In our last blog, I (Jerry) related an unusual encounter that Kellie had with a Ukrainian woman that has gradually transformed into a friendship. In this blog, Kellie shares in her own words how this relationship began, how it is blossoming, and how you can pray!
I am kind of awed at what God is doing here in Kiev as I watch this relationship with Luda develop. After seeing her almost every day for 3 months and finally making eye contact, we were separated for the summer. When I started language school again this past September, I started seeing her again. I began to say hello in Russian and after about 2 weeks, she responded. We continued greeting each other until my break from language school for about 5 weeks over the Christmas holidays. My first day back to school in January, I was shocked to find her waiting for me with a big smile and a warm hello. She was like a different person. I didn’t even know her name, so we introduced ourselves in Russian(!) Since then, whenever I see her (usually about 2 times a week) we stop and talk. She likes to try out new English words with me, and I like to practice my Russian with her. I am beginning to understand her which is exciting. Jerry even got to meet her one day! She is about my age; we talk together easily. I just keep wondering what God is going to do in this relationship. She works every day, so we only talk when she is on the way to work in the mornings. This coming Tuesday, March 8, is a very important holiday in this part of the world – International Women’s Day, so she has Monday and Tuesday off of work. I have invited her over to our apartment for tea on Monday at 2:00 (which will be 7:00AM for most of you in the US). She seemed very excited with the invitation and readily accepted it. Please pray for me to trust that God has prepared me for this time especially with the language. She knows that I am studying it, and has been patient and helpful as we have talked in the mornings. I just want to get to know her and show her kindness. We will have tea, a couple kinds of dessert, fruit and candy. I trust that God will use this time to draw us closer and begin developing a relationship that will culminate in having a new Ukrainian sister in Christ. I will appreciate your prayers for God’s love to be evident and for my focus to be on Luda and not feeling self-conscious myself. I’ll let you know how it goes. It gives me great confidence to move forward knowing you are partnering in prayer. Thank you.
Your partners in the Gospel to Ukraine,
Kellie (and Jerry) Benge