Ukraine Update 04/26

We drove over three hours today. About halfway to our destination, it started to snow. There was something calming about the trip this time, the sounds of war were muted and more distant. A calmness was present, while the harsh reality of war remained. We arrived at our second stop, this time we are in a basement. A dozen stray dogs greeted us when we pulled up. Twenty or more elderly people live here, beds situated side-by-side, with only tiny walkways between. Privacy doesn’t exist for them, and there is no end in sight. We are greeted with smiling faces, candy, and tea. They will not rest until you have a cup of tea. I often chafed at the music teacher who insisted that we learn to sing without books. I’ve never been happier for that teacher as I was several days ago. Chaplain Leonid led Amazing Grace, then introduced us to the group as “Americans” that had music to share. We sang “Just over the river…” six of us, four Americans, two Irish, four-part harmony. We sang in a dimly lit basement, under a blown-out building, thousands of miles from home. The language you speak means nothing in the grand realm of music and spiritual life. While I have no way to know the impact that song may have had to the listeners, it caused me to appreciate my music teacher from many years ago. I also didn’t care much for Bible memory projects. I met a man who has his Bible passages labeled (verb, adverb, noun….), with notes to the roots of various Greek words and meanings. Take any life question or problem to this man and he could refer to a myriad of verses and the root words, explaining it so that a two-year old could understand it. Why am I telling you this? Because my life has been changed in too many ways to count by these simple experiences.

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