New projects for 2016

Another project built by Canadian teams, the cheese building was finished early April. We hope to have a Canadian cheese maker help us perfect our methods this summer, as soon as we get all the equipment installed.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Student update

What are our current and former students up to? Karina and Andrei are both living and working in Dnepro.
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Andrei is doing well in his job as a go-fer at the railroad shop and has a room with wifi in a boarding house. He came out to the village last weekend to visit. Karina is on her fourth job and is living at a dorm for tram workers, we think her latest job is as a cleaner.

Our married couple, Kolya and Oxana seem happy and their apartment is a hangout in the evenings for some of the other students.




Leila and Vika and now Valentina who just returned to us last week, are moving into the front apartment as soon as it is fixed up a bit, with fresh paint and cleaning. They and Oxana do the daytime milkings with Yana, with the guys milking on weekends and at night.

The three boys were in the apartment for two years. Nikolai and Sasha have moved into the "new house" with two guys who just arrived Friday, with Anton, the Christian guy who came to learn about farming from a different organization last spring as group home supervisor. He is the night/weekend milking supervisor, too.
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Nikolai had a fall  at the beginning of the new year and spent a couple weeks in the hospital but he is feeling good now, they say he had a cracked skull and he had a bad concussion. He has a girlfriend, the new student Alona.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sittingSasha B is much the same as always, he was excited to learn to drive the bobcat skidsteer. 

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, indoorJulia and Dima have been living in separate apartments in Kirvoy Rog with a church organization that sends us some students for the last month or two.  Dima has been working for about three weeks at a heating plant, cleaning. He got it with his invalid status (disability) which he applied for in the fall, Dima has a back or hip that is twisted. The wedding is on for March there. Julia hopes to find work as soon as her paperwork is straightened out. They should achieve their dream of independence.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standingIra is living with her family since she left in the summer. We had hoped to see her or Kristina at the wedding in December but they did not make it.

Wait for the next post to meet the new class.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Day of the orphan

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Sunday churches in Ukraine celebrated the day of the orphan and our guys were invited to the Central Baptist Church in Dnepro for a special service and meal. Garry, Nelly and Anton went with an overfull van. A few students stayed in the village to milk in the afternoon. I took a few photos before they left Sunday morning ( I spent the weekend nursing a sore throat and earache).

Two or three more guys were a little late and got in the van after they backed out of the driveway.

I heard it was a long service and a nice meal after. Garry borrowed my phone so he could use the Bible app and took a photo in the church.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


This school year we are celebrating everyone's birthday. Other year's the students throw their own party, if the they can afford it, but many cannot.
Vika blowing out her candles

 In September Vika had cake at our house and after classes started we now have cake and candles and a present between English (first class of the day with our translator Nelly) and the rest of the day's classes.

Happy birthday Leila

Since everyone has been on a school day so far, we have had cake for Oksana, Lelia and Losha (who asked for non-chocolate cake, it was apple).

Leila's cow present

Losha's birthday

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Just for Youth

Last Saturday we took all the students who could go (not milking) and wanted to (Losha has an aversion to crowds) to Just for Youth, a monthly Christian outreach program in the city that we have been attending for three years. At the moment we are hoping to find a few more students, we only have two new and two returning students and seven grads (four girls and three guys).

five students on a couch

 During game time Sasha Borchuk was the brave  first member of our group to volunteer. There was a message followed by food and playing more games- table and ping pong, too.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Coming and going

This week we had three new girls and two guys arrive, some say they are only here for a month, but time will tell. The girls are living at "the girls house" where our new translator Nellya is in charge, after the departure of Luba, who decided to move to western Ukraine last month.
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Here are some of the grads and Losha (left) unloading hay
Many of the new guys are putting in hours stacking hay now
We have had two of this year's female grads leave, one more is leaving over the weekend and one guy is looking for job, but still here for the time being. We'll see who is here at the end of the summer. 

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Nellya or Nelly in English our new translator/group home person
Two of the mature guys, Losha and Dima; who have finished the first year of our program are moving out of the boys house into one of the apartments to free up spaces there.

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At center, Irina, one of the three new girls
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We often have students drop in at our house
Here are Julia and Alionya, one of the new girls (blonde)
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Here's Ira, (and Garry) who went to live with her mother and siblings
after growing up in the orphanage and two years with us
Garry drove her to her town in the middle of June

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Just Youth

One of the things our students look forward to every time they go is the monthly outing to Zaporosia for Just Youth, a youth outreach program run by our Canadian friends Steve and Jo Harder.

I stole   got all these photos from Jo's blog you can check it out here if you'd like to read about what our friends do here in Ukraine.
That's our Misha at the far right from February, it was a telephone game where
 they translated from English to Russian and back as they went down the line
They have a different theme every month, and this past week it was Canada Day since the first Saturday of the month was July first!
There is always a short message along with lots of fun activities and often music and food.

Our Masha playing basketball
Sasha is wearing his Hope for Each t-shirt
The students are excited that next month they will get the chance to ride in the new van instead of packing 17 people in old Mercedes. We will use both for big outings and for regular stuff like picking up 5 prospective new students yesterday at the bus station.  They got to ride in the van with seat belts!

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Friday, May 12, 2017

New Bees

Removing the frames from a transport box
The stars of the show yesterday were the bees, Victor had ordered some new hives - five queens and their entourages had been delivered and he brought them out from Dnepro yesterday morning. Garry assisted and some of the students and Maria watched as classes had just finished for the day- year really- they just finished a last review of the year's material, For the summer there will only be class on Mondays.

The students stayed pretty far away
Each set of bees had to be removed from their transport box and put into their new home. One set went into the empty box, we lost one hive over the winter. Four went into the nice new boxes that Peter made (and Marcie painted) when he and the rest of the team were here.

One of the students said they got stung, but it may have been an excuse because then they were able to leave and no one yelled. I wasn't dressed up in the bee suits and took the photos about six feet away. Victor only got stung once, and he said it was his fault because he pushed the bee with his finger when it was in the way.

do you see the queen?

Every box got one new frame to build honeycomb on, besides the ones they came in covered with bees. Garry and Victor would try to spot the queen as he pulled them out and then placed them in the new boxes. It took a couple hours to get them all settled into their new homes.

This doubles the number of hives, and we hope to get more this summer, maybe split some hives that are larger, or find a stray hive looking for a home.