Thursday + Pics

Hello!  Today’s Thursday, hence the title “Thursday”.  Today is a normal day.  Addy and Ezra went to school.  I guess today was a little special at school because their class got to go over to the bigger school down the street and watch the teenagers put on a play.  They were so excited, and I’m happy to report that they weren’t disappointed.  They had a great time on their first “field trip”.

Hava, Seth, and I took the bus to the big grocery store at the mall and did some shopping, Jed worked at MTU- meeting about the volunteer program development and helping in special needs classrooms.  Life as usual for the Johnson fam.  🙂

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At a birthday party in Kyiv…guess what mug they saved for me?

I’ve kind of neglected this spot lately.  My last post was 10 days ago!  No bueno.

Lots has been happening and it seems there’s always something to write about, but then when the end of the day comes and I have time to write I’m utterly exhausted.  I really want to enjoy writing here, and good posts never come out of compulsion.  But, I still need to attempt to be more faithful here.

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Babes at Maidan

So…here’s my attempt at a bit of a catch-up post so I can give myself a clean slate and a fresh start. Mmmmk?

1.  We switched to learning Ukrainian.  Oy.  Don’t get me started.  Okay, I’ll explain.  We started out learning Russian long before we even moved.  I’m pretty sure I’ve explained why we have been studying Russian (more useful worldwide, there are boys we would love to get to someday that live in the south where Russian is more widely spoken, our dreams are bigger than only Ukraine…).  BUT, we are realizing more and more each day that for our every day life here and now in Zhytomyr, we really need Ukrainian.  Ukrainian is spoken at Romaniv.  Our kids are learning Ukrainian in school.  All their homework is in Ukrainian.  Classes we assist with at MTU are taught in Ukrainian.  Our church is in Ukrainian.  Yeah….not so much Russian.  Although, most people you meet on the street are speaking Russian.  So, I guess picking one language and sticking with it is the most important decision.  Most people here in Zhytomyr mix the languages together, so I’m assuming that’s what we’ll begin to do as well.  My poor, poor brain…  🙂

Fast Fact: When we were studying Russian we spelled the town we live in like this: “Zhitomir” – the Russian transliteration.  Now that we’re learning Ukrainian we spell it like this: “Zhytomyr”- the Ukrainian transliteration.  Same goes with “Kiev” vs. “Kyiv”.  🙂

2.  We had some amazingly wonderful special guests this past weekend!

Okay.  Jed’s parents are missionaries in Kosovo.  They are volunteers for a German relief organization called Humedica.  Humedica does amazing work in disaster relief worldwide.  They have huge numbers of medical professionals in their database ready to respond to need at any time.  Awesome, awesome organization that does big work really well.

Wolfgang Gross, the founder and director of Humedica, has become a close friend of Jed’s parents over the past 14 years they’ve been working together.  We’ve been wanting to meet him since forever!  Numerous times Jed has tried to plan a way to meet his parents in Germany to meet Wolfgang and it just never worked out.  Well, this past weekend we got the treat of a lifetime!  On Thursday we found out that Wolfgang and his dear friend Jurgen were invited to Kyiv to deliver much-needed medical supplies to hospitals that were assisting injured protesters.  Wolfgang contacted the parents, who contacted us and let us know that we would have a chance to meet!  We rushed off to Kyiv on Friday after school and spent an amazing weekend with two men that will always have a piece of our hearts.  Jed got to help take them around Kyiv on Saturday to deliver their supplies.  Then we all visited Maidan on Sunday. They joined us at Kyiv Vineyard for church on Sunday and then came to little ol’ Zhytomyr to stay the night at our house!  Wolfgang and Jurgen got a tour of MTU and they even got to visit Romaniv!  Super cool and fun.  We were so sad to see them leave.  Having them here felt like family visiting, even though we were meeting for the first time.  It was glorious.

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Wolfgang and Jurgen at Maidan

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Visiting an Occupational Therapy session at MTU

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Wolfgang, Jurgen, and Ira, the Director at MTU

3.  Our boys at Romaniv are FINALLY out of quarantine!  We get to resume our visits tomorrow at long last.  Woot!

Welp, there’s a bit of an update for you.  We are doing pretty well, in general.  Every day is different, and some days are better than others.  We feel some loneliness setting in these days and are really missing our sending church, so, we’re learning in a whole new way what it means to find our hope and peace in Jesus alone.  The kids are doing well and Addy and Ez really enjoy school a lot.

Anywaysssss…I feel like a bit of a bore, so here are some pics to reward you for sticking it out till the end.  🙂

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At this spot on the morning of February 20th, many men were killed by snipers. Here is the memorial to Ukraine’s “Heaven’s Hundred”.

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Addy, taking it all in, history in the making…

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Looking down the hill toward Maidan

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Independence Monument



  1. Jennifer & Randy · March 20, 2014

    Hi Kim,
    We’re always so glad to catch up with your adventures! We miss you madly and talk about all of you every day – do your ears burn at odd times? 😉
    We’re so proud of the wonderful work you are doing and the amazing job you are doing as parents not only to your kids but helping the boys. How is your coffee supply doing?
    Btw, has spring sprung there? What is spring in Ukraine like? The cherry blossoms on the capital mall are all in full-bloom.
    Spring break is next week and the Mexico contingent is taking off tomorrow. Power prayers from the Johnson clan for the week they are gone would be most welcome.
    All our love,
    Randy and Jennifer

    • kimnjed · March 27, 2014

      This comment blessed us so much! Thank you so much for the encouragement. We finished off the coffee today. It was soooooo good. We have been praying for the Mexico team. Can’t wait to hear about their adventures. Love you guys!

  2. Phyllis · March 21, 2014

    I am almost jealous of you studying Ukrainian. I have tried off and on, but just can’t get enough exposure. I’ve finally gotten to where I understand, but I can’t speak. And don’t worry, you’ll have all of eternity to learn Russian. I know for sure that it’s the language of heaven. 😉

    Oh, after 5+ years I just now tried speaking surzhik with my neighbor. It almost hurt, but she understood me better.

    • kimnjed · March 27, 2014

      Heaven’s language…hahahaha! I think my neighbors would beg to differ. So funny!

  3. Crystal · March 21, 2014

    My brain hurts learning British, so I can only imagine how hard it must be for you. 🙂 Glad to hear you’re doing well, my friend!

    • kimnjed · March 27, 2014

      Ha! Thanks 🙂

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