Thursday, September 30, 2010

And the Rain Came Tumbling Down

...or was that a tree

We have prayed for rain around here for several weeks, maybe we should have prayed a little more specifically.  Our neighbors have had a rough week from the rain.  Monday they woke up to a tree that had fallen on their other neighbor's fence.  Today they woke up to find another tree had fallen on our fence.  We are blessed to have fabulous neighbors who are dependable and trustworthy.  Whoever ends up living in our house (and we are praying for the family in Vermont who has a contingency offer on it) are going to be blessed by our neighbors!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Partnership Update & More

Just a quick note to update you on life around the Hunter house....

  • Scott celebrated his birthday yesterday - I'd tell you how old he is, but he'd probably shoot me... but he is older than me!  He is also helping to teach a men's Bible study on Tuesday nights and not looking forward to his classes starting back in mid -October.
  • Zach got a 2nd job - in addition to working for the tree service he will be bussing tables at Elizabeths in Oak Ridge.  Feel free to stop by and say hello.  I am hoping that he might learn how to clear the table at home too.
  • Hannah got a clear MRI and EEG today.  Still don't know the cause of the hiccups, but we have now ruled out all the major, life threatening causes.  Praising God for that information!
  • Alex is loving middle school.  He even told me the other day that SMOD (almost uniform) wasn't so bad and made getting dressed really easy.  He is loving soccer and although his team isn't winning every game, he still loves it.
  • I started my first quilt and am helping Hannah with her first one too.  We'll see if this project ever gets finished.  It's all done on the machine (which I had to borrow back from my parents).  I also just recently returned from Ukraine and realized how much I enjoyed teaching.  I had an opportunity to teach in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class and am now looking for some classes to take to be prepared to teach ESL when we reach Spain,
  • We accepted a contingency offer on the house.  We will continue to leave the house on the market while the potential buyers try to sell their house.  Pray for a quick sale of their house.  It is exciting to see a ray of sunshine.
  • We have had several new financial partners join our team.  The average partner is $50/month.  At this rate it originally took 208 partners and now we only need 159 more.  Our goal is to be at the half way mark by Christmas - so we need 55 more.  Feel free to ask how you can join our partnership.
  • We are going to Spain.  Not to stay yet, but for a 10 day visit.  We will get to meet our future teammates, explore the area, visit the school where the kids will attend, and begin to add a picture to our prayers.  With the help of frequent flier miles and Christmas we will leave January 16.  
Enough of an update for now... thanks for stopping by and catching up with us.

Friday, September 24, 2010

House News

We have 1/2 sold our house - meaning, we have accepted a contingency offer on our home.  The family buying the house is moving here from Vermont and has a house to sell there, but they love our house and we have reached an agreement.  The house will stay on the market until their home sells or someone else makes an offer, but God answered my prayer for wisdom and touch and has shown a huge ray of hope our direction.

Continue to pray for our house, but also pray for the family who wants to buy our home.  She and four children are still in Vermont and he is already here.  I know they would love to be here together and settled.

Isn't God great?!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Slices of the Pie

You can't watch this video directly from our website, but you can go to You Tube and watch it.  People ask why not just tell our neighbors about Jesus - perhaps this answers part of the question.  I pray that God finds me faithful in sharing with all three slices of the pie.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

College Visits

I cannot believe Hannah is old enough to be looking for a college.  Tomorrow we begin agressively looking for a college.  We will spend the day at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.  I still remember when I looked for a college, so there is no way I am old enough to have a 2nd child looking for one.

After that we are going to a fabric store to look for fabric to make a quilt.  I have tried before to make a quilt and quit - hopefully this attempt will end with a quilt.  I have been assured this is an easy method.

Friday, September 17, 2010

From Vision to Valley to Victory

The week before I left for Ukraine we recorded the most recent version of The Journey on the radio show produced by Siloam Missionary Homes on WTRU.  Larry and Joyce George reminded the three of us (all missionary families in different stages of very different types of mission work) of the story of Ezekiel.  God gave him a vision and when Ezekiel began to surrender and follow he has to go through many valleys and saw victory in many ways.  Throughout this episode (it's only 30 minutes in length total), we all recounted the vision God gave us and the valleys and victories we are experiencing.  What a blessing it is to know that God never leaves nor forsakes and that He is able to use ALL things for His glory!

