Today is our last day in Ukraine and we are in Kiev. The huge statue of Mother Russia is an historical anachronism for the Ukrainians. “Mother” is facing toward Moscow and the Ukrainian joke is that they would like to turn the statue around and been it over at the waist so “Mother” is mooning Moscow. There is another huge statue of a Ukrainian man and a Russian gladly holding hands, arms in the air and the motto is “Brothers Forever.” Oops! Ukraine and Russia are now fighting over oil. So much for comradeship.
This has been a unique trip in that the New Year/Christmas season is at least a week long. Schedules are not as routine. While there has been plenty of teaching, mentoring and encouraging, it has taken place in smaller more ad hoc situations. Jeremy Bouma and I did, however, have opportunities to preach in churches and in new church plants.
Today we will visit two great cathedrals–St Sophia’s and St Michael’s. We also will visit the replica of the ancient gates into the old city called “The Golden Gate.” Also, in the old city is a natural history museum. Ukraine prior to becoming Christian was a pagan, polytheistic land.
The generational difference between those who grew up under communism (when Ukraine was part of the USSR) and those who’ve known independence is palpable. Ukraine is a land rife for civil war and division, with the eastern region reconnecting to Russia and the western becoming more European. Kiev and the Dniper River are the Mason-Dixon line so to speak.
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