#11 Friendships are the Best

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening (depending on when you read this) to family, supporters and friends! We are so happy to have the opportunity to connect with you again. We are happy to report that things have continued to be well and good for us here in Krivoy Rog, Ukraine.

The last four weeks, or so, have been filled with God’s grace, his leading and his provision in every way.  We are so thankful to God for the adventure he has called us to, and for the people he has allowed us to meet along the way.

The connections and friendships we have now, because of where we are and what we have been doing, are all so very wonderful. These past few weeks have been significant for us, because we have really begun to see and feel that we are making friends.

We are feeling closer to, and more a part of the team of Ukrainian ministry partners we work with here. We are growing closer to the orphans and people with exceptional needs we have the opportunity to minister to. And we have had the privileged of connecting with some new friends, visitors from Kiev and Canada who have been here in Krivoy from time to time over the last month.

We had a Pastor and his son, Paul and Elijah BIrley visiting, to minister with Ed’s team. They both were welcomed additions to the team while they were here. They blessed many lives through the gifts and love they brought.

We also had an amazing team of American students from Kiev here with us. They are all kids of missionaries and decided to give up part of their march break to come and bless the orphans here. They shared bible stories, they brought fun, and they impacted the lives of many kids for sure!

Finally we had some visitors from Oakville, Canada, Kalina D’Orazio and Christine Bortz Bressington. These two ladies have been faithful to God and have come to bless the country of Ukraine countless amounts of times over the past 27 years. Spending time them, sharing stories was amazing!

Friendships are the best! We are so thankful for the friendships God is giving us, as we realize we would not have had the wonderful opportunities to meet and develop these friendships if we had not said yes to His call for us to come here.

Thank God for friendship! And thank God for all of you! Thank you again for taking the time to read our updates, and as always thank you for all your love and support. We LOVE you!

Peace & Blessings

Chris & Jessi Nelder

Ps. If you missed our Month THREE update video you can watch it below!

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# 10 – We ❤️ Ukraine

Hey Everyone! Just a quick update for you all about our last couple of weeks here. Things have been going great! After feeling a sure sense of direction from God about where we are to be focusing our time here, we feel very encouraged and highly motivated!

These past two weeks we have continued spending time with our Ukrainian ministry partners. We’ve gotten to know them better, we’ve had the privilege of joining them in their various areas and places of ministry, and we’ve falling in love with Ukraine and the people here that much more.

The last couple of weeks also marks the beginning of some team building/unity encouraging efforts that we feel God has called us to facilitate here with our Ukrainian ministry partners. Our first meeting/gathering was a wonderful time spend together, encouraging one another, sharing praise reports and prayer requests, praying together, and planning! We are so excited for this opportunity and we are excited to see where God takes it going forward.

Once again thank YOU all for your love and support of us as we have taken this step of faith in Ukraine. Thank you for your financial support, thank you for your words of encouragement, and thank you for your prayers!

When you think of us, please continue to pray for us, our Ukrainian ministry partners, and for the city of Krivoy Rog. Also, please pray for health, there has been some sickness going around, this week I (Jessi) have been fighting a bad head cold. Finally, please pray for continued direction, every day we want to be in His will, so every day we want to be directed by Him, we pray for that every day!

Thank you for taking the time to read this little update!

Peace & Blessings

Chris & Jessi Nelder

 

#9 God’s Leading

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Hello friends & Family!

Our prayer has always been that God would lead us and direct our steps in life and here in Ukraine. Over the last couple of weeks, we have felt God lead us to action in a few areas. And because of your faithfulness in giving to support our mission, we have had the funds to be able to financially contribute to some of the ministry here.

Because of your faithfulness in giving;

We were able to give to the Orphanage ministry team a monthly contribution, over the next 6 months. They have reported to us that because of this money they are now able to extend their ministry’s reach to another orphanage. This means they will minister to another group of kids (approximately 40) every week! Praise God for that!

We also had the opportunity to sponsor a time of appreciation & relaxation for a group of men who have all been rescued from a life lived in a facility for men with disabilities (бурых углей – burykh ugley). Many of these guys have had very difficult lives, and are now doing their best to be part of their community, some of them even giving back by volunteering with Ed’s ministry.

There is much need here in Ukraine, and we hope that in some way, by God’s grace and leading, that we will be able to impact this ministry and city in a positive way.

