Lance & Megan's Blog

The State of Megan Address

September26

Family, Friends, and Supporters,

This post is marking my year-long absence from the states and it seems fitting to give a full report on my goings ons. I will try and cover everything as best I can.

Health Care
Physically
God has blessed me in the last year with good health. I only had a small cold last fall. My glasses broke in the spring and I had to have them repaired, they are still not fully functioning but are at least useful now.
Mentally/Emotionally
I have not had need to visit any sanitoriums or “head doctors,” so I guess I am doing good. With the English school a little over a week away, there has been some added stress, but nothing overwhelming. When I first came here, I experienced the usual homesickness feelings (and still do from time to time,) but God has given me a great family here. Ternopil is now my home away from home.
Spiritually
This past year in my personal devotions, I studied such topics as Moses, steadfastness, the heart and purity of heart, and humility. God has certainly been challenging me to trust Him completely. I am truly coming to the realization that God’s will is freedom and His burden is light. I believe that I will be coming into a new level of trusting in God as the English for Missions school begins.

Foreign Policy
My travels this past year, have taken me from Ukraine to Turkey, Ethiopia, Moldova, Poland, and home. I will still have to be making border runs, so I may be frequenting Poland and Moldova. My relations with people here have also been growing. It is an important policy to build and keep relationships with the people of Ukraine. Since being here, I have helped in weekly English cafes, English classes, and English clubs. I have also helped set up team building events for youth groups and other church groups. I have assisted in hosting various teams and individuals through out the summer. In this next year, I plan to the majority of my attention to the English for Missions school. This means that I will not be committed to any of the previous English activities. I will continue to foster relationships with those that attended the English club I ran. This will mostly be done on weekends.

Education
In this past year, I graduated from the Discipleship Training School in Ternopil, Ukraine. Here I learned valuable lessons such as servant leadership, the Father heart of God, grace, the heart of worship, and missional lifestyle. I was able to put this all into practice on our 2.5 month outreach. After graduation, I set myself to designing and setting up the English for Missions school. In the first week of September, I was able to attend the University of the Nations workshop to learn more about the U of N and about other English schools. This was a wonderful experience for me to simply connect and gain a bigger perspective of Youth With A Mission.

Economy
Allow me to brief you on the economic side of my life. The money that is given to me goes towards, food, normal personal items, my apartment, traveling expenses, visas, staff fees and functions (conferences and workshops.) I have also designated a portion to go towards the English for Missions school. School supplies, registration fees, student scholarships are included in this sum. There is another portion that goes toward fellowshipping. Building relationships are important, this is often done over tea and cookies or with a meal in a restaurant. I want to be able to easily build those relationships and bless those that I am in contact with. I am also sure to put some money towards savings and tithings. In the next year, I see a need for increase support for the school. I would like to find support specifically for student scholarships, if you would love to be a part of this school and help and student attend, let me know!!

Thank you again and may God bless you all.

posted under Megan, Ukraine | 2 Comments »

Equipping for Multiplication

September18

This was the theme of the conference I went to in Kona, Hawaii. It was jam packed with so many good things. Just to set the record straight, this was a business trip, not a vacation!

Start of the Day

Our days started at 6:15 (if you weren’t jet lagging that is, I woke up between the hours of 2 and 5 generally.) The whole conference had worship and devotions together. We did a study on Colossians. I highly recommend the devotional which you can find here. We always had a morning session which lasted until lunch, then after lunch there were different breakout sessions that lasted until 4:30. Dinner ended at 6 when the evening session started.

Me in front of the main center of the University of the Nations

I had a wonderful time understanding the University of the Nations and all that they do. Students who complete the English for Missions school that I am starting, will receive credits with this university. The university’s goal is to start more schools to allow students to get degrees. The big thing with these schools is to equip people to make disciples. It is very reassuring to know our English school falls into this easily!

