Our last day with the Vinogradov kids
Trip Start Dec 16, 2007
28Trip End Jan 11, 2008
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Breakfast was with the Polichko's and Tomaschuk's and conversation was lively punctuated with laughter and seriousness. Yesterday I mentioned to Maria that I thought her husband Vasya looked a little like Russia's leader Putin. Today we told him. He gave a knowing smile.
We won't see the children until lunch because they go to school. But, it gives us time to talk.
Dan and Cindy brought a few gifts from France. One was a clock that they put on top of the kitchen cabinets and the other was a napkin holder. The Polichko's and Tomaschuk's commented how nice those gifts were for the kitchen.
Vasyl Polichko describes the formation of his church after Soviet Times. He had visited relatives in Germany and Switzerland after the breakup of the USSR and came across a mission in Switzerland that offered to give him some help. They were not Sabbath-keepers, but very interested in helping him. I always marvel how people so different have relationships like this.
He was beginning to have plans for a building that he has now. xThe Swiss were willing to help up to a point. They brought many tons of humanitarian aid from Switzerland to Vinogradov. He was able to legally barter it for building materials to build what he wanted to be his school. In particular, he was able to barter high value medicines and medical equipment to the hospital at that time for cement and roofing, for example. The building process has still been a slow go. It's taken him 11 years to get to this point and it's still not done, but it's getting there. Many have donated furnishings and decorations inside. Particularly a mobile phone company called KievStar donated $12,000 last year in furnishings that has really helped the home. Half the home still needs decorating inside. Vasyl had asked me seven years ago if I would help. I told him to choose: either the Vinogradov Street Kids or the Building. Not both, or partially both. He quickly chose the kids and that's where we've been. Others are helping with the building.
We went over to the soup kitchen to have lunch and activities with the children.
Activitiy time starts with singing and Bible lessons and stories. The children are very accustomed to this regime and sing their hearts out and pay attention remarkably well..
What else will we do with the kids? Cindy is full of ideas. She says that games will be a good thing. We start with "Simon Says" but call it "Victor Says."
The kids LOVE IT! After one game is over, another is demanded. We play Victor Says multiple times. Then we go with musical chairs. They had not done that game before. I don't think they even did the Simon Says game either, but picked up very quickly considering that Cindy had to speak in English which they did not know, but could grasp where she was going.
Then candy was distributed to the children. It seems that a large donation of holiday candy was made from the city. There is not celebration of Xmas here, however.
Then we played Bible pantomime. That was really fun. Various biblical events like Daniel and lion's den, Woman caught in adultery, Adam and Eve, Noah's ark and many more. The children were very familiar with the biblical event and the identification of the pantomime usually came very quickly. Yesterday Dan and Cindy sang and the children heard that Dan also played the guitar. Overnight a guitar appeard. Dan then played the guitar for the kids. They loved it as they gathered all around him.
It's time to go. Ivan Yurishko drove over from Khust to pick us up. The roads are a bit icy and the Polichko's do not want to venture out at night. Ivan comes about 6:00 PM.
We said good-bye (I thought) at the soup kitchen and headed to the Home to pick up our stuff and thought we'd just drive the 12 miles over to Khust. We were surprised when many of the children came over to say good-bye again. We all prayed and had an extended parting. We made affirmations to meet and work together again. They were sad that we were there so short a time, but on this trip we have to keep moving.
We then drive to Ivan's home where his wife Nina had dinner for us. As usual, it's always wonderful to be with our friends. After dinner we talked some and then went to bed after another interesting day.