My Dear Friends,

This email is looong overdue and I ask your apologies for not getting this to you sooner!

My trip (our trip, since you were a big part of it) was amazing!  From the moment I landed in Budapest, my friends Csicso and Detty were there to collect me at the airport and then make the trip to their home in Baja. Csicso was the first person Jim baptized when we moved to Baja in 2001.  It was wonderful to see all the Lord continues to do in their lives, and their three sons.  I was also able to meet with many of the people in the town that were a great part of our lives for those 7 yrs in Hungary.  I saw answered prayers with marriages and children and just was overjoyed to be there.  Looking forward to a time when Jim and I can go together.

Wonderful friends in Baja, Hungary

After a week in Baja, I coordinated with my friend in Ukraine and her pastor’s wife to go to Mukachevo.   Katya had been making the long drive back and forth from Ukraine to Hungary to get supplies, petrol, and transport people back and forth.  Her faith and stamina amaze me!  She and her friend met me in Hungary and made the long drive through Slovakian border and eventually to Mukachevo.  We stopped at Tesco, a big shopping center, and did a lot of shopping.  I have to say that being on the other end this time, rather than the missionary, it was SO exciting to just load up multiple carts with food, toys, etc.  while in Baja, I also was able to buy so much gluten free items for my friend Vanessa serving in Mukachevo, buy a bunch of legos for the children who had fled their homes, and purchase petrol for the ride but also extra in the containers. So many of the stations in Ukraine have little to none.  All of this was thanks to all of you and your generosity.  


At the Slovakian border it was such a long wait, but apparently not as long as other trips they’ve made.  So many checkpoints within the border.  The fan was filled from the back and all the back seat too.  The final guard wanted to know who the American was and then just pointed to one of my big suitcases and had me open it. When he saw it was filled with a ton of kids clothes he just waved his hand for me to close it back up. Whew!  I had a bit of fear about having to pay a tax, especially on the brand new laptop for Vanessa. That was a blessing as her old one finally died a week after I left!

Once in Ukraine, I stayed at my friend’s apartment where she also had a family of three living in her family room.   They have an incredible story of escaping from Mariupol. I recorded it and need to find someone local to edit so I can put it on fb. It’s quite long but wow, so humbling to sit in the same room as them and know all they endured. I also interviewed a few other people and those videos are on my fb page.  I was able to walk most everywhere and go to help teach English classes with Vanessa, teach the Bible study for the kids program Royal Rangers, go to the church and help sort all the medical supplies brought over…cough syrups, bandaids, toothbrushes, ointments, Tylenol, etc. lots of vitamins and supplements too.  Many of those items would go to the soldiers fighting on the front lines.  

Despite all the atrocities and horrors of war, you see many worshipping and trusting the Lord.  Due to many fleeing the eastern part of Ukraine and heading west where Mukachevo is, the church is overflowing. There aren’t even enough seats for everyone. One of the Sunday's we were inside for service and it was like packed sardines. The following Sunday, Pastor Joel held service outside which was nice for the kids to have a lot of place to run around.  There is a certain look of sadness and fear in most peoples eyes there but also a glimmer of faith knowing they are safe where they are.

As many of you know by now, I had to leave week and half earlier than expected but it was only one day sooner than my planned time in Ukraine.  Marla had given me airline funds to go to Italy the last week but that didn’t happen. It was quite interesting that I never purchased the ticket.  The Lord knew I wasn’t going. 😍

It was truly a blessing and honor to go there and see and meet so many who have been uprooted and those who are opening their homes and hearts to take people in.  It’s a joy to see how generous people are and the family of God comes together in times of need. I kept telling people when I was there that there are many who love them and gave generously towards all the necessities and fun things for them and their children.

The war is not over and people are tired and still scared. Please continue to pray for them…for the saved and those yet to be saved. For the children, the moms, the wives without their husbands and the husbands fighting for the freedom of their country.

Much love to all of you,