One of my favorite Aggie sayings is about the Aggie Spirit. “From the outside looking in you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out you can’t explain it.” As our ministry in Ukraine grows, I find myself thinking of this saying often.
Ukraine is a place I love. I love the country, it’s people, their culture, their Borsch:) In a few days we return to Ukraine. We get to see our Ukrainian family and friends. We get to attend our church there. We also get to see the kids served by PHA that are so dear to our hearts. I smile just thinking about all of these people. They are more than acquaintances. They are family. Our family across the sea but always in our hearts. This will be a relatively short trip. 3 weeks. We will be “home” in time for Thanksgiving and will spend the holiday season with our American family and friends. I’m already dreading saying goodbye to Ukraine and we haven’t even left yet. Tanya tells me that I miss the food from whatever country I’m not in and I laugh because that’s true. When in Ukraine we miss our American family and friends but when we are here we miss our Ukrainian family and friends. Sometimes it’s hard. It’s hard when your life is split between 2 worlds, 2 cultures, 2 families. “From the outside looking in you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out you can’t explain it.”
At times this way of life feels like the greatest adventure ever. Sometimes it feels like the coolest job in the world. And other times we feel tired, sad, and torn between two worlds. It’s hard to explain to our friends and family here that we have great friends and people we love like family in Ukraine that they have never met. It’s sometimes odd when Chris and I are around others and we talk about people in Ukraine like we would our blood family. 2 worlds. One heart. Loving in both at the same time but never beating in both countries at the same time. “From the outside looking in you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out you can’t explain it.”
At least once a day I feel terrified. It’s terrifying to know that you have a job you can never quit. Knowing that the job ends only if you fail. And if you fail and you have to go get a “normal job” that you aren’t the one who suffers. It’s the ones in Ukraine, the ones you are trying to help. Those are the ones who suffer if you fail. The orphans who have been let down and not followed through with by everyone in their lives. The ones who have heard a million empty promises. You say you love them. You want to help. You want them to have a better future. Then you fail to raise funds, show up, help like you said you would. And you become a detriment to them instead of a blessing. Not to mention that you are saying that you do this in the name of Christ. If you fail them as a Christian… How’s that gonna look? Will they only see you as a hypocrite?
I love this ministry. I love serving. I love Ukraine. Yet at least once a day I’m terrified. “From the outside looking in you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out you can’t explain it.”