Segment 1

Segment 2

Segment 3

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Time to Go Home

The last couple days have been filled with ministry, opportunitites, and fellowship.  We are all tired and ready to turn the page to a new season.

Tomorrow morning (around midnght Sunday night, EST) Cindy and Lea will head for the airport.  Shelby will move to the Judy's apartment.

All three of us are dealing with stomachs that are not real happy and Cindy is feeling yucky all over.  Pray for a good night's sleep and that we all wake up ready to face the day.  Pray for safe flights and on time arrivals.  Cindy and Lea have about 24 hours of travel.  They should arrive in Greensboro around midnight on Monday night.

Pray for Gerald (Shelby's husband) who is presently flying to Ukraine to meet Shelby for a week of visiting.

Check back in a couple days for the rest of the updates and pictures.

Cindy, Lea, and Shelby

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Update

Just a quick update to let everyone know that we are doing well and things are going wonderfully.  The long days are catching up with us, but it is worth every moment. 
Yesterday we prayer walked another region of Ukraine.  We stopped and prayed over a region of approximately 10,000 people.  Of those people, there are perhaps 100 believers.  As we were processing what that number really meant, Shelby says that means that 9,900 people are dying and going to hell.  It was, and still is, hard to process that fact.  There are a handful of Ukrainians in this region that are giving it their all to reach their families, friends, and strangers with the truth of the gospel, but it is hard and often dry land.  We cannot change the world ourselves, but our prayers can move mountains.  Sunday, the 19th, Lea and I will share faces of these men, women, and children and invite you to pray with us.

Today we returned to the ESL school where we taught two more classes.  This school is not a Christian school, but instead a school being administered  and taught by a strong Christian couple who see this not just as a school, but a ministry.  They are living out their Christian life in public and creating relationships with families that have almost all they need in the material world, yet nothing they need for eternity.  It is so much fun to come alongside nationals and serve as an encouragement and resource for them.

It's after 11 already tonight and we are being picked up at 8 tomorrow morning - our day will be filled with one last learning styles workshop, a tour of St. Sophia Cathedral (, and final souvenir shopping.  Life is good!

Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement - you will never know the impact that they are making.

Cindy, Lea, and Shelby

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It is hard to put into words what today has been like.  We spent the morning traveling to a city in the southern part of the Kharkov Oblast.  The fact that we made it there safely is an answer to prayer in itself.

We were greeted by about 24 women - some Ukrainian, some Roma gypsy.  It was so much fun to teach them about learning styles.  We invited them to talk and laugh with us and they surely did.  They then fed us a meal fit for queens (which of course we are).  It was a precious time as we watched their faces as they had "lightbulb" moments.  They really began to grasp what we were teaching - that each one was made uniquely by God and that unique was not bad.  It truly was a time of great meeting with women and our Father.

This evening we fellowshiped with about 8 women who used to participate in a study taught by our host.  She no longer has permission from the government to teach this group.  They begged for her to return - not because of who she was, but because they want someone to teach them more about God and the Bible.  They then shared their prayer requests - almost all were family members who were not believers.  It was a precious time of meeting with fellow believers.  I am not sure who was more encouraged - the Ukrainian ladies or the Americans.

We are tired tonight.  Pray for a good night's sleep and to be refreshed tomorrow.  We will spend most of the day prayer walking and then journey back to Kiev on the train (we leave this area at 4:30 PM - 9:30 AM EST).

God is answering prayers and we covet your continued time of praying.

Cindy, Lea, and Shelby

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Prayer Walking

Our God is an awesome God!

"Oh how I'll rejoice in them! Oh how I'll delight in doing good things for them! Heart and soul, I'll plant them in this country and keep them here!"  Jeremiah 32:41

Today we boarded an express train from Kiev to the eastern part of Ukraine.  Six hours later we stepped off into another world - one that is 20 miles from the Russia border.  An area that is living in darkness.  A place where you can physically feel the spiritual oppression.  A place that the Lord is waiting to "delight in doing good."

