Lance & Megan's Blog

and she’s off… again.


That’s right, my team if off to Kiev (the capital of Ukraine) tomorrow morning. As much as I hate to give an information dump, I am afraid that is all I have time for!

It is midnight here and I have to get up at 5:30. All of us girls are running around trying to get our bags packed and ready. We were just informed that our first night in Kiev will be a special formal dinner so now we need to pack nice clothes. For those of you who live with 13 girls you will know that this process will probably take a couple of hours. You know, trying on each others dresses, looking at everyone’s jewelry, playing with shoes and talking about hair-dos. Yes, this takes a couple of hours!

We will be in Kiev to celebrate 50 years of YWAM in Ukraine! How amazing is that?! We are all very excited about it. Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM, will be there and we will be able to meet him at some point during the conference. It is truly an honor for us to hear a message from him.

After the conference, we will head over to the YWAM base in Kiev to spend the week with their DTS team. We will all join together for some time of teaching and fellowship. We will return the 8th (so yes, it will be awhile until I can post anything.)

Ok, to back up a little. If anyone noticed I said there were 13 girls in the house, which means that another girl joined our team. Yep, one more girl has come to Ternopil! Her family has been in India for the past year and a half. Her and her father and some problems with their visas and so returned to Ukraine. While here they happened to remember about the DTS and thought they would call to see if there was still room. Naturally, there was one more bed in the girls room so of course she was meant to fill it. Now there are 11 girls (+2 staff girls who live here) and 3 boys (+2 male staff members.) We are very excited to have her here with us, I can already tell she will be a ton of fun!

A few cultural moments from last week:

1) Riza and I decided to hold an impromptu English class for other students who wanted to learn English. Riza is from Turkey and his wife Lena, is our translator. We were teaching a few key phrases such as “Hi, my name is ______. What is your name? How are you? I am fine.” All was going well until someone got a little mixed up.

Lena: Hi, my name is Lena. What is your name?

Marichka: I am fine.

It has become a running joke now.

2) On Sunday a few of us went out to pizza. The waitress was taking my order for a drink (I abstained from asking for tea with milk) instead I asked for water with gas. Her next question was a new one. “Do you want little gas or lots gas?” I was so dumbfounded that I could only give a blank stare and Dima (who was translating for me) just ordered for me. Apparently you can get water with lots gas of little gas. You learn something new everyday.

posted under DTS, team, travel | 4 Comments »

Lost in Translation Moments


I am already accumulating Lost In Translation moments, so I thought I might as well write about them now since (seeing as how things are going) I will probably have more by the weekend.

#1) We were at a cafe this weekend simply to get to know each other. Everyone was giving their orders of yummy cakes and lattes. A few people ordered chai (Ukrainian word for tea) and naturally I ordered black tea with milk and sugar. Nothing out of the ordinary… if I was in the States or maybe England. The waitress didn’t know what to do with me. Milk with your tea? Who would do such a thing? The poor girl asked again to clarify and again Lena (translator) clearly said that I wanted milk with my tea. The waitress was so dumbfounded she had to go ask the cook if they do such a thing. She came back and reported that they would give me a little milk on the side. It came out as steamed milk.

#2) We have all been assigned different kitchen duties for the next two weeks. I am on a team with two other girls cooking breakfast. Lunch and dinner are prepared by our cook, but he gets the weekends and breakfasts off. The two other gals that I am with do not speak ANY English. They are wonderful girls and I am sure we will be able to prepare something for breakfast, but communication will be interesting as I discovered today. I thought we were going to be making croissants for breakfast, but I was informed at dinner today we are making pineapples. Pineapples? Yep, I was assured with sweet smiles we are making pineapples. I was missing something. Do you mean we are putting apples in the croissants? Nope, we’re making pineapples. Finally, we grabbed our translator  who then told me we are cooking apple pies for breakfast. This makes sense when you put your adjectives in the wrong place. Apples in a pie, pie in an apple. Mistake understood, except I’m making apple pies for breakfast? I’m still not sure about that one.

#3) While cleanign up after dinner tonight, I found a package of salt with the following label:

The White Food Common Iodine Salt: Salt for cooking, salting, and preserving of food-staff and for prophilaxis of thyroid gland diseases.


