The palichko’s keep a very strict Sabbath, they don’t use electricity, don’t heat their food, don’t drive, and don’t bathe on the Sabbath. So the other volunteers and I went to a city called Hust, where Mr. Victor Kubik knows other sabathterians. We got there an hour or a little more before Sabbath started, so we went and got some ice cream and the person who gave us a ride to hust bought all of us ice cream, so he bought ice cream for 10 people. Another example of love and just being nice.
After ice cream we went back to the church hall where they were having a choir practice for special music on the Sabbath. They practiced their songs and then we were invited to practice a song with them also, called As The Deer. They sang in Ukrainian and we sang in English, we did that twice but switched off with the verses, so that it didn’t just all sound like a jumble of nothing. After practice the 8 volunteers were split up into three different houses. The three girls stayed in one house, mark-Phillip, Greg, and Collin stayed in another, and then Artur and I stayed in the last one. And each house had someone who could translate between English and Ukrainian.
When Artur and I got to the house we were staying at we were given a fourth meal for that day, like I said you never go hungry and they are all very hospitable. We started talking with everyone in the house and I asked the dad who what he did for a living, not knowing that he was the pastor for the church. Haha. But he said that he doesn’t get paid for pastoring so he has a second full time job as a plumber. He wished that he got paid for pastoring though because he much prefers that over plumbing. We then started talking about the tithe from the church and he said it was divided up into several different parts, the first one was supposed to be for the bread for the temple, the next part was for the orphans, the third part was for the widows, and there was a fourth part, but I don’t remember what he said that part of the tithe was for. After that conversation, since it was getting fairly late, we all went to bed.
On Saturday we had services at 10 a.m. And it was another new experience for me. They do a lot more hymn singing then we normally do in UCG, they have over 2000 hymns in their hymnal and as far as I could tell they had the melodies and everything memorized in the songs. Then they also had prayer requests and announcements, and they had witnessing or testimonials to God explaining or telling a story of how God did something for them over the week. And then they had two regular messages as well.
After services we had a lunch that the congregation provided and got to try and talk and fellowship with the brethren there. After lunch all of us volunteers and all of the young adults from the congregation took a several mile hike up a mountain and we all got to talk more and start developing relationships. I took lots of pictures because the scenery was beautiful!
We were talking for awhile before we started making the trek back down the mountain to the church hall to pick up our things. I also got to blow on a real shofar for the first time, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, but then again I do play the trumpet. But everyone there got a good laugh out of me playing. Ha. We then all walked back to the pastors house and had dinner and afterwards a group of us started playing a game of uno. But we didn’t play it like you regularly would when someone goes out of cards, we played it like elimination to where there were only two people left, but still wanting to be the first to go out of cards. It was very entertaining because Ivan who was sitting next to me seemed to just have it out for me and started giving plus 4 cards, skips, and reverses. But I started doing the same thing to him and we were both kind of over reacting just because we were having fun. Even though I had only known these people for about a day I felt confortable around them all and was just able to relax and have fun. Even though we couldn’t really speak each other’s languages, we were still able to communicate through action and other non verbal communication.
After the party we got a ride back to where we were staying with the palichko’s and talked and had another meal with them before bed. And then Sunday went back to the regular schedule at camp.
You are awesome! God knows it and so should you!