Monday, June 30, 2008

Beautiful baby

When I went to wash her up after this feast, Jaan said, "No, Mama! Let's just leave her purple. She's so beautiful!"

The other excitement today was that we had a butterfly come out of her chrysalis!

Friday, June 27, 2008

From Sunrise Land

I’m reading From Sunrise Land, by Amy Carmichael. I highly recommend it! (You can download it free at the link above.) She wrote it when she first went to the mission field--in Japan--even before India. Here are just a few quotes; I want to share something from every chapter I read. Her heart for the lost, passion for souls, impressions of life in a new country and call to prayer are inspiring.

"People sometimes kindly pity missionaries. They needn't! Our Master gives us so many compensations that I think He must let some handfuls fall on purpose for us. It would be just like Him."
--Amy Carmichael, page 27

“’For my own part, I never cease to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of sacrifice. . . . It is emphatically no sacrifice!’ So wrote Dr. Livingstone, and, though very humbly, so write I. The sacrifice is on the home-side.”
-- page 46

“Why do home people ‘pedestal’ missionaries so?”
--page 61

The quotes in the sidebar were getting too long, so I'm moving them over here. Has anyone else started reading From Sunrise Land with me?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Anna is headed out tonight. She was going to leave earlier, but we had to go to Zaporozhye for our registration today. I had suggested that we all go together and see her off then, but she offered to wait and watch the children for us. So, this morning Will, Asya and I went to Zaporozhye, signed some papers, and came back. Tonight Anna will go by herself. Pray for her, as she has quite a trip ahead of her. The last bus from here to Zaporozhye is at 6:00, and her train doesn't leave until after 1:00. Then she gets into Donetsk around 5:00.

This morning, for me "the journey. . . was another of the all things He giveth us richly to enjoy" (From Sunrise Land, page 47). Asya took her morning nap on the way there and her afternoon nap on the way back. The weather was beautiful, and not too hot. The first few sunflowers in the fields are starting to bloom, and everything else was very green. The lake looked bright blue. Zaporozhye seems to be a pretty city (as long as you don't look off into the polluted distance full of smoke stacks). Everything just went very smoothly and easily.

When I told Jaan and Raia that we were leaving them with Anna for a while. . . .
Raia: "I'm scared."
Jaan: "Don't worry. I'll call you a taxi and send you off to the big city to find Mama and Papa."
Raia: "That's scary, too!"
But no one was scared, and Raia didn't come looking for us. They had a great time with Anna. We'll miss her!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Photos and an email

Two little flowers

Both birthday girls and Asya

So you can see Jaan and Anna, too

Some of you may be on Anna's mailing list. For those who aren't, this is what she sent out today. The title is "lesson of the day-babies do not come from storks."
Tonight at dinner, I learned where babies really come from..........the swimming pool, of course. The conversation went something like this:

Phyllis and Raia(3 yrs. old) were discussing why Raia has to take the stickers off her arms and legs before going to church. Raia turns to me,

"Tyotya(aunt), you won't do that with your children, will you?"
Phyllis-"She will when she has children."
Jaan(4 yrs. old)-"When will she have children?"
Phyllis-"After she is married and has a husband."
Jaan-"Oh, and he will buy her a swimming pool, so she can have children?"

For those of you who are confused, the explanation is quite simple. Both of Jaan's sisters came from swimming pools(home births-small pool in the living room), therefore all babies come from swimming pools. It was quite the educational dinner tonight.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Three years old!

I was just reading a beautiful third birthday post, and realized that I haven't had a chance to make note of the third birthday we had here. On June 14 Raia turned three! Just like three years ago, her Aunt Anna arrived that day, so we put off the celebration until Sunday. (When Raia was born, Anna and Abby were just landing in Moscow. Nathan greeted them in the airport with the news that they had a new niece.) Sunday evening we had all the youth from church here to celebrate Raia's birthday and another birthday. The youth gave Raia a doll, which has been her constant companion since then.

