I left Winnipeg on schedule New Year’s Day, but the plane leaving Toronto for Frankfurt was delayed. This cut a two-hour connection time in Frankfurt down to barely 40 minutes, but Oleg Schewtschenko and I flew the final leg to Kiev. However, our suitcases were not so forunate. Lufthansa German airlines offered to bring our suitcases the 500 km to Odessa (that’s southward on the Black Sea), but because of the New Year’s holiday, they wouldn’t do it for four days. So we stayed over Friday night onto Saturday in Kiev and fetched the luggage ourselves from the airport when it came in.
It’s not nearly so cold here as in Winnipeg, but it seems colder because many dwellings, especially in the country, are barely heated. We had a Saturday afternoon service in a stone chapel near Savran in central Ukraine, and they didn’t bother loading wood into the stove until 20 minutes before church began. Outside it was minus 15C.
On Sunday, January 4, I preached again at a 2 1/2 hour service here in Odessa, and on Tuesday we will be celebrating Ukraine’s Christmas Eve out in the country. This afternoon (Monday, January 5) we’re going to see the seminary building in suburban Odessa.
If you want to remember us in your prayers, the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches of Ukraine (SELCU) has an important Synod meeting (something like a convention) Thursday and Friday (January 8 and 9) of this week in Nikolayev. Important and even sensitive matters could be discussed, so we’ll want God’s help for the discussions.
President Robert Bugbee