Carpathian Celebration

Polyana in the Carpathians
The view from my hotel room

It was one of those trips I didn’t even want to go on. I felt like I should want to be there and I knew I needed to be there, but it was resentfully that I boarded our evening train last Wednesday.

I like trains, just not Ukrainian ones. I like spending time with the staff and students, just not 24/7 for days on end. I like traveling, but I’m just tired.

We stayed at the Continental Polyana (that would be a REAL hotel!). My roommate, Inna, couldn’t be a better person with whom to share a room. The view was filled with mountains and the fiery colors of fall foliage.

The conference is held annually by CCX and called Bible and Life. It is mainly geared toward our Christian students and the topics for level one cover some of the basics such as the Lordship of Christ, the importance of quiet times, and evangelism styles. We had seven students from Kyiv join us for the conference, all girls of course.

I had many great conversations with various students as we walked along paths outside and enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation, but the highlight of the weekend occurred Saturday evening.

I arrived at our session and one of my fellow volunteers, Caleb, was waving his arms at me and saying, “Steph, over here! Hey! Over here!”

(Side note: Caleb is like the little brother I’ve never had. He gets great joy out of annoying me.)

I just thought Caleb was being… well… Caleb. Turns out that he had exciting news to share. Our dear friend, Natalie, came to him over supper asking several questions. She then asked him to pray with her to receive Christ!

Natalie is one of several students we have specifically been praying for in a focused way this entire year. Needless to say it was a joyful evening!! This alone more than made the conference worth it.

Please take a moment to celebrate with us and to pray for Natalie as she steps out into this new life.

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