Saturday, June 24, 2006

Two Days Till Sunset

We are finally back in Mariupol. It seems amazing to have traveled such a distance, and our bodies will probably not be adjusted until it is time for us to leave for Moscow a week from now. We left Anchorage at 9:00 am Thursday, and arrived in Mariupol about 1:00 am Saturday morning. We also jumped eleven time zones to get here, periodically stopping in places like Minnesota and Amsterdam and resetting our watches to local time. I completely lost track and gave up trying to figure out what time it was supposed to be. It was like trying to tell time in space. It didn't help at all that we were exhausted no mater what time it was, and I don't remember seeing the sun go down till after we had been traveling for a day and a half.

Being here in Mariupol is like living in a dream. It's as if everything is completely the same and I never left at all, but small things are strange and different. Certain people that are missing, other people that I don't recognize at all, but everyone else is best friends with. It's been fun getting to know everyone again.

This week is going to be absolutely packed. There are so many Americans coming to town. Everyone that has any connection to the congregation over the past ten years is coming back for this Sunday. Ukrainians are coming from all over the city, region, country. It's going to be very crowded and very exciting to see. The church in this part of Ukraine has a lot of growth to reflect on, and appreciate. But after Sunday morning the schedule has just begun. The week is planned from 10:00 to 8:00 everyday to be busy with the church having lessons and fellowship and games and singing. The Congregation here is not wasting a single opportunity to be with all the special people that are going to be around. It's wonderful. I really hope however that we will not be so busy doing things as a group that we are not able to connect with people individually, and travel the city as I'm wanting to again. But God's plans be praised. He has worked things out so perfectly already in getting us here, I can't image not trusting him to work out our reasons for being here.

And with that, we have a youth gathering at the building we are late for. Keep us in your prayers, and know that we love you and are having a wonderful time.



  1. Hey guys, I'm glad to hear that you are having a great time! I'm so jealous. I wish I could be there as well. James, when you said it was like you had never left, I was actually thinking of you just walking back to your old apartment, or maybe on down the street to tell us girls hi at our apartment. I sure do miss being there at home. Maybe one day I can take a trip back. I hope you guys enjoy the rest of your trip. Love y'all!

  2. Hello friends! I am almost in tears thinking about how wonderful it would be to be there with you guys right now. Bobby and I dreamed we could come but it just couldn't happen. In fact right now I am at the building at 4am waiting for Bobby to come home from the youth mission trip. I am really tired and quite was suppose to be a 12hour drive home which turned out to be a 18hour drive. So, right now being far away from here and with people we both love sounds much better. LOL! Anyway, thanks for making a weblog for us. That is super! We love you guys! In Him your friends, the other Smith's....bobby and melissa


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