Watching the waves, the one time I got to see them

I was able to meet with other English teachers from various countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Azerbijan. Many of these teachers have been in YWAM for 20, 30 years and have taught English for a large portion of those years. I definitely felt like a youngin amongst them! I attended a session for English teachers too so we all got to share ideas.

Last evening session standing on a giant map!

The ESL teacher in Kona, gave me many free books and materials that we needed in Ukraine. My suitcase was filled with books and supplies for the trip home! I was able to network with many other people. Any free time was largely spent meeting with people. I am so glad I was able to go just to meet people and understand what the University of the Nations is all about.

posted under English, travel | 1 Comment »

My sister’s comin to town

September18

Actually she’s already been to town and left. I just haven’t told you about it yet. This was in the beginning of August.

Yep, my little sis came to visit me! What an honor it was to have my sister here to see where I live and work. She came in on a Wednesday, we got home that night after a bumpy ride home. The next day we just relaxed together mostly. Alison met some of my buds, I took her to the park, showed her where I spend most of my time. That night, we went to a concert in the park of which we left early and went to a Ukrainian style restaurant with some other friends. There was some live music and good food. We went to the Ternopil museum, chatted, had wraps, saw some churches, chatted, ate ice cream and chatted in the park. What else are sister supposed to do?

The bathroom stalls in an old restaurant

On Saturday, we went to Lviv with my roommate Marichka who is from Lviv. Marichka knew all the sites, she was our tour guide for the day. We went to a little outdoor market, visited several beautiful churches and buildings. Since it was Saturday, there seemed to be a wedding going on in every church. This didn’t stop us from going in or going right on up to the front to get pictures. I discovered a great Ukrainian wedding tradition that day, when the wedding ceremony is over and the bride and groom step out of the church, the bride throws candy out to the crowd waiting. We just happened to be nearby and candy just seemed to fall right at our feet. It would have been a shame to not pick it up.

On the way to Lviv

Old city gates in Lviv

Lviv is a beautiful city that also happens to have chocolate factories. Gotta stock up on that! We ended the day back at the market and hopped back on the train home. Once home we still had time to go to another outdoor concert and left early again for pizza.

In front of the Lviv theatre

Sunday, Alison got to see where I go to church and meet my family there. I took her secondhand shopping and chocolate shopping before we had some friends over to play games and have tea. We made our trip back to Kiev on Monday and said our goodbyes until we see each other again. It was such a blessing!

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To Krakow I did go

September18

I took a trip with Vitaly and his brother-in-law David to Krakow to apply for visas back in mid July. We left late on a Sunday night and got there early Monday morning before the embassy opened. We only had to wait about 45 minutes after I accosted some guy that came out telling him that it was past time and they should be open now. He didn’t speak English, but we figured out that there was actually a time change between Ukraine and Poland. We were an hour early. Lesson learned.

Something cool

The Grunwald Monument commemorating the 1410 battle of Grunwald (ironic right?) That's the slain leader of the Teutonic knights on the bottom

The visa process was easier then expected. I walked up to the window, gave the man my documents, he told me to go pay at such-and-such bank and return with a receipt. David and I both did this; we paid at the bank and returned with the receipt stapled to our documents. The man now told us to come back after 2 to pick up our passports. Sweet!

Vitaliy in front of St. Florian's Gate, part of the original city wall

St. Mary's Basilica, which has a really cool history that I won't go into here

We had several hours to kill before 2 so we figured out how to get to the center of the city and hopped on a tram. We explored the old city; saw the old walls, churches, clock tower, and statues. We also discovered a mall, which, once inside, was like being in a mall in America. There was McDonalds, Subway, KFC, and my favorite, Starbucks!

Yum!

At 2 we returned just as it started to rain. The man gave us our passports with out any trouble at all. No questions asked. I like this kind of service. Then it was on the road again. We got back home mid-morning on Tuesday. Praise the Lord for a quick and easy trip! I would love to return to Krakow sometime now, it was a gorgeous city.

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