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The setting


I thought it would be a good idea to set the stage by giving you a few more details on the living conditions and who I am living with. Perhaps in posts to come, I will elaborate on the individuals that make up the fine team I am blessed to be a part of.

As was mentioned in the email update, I am one of 6 in a quaint room on the second floor of our building. The ages in my room range from 19 to 32. I am the only American here, but there are my two dear Canadian friends, one of which is in my room, the other is upstairs in a room of five. There is one staff member in my room, Valya, who is from Russia. My Canadian friend, Joanne, hails from Astle in New Brunswick. Natasha came all the way from northeast Ukraine while Ina took the train from the Crimea area in southern Ukraine. Lena also took the train but only from Kiev, the capital.

None of the us speak enough of each others language to hold a conversation but we make do with what we know. I think we are all trying to learn as much as we can and as quickly as we can. (Note: this act of “trying” can cause a sense of being overwhelmed, but can be remedied with a hot cup of tea and a little silence. Luckily, tea is quite prevalent here.)

Space is limited in our homy room. The furniture that makes up our aforementioned homy room are three bunk beds, one desk, two small drawer sets, and a closet. Oh and a mirror, but that just occupies wall space but becomes is very valuable in the morning. There are two showers for the ten girls that live here. This might sound scary to some, but really, we have not had any problems or complaints. In fact, not a squeak of a complaint has been heard from anyone and I will most certainly not be the first one. I love it here. I really do.

This past week was filled with stories of God’s grace in each of our lives as everyone shared their testimony. I am blessed to be with such an amazing team. The stories vary from person to person and each brings a unique aspect to the team. The girls in my room have experienced different things and each has a different passion in their lives.

This next week we will have a guest speaker who will be focusing on evangelism. We are also to decide this next week where we will go on outreach. Either Ethiopia or India. I look forward to some great times of fellowship and learning moments.

Lost in Translation moment of the week:

At lunch

Lena (we have three Lenas on our team, this was our translator Lena): These grapes are so nice without the bones in them.

North Americans: [Blank stares]

Allison (Canadian): Do you mean seeds?

Lena: Oh! Yes, yes, yes. These grapes are great without seeds!

posted under DTS, team | 2 Comments »

The bags


As many of you may have figured out or already heard. I have arrived in Ukraine with every bit of my luggage. Thank you for those that were praying for my bags, they did miraculously loose weight! Praise the Lord!!

I kept weighing my bags at home, hoping that our scale was some how off. I am sure everybody wishes there scale was some how off, but mine was a matter of laying down some serious cash of not. When we arrived at the airport, I weighed them again… walked to another scale and weighed them again… and reshuffled a few things. I took out my yummy scone mix which apparently weighed a little over a pound as well as my lotion out of another bag. Weighed them one last time and made my way to the counter.

It certainly does not help that you have to wait forever in line unsure if you will have to pay extra or not. It really was nerve racking. As the attendant asked for the first bag to be put on the scale, I caught myself holding my breath. It was like Biggest Looser, watching the scale numbers bounce around hoping that it lands on something good.

God is amazingly faithful. The scale finally came to rest on 50lbs!! I put the second bag on the scale and again, the scale stopped at 50lbs!! Even the attendant was amazed. Both my bags met the weight limit! What an answer to prayer!

So now I am settled into my room which will have 5 other girls in it by the end of today. The whole DTS will be here by tonight and I will have much more to tell with in the next 24 hours!

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And I’m off!


Two check-ins… check, check

Family photos… sniff sniff, check

Laptop, power cord, external hard drive, USB, camera, ipod… oh yeah

Passport to an adventure with God… double and triple check

After a day and a half of packing, squishing, stuffing, squeezing, and shoving; I am finally fully packed. Oh wait, I still need to figure out my carry on. You will need to be praying that my bags will miraculously loose weight between here and the airport though.

The past week has been full of visiting friends, good-byes, a few tears and lots of shopping. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me in the coming years. I have absolutely no idea how God will use me, but I enjoy being available. I am on the road to discovery with God!

More updates will come as soon as I am settled in and have more to tell!

posted under DTS, travel | 3 Comments »