Last month I attended my first presbytery meeting here in Ukraine. After Russian class, I took an overnight train out to the meeting, which was all day that Wednesday. Because there aren’t as many churches in the presbytery as my home presbytery in Chattanooga, there was time during the meeting to hear a report from every church and then someone prayed for that congregation. That may seem like a simple thing, but I was deeply moved to see the work of the church being done through prayer—a reminder that its ultimately God who builds his kingdom, everywhere, by his grace. When we pray, we’re reminded that we’re dependent upon God to change us, to make us more like Jesus, to make us the best friends, neighbors, and citizens possible.
The day after presbytery I took a day off in L’viv, along with most of the guys from my team who’d been able to come to the presbytery meeting. I’m thankful for the time we had to get to know each other a bit more. Our team had time for meals together, conversation, coffee, and some strolling around the center of L’viv. One of my colleagues, Alister (pictured with me at a cafe), and I got to explore the clock tower in the center of the old city square. God gave us an absolutely gorgeous day for our visit.
Of course, it was back to work Friday morning. We caught an early taxi to the train station, and took a high-speed train back to Kyiv, so I could make it to my Russian class, and my teammates to various meetings they had in the afternoon. The train hurled across the countryside at speeds topping 160 kilometers per hour (99 miles per hour).