Monday, 20 February 2017

Blessings For Those Who Have Little

Today is the Family Day holiday in most of Canada where families spend quality time together.  My mind is on those who are in the institutions in Ukraine that have no family of their own to treat them or to take them anywhere.  In just over 2 months I will be going back to Ukraine for the summer to spend quality time with those who need it.  Right now my trip is mostly paid for but I would like to be able to do more for those who are considered to be the least of these.  Being a volunteer I don't receive a salary for my work and blessings, like a picnic or some treats, can add up quickly on a tight budget.

Would you please consider helping me to be a blessing.  To help out you can click the "donate now" button on the side of the blog page to give an on line gift.  You can also click the "ways to donate" tab at the top of the page for other giving options.  Every dollar helps and would be appreciated by so many.  Thank you so much.

Bananas and candy are a huge treat for those who don't get them very often

Spending time with and treating the kids from the boarding school to a couple of hours outside of the institution as well as some burgers.  (Boarding schools in Ukraine are for the disadvantaged kids, not like the private boarding schools in Canada.)

The same for those in the Boorie Ooglie disabled home

Spending time with and bringing treats to the kids in the TB hospital

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Packed Again



Well my time in Ukraine is finishing yet again.  The suitcase is packed, everything else is stored and I'm just waiting to head for the train to Kyiv and then my flight to Canada.  If all goes well I'll be in Halifax in the middle of the night Monday/Tuesday morning. I'll be back home again in May for the summer.  I can't wait.  :)

After an all night New Year's Eve party at Church of Truth I have kept pretty busy this past week with McJoyful, which we took on the road to a couple of hospitals and the kids disabled home.  I also made a Christmas Eve treat delivery to the guys at the Boorie Ooglie disabled home and managed a couple of trips to Shelter Plus Community Centre to help out at English Club and to drop off donations for their Paket Dobra (Good Package) programme.  Paket Dobra is kind of like the Samaritan's Purse shoebox programme.  People fill up a bag with gifts for Christmas presents for kids in the orphanages or they donate money for someone to buy the gifts.

So the Christmas season is over, today being the Canadian equivalent to Boxing Day.  We had a white Christmas (January 7th) here with the snow blowing in on Christmas Eve.  I guess I'm being acclimatized to the Halifax weather before I leave.

Please continue to keep me and Ukraine in your prayers.  Thank you for seeing my heart.  Till next time...я люблю вас!!

New Year's Eve at Church of Truth.  On New Year's Eve in Ukraine people dress up in costume like we do for Halloween.

At the children's hospital for orphans.  Orphans don't go to a "regular" hospital here when they're sick.

At a children's TB hospital

Christmas Eve delivery of bananas and candy to Boorie Ooglie (Brown Coals) men's disabled home.

When you donate to the Paket Dobra programme they take your picture.  On the wall behind me is "fill it!" in Ukrainian.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Another New Year



At the end of 2016 I'm thankful for the year behind us.  It was an amazing year, the best part of which I was able to get back to my work in Ukraine.  I'm not going to do a year end review of my activities.  All of that is already posted on previous blog entries.  I'm looking forward to 2017.  We have a few days off for the holiday then it's back at it again until the Christmas holiday.  We have been having a lot of fun with the kids at McJoyful giving them a Christmas celebration they might not get otherwise and they are loving it.

I'm disappointed that I'll miss the last week of McJoyful (it runs until January 15th) as I have to head back to Canada, leaving Krivoy Rog on the 8th.  I'm praying that in 2017 that I'll be able to get back to my work here long term.  I'm hoping to get a residence permit so that I can do that.  It's going to take some miracles to make everything happen.  I ask for your prayers that it will happen this year.

If you would like to help out my work in a tangible way I (and many others) would appreciate it so much.  I don't receive any salary for my work.  It is all volunteer using my own funding.  To give on line you can click the "donate now" button on the right side of the blog or you can click the "ways to donate" tab at the top of the page for other giving options.  Thank you so much.

Please continue to keep me and Ukraine in your prayers.  Thank you for seeing my heart.  Till next time...я люблю вас! 

с новым годом!!  Happy New Year!!

Kids often have that wide eyed look of wonder at McJoyful.

A couple more people I get to work with.  Karina in the middle grew up in an orphanage and came to McJoyful as a kid.  Now she's helping to host it.

