Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pray for Ukraine..political instability leads to rapid rise in cost of living

As Russia continues to bully former Soviet states, the human toll is growing rapidly.  In addition to the illegal takeover of Crimea and military maneuvers designed to destabilize Ukraine, Russia has also raised natural gas prices by 80%!  This is devastating to many poor families and the elderly in Ukraine.  Salaries and social assistance remain stagnant, child benefits have decreased and prices are increasing dramatically across the board.

A few examples:  One kilogram of chicken (2.2 pounds) cost $1.96 (23 Ukrainian Hryvnia) in January 2014.  In April, the average price was $2.56- over 30% increase in 4 months.  Gasoline was also affected- one litre of gas (almost 1/4 a gallon) cost 94 cents in January.  In April, it had skyrocketed to $1.36.  This was a 45% increase.  

There were other examples listed in the Mission Without Borders UK newsletter.  I verified the data when I could and translated to US dollars and measurements.  Family sponsorships are a critical part of stabilizing families and ensuring that families with children can survive during such difficult times.  More than just survival, these sponsorships help families get a leg up moving toward self sufficiency and thriving- not just surviving.

Once I get some debt repaid (a major priority!) I would love to visit Ukraine someday.  It would be part of my dream of spending 1-2 months in Eastern Europe again.  I hope to visit a nation that is thriving and growing healthier (economically, socially, and spiritually).  I like the fact that Mission Without Borders with its 50 Ukrainian staff and 90 volunteers are moving Ukraine toward this goal

Monday, July 14, 2014

Enter to WIN a $500 Amazon Gift Card!

amazon gift cardAmy over at This Mamas Life recently had a new little one and is helping us Celebrate! One lucky reader will win an Gift Card

A little about Kinsights: Kinsights is an online Pediatric Personal Health Record Keeper for parents. Gone are the days where you’re being held responsible for keeping track of slips of paper or lugging files and folders containing your children’s health information. And in the event of an emergency, you can even have the health records sent to the ER or out-of-town doctor in a snap. Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more. This tool is amazing and a godsend to parents. Kinsights is also a community where parents can safely seek and share answers to parenting questions. You can ask anything and Kinsights will find the right community members who can provide guidance. Kinsights even offers groups with similar interests their own pages, including single parents, grandparents, those interested in car seat safety, baby & kids fashion, potty training groups, and many more What's really cool about this community is that it makes finding the best answers easy-community members vote up answers so the best content rises to the top.
*One Lucky Reader will receive the items shown above ( $500.00 Value)
*Giveaway starts July 14, 2014 at 12:01am est.
*Giveaway will end at 11:59pm est on July 31, 2014
*Giveaway is open to US only
* You must be 18 or over to enter
* Winner will be chosen at random via Giveaway Tools
* Winners will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be
* The lucky winner will be notified by email at the end of the Giveaway.
* This Mamas Life and the other participating blogs are not responsible for prize shipment or fulfillment
*Prize will be fulfilled by the Sponsor.

Disclosure: This blog did not receive financial compensation or product in exchange for this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest are in no way associated with this giveaway. Prize fulfillment and shipping will be handled by the Sponsors

Sunday, July 13, 2014

$500 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Instagram Follows!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

News from Moldova. A new family and an update..

Last month I received the annual updates on M, my sponsored child in Moldova.  I was so happy to hear that he was able to attend summer camp!  His favorite subjects now are physical education and art/crafts. Based on that update info, I have a feeling he had a blast at camp!

View from Hotel Cosmos, Chisinau
I also heard that I no longer will be able to support the C family.  The mission has decided to focus on the northern areas of Moldova due to various factors.  But, they have made arrangements with local churches and governments so that the C family (as well as other families) will be assisted in their journey to self sufficiency.

I was assigned a new family- and what a family!  They have 6 children at home with 2 grown sons.  Life is difficult for them but I look forward to seeing lots of baby steps forward as they move towards a better life.  If you would like to assist a family towards a brighter future, you can visit Mission Without Borders and have a look around!

And speaking of baby steps (the Dave Ramsey kind).  It's been a two steps forward, one step back kind of month here.  I lost one shift at work which will slow the getting out of debt and going to Albania process down a bit.  It ultimately came down to working Saturday overnights.  I had to stand my ground and say no, hoping that an arrangement would be made and I would be free and rested for church on Sunday mornings. Well, no arrangement has  been offered so I essentially gave up a shift.  But I had a wonderful Sunday morning.  Well rested, I went to the early 9 am service, and walked at the zoo afterwards.  Then a nap, lunch and work this afternoon.  This is a much better schedule for me though.  So I need to tighten the belt and find ways to make up as much as I can (beans and rice time!).