Monday, August 19, 2013

A New Start

Drying sheets at Seniors Home

Waves of stifling, sticky heat greeted me as I arrived at the Dnepropetrovsk airport on Wednesday afternoon, the 14th of August.  The thermometer said it was 37 degrees – one of the hotter days this summer!  I was expecting our directors, Dema and Olga, to be there to greet me, but they were nowhere to be seen.  Anxious thoughts crept into my mind.  “Did I give them the wrong information”or“what if they were in an accident”?  Now what should I do?  Thankfully, it didn’t take long before our recently acquired dark brown VW Van dieseled its way into the parking lot.  Gone were my concerns about wrong information and fender-benders!  They simply had been caught in heavy traffic. 

Our conversation during the trip to Molochansk was filled with business: new proposals, update on projects, scheduling arrangements, and, of course, the obligatory trip to McDonalds to get a quick “keep awake” snack. Olga, our Director from Zaporozhye, is a highly organized, list-oriented person who presented us with four points for our information.  Dema used his story-telling gift to report on the stories behind current various projects.   By the time I got into our apartment and fell into my first sleep, I thought I had a pretty good idea of the tasks that lay ahead. 

Every year when I come to Molochansk, it seems that I fall into the same old trap.  I know what’s on my list of tasks for the day, but somehow the day never quite turns out as I had planned.  On my first day at the Center, the Seniors Home in Molochansk had a list of requests for us to consider, the “young families” group from the church invited me to attend a camping retreat, Probation Officers asked me to speak at a meeting, and a lady came in, requesting funds for surgery but couldn’t get the hospital to release the medical documentation.

In all my interactions with people here in Molochansk, I sense they want to express their condolences at Linda’s passing, but they don’t know how to bring up the topic.  I’ve discovered that if I begin to talk about her life and my memories of her, they become free to express their own sadness and grief. Their moistened eyes, bitten lips and outstretched arms go beyond language. Then in a hug I hear, “welcome home” and I know why I came back.


Lino request for Seniors Home


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