This is one of my "sons."  With the look on his face I can't help but wonder what he's up to.




Saturday, 24 December 2016

There's No Place Like Home For Christmas(es)



I've been in Ukraine for almost 2 weeks now and it's almost 2 more weeks before I head back to Canada.  The time is flying by but I'm enjoying every minute of it.  Christmas season in Ukraine is an amazing time to be here...as well as any other time of the year.  :)  The 1st week I was just settling in, catching up and getting the jet lag over with which seemed to hit me harder on this trip.  I think it was due to the lack of sleep on the Toronto to Warsaw flight.  We are pretty busy right now and having a lot of fun at McJoyful Christmas which started this week.

So for the next 2 weeks until it's time to leave I'll be at McJoyful almost every day.  Please keep me in your prayers.  Thank you for seeing my heart.  Till next time...я люблю вас!!

Have a very Merry Christmas and may God richly bless you all in the new year.


Some of the team I get to work with this time.  It's such a blessing and honour to work with them.



The TV and newspaper came to interview my friend about McJoyful and then asked why I came to Ukraine.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Headed "Home" for Christmas(es)

Last summer when I booked my ticket to go back to Ukraine for the Christmas season it seemed like forever away.  That day is finally here as I head out again today.

If everything goes right I'll be in Krivoy Rog on Thursday.  Please keep me in your prayers for my travel and that I'll be able to get a lot done over the next month.  Stay tuned to the blog for updates of my goings on.

Thank you for seeing my heart.  Till next time...я люблю вас!!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

It's Not Too Late...

In just 2 weeks I'll be on my way back to Ukraine for a month over the Christmas season.  While I'm there I would like to take some Christmas blessing to those who have so little.  It's not too late if you would like to help me to do that.  I don't receive a salary for my work.  It's all volunteer and I have limited resources to do it on my own.

On Giving Tuesday would you please consider giving a gift that would help me to bring joy to those who have little to smile about?  To give a gift on line you can click the "donate now" button on the right side of this page.  To see other giving options please click the "ways to donate" tab at the top of the page.  Donations from Canada are tax receipted and every dollar helps.  Thank you so much.

Please keep me and Ukraine in your thoughts and prayers.  Thank you for seeing my heart.  я люблю вас!!

Bananas are a huge treat at the disabled home.  They don't get fruit very often.

Something as simple as a few mouse pads and some headphones can make a big difference in a computer class.
The kids love doing crafts and craft supplies are always in demand.
School supplies are also always in demand.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Would You Be Able to Help Out?



In just 6 weeks I'll be headed back to Ukraine for Christmases (both new and old Christmases).  Wow the time is creeping up.  The preparations are coming along but not as well as I hoped. I'm not stressing though as I know Who's in control.

My friends in Ukraine have given me a wish list of things they would like to have and I would love to be able to take some extra blessings with me when I go.  The thing is that I can't do this on my own with my limited resources.

Would you please consider helping out so that I can do this?  To help me give some Christmas blessings you can click the "donate now" button on the right side of the blog page to give on line.  You can also click the "ways to donate" tab at the top of the page to see other giving options.  Every dollar counts and will be appreciated by so many.  Donations from Canada are tax deductible.  Thank you so  much.

Thank you for seeing my heart.  Till next time...я люблю вас!! 

These are just a few of the kids that will receive some blessings.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Things to be Thankful For



This weekend as we in Canada reflect on what we're thankful for my mind is on the kids in Ukraine who have so little.  It's hard to believe that in just a little over 2 months I'll be on my way there for Christmases.  (No that's not a typo.  I'll be there for Christmas on December 25th - or Catholic Christmas as it's known there - as well as for Orthodox Christmas on January 7th - or Old Christmas as we call it.)

Even though we will be blessing the kids by spreading some Christmas cheer with McJoyful Christmas I would love to be able to supply some extra blessings for them.  My friends in Ukraine have given me a list of things they would like me to get but I am not able to do much on my own.  If you would consider helping me bless the kids, they and I would be thankful.

If you would like to help out just click the "donate now" link on the right side of the blog to donate on line.  You can also click the "ways to donate" tab at the top of the page to see other giving options.  Thank you sooo much!!

Thank you for seeing my heart.  Till next time...я люблю вас!  Happy Thanksgiving!

These are just a few of the kids I would love to bless.

Would you help me to fill some shopping carts with some blessings?

