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Monday, January 21, 2008

Kiev Update - 1-17-19


1/17/2008

• 5:02pm I boarded a plane from Rochester, NY and flew to Detroit where I boarded another plane bound for London. I arrived in London with about an hour to spare before getting on another plane for Kiev, Ukraine. All in all it took about 12 hours of flight time and I was in a whole different world…Kiev.
• I arrived about 5pm Kiev time and was met at the airport by YMI’s Eurasia Director, Mike Manna. Mike and I have worked together several times over the last few years, and it was good to see him (especially after being asked about 100 times if I needed a taxi).
• We went to Mike & Judy’s apartment and had a wonderful dinner and just relaxed and caught up for the evening.
• I’ll be staying at the Seminary starting Monday but for the weekend I’ll be with the Manna’s.

1/18-19/2008

• After getting a chance to get caught up on my sleep, Mike and I went downtown to visit some of the historical sites in Kiev, and Mike gave me a very fun and informative walking tour of the monuments, museums, cathedrals and other interesting things that are all over the downtown area. I have noticed a considerable change since I was here last year…things like, newer cars, more modern looking buildings, hi-tech computers & flat screen TV’s and all kinds of things that were making Ukraine look more and more like Europe or the United States. It was very interesting to see the convergence of the old with the new in Kiev. I mean every where you look there are memories of an incredibly storied past that for centuries dominated the skyline of Kiev. Now right next to those memories are symbols of the here and now emerging to center stage.

That is kind of how I view the youth of Eastern Europe, desperately wanting to emerge from the stereotypes and symbols that have shaped their identity in the past, and striving with every thing they have to be like teens in the west. The only problem with that is that many of these young people (like many teens in the US) are operating from a false assumption that says “stuff = happiness”, and we know where that assumption leads. That is why our work here in Kiev is so critical. The youth Pastors that we are training are serving as a solid voice of truth within the context confusing messages that are bombarding these teenagers every day.

Please continue to pray that the class I'll be teaching on understanding Youth Culture will make an impact on these Youth Leaders.

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