Please continue to pray that God would direct us. We have felt that God is leading us to intentionally focus on the team of Ukrainian leaders over the next little while. These Ukrainian leaders are faithful servants who are passionate about the call God has place on their lives to minister to their city. We feel God may have placed us here to simply, love, encourage, support and build up the team already doing good work here in Ukraine. Please pray for us as we take steps in that direction with this amazing team of leaders!

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Thank you all again, for you prayers, love & support! If you would like to further catch up on our journey, please take a few minutes to check out our Video Vlog Update #2 – Nelders in Ukraine MONTH TWO!

Peace & Blessings

Chris & Jessi Nelder

 

#8 Eye-Opening

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Olya Slobodyanuyk ministers to kids at a facility for children with exceptional needs. Her heart and passion to reach these kids is wonderful and inspiring.

We’ve had a wonderfully fantastic couple of weeks here in Krivoy. As we are well into our second month here, we are now feeling very settled in our home and surroundings. This last couple of weeks have been full. We had meetings with some more fantastic Ukrainian leaders working hard to bring the hope of Christ to this city.

We’ve also had the opportunity to start working with the different members of the team here in their various areas of ministry.

It has truly been an eye-opening couple of weeks.

We Got to spend time with Lena at one of the many boarding schools her team ministers to on a weekly basis. Being able to see the joy and warmth the team brings to the kids in these, often, cold and bleak institutions is an amazing experience.

We also had the opportunity to visit several hospitals, boarding schools, and family homes that have been touched and are still being ministered to, through Dima’s ministry. The hospitals, orphanages and boarding schools here get very little financial help from the government. The doctors, directors and teachers of these institutions are doing their best to keep afloat to continue helping people. God has opened an amazing door to Dima and other members of the team to try and help these faculties, so that they can continue to helping people. God is at work and it is amazing to see!

Also, we got to go to бурых углей (burykh ugley), a facility for men with exceptional needs here in Krivoy. There are 300 men living in this facility. The conditions in which these men live out their days is very hard to describe. Thank God for people like Irina Tarabesh and her team who feel called to minister to the men at Burykh Ugley.

Thank you again for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray for us as we keep stepping in faith into the things God has for us to accomplish here is Krivoy Rog.

We both feel a call to empower, encourage and train the Ukrainian leaders and workers already doing amazing work here in Ukraine. Please pray that God would give us wisdom, insight and courage to be used by God in this area.

We love you all! Until next time!

Peace & Blessings

Chris & Jessi Nelder

#7 Amazing Ukrainians Pt.2

 

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We have officially been in Ukraine for 1 month! And what a wonderful month it has been! We are so thankful for all the opportunities God has already given us during our time here. We’ve had the chance to be involved with Mcjoyful, we got to experience a little more of the culture when we were invited to a Russian Sauna or Banya with some friends, and we obtained our temporary residency permits (Praise God!).

We’ve had the privilege of meeting with a number of the Ukrainians we will be working with over the six months. They are all members of Ed Dickson’s team here in Krivoy Rog and they are all amazing individuals. A definite highlight for us this month has been hearing how these Ukrainians were called by God to do what they are doing and about the dreams they have for the future. We wanted to tell you a little bit about Ed Dickson and the amazing Ukrainians on his team that we’ve met with so far.

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Dima & Anya Ziachko

Dima and Anya are a young couple who have been working in Krivoy Rog for around the last 3 years. Dima and Anya They are really genuine, cool and so very kind. Dima serves to help children, orphans and people with exceptional needs receive the medical care/surgeries necessary to drastically save and improve their lives through a program called Operations can be done. Anya serves to help orphans here get sponsored through Child Care Plus and Children of Hope. God is using Dima and Anya to change lives here in Krivoy Rog. They have dreams to reach more kids, save more lives and bring the hope of Christ to those forgotten here in Krivoy Rog.

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Dasha Lenik

 

Dasha is an awesome person, who is quickly becoming a good friend to us here. She not only selflessly helped to make Mcjoyful happen everyday doing a lot of the behind the scenes work, but she serves to minister to orphaned and disabled children here in Krivoy. She has a number heart and her desire is to mentor and disciple kids in their walk with God!

 

 

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Lena Taran

Lena is a wonderful human being. She loves God and is fervently obedient to the call he has placed on her life to minister to orphaned and sick children here in Krivoy Rog. Her vision is simple, Bring Christ, Bring Hope & Bring Childhood! Lena, with the help of her amazing team, runs programs in six different orphanages and boarding schools every week here in Krivoy Rog. Every week 400 hundred kids are loved, cared for, and poured into. Lena has big dream for her ministry and we are so excited for the opportunity to work with her.