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

We're More Ukrainian Than We Realize



When I first went to Ukraine in the summer of 2011 I was surprised by how much Ukraine is like Canada.  The scenery everywhere in Ukraine looks like a specific part of Canada - coastal areas, prairies, mountain areas; even the vegetation is the same.  Ukrainian culture is a huge part of Canadian culture, much more than many Canadians realize.  Many of us will remember watching the Shumka Dancers on TV on holiday specials when we were growing up.  Even recently some of my Canadian friends were surprised that perogies and cabbage rolls originated in Ukraine.  In the beginning, some of my Ukrainian friends were surprised that I had even heard of perogies and cabbage rolls.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There's MANY more similarities between Ukraine and Canada that I could mention but it would take too long to type them out.  :) 

So today just for fun I went into town and took some photos to show my Ukrainian friends of what is Ukrainian in Halifax.  Even though Halifax is a very "British" city and has a very small group of Ukrainian Diaspora compared to other cities in Canada it's still not hard to find Ukrainian things here.

This is the Welsford Parker monument.  It is the only monument in North America commemorating the British victory in the Crimean war of the 1850's as well as two men from Halifax who died in that war.  William Hall also fought in this war.  Until today I never knew that Alma, NS & Alma, NB were named after Alma in Crimea.  More info is here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsford-Parker_Monument

This monument across the street from the Nova Scotian Hotel placed there by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress commemorates 100 years of Ukrainian immigrants coming to Canada.  This year marks the 125th anniversary.

One of the inscriptions on the monument.  At first I thought the figure was in a death shroud.

Another inscription on  it.

Of course I had to add my own touch.  :)

This is at the dock where many of the Ukrainian settlers arrived in Canada.  It's now a museum of immigration to Canada.
The sales lady in the gift shop told me that there's some Ukrainian matryoshkas in amongst these russian ones.


There's a deli in Halifax that sells some products from Ukraine.  I don't understand why pickled tomatoes haven't caught on here.  They are sooo good.

Last Christmas a friend invited me to the Ukrainian Society's Christmas celebration.



Wednesday, 17 August 2016

I Am So (Mc)Joyful



When I checked the calendar of the university where I work I couldn't believe it when I saw that Christmas vacation fell when McJoyful Christmas is going on in Kryvyy Rih.  Then I checked airline prices, found a good price, checked to see what was left in the bank, talked with a few people and this past week a lot has come together quickly.  I've been back in Canada less than 3 weeks now and already I have bought a ticket to return to Ukraine in December for a few weeks.  I am sooo looking forward to being in Ukraine for Christmas; it is an amazing time of year to be there.  I am especially looking forward to being there for McJoyful Christmas as well as being with my Ukraine family and friends.

For those who might not know, McJoyful Christmas is when Loads of Love charity takes orphan children to McDonald's for a Christmas party.  These kids would not normally get a special Christmas meal and may not even get a Christmas party in the orphanages.  At McJoyful they play party games, have Happy Meals and are told the Christmas story.  As I mentioned in previous blogs McDonald's is seen as an elite place to eat and these children simply wouldn't get to go without the generosity of others.  So going there will be a huge treat for these kids...about 3 thousand of them.  You can read more about McJoyful Christmas here:  http://www.loadsoflove.org/mcjoyful-christmas.html 

I know it's a bit early to think about Christmas but if you would like to help me take some extra Christmas blessing to those who have so little I would really appreciate your help.  I want to take some craft supplies with me, things that can't be found in Ukraine and are light and easy to pack.  If you could donate some things or a gift to help me buy them it would be appreciated by so many.  If you wish to give a gift to help out you can just click the "donate now" button on the right side of the blog to donate on line.  You can also click the "ways to donate" tab at the top of the page for other giving options.  Thank you so much.

Please continue to keep me and Ukraine in your prayers.  Thank you for seeing my heart.  Till next time...я люблю вас!!

 
One of the groups from McJoyful several years ago.

One of the party games at McJoyful is to put fries in the bun and then eat them as fast as possible with your hands behind your back.  Since it's a party for Jesus' birthday the burger represents a cake & the fries candles.

This was the year I told the Christmas story from the viewpoint of one of the wise men with my friend Igor translating.  In the picture was the point in the story about Mary being pregnant.  You had to be there; it was too funny.

Another group of happy kids from a few years ago with our hostess Katya.