Thursday, July 5, 2012

When the old is new again

Since we returned to the field in June of this year, we have had to adjust, or re-adjust to life here. 

Though we live in the same apartment as before, we have to get acclimated again to the living conditions here – dust, noise, and when it rains, a lot of sticky mud.  A new playground was put in near our apartment building, which is nice, but it is quite noisy during the day and into the evening. 

Transportation – much more walking, crowded buses, crazy drivers.  I don’t mind walking more, but the crowded buses in the summer really get to me.  It’s always hotter on the bus, and there are still plenty of people who do not wear deodorant!

Language - Russian and Ukrainian is everywhere, along with dried fish, but that is for another post!  Thankfully we understand most of what is said to us and we usually know how to answer. 

We are currently looking for a new church where we will worship and minister.   This summer we are visiting different churches.  We usually need to decide on Saturday evening where we will go so that on Sunday morning we leave in time to get there.  It will be nice once we make our decision!

Visas and registration.  These are ongoing issues, not just for us, but all foreigners here.   It has made planning beyond August of this year very difficult.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4  ESV

Ideas on how to adjust
-Give your family and yourself room to make mistakes.  We tend to be perfectionists, wanting to appear to know the right thing to do and then doing it.  Admitting that we do not know what to do in a certain situation just means that we are human!  Give each other room to grow and when a mistake happens, be understanding and give each other a hug!

-Take everything to God and lean on Him in prayer.   As ministry workers, we know this, but do we really do this?  I know that I tend to want control, or at the very least, would like to know what is going to happen!  I need to just trust God, that He knows what is best.

-Don’t isolate yourself.   I tend to want to hibernate and keep to myself when I feel my adjustment phase is not going very well.  Sometimes it is better to get around others who understand and  are supportive, as they may be dealing with some adjustments as well.

-Think of someone else who may need encouragement.  This goes with not isolating yourself.  You may find that sharing your struggles encourages someone else who is going through similar adjustments.

-Take care of your needs for rest, good nutrition, exercise.   If you are tired and run-down, the adjustment phase will be harder to get through

-Laugh!  Watch a comedy or play a fun game if all else fails.  Sometimes it is good to laugh at your mistakes, especially those wonderful language errors.   J
There is also hope – this adjustment phase will pass, and we will feel more at home here. 
What are some adjustments or re-adjustments that you have had to make?  What has helped you to get through the adjustment phases?

I'm Karen, serving with my family in Odessa, Ukraine.   Please visit my blog at


  1. So true about not isolating yourself. I tend to do that when I get overwhelmed. I guess it's a coping mechanism. I've found I have to be intentional about getting out and being with people, which isn't easy for an introvert! Thanks for sharing, Karen!

  2. I am reading the book raising resilient mks and a lot of what you are saying is talked about in this book. Also finding a church home is never easy. Hope you have found something.