One aspect of moving which we did not relish was finding an apartment. Our apartment in Sumy has being a real blessing to us, for though we live in a high density area we still have a great view and enjoy the river nearby and parks etc. This is not something that we hoped for in Kiev, but we definitely didn’t want to be looking out of our window at another building etc. But in the midst of this, we also accepted the reality that an apartment large enough for our family (which would also let us have a cat) may not be the easiest to find so we preparing ourselves for whatever happened. In discussions with our teammates in Kiev who would be looking for us, we only asked for 4 things: 3 bedrooms, a balcony large enough to put our bikes in, that our cat could also come and preferably above the 3rd floor. The real estate agent felt that those requirements were already a fairly big challenge given the area that we were looking at, so we expected a long & arduous process. But we did pray about a number of other things – our wish list as it were (view, light, a park etc) that would help us survive and adapt.
It is amazing how God answers prayer and works out details!
I (John) had to be in Kiev for leadership meetings in February, and I was going to be going in one morning on the train and coming back the next day in the afternoon on the train. Alicia came with me, and we planned to wander around (do a little scouting) of the area of Kiev that we hoped to live in that next morning while we waited to catch the train – basically getting our heads around the idea that this is going to be ok. The day we arrived in Kiev I was told that there might be a possibility to see an apartment the next day. The next day Alicia & I came up out of the subway tunnel and I received a phone call – we needed to meet the agent in just over an hour to look at an apartment. Ok. I turned to Alicia and said, lets go for a walk – we get to look at an apartment in a bit.
Detail # 1: Alicia is the only one of the kids who expressed any desire to be part of the process of evaluating apartments. So here I am, standing in Kiev with the kid that needs to be along, planning to look at an apartment that I didn’t know I was going to look at 4 days before when Alicia decided to come along.
Our teammate John jumped on the subway and met us in order to come with us for the meeting. We figure out a map where the address is, and make our way towards it. We stopped for directions, and then made our way to the street on which the building was located. I came around the corner and Alicia & I turned to each other and said, this is a good start.
Detail # 2: Leanne was really praying that we would have a park, and view of trees etc. The entrance to the building faces a fair sized park, and we are only a 10 minute walk from a nearby lake/park.
We met the real estate agent and the landlords, and made our way up to the 9th floor. We walked into the apartment, and within two minutes we said to each other, “this is it”.
Details # 3,4,5,6,7,8…..: All of the bedroom windows face the park. Lots of natural light. Lots of space, very roomy feeling. Kitchen windows face out over another open area, great views, no buildings a few meters away. Teammates with kids (whom our kids will be involved with) live in the near vicinity. And a whole bunch of other things which are just a blessing from God, much more than we could ever have imagined. For example, the living room can easily be used for hosting overnight guests & events. Also, the apartment is partially furnished. The storage units (both free standing and built in) and other furniture that is there means that we only have to move a few pieces with us, basically leaving the apartment in Sumy well furnished for whoever will use it next.
All we can say is thank you to our heavenly Father. The details that He took care of – like having Alicia along on that trip etc overwhelm us. We can see God’s hand in each part of it, and it is such a blessing. This entire process of transition is not easy, and God continues to show that He is walking with us through it and taking care of us.
So we continue on this road forward……
Have a great day,
John (4 the 5 of us)