Monday, May 9, 2011

Missionary Monday - Welcome to my Village, part 2

If you missed Part 1, go here.

When we first moved to our village about a year and a half ago, gossip went around amongst the village people as to why we would choose to live in their village.  After all, very little comforts are available out here, so what possible reason could Americans have for wanting to live here?  It was finally decided that we must be spies and work with the CIA.  Funny, I know, but that is the word that spread like wild fire.  Praise the Lord for the water that the Lord gave us to share with our neighbors.  More than anything else, our water has helped us be accepted by the village people. (You can read our water story here.)  And you know, isn't it just like our Lord to do something like this.....  Now that we have been here a year and a half, running water has finally made it to our village and people are beginning to "tap" into it.  However, the Lord let us be the only ones with running water until now, allowing our family the opportunity to share our water and find acceptance with the people.  (And, now that they are slowly getting their own water, they are still coming for ours, saying it tastes better. {smile}!)

In this post, I wanted to share with you some pictures of the homes in our little "no name" village.  Now, keep in mind that in order to not raise the people's suspicions again that we are CIA, I had to be careful about walking around with a camera in my hand, taking pictures of their homes out here.  Hopefully that explains why the pictures are not the best of quality. 
Many of the homes are unfinished, like the one pictured above.  This unfinished home is actually located on the property next to ours and our children have "taken over" this structure to be their clubhouse.  Some of their most prized possessions on earth are hidden in there (such as their bottle cap collection)!
 Outhouses are the norm in a village where running water is just becoming available.
 This is how the people use and store their water.  A "water truck" comes around every so often and fills their tanks, but the water comes from a pond and could have little tadpoles swimming in it!  The people use this water for watering their gardens, cleaning their homes, etc... The water they get from us is what they use for drinking. 
Another unfinished home
This rusty, metal "trailer" (above) just cracks us up.  We call it "Norman's House."  We got the name idea from a Focus on the Family book entitled A Man Called Norman that I read to my children earlier this year.
This house (above) is what we call the "two-toned house."  Apparently the husband and wife had a disagreement about which bricks to use and what type of roof they wanted. {smile}  I am sincerely kidding... the people here are very resourceful and will use anything they have to get the job done.
When this house (above) started being built last year, all gossip about us subsided and all attention was shifted here... the first house they had ever seen being built out of wood.

That is our house (above) with the rust-colored roof (and the children's "clubhouse" is to the left)
Ever resourceful, someone used the supporting "legs" of their water tank to build an outhouse!
Such a quaint little village!  I love living out here where life is simple and I can go to my neighbors to buy fresh eggs whenever I need them.

Thanks for coming on part 2 of my tour!


  1. What a pleasant tour! Such a wide variety of buildings and material. Is this primarily an agricultural area?

  2. I always enjoy reading your blog, Jolene. Thank you for taking the time to share with us your missionary journey. :)


  3. Grammy Blick... in answer to your question, "Is this primarily an agricultural area?"

    Actually, even though we do have wheat fields nearby, ALL Ukrainian villages look similar to ours because almost everyone grows their own food. Here in Ukraine, if there is soil it WILL be used for planting veggies, flowers, or fruit trees!

  4. It looks and sounds SO much like our little village, though we are blessed with a few little magazines. I was laughing when I read the spy part because we had that reaction too...why else would an AMERICAN CHOOSE to live here? hehe. Thankfully, because we started Bible lessons here before we moved in, it has dispelled a lot of gossip.

  5. Really enjoyed these two posts Jolene. I love simple, country life. - Tinyla

  6. Hey Jolene,
    I just wanted to tell you what a blessing your blog is to our family. My girls love to gather around me and read about your life in the Ukraine. My oldest Felicity (age 11) talks endlessly about being a missionary and having the opportunity to read your blog and look at your pictures of your village opens your world up to her. Thank you so much for being a faithful wife, mother, and missionary. I count it an honor to call you my friend. You are all in our prayers.
    Love, Erin Cartmell..


Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25