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This journey began a 5:15 AM on March 25th.

By the time that I arrived in Greensboro, NC, I had been awake for about thirty-three hours. It was a long and mostly sleepless adventure, but I arrived safely.

I have been in America for about 37 days. This visit, after being in Ukraine for two years since my last visit, has been an easier adjustment for my mind and body. With my base in Greensboro, I traveled to Butler, Pennsylvania. On the way, I stopped in Beckley, West Virginia to visit with Kelly C. We talked about a short term mission project. She and her friends want to share equine (horse) therapy with our children with special needs in Illichevsk, Ukraine.

In Butler, I visited some friends and businesses who where a significant part of my past and made some new acquaintances. While there, I visited Slippery Rock University, about 18 miles north of Butler. I had the opportunity to give a presentation about MUCH to two different Recreation Therapy classes. Also, I had the great privilege to visit the Equestrian stables and class room. There, I learned many new ideas about equine therapy.

This week and next, I am in southern Florida visiting with my father and step-mother. While here, I am making new contacts, having great conversations with people who are interested in our children, and giving PowerPoint presentations to churches, groups, and individuals.

Never having done fund raising before, I found it difficult to realize how to go about this somewhat undesirable project. The first year, 2005, I was most uncomfortable, and didn’t know exactly what to say. In 2007, I did better, but still had not come to understand the main idea behind finding people who would be interested in helping our children. This year, I’m catching the vision of sharing my stories with small groups and individuals. Telling my stories and bringing what I do to life, seems to be received more enthusiastically.

Something else that is new for me is to encourage children here to communicate with our children. Some American children have made financial contributions in the past few years. This has been such a great example of compassion for me. I look forward to visiting more schools and talking with more children in future visits.

The next thirty-five days will be most interesting. I hope to have blog entries more often, but these days in America are very different than what I am used to. Until my next entry…

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