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Religious Ukraine


Easter in Ukraine is so religious.  In one sense, it is wonderful.  I love saying “Christ is risen” to my neighbors, friends and acquaintances and hearing them reply with enthusiasm, “He is risen, indeed!”  Ukrainians “do eggs”, too.  They, like much of the church in the West, have integrated pagan symbols into their 1000 year old religion of Christianity.  Painted eggs as well as icing-topped bread with raisons (as seen on the dentist’s bench) make their appearance at Easter.  After many years of observation, my take on the acceptance of these symbols into the Christian culture is not “extremely negative”… but neither is it positive.  I’m not naturally attracted to the idea of taking symbols of an old religion and promoting them.  (I know there is a decent argument against doing this.)Speaking against these particular ones; however, I will not do; for it seems to me that they have become divorced from the old religion anyway and eating chocolate or colored eggs and special buns gives the demons no glory in my mind or in the mind of anyone I know.  If the demons take delight in “fooling” so many people into doing this, well… I just thought they were smarter than that!  Perhaps they aren’t.  Whatever the case, I can see a lot more important things to “combat” than that of banishing eggs and buns from our church culture on Easter because some people from a different era and culture used them in their worship celebrations of a different god at the same time our much loved Jesus rose.

IMG_0152[1]Now here’s something else!  One of our politicians paid for a billboard in the center of Rzhyshchiv upon which was prominently written, “Christ is Risen!”  Ya gotIMG_0129ta love it!

We had a nice dawn service with the church on the edge of the river.  Waking up at 4:00 to get out there set up wasn’t as hard as some people thought it would be!  It was nice seeing the familiar faces from those who also do an annual picnic in the same spot as us each Easter.  Sergei and I looked after the fire and grill while others played and talked the afternoon away.  I enjoyed hanging with Sergei.  He’s a nice bloke.

IMG_0148IMG_0141Tuesday nights are still going.  We had the most number of students we’ve had yet this past week – 4.  It sure doesn’t feel like many after seeing 40-50 come out Sunday nights, but we are developing good relationships with the four or five who have come and we do expect more to come during the four weeks we’ll meet up until June. 

We set up Shane’s Wii console and laugh.  : )  The students have loved it.  (I have loved it!)  Jesse and Irina were two of those I photographed this week – Irina through the hole in the centre of the table we are using for a projector screen to play the game on.  An American came down to the disco where we meet and wowed us with his yoyo skills before sharing a bit about who he was and what God had done in his life.  It was low-key and good.



That time of year is here again when we change wardrobes.  The winter wardrobe for Ukraine is much different from our summer wardrobe!  As I type, Pris is going through all the clothes she diligently put away for this spring figuring out whether the girls have grown too much for last years’ “stuff” or not.  Glad it’s her and not me.  :) 


May God bless you!  We have holidays here this week-end again as people gather at the cemeteries and remember loved ones gone.  … loved ones gone.  This form of communication keeps us in touch with “loved ones far away”.  : )  Feel free to leave a comment.  It’d be nice to hear from you.