Tonight candles will burn inside windows in remembrance of the millions (3.2 – 10 million) of people who died between 1932-1933 as a result of a great famine. The famine called The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомор; translation: death by starvation) is used to refer to this famine because there were no natural causes for starvation. The Holodomor is considered one of the greatest calamities to affect the Ukrainian nation in modern history. Please pray for healing because 75 years later there is great anger, bitterness and dispute surrounding this famine.
Each month in the Ukrainian language has a specific meaning and October was (жовтень) which in derived from the word yellow. The reason for the Ukrainian word for October is because at the beginning of the month all the trees begin to turn yellow and by the end of the month all have turned. It was particularly remarkable for me to experience some of this beauty of the change of colors in the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukrainian. We were in a small village about 70 kilometers from the border of Slovakia. While we were there I had a chance, for the first time in my life, to gather mushrooms in the forest. Also, to tried to determine which were the good mushrooms and which ones were bad, as in poisonous. Ironically enough the ugly mushrooms were good and the more attractive ones were not. I was grateful I didn’t not have to venture this alone because I would still be lost in the mountains and I would have picked all the bad mushrooms because they were pretty, easy to spot and plentiful. Another first was an encounter poison ivy. It was all over the forest but especially in the places where the mushrooms were. I recognized this early and tried to stay away from it, but one time I ended up knee deep in some, so I just began to pray for the poison ivy not to have any effect on me. Thank God He answered my prayers.
A Few Highlights from the Trip
One highlight of the trip was walking through the small village alone and saying hello to all the people as I passed by their homes. It was funny, one man and woman were working in their yard up on a hill and as I walked by the man stopped what he was doing, ran down the hill and called to his mother to come outside and look. I just smiled and waved. Also I got the experience the dialect of Ukrainian that is called zacarpathian. This dialect is so different that at times other Ukrainians don’t understand what people speaking it are saying. The dialect even has two additional sounds in addition to the sounds in the Ukrainian language.
Another highlight was spending some time with the youth in the church there and worshiping with the believers on Sunday.
Just in case you were wondering November is Листопад – which means leaves falling.
If you would like to see more pictures click here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=121948&id=550104316&l=be17c6c364