March 8 — Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is BIG in Ukraine.  When I say it’s big here, I mean it’s HUGE.   It’s a day to celebrate women.   And celebrate we do.  The actual holiday is today, March 8.   Lots of businesses closed early yesterday to gear up for the big day today.   Most businesses were closed today and will be until Monday or in some cases Tuesday.  It’s a major holiday week.  So if you’re in Ukraine today, be sure you tell every women you see “congratulations.”

I did our grocery shopping early this morning because all the women in the went to Ocean Plaza (a huge mall in Kyiv) and I needed to get it done before they left the house.  The ladies who weighed fruit and checked us out were in a seemingly good mood (probably because they leave early today according to them). When I congratulated them, they just beamed and received the greeting warmly.   Quite a different reaction that you usually get when you talk to store workers.

In honor of Women’s Day we held a celebration last Friday night (a week early because our Friday night group is not meeting today).  We watched a film called, “The Scarlet Thread of Redemption.”  Through a simple story of a boy and his grandfather and also through beautiful classical art and music, the story of Jesus is highlighted through the entirety of Scripture from Genesis through the Resurrection.  It was a wonderful time of focussing on our Savior.   We had several first timers for the evening and several were there who are not yet believers.   I had the opportunity to explain the gospel message simply and provided an opportunity to receive Jesus as their Savior.

We gave each woman present a red rose.  I likened the thorns of the rose to the crown of thorns Jesus wore on His head, the red of the rose with the blood that cleanses us and the beauty of the rose to our beautiful Jesus.

We consistently pray that these moms will find the love of our Savior and the true Hope.   They have such difficult lives here and are desperately seeking meaning and hope of their future.  We look so forward to the moment that they realize that all they need is found in Jesus, our beautiful Rose of Sharon.

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Chris Malone

It is a joy to serve our Lord with the bride of my youth, Mary, and our children. Our nine kids are not all living at home anymore. One has already completed university and has started her career. One is finishing his master's degree and will start his career soon. One is completing her freshman year at university. That leaves six at home. One of those completes high school this year. Amazing since Mary and I are only 30 years old (at least in our minds).
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