Fortunately, we were only a few blocks from a central area where there was a McDonalds, a mall and all kinds of other things going on. For the first time in a long time, we felt no stress. We just wandered around the city looking at the different sites. We bought some souveniers, had some ice cream, visited a local church, and went to a cool underground mall. Oh, and the girls also road on small shetland ponies in the middle of downtown. I think we got scammed, but it was worth it to see the girls smile....... The entire city is getting ready for their Christmas which is not until January 7, so their were Santa's in the street and beautiful Christmas trees all over. They even had a nice outdoor ice skating rink in the center of downtown.
After several hours of walking, we began to tire and it began to rain. We spent the last hour getting back to our apartment in the cold rain, but we had fun. The people throughout this country have been sooo nice and patient with us. At every store and every restaurant, people try so hard to understand and accommodate us. Tony and I are very impressed with the Ukrainian people and the kindness they've shown us. This is a beautiful country with a lot of kids in need. We are so glad that we were called to take this journey and so excited about the next steps. We know it will be hard when we get the girls home, but God is with us and it is in Him that we will find our strength.
This entire journey has been a walk of faith... literally. Even the trip over here has taught us so much about our faith. Think about it.... when you travel to a country where you don't speak the language, getting in cars with people you've never met, and committing to spend a life taking care of children you've never met, you have nothing but your faith. I don't believe anyone could walk this path without a strong faith in God. Despite some difficulties while over here, we never doubted our call and never doubted our decision. We've learned so much and grown so much throughout this journey and look forward to continued growth and blessing as we continue. Thank you all for holding us up with your words (comments and e-mails) and your prayers. God Bless, Leah