i ache for Ukraine.
so many thoughts & fears for their future. can't believe I won't be going this summer. that's where I belong, how can I stay here when everybody else is? don't i need to go NOW more than ever?! i want to prove my loyalty & love for these fierce beautiful people. but I shouldn't need too. it's not about me. it's about serving & spreading Gospel. God doesn't need me to do that. HFO doesn't need me; I know. but I feel...I need to be there.
I want to be there.
I want precious stinky orphan hugs. I want to play games that break language barriers. I want to be surrounded in Ukrainian & Russian until even my own voice speaks broken English. I want to see my dear Liliya, hug her & take care of her & talk all night. i want to absorb Nicoli's patience & peace, Jenya's vision, Dana's self-sacrifice, Yulia's energy, Masha's wisdom, Yulia's bravery, Sasha's kindness, Ura's thirst for truth, Serge's passion, Anna's joy, Liliya + Taras' servant hearts & meet their baby. i even miss arguing in two separate languages with Ruslan!
I want to smell sunflowers baking in their fields, relief from the nauseas stench of orphanage kitchens. be surprised at the damp coolness of heat slipping with the sun behind hills. i want to remember how grand a freezing shower feels after 5 days without. I want to taste borscht & marogina & buckwheat & spicy ketchup & sausage-cheese sandwiches at midnight & Квас (but not orphanage mystery meat!) I want to use a sharpie to scarf peanut butter bc it's all i can find in 30 sec & "day 3" has me stealing Jif as comfort to keep from hiding under my bed. I want to hear life stories of children who know more of reality than some adult Americans. i want to keep my mouth shut & observe. to memorize Ukrainian words. to be laughed at for my southern american accent when i try to use them in conversation. I want the ridiculous giddiness of blending in on the metro.
i want to be terrified at the depth of my inadequacy. & energized by the knowledge God--not I--will rescue the downtrodden. & amazed that He works through my brokenness. want to see children who dwell in harshness come into contact with warm loving gentleness. to watch the caution give way to acceptance over a few days. I want to see dark eyes, hopeless on a level I can't fathom lighten with new hope. I want to bring Jesus & have Him fill me with grace & joy--in Ukraine there's a fullness I rarely carry here. I want to be pushed past all my limits & then some. I want to be _s p e n t_ in all capacities. heart-wrenched. fiercely angry at injustice--then filled to overflowing love for sweet stubborn kids on the same day. I want the "alive" ness. the intensity of living, of being; it's fullest when I'm in Ukraine. my heart country.
God help me get there again. in your timing. give me vision to train here this summer. shape me for future missions. let it be more to give than receive the next time i stand on ukraine soil. let me be more about others than myself.