 

 

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Irina Terabesh

 

For the last 10 years Irina has been working hard to reach out and minister to adults with exceptional needs here in Krivoy. She encourages and inspires every person she meets. She has changed the lives of many people here, not only the men and women she ministers to but also the people she works with. She runs outreach to facilities for people with disabilities, places where there’s often very little hope among the residents. She also runs summer camps, to provide respite and an oasis for those who live out their day in institutions. Irina is an amazing Ukrainian.

 

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Ed & Natasha Dickson

Without the work that God started in the life of Ed Dickson 20 year ago, the people we’ve mentioned about would not be where they are at doing the amazing life changing work they are doing now. Ed and Natasha are an amazing couple who have shown us more grace and kindness than we deserve. It has truly been an honor to serve under their ministry during our time here. Please take a moment to check out the Loads of Love website to see all that Ed and his ministry are up to. http://www.loadsoflove.ca/

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this longer than usual blog post. We really just want you all to know about the wonderful people we get to work with. We want you to see that the support you have given, and the prayers you have prayed are going to impact real lives every day and it is wonderful!

Ps.. you can see the most recent video vlog update about the last month of our time here

Peace & Blessings!

Chris & Jessi Nelder

 

 

 

 

#6 Mcjoyful

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Hey everyone! We are so excited to let you know about our first couple of weeks here in Krivoy Rog. It has been wonderful, new, tiring and at times, stressful. Of course, that is all to be expected when moving somewhere new, especially when that somewhere new is a different country, with a different culture, where they speak a different language.

Still, we have settle into our new apartment and surrounding area well. We know where to go to get groceries and laundry detergent, and we know how to get to church. We have been trying to study the language (Russian) and we practice it with people whenever possible. Learning a new language is hard, but being able to communicate with new Ukrainian friends is an excellent motivator.

We had the opportunity over the last few weeks to celebrate Ukrainian Christmas (Jan. 7th), meet lots of people, some old friends and some new, and we’ve begun exploring the city we live in. We also met with the team of Ukrainian ministry partners we will be working with. They are all wonderful and we can’t wait to get to know them better.

One of the highlights of our time so far has been Mcjoyful. A program run by Loads of Love that aims to bring orphaned children and people with exceptional needs to McDonalds. Each child or person brought in, enjoys a happy meal and most importantly they hear about the love of God shown to us through his son Jesus. It has been one of our greatest joys so far to tell kids that Jesus loves them.

Things are going well! We love what we are doing so far and we are so incredibly excited for what God has planned over the next 5 and a half months!

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Please continue to pray for us and our Ukrainian partners as God leads us. Please continue to pray that we receive our TRP’s (temporary residency permits). It is a lengthy and stressful process; we will be very happy to have it done!

As always THANK YOU for reading, supporting and praying for us!

Peace & Blessings

Chris & Jessi Nelder

 

 

#5 We are Finally Here!

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We are finally here in Ukraine and we are so very excited for what God has in store for the next 6 months! After a long journey involving no sleep and a little motion sickness, we arrived in Kyiv, Ukraine around noon on Wednesday.

We were met in the airport by our host Ed Dickson and his daughter Michelle, and stayed with Ed and his family for the last 3 nights attempting to adjust to the time change and rest after our travels. We are so thankful for Ed and his wife Natasha, they are truly amazing people! We are so honoured to be working under his leadership and alongside his organization, Loads of Love during our time here. If you want to know more about Ed, his family and his ministry in Ukraine, we will send out a blog very soon providing you with some of that information.

Since being in Ukraine, we have had opportunity to talk with Ed about some of the work we will be doing here, connect with another missionary family, the Solomons, also doing amazing things in the country of Ukraine, as well as experience some of the Ukrainian Christmas culture at the Christmas market in downtown Kyiv. It has been a wonderful beginning to what we know will be an amazing adventure following God’s call on our lives to work in this place.

We are now, as I write this blog, on an evening train to Krivoy Rog.

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We will move into our apartment and home for the next 6 months tonight. We are both excited and encouraged for what lies ahead. We know that it isn’t always going to be easy, but we know that God is the one who has placed us here at this time, and so we have absolutely nothing to worry about.

We wanted to again thank all those who have supported us through prayer and donations. Your obedience to God has made it possible for us to be obedient, and for that, we are very grateful.

Please continue to pray for us, and continue reading about what God is doing Ukraine and continue telling others about God’s amazing grace! We love you all!

Peace & Blessings … oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Chris & Jessi Nelder