I had never read the above verse before, but today I opened a card and that was the verse quoted.  (The Women on Mission Group at Shelby's church made beautiful cards with individual notes for each one of us for every day.)  Isn't God good?  The person who wrote the card does not know me nor what today held and yet Jeremiah 32:41 is the verse that the Lord laid on her heart for me for today (yes, the card had a specific day for me to open). 

It's hard to explain the experience today.  We walked through the 2nd largest city square in Europe.  We walked through an Orthodox church that is hundreds of years old.  We stood on a mountain and looked at an area that measures 6 square miles and houses 600,000 people.  We stood at a huge monument to remember those that died in WWII that had an ever burning flame and an audible heartbeat.  We saw sign after sign celebrating 65 years of freedom.  Yet, we encounter no one who knew true freedom.  No one who had experienced the heartbeat of Christ.  No one who knows that they are loved and able to speak directly to the Savior of the world.

There is nothing we could have done more worthy of our time - no task more important - than asking for God to move and be present in this area.  In a few days (maybe after we return) I'll write about the prayer walk experience, but today our heart aches for the brokenness and darkness we saw and experienced today.

Tomorrow we will be teaching a conference in the morning.  We are teaching learning styles.  You ask what does that have to do with missions?  In Ukraine the only legal way to teach in the schools is military style - rote memory and lecture.  If you fail at school, the government stops your ability to attend and they decide who goes on to technical school or university.  If you do not qualify for one of those, you go to the military.  Mothers yearn for ways to reach their children to give them options.  They yearn to know that their child is fearfully and wonderfully made by God just the way they are.  They desire to teach them of the things of the Lord yet know nothing but what they had in school.  Our prayer is that tomorrow we offer hope for a future and understanding of their children (and even themselves).  Our greatest desire is even for these women who may have felt like a failure due to their struggles in school, to realize they are not stupid - but instead just learn differently and that God is pleased with them.  Pray for clarity as we teach.  Pray for the translator.  Pray they heart the message of the Lord.

In the evening we are fellowshipping with women from another area.  There will be no teaching, only fellowship.  Pray that our willingness to set aside our plans and to work within the parameters set before us will serve as an encouragement to both the nationals and Americans we work with.  Give us God's eyes for the people that we encounter tomorrow.

Sorry - no pictures tonight - I'll have to upload them when we return to Kiev. 

Keep praying - we can feel them and see them being answered!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 2 - ESL Classes

What a great day today was!  We began the morning with a visit with a SEND missionary and learning of her experiences.  The world is so diverse and it is always great to hear of how things are done or needs throughout the world.  Thanks Bertha for joining us.

Then we headed to Anna's English school.  This school is for students who are enrolled in public schools and desire to have additional English lessons.  They were all so much fun!  We hosted a party for a group of middle elementary students and taught English.  We all laughed quite hard when we realized we brought foam letters for the children to make name tags with, however, in Ukraine the use the cyrillic alphabet, which has 33 letters and many which are not in the English language.  Oh well, Anya transliterated their names to English for us - we couldn't have read the Ukrainian names anyhow.  The older classes we had an opportunity to have conversations and interaction with the students.  It was amazing how interested the students were in learning the lessons.

We ended the day with dinner at McDonalds and then Shelby, Lea, and I got on the metro by ourselves and found our way back to our apartment,  Yes, we had to call and let "Mama Marsha" know we had safely arrived, but it was a fun adventure.

We leave very early tomorrow morning for a region in the eastern part of the country.  No new permissions have been received, so we will spend one day teaching and one day prayer walking.  Pray that we wake up on time (4:30 AM), for no complications on the train ride, and for God size appointments throughout our stay.  (Due to being away from the city there may or may not be an update tomorrow and Wednesday - but check just in case - we appreciate and feel all your prayers!) 

We are all healthy and doing well.  We all know how blessed we are to have this opportunity and pray that we share the blessings of Christ all around us.

Photos of the day at the ESL school:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Update

I think our bodies almost know that it is supposed to be bedtime here - we are 7 hours ahead of EST and thanks to a very long day, we all were able to sleep last night like we had never slept before.  Today the weather has been overcast and a little chilly (it's 55 degrees right now - 11:00 PM).  But perfect weather for wandering the city.

