March has been the most trying month here in Ukraine so far. Between beginning new ministries, welcoming a second missionary and spending a day in the hospital, I was craving my warm bed back in the States. But as with many things, God, had other plans. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11 NIV)

The youth in L’viv we’re gearing up for an exciting retreat to the mountains to spend time with each other and Jesus. Many of us were struck with the flu or viruses but still persistent to attend the retreat.

I was packing my bag when I noticed a strange sore erupted on my thigh. We rushed to the dermatologist to have it looked at. It turned out to be nothing major and easily healed, but the doctor examined an old burn scar on my hand as well. I was then referred to two more doctors and an oncologist and missed out on the mountain retreat. I ended up missing most of March with the Pilgrims, and traded community for doctor’s offices and hospital beds. They suspected the growing, and color changing scar could be cancer.

I want to say I handled March with finesse and grace. But that would be an awful, terrible lie. I was frustrated at the roughly translated visits, tired from the constant exams and terrified of the foreign hospital rooms. I cried on more than one occasion and was easily agitated from being cooped up inside most of the days. But in the midst of it all, God was at work.

I watched the people I came to serve and serve with build a fortress around me. Walls made of strength and support and prayer began to be laid in front of me. Every time I attempted to apologize for not being able to make it to work, they kindly chastised me and reminded me that I do not have to meet a quota of good deeds in order to enter the kingdom or heaven. That I needed rest. That I needed time to heal and let the Lord work where he would.

I saw God providing an opportunity for healing that I would not be able to afford in the States and the luck of finding a sore on my skin lead to identifying a potential risk.

In the same time that I was bouncing from one doctor’s room to the next, L’viv welcomed a second missionary, from SugarLand, Texas. His name is Joey and it has been the biggest blessing to have him come in and sing songs with the children, teach English, help lead English club and be a kind face in the Student Center.

We continued with Pilgrims Worship, English small group, pre school, private lessons and English Club. In Uhzgorod, the gypsy ministry has continued and grown to 60+ kids attending. The Saturday before my surgery we again tried to teach them how to sing “He’s got the whole world in his hands”. It has been a little difficult as some children speak only gypsy language and not even Ukrainian or Russian, but this week the kids were singing the words long after worship time was over. My heart swelled as I watched them coloring eating American made cookies, and walking back to their houses singing that God had their mommy’s and daddy’s, in his hands.

And he’s had us in his hands as well. Through the exhaustion, pain, shocking news, new adventures and illness, God was there and it was well, with us.