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We are working to try to catch up on the months in 2015 that we missed, but hope you enjoy reading about what has been happening in 2016.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

September 2015 - Our New Home in Krivoy Rog

After we made the final decision to move to Krivoy Rog in mid-August, things moved forward rather quickly. Phil finished up the project he was working on before the end of August so we could leave Kiev with complete closure. While we enjoyed living in Kiev, our hearts were always to live somewhere outside of the capital city, wherever God would lead.  As we have watched this process unfold, it has been amazing to watch God open a door that we thought was closed. Our primary purpose is to help the Churches of Praise plant more churches, though we are also interested in church health and encouraging them in what God has called them to do.

We came to Krivoy Rog to look for a place to live on Wednesday, September 2. Our original place to stay fell through, so we were thankful that one of our friends could put us up for a couple of days at the last minute. It is much harder to find places to live here than in Kiev, especially larger ones with nicer renovations. Many of the houses are far from where we wanted to live. (Remember, the city is 80 miles long and 20 miles wide.) We had one option, but the kitchen was small and Phil really wanted another choice.

Wednesday night found Phil with a bout of diarrhea and he was up most of the night. So Thursday he slept all morning and then we did not go anywhere, as he was preaching in a service that evening. In the afternoon, Phil found a very nice house, at a good price, not too far from where we wanted, but when he called the realtor, it was already taken. We decided that was not God's plan for us, though we were disappointed.

Phil was feeling better and preached at Pastor Galina's church that evening. After church, we talked to one of our friends, who knew of someone who might be able to help us out. She checked with her friend, and the next day we went to look at the house. When we walked in, we just knew it would be the right place for us. The kitchen (which is spacious and nice) and living room are open, which is rare here. And, best of all, it is in THE neighborhood that we wanted to live in. God came through in a big way, as He always does, but just in the nick of time (which He often does). He looks after and cares for His children!

Because the weather was in the mid-90's, we decided to head back to Kiev, where we would make plans to move on Saturday the 12th. We packed all week, scheduled a large van for our move, and said our goodbyes. We were up in plenty of time for our help to show up about 9 AM. We were blessed by the help of three people - Phil's gym buddy and a couple who came to Kiev for 6-8 weeks to adopt a child. The van showed up before 10 AM and was all loaded by 10:30, which was ahead of schedule. The van took off and we planned to catch up later.

We had to meet with our landlady who was running late and it seemed that our meeting took forever. Rather than getting our deposit back, more than half of it covered cleaning of curtains ($200), professionally cleaning the apartment (almost $200), and our last month's utilities. We appreciated that it was clean when we moved in, but that seems extreme, even for Kiev.

Finally, we were able to leave and swung by McDonald's on the way out of town, but we were basically 90 minutes behind the van. We actually caught up to them before 3 PM, and followed them the rest of the way. The worst of the roads were behind us at that point, so that was good. We arrived at our home about 5:30 PM, and four Ukrainian guys came to help us unload - three from churches we have been to and one friend from down the street.

Everything was unloaded quickly (and our Ukrainian friends thought we had a lot of stuff, though it is way less than we had in America). Our apartment was 100 cubic meters and felt like it was overrun with boxes before we moved, but the house is larger and did not feel that way after we unloaded. Two of the guys stayed and helped us put together a few things, which allowed us to take care of unpacking other things. We were so blessed by the help of our friends on both ends!

Saturday night and Sunday we were so tired and made little progress on our unpacking, but by Wednesday we had most things unpacked and started feeling settled.  We love our comfortable home and are so grateful. It is less than a 5 minute WALK to a medium-sized grocery store and outdoor vegetable stand and less than a 10 minute DRIVE to a large supermarket.

One problem that Denise has had with our house is that there are screens on only a few windows (and most have holes), so the mosquitoes have found their way inside. They do not bother Phil (except the noise), but Denise's mosquito bites itch for weeks. So soon we hope to get some screens ordered and installed. so everyone will be happy. Phil's Dad always says, "If Mama isn't happy, no one is happy!"

On Saturday the 19th we had our first company over for supper (and we forgot to take a picture) - Ukrainian friends Phil and Julia. They have been married two years on the 21st and are about the same age that we were when we got married. Phil and Phil have become pretty good friends, chat regularly, and it will be fun spending time with them!

Please pray that our home is a blessing to all who enter!

We have been welcomed with open arms and will have many opportunities to minister, both corporately and individually. God has blessed us abundantly!!

We finally got some pictures taken, so enjoy the tour!

When you walk in the front door (actually at the side of the house), there is a small entry, then to your right is a large living room, with the stairs to reach the second floor.  There is no basement.

And to the left is the kitchen, which we love. The only thing we miss is the dishwasher in Kiev!

The main floor bathroom is to the right of the kitchen

This is a view of the living room from the bathroom door, where you can see a bit of the entry.

At the top of the stairs, this is what you see - a hall and a room between the bedrooms, and the door to the bathroom.

Here is the second floor bathroom.  Guess who was taking pictures?

Our bedroom is to the left of the bathroom. There is a built in closet with shelves on the wall shared with the bathroom.

Outside of our room, this is the view back to the stairs, with the door to Hope's room, which is adjacent to the stairs.

Here is Hope's room, with a great built-in desk area

In the room between the bedrooms, there is a great office area for Phil as well as a sun room/balcony type room.

On the other side of this room, we are going to put a futon for guests (hope to find one soon).

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