I'm too tired to write much just now. You can just read the link above for eloquence and know how much we're enjoying our big three-year-old and her siblings. And you can go back through the archives here to see how she's grown; take a look at June from of each year!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Тётя Anna

Will's sister has been visiting us for a week now. We're having a wonderful time with her! She arrived in Ukraine at the end of May and has been traveling around by herself. Some of her photos from her trip are here and here. Last Saturday she got to Zaporozhya, and Asya and I went to meet her. Sunday Anna was with us when we celebrated Raia's birthday. Today she's actually with a friend of ours from church. Lena and I have been studying English (and Ukrainian!) together, and she wanted to visit with Anna and practice her English, so Anna went to spend the night. Here's my favorite photo of Anna with her nieces:

Getting ready for the birthday party

P.S. While I was playing around with Google Maps, I made one to show Anna's travels. Take a look to see how far she's gone already and get a little more acquainted with Ukraine!

Friday, June 20, 2008

We're online. . .

at home!!! Once we figure this out and get caught up, you can expect to be hearing from us again.

For now, I'm uploading one album of photos, just because I knew I wanted to do that. Otherwise, where do I start? (That's a link above.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Spring prayer letter

“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is mine house,
that thou hast brought me hitherto?”
1 Chronicles 17:16

Dear friends,
I’m sorry we haven’t written. To keep up with writing quarterly letters, we should have done this at the end of April. However, at the end of April we were very busy. On May 1 we left for Ukraine! We’ve been here for over a month now. Most of that time we have been working on getting settled, but in the process, we’ve been getting to know people and find our place.

I’ll go back a little . . .
We left Russia in February, and spent two weeks with my parents in Florida. After that we went to North Carolina for two weeks with Will’s parents in Charlotte and then almost two months at a home for missionaries near Greensboro. It was wonderful to see family and friends! God provided everything we needed and wanted, including a car to use and a place to stay. We thank all of you who allowed Him to bless us through you.

Our first few weeks in Ukraine we stayed with the Sobie family in the village of Balki while we searched for an apartment. The Lord provided a good place for us right in the center of Dneprorudnoe, but it has taken (is taking!) a lot of time and effort to make it our home. Dneprorudnoe is a very small mining town (20,000) in the Zaporozhya region, just south of the huge Kakhovskoe Reservoir. There is a big church here, and we’ve slowly been getting to know people and take part there. They are without an official pastor, although there is a man who unofficially fills that role. So far, Will has preached four times and sings at almost every church service. He is going to be working with the youth, singing in the choir, and helping work on the church building, since it is not all the way finished. Soon we’ll also be able to help with a children’s camp at church.

In many ways, we’re finding that this part of Ukraine is at least similar to central Russia. Everyone speaks Russian in this region. We do hear Ukrainian in some village settings, and it’s the official language for documents and such. I hope to get started on studying some Ukrainian soon; even though everyone says we don’t need to learn it . . . I want to!

Our children are adjusting very quickly and easily here. They’re already making friends in our new neighborhood and church. Jaan keeps up with his constant questions for us, and lately many of them have had to do with trying to understand life and death, salvation and Jesus’ death for us. Raia will be three in a few days, and she’s very excited about that. Asya is actively trying to keep up with her big brother and sister; she crawls everywhere and has recently started pulling up.

Prayer requests:
(Please be sure to read the attached quote about prayer.)
1. PRAISE the Lord for getting us to Ukraine!
2. Getting settled here is a long process: making a new home for ourselves; adjusting mentally and emotionally to being in Ukraine, not Russia; finding our place and ministry in the church, and more.
3. Documents, registration, getting our belongings from Russia to here: “visa stuff” is somewhat simpler here, but it’s new and different to us, and it is taking time and effort.
4. Camp! We don’t know any details yet, but plans are in the works. Also, Will’s sister, Anna, will be here soon, and she will probably be able to help with camp. Praise for that, and pray for her travels.

