksgiving Day.  When the foil is removed, the turkey is self-basted and brown, as well as being very tender.  It was delicious.  Thanks to Laura's friend, Melinda, for the new technique---at least it was new to us.  I could write lots more about our granddaughters and grandsons, but there's too much to say.  I'll have to devote one entire blog session to them later.

After Evan and his family left, Frank and I continued cleaning, packing, and moving things to the storage units.  On Monday, Craig Guy came by again and spent the whole day helping Frank move the rest of the furniture and taking trash to the dump as well as taking a big load of things to Goodwill.  (One thing about moving is that it's a great opportunity to get rid of the clutter that accumulates so fast.)  Laura came to the house and helped me empty the kitchen.  She took charge and it was done pretty fast.  Tuesday was the day for cleaning the house and getting it ready for the rental realtor.  Frank and I worked all day, and Laura came in the evening to help finish the mopping and cleaning of the bathrooms.  When Frank turned it over to the realtor on Wednesday morning, it was very clean, the garage was totally empty, and we said goodby to the house for two years.  It was a little sad, but we didn't dwell on it, we looked toward the future and what would be happening in our lives after we got to Ukraine. 

I have to devote a whole paragraph to how the Lord worked out the details of deposing of our cars.  We had decided to keep our mini-van:  we like it, it's in good condition, and it will be waiting for us when we return to the U.S. in 2011.  Evan's in-laws in Texas have big barns and storage areas on their farm, and they were glad to help us out by storing our van in one of them.  Evan drove our van back to Texas when he and Lori left us (Lori drove their van with the three girls) and he is taking care of our car for us while we're gone. 

But the truly amazing story is how we sold our little Mazda, which we used around town and on short distance driving.  A friend had been interested in buying it, and we had been keeping it for her.  But at the last minute she felt that she couldn't swing it, so backed out of purchasing it.  We understood, we were not upset.  However, this happened on the Saturday night before we were to leave on Thursday, not much time to sell a car.  On Sunday morning in Sunday School, we mentioned that the car was available, if anyone was aware of someone who might be interested in it, and we were asking about $3000 for it.  No one said a word.  Okay.  On Monday one lady from our class called and knew of a young man who might be interested.  Before he had a chance to see the car, Linda Jergens from our class called and mentioned that her son-in-law, Kevin, might be interested.  She was a little disappointed because the young man was going to look at the car.  Well, he looked, talked to his dad, and finally decided not to buy it.  But God had not left us without hope, because Linda had called and our next step was to get in touch with her again.  It was arranged that Kevin would look at the car on Wednesday night (less than twelve hours before we were getting on that airplane.)  He and his wife had been traveling home on Sunday, and had talked then about how they needed a good second car for him to drive to work.  They needed it to cost about $3000.  Well, enough said.  You can see where this story is going.  They had a need, and we were able to fill it.  We had a need, and they were able to meet it.  God had it all worked out ahead of time, but it would be nice if  He didn't wait until the very last minute to reveal it!  We needed that $3000 because our house taxes are due in December and we didn't want to dip into our savings for that.  And there is enough left to keep a decent balance in our checking account until we begin to receive income from rent on the house.  Thank you Lord for taking care of us.