The trip from Greensboro to Kiev was uneventful with every flight being on time and all the luggage arriving.   Right before we landed in Kiev, I struck up a conversation with the Ukrainian woman sitting next to me (no, I wasn't rude for the first half of the flight, but instead asleep from being awake all night  :) ).  When I asked where she had been traveling to (assuming she was heading home), she began to sob.  She shared the lives in Florida and her father had died and she was traveling home for his funeral.  Due to an issue with her passport she had been delayed more than a day and was not sure she would be able to get the last flight she needed when she arrived in Kiev and did not know if the funeral would have already occurred before she got there.  I wrapped my arm around her and just listened.  She and her father are orthodox and do not have the assurance that heaven awaits them.  She talked of hoping his passing was peaceful and that whatever waited on him would be good.  She allowed me to pray with her and share, but her heart was very broken.  I promised the team would pray throughout the day for her as she tried  to make final travel arrangements.  Pray for Oksana and that other believers will cross her path and she how to know without a doubt what awaits them on the other side of death.

Tim and Marsha are doing great.  We have laughed and cried together and shared stories from both sides of the ocean.  We can only imagine what conversations they are having about this crazy team when they drop us off at our apartment.

Today we worshiped in New Life Church - a large, contemporary style church that provides an English translator for the service that is broadcast through the radio (we wore headphones during the service).  The pastor preached on the difference in Christianity and false religions then ended the service with communion.  It was a beautiful service.

We spent the remaining portion of the day shopping - what fun! 

Tomorrow we will host a Back to School Party at an English school and teach vocabulary related to school.  Not all the teachers or students at this private school are believers, so pray that they will see a difference in us that is only possible through our relationship with Christ.

An update on the needed permissions for the conferences on Wednesday and Thursday.  We have only received one permission and this will not change.  We still intend to travel to the region and will teach the one conference.  Instead of the two other conferences we will host an informal time of fellowship and crafts with one group (we will not be allowed to do any kind of teaching - no Bible study, no learning styles, nothing).  On the 2nd day when we were to host the 3rd conference, we will cover the area with prayer through prayer walking/driving.  There is no greater privilege than to pray for these people who are experiencing such great oppression. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Arrived Safely

We have arrived in Kiev safely with all of our luggage. The trip was uneventful and even ended with an opportunity to share the hope of Jesus with a Ukrainian woman. We've been up for 35 hours straight, so too tired for details. Tomorrow we will share more.

Thanks for your prayers - God is hearing them and answering them!

Cindy, Lea, and Shelby

Friday, September 3, 2010

Heading to Ukraine

After months and months of preparation, today is finally the day we leave for Ukraine.  Lea and I will depart from Greensboro around 2:00 and meet up with Shelby in Atlanta for a 5:30 flight.  The fact that we even have flights today is an answer to prayer.  Hurricane Earl threatened to interrupt our flights and on the recommendation of Delta, we did some rearranging of our schedules.  This flight schedule is not near as convenient, but God answered our prayers for flights that allowed all three of us to match up together and even have seats together (and the icing on the cake - they are not in the middle of the row).

This trip has been met with all kinds of spiritual warfare - so pray for the team as we put on the armor of God and go forward to what God has laid before us.  We know that Satan wants to destroy and distort and we pray that we do not allow Satan any opportunity.

Today, pray for safe and uninterrupted travels.  Pray for stamina as we will not arrive in Kiev until 10:00 AM Saturday morning (EST) - and the majority of the time that our bodies think it is night time, is to be spent in the Amsterdam airport for a 5 hour layover.

Continue for God to miraculously provide the needed permissions for the final two conferences.  We will not quit praying for these permissions until the time has passed.  We are prepared to teach, and yet if God does not move mightily, we are prepared to spend the time in prayer walking.  Pray that our attitudes and countenance will not falter.

Pray for Scott as he plays Mr. Mom and Dad over the next 11 days.  Pray for Zach, Hannah, and Alex as they deal with a change in routine.  Pray that our house sells while I am gone.

Pray for Herman and Gerald as their wives are away. 

Check back regularly for updates on the trip and prayer requests - we cannot wait to see all that God has prepared for us!


(join Lea and I at the Greensboro airport at 12:30 near the Delta counter to send us off with prayer - prayer is the backbone of this trip)