God has been good to us in many ways over the past month and more! We enjoyed a few days off after camps before resuming work at the Agape Rehabilitation Complex and it has been non-stop ever since. We used the first couple of work days for staff training, analyzing and revising our work processes, and other administrative-type activities. Then we began welcoming patients back into our facility.
|Everyone participated in the CPR seminar|
Our therapy team has grown again! Katya, a student in the second class of our PT Training Center program, transitioned from her role as caregiver to our therapy team. For now, she functions as a student under Sveta’s supervision for the next few months. We hope that she will be ready for independent, full-time patient care by the beginning of next year. We are excited that our therapy team is now up to 8!
Another HUGE praise is that three of our therapists were accepted into university programs and are now on track to obtaining diplomas in their rehabilitation specialty over the coming years. Natasha’s was accepted into a 3-year speech therapy program. The university is located in a city about an hour away and she will travel there to attend sessions several times a year. Katya and Ira were accepted into a brand new program here in Lutsk. It is a Master’s program that will take a year and a half and is somehow a combined occupational therapy and physical therapy degree program. Sveta learned about this program on literally the second to last day that applications were accepted. They were able to get the needed documents turned in and not long afterward they took an entrance exam. Ira has a undergrad degree in psychology and Katya in music. By God’s grace and their hard work to prepare themselves, they both not only passed this PT entrance exam, but did so well enough to be granted one of the few spots to study for free!! On the first day of class, each student was asked to introduce themselves and state their undergrad degree. When it came to Ira and Katya, the professor was quite surprised and asked how they managed to get into the program (every other student had some previous form of medical education). For Ira and Katya the answer was clear: GOD!
|Our students: Katya, Natasha, and Ira|
August was also a time for birthday celebrations! Katya, Veeka and I share birthdays within a 4-day period, so that called for a full rehab team celebration. We headed out to Pasha’s village and spent the day by the river: swimming, resting in the hammocks, grilling and enjoying fellowship together. I am SO incredibly thankful for these people and their love for the Lord, for people with disabilities and for me. I’m so thankful that we get to work, serve and do life together. It was a perfect birthday celebration with many of my most beloved Ukrainian friends!
|Students leave our sessions with a lot of new material|
|Vadim, our former student who is now the head physician at Agape, stopped by one afternoon to be a mock patient.|
Our room repeatedly transitions between a lecture hall and a lab.
|Gotta love the intensity and concentration!|
|See what I mean? These ladies have a good time together.|
In addition to all of the wonderful things that have been happening, there are also some challenges and prayer requests. Despite the recent growth of our therapy team, we are currently experiencing a shortage of therapists and therefore having to admit fewer rehab patients, which decreases revenue for Agape. Pasha has taken a leave of absence for a couple months to help his family as his brother undergoes another surgery due to complications from having a tumor removed from his leg a couple of years ago. As he does periodically, Vadim has gone to Poland to earn money to support his family and the construction of their house. And the schedule for the program Ira and Katya are in is not as it was understood when they applied. They actually have daily afternoon classes to attend, which decreases the hours they can be at Agape. And in a week Natasha will have her first session and be gone for about 10 days. So it’s a “perfect storm” which leaves us with few full-time therapists at the present time and therefore a decreased number of patients at Agape. Please pray as we work through this ever-changing schedule and try to maximize the number of patients we can provide with quality rehabilitation. Please pray for God’s direction as we look through the waiting list (which contains over 40 adults currently) to determine who to admit at this time. Please continue praying with us for God to continue providing additional therapists to our team. And please pray for the finances need to keep Agape operational.
|I’ll miss this view and the beauty God puts on display from my window|
|Notorious yellow Ukrainian fields|
|Gonna miss this dear friend, but thankful she has a trip planned to OK in December!|
|Aerial view of our castle – the village across the green pasture on the top right is where I run on Saturday mornings. Not everyone gets to run with a castle in view!|