Update on Anika and Open Arms

April 21, 2008

Hi friends!
So it feels like we’ve been here for forever already and a thousand things have happened. God is definitely moving and it is clear that we are meant to be here with these kids. 
We’re in an apartment in Sumy! Looking out our window, you can clearly see where we are – big communist flats all around. haha It’s very Ukraine. Its 3 bedrooms and a livingroom-ish place and we have it for 6 months technically. We love the apartment – it’s a little… um, shall we say old, but it’s good. There’s a soccer field and basketball court right behind our building which is wonderful for the kids! We like the owners and they like us so that is definitely a plus. The only problem is we’ve kinda got a crazy neighbor next door to us. Crazy as in… dirty cop who is an alcoholic who came to our door drunk around midnight a week or so ago and was causing some problems for us. We’ve talked to our landlord about it and they said they were gonna take care of it. But we’re praying for wisdom as to whether or not we should stay at this apartment. We will likely have drunk neighbors anywhere we go in this county… we’re just trying to weigh things out and figure out what is the smartest thing for us to do and what is safe. Please keep us in your prayers for this and we’re going to be talking and praying about our decision this week.
And while you’re praying for that, pray for this… There’s a kid we’ve been working with named Ivan Erimenko. He’s18 years old and he’s got 2 younger brothers we work with too. Ivan came to see us for the first time sinc we’ve been here about… 2 weeks ago. His right arm was obviously broken. To the point where the bone in his wrist was all but poking out of his skin. He broke it on the 1st of April and we took him to the doctor once he got to us and that was the 9th I think. The hospital we went to was… well, looked like we were in 1940. Seriouly. And the doctor sucked. They had to re-break his arm to set it – twice because they didn’t set it right the first time. They didn’t finish the cast they put on him and it is all but disinigrated at this point [sorry I have no idea how to spell that]. It was awful. We took him to a different hospital on Friday and they x-rayed him again. His arm has been healing incorrectly now for 3 weeks. Not only are his bones really off but there are now calcium deposits growing on his bones. The doctor in Sumy said he would re-break it a 3rd time and hope it works this time… but on top of his arm, Ivan has a heart condition. All the doctors have ever told him is that he has a weak heart. So to re-break his arm, they won’t be able to give him pain medication. So all of this news and the unsure-ness of the doctors has inspired us to take a trip to Kyiv. We’re leaving tomorrow, Tuesday, morning at 9:40 and we’ll be there till Friday most likely. Our goal is to get his heart checked out by a good cardiologist and get a diagnosis on that other than “weak.” Once that is figured out, we’ll get his arm looked at by a good doctor and he will likely need to have surgery.
So that was a long paragraph… here are the main prayer requests. Ivan is really nervous – pray for him to trust the doctors and us. Pray for us to be able to work out everything with the translator we are meeting up with there and that she will be able to understand the situation and help us find the best places to go to help him. Pray for wisdom for the doctors with both his heart and his arm. Also, this trip is going to cost us money… $100 a night to stay in this church/hotel – boo. And paying a translator there. And about $100 for our bus tickets. And hospital bills – which will be expensive if we take him to a good doctor at a private practice in Kyiv. If you want to contribute to this whole thing and helping get Ivan taken care of, please let me know! You can send checks with Ivan hospital in the memo line. And please, please just pray a lot! Your prayers and so essential to helping us in this ministry!
Um… I feel like my English is struggling right now… too much Russian/Ukrainian lately. And I’m tired. And it’s really hot in this room. And I haven’t actually typed much in 2 weeks. So sorry guys! [: I’d love to hear from you about what’s going on in the good ol US of A and in all your lives… feel free to shoot me an email!  Thank you for all your love and support!

PS. Also pray a lot about our kids coming to the Easter service with us next Sunday! I forgot to mention that… Easter is the 27th of April here this year – it’s Ukraine… they do everything weird and they follow the Orthodox calander. But a lot of kids have said they’re gonna come to church with us. Pray that God would speak His truth so clearly in the church we’ll be going to and that we would be able to communicate the message of the cross and ressurection of Christ to the kids! Thanks guys!
For other posts on this ministry, click here.
For their myspace page, click here.  

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