Monday, August 2, 2010

Ukraine, frist two weeks, Dnipropetrovsk Trip

CMO Goes East
July 21, 2010 | ETO eReport
Written by Seth Watson

The sixth week of CMO started off with us celebrating the 4th of July. We had been in a village trying to show Fireproof on the fourth, which was a Sunday. Fortunately, Monday was a free day for us. The Beals invited us to their house for lunch. However, we weren't their only guests.  They had also invited a family that they had met in America. The mother of this family had been the Beal's doctor's assistant. They had found out that she was from Ukraine and had become friends. This Ukrainian family (who now lives in America) was visiting relatives in other village/city a few hours away and drove to the Beals for lunch. They also brought along their friends. We all had a great dinner and enjoyed listening to the musical talent from both families. Afterward, we wore ourselves out playing ultimate frisbee and then some of the guys got hair cuts.

The next day, we had to get ready for our long trip to Dnipropetrovsk. We were going to Eastern Ukraine for 10 days. It would start off with an 18-hour train ride. We boarded the train around 5 PM, had a good time discussing religion and politics, and had a good night's sleep.

On Wednesday, we got into Dnipropetrovsk around noon. Dnipropetrovsk is the second largest city in Ukraine, having a population of about one million people. The first thing we had to do when we got there was search for a hotel. We were fortunate to have some contacts in Dnipropetrovsk. Waiting for us at the train station were Slavic and Volodya with a big van. They helped us find a good hotel and gave us some information about the city. We still had a few more hours of day light so we decided to explore the city a little and get some tracts out. We were appalled to find that the entire city had been "domophoned". [Editor’s note: A domophone is an external locking system for apartment entrances here in Ukraine. They employ powerful electro-magnets and are much harder to get through than conventional code locks.] When buildings have domophones installed, it makes distributing tracts a much longer and harder process. Despite our disappointment, we started tracting. As we went from building to building, we started adapting to overcome our barriers. We would call up random apartments on the domophones and ask them to open the door, saying that we were passing out invitations to a correspondence course. Most of the time this worked and they let us in. The domophone barrier had been broken!

Thursday was spent tracting for most of the day. That was all the time we would spend in Dnipropetrovsk.

The next morning we headed off to our next city. Volodya was kind enough to drive us the three hour trip. We got situated in our hotel, then headed over to the cafe that we got to know quite well. The cafe was called "The Seventh Heaven."  It was probably the only place in the city with Wi-Fi, not to mention the air conditioning. We liked our first meal there and decided to make it our exclusive supplier of breakfast and dinner for the next six days. We always had a great meal waiting for us with great service. The city that we were in was called Zelenodolsk. It could hardly be called a city with a population of only 16,000. It's housing consisted mostly of apartment buildings and had a nice lake nearby. The first day we were there we tracted Zelenodolsk, finishing in the evening. The rest of our time there we passed out literature in different cities surrounding Zelenodolsk. We just had to take buses to wherever we were going to pass out tracts.

On Saturday, we took a 15 minute bus ride to a nearby city called Apostolove. We spent a very hot day tracting there and didn't have hardly any negative responses.

The next day we headed back to Apostolove to attend a church and tell them about our ministry. Unfortunately, we could not go as a complete group, due to the fact that Bryan's hotel door broke, locking him inside the room, until the lock smith could there. Josh was invited to give a short presentation to the congregation about our ministry. Afterward, he talked with the pastor who was very interested and who might start using some of our material.

Monday was our day off.  We let our feet rest, read, had fun in the lake, and played cards. The next two days were similar in that both days we split into two groups, going to different cities. The days were hot and we walked a lot. We had mostly houses, so passing out was slow. We have started getting responses already and even had a women sign up for the correspondence course on the spot!

On Thursday morning, we all got back into Volodya's van and headed back to Dnipropetrovsk. We got on our train heading back to L'viv at noon. We had some complications with rooming arrangements, due to the disorganization of the train personnel, but overall we had a pleasant ride.

We got in to L’viv Friday morning at 8 AM. We headed back to our apartments to get rested before our trip the next day where we would travel to a village for a film showing. We spent the day doing laundry and getting organized.

Saturday morning we started bright and early at 7:20 AM, heading down to the train station. We rode for about 2 hours by train, then had to hire a van to take us the rest of the way. While we were in the first village, we hung up posters and handed out invitations to next week's Fireproof showing. (This was the same village, that two weeks before, we had canceled the showing because of a funeral and a soccer game.) We then headed to our campsite. It's in a prime location right next to a nice part of the river. We had a great time swimming Sunday morning.  Then, around 2 PM, headed off with Jessie in his van to go show Fireproof in a nearby village. We had been anxious about this village because we thought that maybe other villages had spread rumors to it of us being Jehovah Witnesses. Thankfully, the head of the cultural center welcomed us warmly. Almost our whole audience was children. They enjoyed the movie and Josh talked to them for a little while afterward. The head of the cultural center stood up and thanked us for coming and for our mission. We also gave each person literature.

The past two weeks have been tiring, but productive. We have seen God's hand working in what we've been doing.  Please pray that many more people will start the Bible correspondence course and that it will transform their lives.
Pic. from the trip
On our way to Dnipropetrovsk

                                  It was a 18hrs train ride!

Assigning sectors to be tracked

        Bryan checking his map before he leads his team out.

                                 Benjamin and Joshua

                                 Joshua checking on the other Teams

                                   Nick and Wide slot POs!!!!!!!

                            Team metting

                             Joshua at a Domophone

                      Waiting for a bus back to our Hotel

  I the region we where in there where fields and felids of Sun Flowers
                                 Checking on Bus Schedules

Handing out satellite maps of a Village we'er about to track. I don't know what we would do with out google Maps!
That is a look of a man that has riding on a bus packed to the giles with people and no open windows!! He was dry as a bone when he got on ten minuets ago, But now is wet as a sponge.

                                 Waiting for the rain to stop

              As I was tracking in a city I found this WW2 Monument

                                Unloading at the train station, for the trip back to L'viv

             Nathan and Kaelin
Handing out train tickets for the train ride up to Stree

Whiting for the bus up to the next city

Nathan preparing the stamp for a showing 
                                         Bryan posting a fireproof poster
                                       Benjamin passing out film invites


                                            About to start the Film

Working on the Van.


  1. These are great pictures, Daniel!
    May I ask what program you use to edit them? Some of these look so professional.

    Hope you are having a blessed summer!

  2. Thanks, Glad you enjoyed them. The program I used is called Light Room.