Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fun with Jay and Martha

In earlier posts you have met Jay and Martha. Sheila and I thank God for them. We thank God that he allowed us to spend our three weeks in Ukraine with this godly, caring and fun couple. We do miss them and pray for them daily. Please continue praying for them as they remain in Ukraine and will be there when we return later in January. They do not have a blog so please pass it on to your friends and family to keep them in prayer.
Below is from an email that Martha sent out. This will give you a taste of life with Jay and Martha:

Okay, people, here is the evidence we were able to obtain today during yet another trip to Balta to return Vova following his long weekend with us in Odessa. Picture #1 - Oles is driving THE WRONG WAY on a one way street. Yes, I know... he's following another car which is doing the same maneuver, but it doesn't make it right, right? Remember your mother telling you, "If everyone jumped off a cliff, would YOU jump off a cliff?" Maybe it was just my mother...

Anyway, not only is Oles driving the wrong way, he's talking on his cell phone and yelling at all the other drivers who are driving towards us! He's actually telling them (I think) "GO AROUND US," at least that's what his gestures implied. Although Oles had his window part way down, not one driver told him, "You, young man, are dangerously driving the wrong way on a one way street!" Not one! Of course, I tried to be helpful by pointing to the DO NOT ENTER - ONE WAY sign, but Oles brushed me off.
Picture #2 - horse and buggy driving along very icy/snowy roads. Picture #3 - a BAbushka (grandma) walking towards town [far left] while a large truck barrels past her heading in our general direction. Once again, notice the roads. We passed people going approx 60 MPH on those roads. There are people on both sides of the road walking, but they're walking right on the edge of the road. Picture BAbushka, truck, car, and other pedestrians all at the same place in the road and it's a recipe for disaster.

Thankfully, Oles tried to reassure me about his driving by pointing out that he's only been in SIX accidents - at least those are the ones he can remember. He's only 30... Clearly, he says, he was not at fault for "most" of the accidents. Oh, I shouldn't neglect to mention that he was stopped three times - not one, not two, but three times - for speeding today. Lucky for Oles, he "bribed" all the police officers (for about 400 grivnas - exchange rate of 7.5 grivnas for one US dollar) and got no tickets. Three tickets in Ukraine and you lose your license for a year and have to pay a mega fine. After the second stop, I once again tried to be helpful as I shrieked, I mean, commented that "maybe God is trying to tell you to SLOW DOWN!" So then we got an insightful lesson on my psychotic fear of driving too fast and smashing my brains into a tree or rolling down a steep, snowy ravine into an ice covered lake. Silly me, Martha, you just need to face these irrational fears! Oles has an interesting philosophy about life and death: When God says our time is up, it doesn't matter if we're sleeping in our beds or racing along at 100 MPH on an icy road... driving on the spare tire... with only high beams... while talking on a cell phone. He FINALLY admitted, after six long hours of driving on treacherous roads, that it was the "bad vibrations" emanating from MY body towards the police officers that caused them to pull him over! Hahahahahahahahaha... (punk). He suggested that maybe Jay should ride in the front seat from now on since he has not yet been pulled over whenever Jay is in front - he must have forgotten that I practically begged Jay to ride up front on our return trip from Balta. But no, Jay was safely in the back seat with a smug look on his face while I faced mortal danger in the front seat. Jay actually believes Oles is a "pretty good" driver. Maybe it really is an irrational psychotic fear I have: Olesdriveaphobia.

On the bright side, Oles was in a very good mood when we returned to Odessa and decided God was just trying to teach him about obedience (See Romans 13). He didn't even run any red lights tonight as he has done before, Praise God! It was all I could do to keep from throwing myself on the ground and kissing the dirt when we arrived back at our apt. Hey, maybe we won't need to go to Balta anymore... Maybe we'll have our court date soon... Maybe I'll die in my sleep... Once again, pray for us! All kidding aside, Oles has been a great facilitator and he has made this journey lots of fun. I'll tell you some other time his philosophy about women. Love to you all, Martha


  1. I will have to get on Martha's e-mail list! She has captured the experience for us! Wonder if Oles will be our translator...yikes...

  2. Oh my goodness! I feel carsick just reading.

  3. It's kind of strange that Martha failed to mention that the "OH NO!" handles (the ones above the doors that individuals clings to with white-knuckle death grips) are normally broken off in these vehicles.