Update from the East

Well, today is Victory Day, which marks the end of World War II in Europe, specifically the capitulation of Nazi forces to the Allies on May 8th 1945. All the now elderly men who served in “The Great Patriotic War,” as they call it here, wore their Soviet war medals on their suit coats to commemorate the day. It is amazing to see how many of these former soldiers are still around. Victory Day is a big holiday here. All government services and banks are closed as are many stores, and there are parades and celebrations with quite a few of the old red hammer and sickle flags flying.

We are also beginning to celebrate spring although we had snow here last week. The little ones are so excited about getting back out and into the forest after months of winter hibernation in our small apartment. Here are some photos of us in the forest and some shots of the girls decorating their Easter eggs last month.

Pam reads a story / Paul / Jeff with Grace

Emily with Grace / Jennie with Paul / Sarah

Pam with Elizabeth / Alison / Hannah

Easter egg decorating / Sarah pointing out her egg

Cook Out We had a very special treat when our friends Kyle and Anya invited us to a cookout. We enjoyed delicious shashlig (pork kabob) for dinner. For desert we treated the little ones (and some of the big kids) to roasted marshmallows. In one of our recent care packages we were blessed with a surprise of 2 bags of good old-fashioned marshmallows. Hint: Turns out they make great packing material in care packages! We topped off the evening by watching Yours, Mine, and Ours from 1968 with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda which we projected onto the side of the house while the cooking fire burned down. What a great welcome spring party it turned out to be!

Shashlig & Marshmallows

Care Packages We continue to be blessed by care packages. I can’t even begin to describe how special those brown boxes are to everyone. Though most of the packages contain specific food and other items listed on our needs page, each box always contains a few special surprises. It’s funny how many small things we miss from back home. Thank you to everyone for the loving support of those care pages and notes of support. For information on our needs and shipping information, click for Care Package information.

More Books / Steven calls the Ritz / Liz and Sarah dive in

Greg in China Our entire family continues to miss Greg very much. It’s been nearly four months since he left to attend Discipleship Training School in Northern Ireland and he is now on outreach in central China. We receive periodic emails, and we even had a Skype call with him from China last week. He is doing well and loving this special time of training and learning more about God and his plans for him. Please keep Greg and his team in your prayers as they continue their work in China for the next two months.

Birthdays It seems as though we are always celebrating the birth of a Colker child. Most recently we did a dual party for Emily (13) and Jennie (11). Somehow Pam managed to squeeze all 24 candles onto the cake!

Mercy Truck The Mercy Truck ministry continues to grow and expand its reach. We are scheduled out every other week solid and have a full summer of outreach from mid-June to September. We continue to see God do amazing things through the ministry and provide us opportunities to not only demonstrate his love, but also share the Good News and pray with the most needy of Ukraine.

Visit www.MercyTrucksUA.org to read more!

Handing out donated blankets with Dr. Inna / Masked and ready to help

Other Ministry News Steven and the girls continue in their ministry work. Steven has become a regular with the YWAM Key of Hope Ministry to the orphans of Makariv. Here Steven and I enjoy time outside with the orphans.

Recently during an International Women’s Day dinner, Steven was asked to bless the ladies of YWAM Kyiv and guests by singing Earth Angel with back up by his ministry brothers. The audience of women demanded an encore at the end of the evenings program.

In addition to her one-on-one counseling of mothers, Pam began a mother’s meeting at YWAM teaching on raising children for Christ and Christian parenting. Her experience and teaching has been very well received. The goal is to continue the meetings bi-weekly to provide encouragement and support to mothers.

I had a deja vu moment a couple weeks ago when I was asked to help a Boy Scout in the US with his Eagle Project by distributing shoes he and his troop collected for orphans in Ukraine. Dressed in my Scout uniform shirt for the first time in more than two years, I delivered the first cases of shoes to a graduate orphan technical school outside Kyiv. The photos and report enabled the Scout to complete his Eagle project just in time before his eighteenth birthday and blessed many of the teens at the orphanage with new sneakers. (To my fellow Scouter’s back home, yes it was great to wear the uniform again even if it did provoke quite a few stares here in Ukraine!)

We praise God for our opportunity to serve and for His provision of encouragement, support and love through you. Here are some pictures of other special moments…

Patiently waiting for Spring

Hannah reading to her sisters

Springtime picnic

Naptime with Daddy

Pam and Hannah

Thank you for Peanut Butter!