It’s cold here in Kiev. Twenty-five degrees outside, around 70 inside the apartment. For now.

Last Thursday night around dinner time, someone went to wash hands or dishes or something and noticed, ‘Hey, there’s no hot water.’ Sometimes it’s a case of cold water coming out of the hot tap, sometimes, as was now, there is no water coming out of the hot tap.

Well, this happens from time to time. The timing was a little unusual in that if someone is doing work in their apartment and the water is shut off, it’s usually during the day so that it can be back on again when people are home from work and in their apartments. The unusualness of it led us to conclude there was some sort of ‘avaria’ or accident, causing us to sympathize with whoever probably had some sort of flood in their place.

It didn’t come back on the next day, and by then, it was pretty noticeable that the cold water was really cold. Hurts your hands cold. Oh well. Washing dishes (no dishwasher to heat the water for you) and brushing teeth and washing hands go on. Thankfully there’s now a small water heater in the bathroom for short showers and such. Do hurry in the shower, Abby, you’re going to run out of warm water if you keep dawdling. Baby, I’m sorry it’s cold, but we’ve got to wash your hair. You guys put a lot of gel in when you were doing each other’s hair and it has to be washed.

There hasn’t been an accident. The city and the power company and the gas company are in a fight over unpaid bills, and the power company shut off the hot water. I read about this in a newspaper Saturday morning. More than 5000 buildings are without hot water and many don’t have sufficient heat, because the apartments here are water-radiator-heated, fed by centralized heating plants.

The fist fights in parliament are having a more personal effect, at least for us – and thousands of others; the heating stations serve large sectors of our city of three million. Leaders and politicians are arguing about what they are arguing about, problems go unaddressed and unsolved, and in the meantime, it’s kind of cold.

We learn a lot about ourselves here, and a lot about how ‘the other half’ lives. Pray that we’d glorify the Lord no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, won’t you?

Addendum: We just came in from church and the water is on and warming. Friends at church were all comparing notes, who had water, who didn’t. But the consensus was that although it was expected to be back on by Monday, we’d see more of these shutoffs this winter.

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