Friday, September 13, 2019

Blog #4 Signs of the Past


Towns like Tokmak are growing and show signs of prosperity. On the other hand, former Mennonite villages like Lindenau are withering away into obscurity.  The seemingly endless, massive fields reach out to touch the sky and neighbouring fields afar off.  Beautiful fields of various sorts (many of which are sunflower crops still awaiting harvest) surround these villages in which deserted and empty brick houses with broken windows can be seen. The only things of any value are the bricks, and particularly bricks from former Mennonite houses because of their longevity. Vehicle traffic on these country roads is generally light, but the tandem heavy duty trucks carrying sunflower seeds or grain continually carve up and destroy the pavement, creating great heaves in the pavement particularly in the sweltering summer months.  One’s imagination might liken it to like a child’s fully loaded gravel truck driving on their playtime plasticine clay. Other sections of roads are mostly huge potholes, holes which often overlap one another the whole width of the road.  We think these trucks at least should be required to come back with a load of gravel to fill up these moon-like craters. The only positive thing about these country roads is that you seldom get enough speed to have a serious accident.  Flat tires?  Well, that’s another issue.

On Wednesday, we had a visit from 4 members of the “Restoring Molochansk Together” group.  It is a registered organization that encourages everyone here to help clean up our village. Right now they are very focused on cleaning up what they call “The Molochansk Park.”  We have come to know these as the gardens adjacent to the former Mennonite estate of the well-known Willms house. They have installed lights, cleaned up old junk, garbage, scrubby weeds and undergrowth, made flower beds and generally cleared a lot of these areas to make it an appealing and useable site by walkers and passers-by.  The park will also be used for some outdoor events.  We have provided funding to purchase new flowers for next year. It is difficult to say “no” to a volunteer-run group that wants to restore the gardens that your ancestors once developed and used.

On Tuesday, Ben took a trip down to the villages along the southern stretch of Molotschna.  The stately Reimer castle/house and signs of the Cornies’ Juschanlee farm are still there but one wonders how much longer it can exist in the same way. Rudy Friesen in his very informative book, “Building on the Past,” describes the house as having a “Dutch baroque style common to northern Europe.” Similarly, the brick windmill in Alexanderkrone is an example of a Dutch windmill. This is the last standing windmill in the former Mennonite colonies. A question to ponder might be whether we shouldn’t be advocating to tourist agencies in Zaporizhzhia that these two structures should have heritage protection status, as they are a connection to our Dutch Anabaptist roots.

This week we had lunch with Lilly Buss, the Director of the Kutusovka Seniors Home. This restored former Mennonite Church in Petershagen is currently a nearly full-to-capacity seniors home with 13 residents.  Housing up to 4 women in a room who seem to have more differences than similarities, can present unique challenges. She is very thankful for the medications we provide for her residents.

If you wish to know more about the work of the Mennonite Centre, you can check out our web site at: or follow our daily activities on Facebook at:


At 6:05 AM , Blogger kate said...

As a sign of gratitude on how my son was saved from autism, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
My son suffered autism in the year 2013 and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he always have difficulty with communication,and he always complain of poor eye contact  . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and they left the contact of this doctor who have the cure to autism . I never imagined autism  has a natural cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my son will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my son used it and in one months time he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life.autism  has a cure and is a herbal cure,you can contact the doctor for more info on on how to get this medication, Thanks.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home