No, I didn’t get de-railed – completely – just yet. But yes, we’ve had some demonstrations and political stuff, and, well, a lot of other stuff since I posted #4. I’ll keep going here, but, Lord willing, this’ll get up to date real soon and then we can come back to the present!
So, we had a special treat in March – Ron and Margaret came to visit us here! Mark’s parents had really wanted to visit Mark’s sister Rachel and her family, who moved to South Africa last year to be missionaries.
I should back up here a bit and say that Ron retired from his pastoral ministry at Katy Bible Church this year, preaching his last sermon there in March. So upon his retirement, they took some time to visit Rachel and Joel and the grandkids in Johannesburg. They are getting started in orphan ministry there, and you can read more about it via this link: http://www.thekirbyfam.com/
So, being already across the Atlantic, Ron and Margie decided to finish up their trip with a week in Kiev, especially as they had to connect in Europe for the South Africa flights anyway :-).
We’ve been so privileged that they visit, taking a lot of time and effort and expense to do so. We had noticed, though, that they were less interested in visiting when it was cold here… which made it quite a visit when we had the biggest snowfall/blizzard we’ve ever had in our 15 years here… two days before they were to arrive!
For the first time in our 15 years here, buses and streetcars didn’t run because the the streets were not cleared. Stories abounded of abandoned vehicles, people trapped away from home, and more. We spent the better part of two days digging out our car so we could go to the airport. The snow had fallen so quickly and in such quantity that it wasn’t light fluffy snow we were shoveling away, but heavy, heavy packed snow.
We park our car outside our building, in a little circular drive running next to one side of the building. Thankfully we were only about five cars into the circle; any further in and it wouldn’t have been possible to dig it out. Not only did we need to un-bury the car, but also had to free up about 200 square feet of driveway to get the car out of the circle!
Thankfully Ron and Margie had seen a lot of the major sights in Kiev from past visits, and thankfully as well, they always love to come and help with any projects that need doing. So we made our way over the paint store and bought supplies to paint the girls’ rooms, and Ron sat in on Mark’s Church and Society class at the seminary. [He taught two different modular courses in March.]
I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to find some photos from that time, but as we’ve taken tons of snow photos in the past, and tons of photos with the parents, I think any that we have are probably on their camera – yikes! Actually, if you look at the photo up at the top of this page, that was taken the first week of December last year, and although it’s in a park downtown, it’s very much what we were looking at in those days of Ron and Margie’s visit. The nice thing was, being the end of March, the minute it stopped actually snowing, then the lovely processes of spring kicked in, and it began to melt in short order.