Thank you for praying! For those of you who stay in touch with us through internet and email, I hope to be caught up in that world soon. We would love to hear from you, to know how you’re doing and how we can pray for you.
Love and prayers,
Phyllis (and Will, Jaan, Raia and Asya) Hunsucker

Our new mailing address is to the right. Our email address and web site are still the same: and

From Amy Carmichael’s first book, her letters home from Japan, even before India:
“Your prayers are almost everything to us. Often the mails are delayed, and we may be weeks letterless, as in many another land they are months; but prayers come via heaven, and God forwards the answers straight on to us. [Note: Mail isn’t delayed these days, but we haven’t had email for quite a while now.] We know when they reach us, too, and look up and ask Him to thank you. I wish I could make the reality of this vivid to you. A little sketch in outline may give you a glimpse into things as they really are at times.
“In a far-way land a sister of yours wakens one morning feeling dull. Perhaps she has been to a late meeting the night before [or her children kept her up ☺], and is tired, and the devil has rather mean way of teasing tired people. Perhaps she has got discouraged because of the way; perhaps she is very homesick. Suddenly is flashed to her a sweet love-note from the Lord, who knoweth our frame—a scrap of psalm or hymn, a promise long known, now going to be fulfilled. His felt presence, a nearness never known in less lonely days, soothes and thrills her, and the consciousness comes, ‘Some one is praying for me.’ She finds herself breaking into ‘Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer,’ ‘Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory to the Lamb!’ The cup runs over again, Himself its overflowing portion. All the day long that dear home-prayer is with her, and she knows it.
“ . . . Temptation and testings come. Insidious little things, scarcely recognisable at first, ‘subtle wiles’ indeed. The climate is trying. Home friends and ways are missed. Trifles have a power to fret and chafe. Perhaps study or service try to press in and hinder quiet with Him who says, ‘Be still and know.’ It is terribly possible to get out of touch. She feels it, and shrinks in shame and pain from the very thought, 'Oh, what if it should be so!’ Then she learns the value of home-prayers as never before, knows with a quite curious certainty that even now, in the moment of need, one of the Lord’s remembrancers is reminding Him of her, knows too that He Himself has prayed for her that her faith fail not. And such reassurance comes, such rest!
“Dear friends, will you not send us ever so many prayer telegrams? Pray for us whenever you think of us, turning thought into prayer, and know that not one ‘ever miscarries. Nor will the answer come too late.’”
--Page 34

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I meant to say

So, maybe a week to get internet was a little optimistic. First we have to get the phone here switched over to our landlady's name. (It's still in the name of her mother, who died a year ago.) Once we decided that we could pay for that, and she was ready to do it, we found out that the telephone office is closed until June 6. So, internet at home is on hold until then. (Hee hee.)

Some recent highlights:
  • Last Sunday we walked to the reservoir north of here. I can't wait to post the photos from that.
  • Hot water! The heater actually came in early, and they had it installed on the Saturday when I said that it should have come in.
  • New linoleum.
  • Cherries! The Sobies first cherry tree ripened, and they invited us out to clean it off. Even Asya has been enjoying the abundance of cherries.
  • Small town: I think I had mentioned that the population of Dneprorudnoe is about 20,000. That is small enough that already we see someone we know almost every time we go anywhere. Also, people from church just drop by quite often. The downside is that we live on the main street; even though it's a small town, the main street is loud!
  • One of the ladies from church invited us out to her village for her birthday party.

I keep saying that we're doing well, because certain people worry when they don't hear from us. It is really good to be here! I'm finally starting to feel rested after the past few months. We're settling in and getting to know people here. Thank you for your love and concern! We'll be back in touch soon enough.

Oh, what people keep asking about. . . Will went to get the documents the truck driver would need to get our belongings from Russia. We can't do that without registration, so tomorrow Will's going to Zaporozhye to see about registering there. He should be able to. If not, he'll have to go to Kiev, like we had originally planned. Then we'll work on getting the documents to bring our things into the country. There's no hurry. We have everything we need here. (Although, Jaan would argue with that. He thinks that he needs his tricycle. One morning recently, he told me, "I heard a noise in the night, and I thought it was my tricycle coming to me.")

That's what I had written on Monday. Of course, there are more stories to tell from the days since then, but that will have to be later. For now, can you see who is living on our balcony? (What should we feed this guy? Julie W.? Rigels?)

Monday, June 02, 2008


The long post that I had written at home won't open here. I'll see about posting the photos I brought. . . .

Hurrah! They went! Here you have Asya showing off the new linoleum in the first photo. Jaan and Raia's Sunday school is the second one.

I think I also added our mailing address off to the side here. -->