We're experiencing a windstorm, the air is thick with dust and debris. No electricity, no water, no internet! Imagine a grove of trees, branches festooned with plastic bags of every size and color, blown there by the wind. A little bit of magic in this otherwise dreary landscape - made more dreary because people dump their garbage on roadsides.
Rudy and I sit by candlelight playing Scrabble. We're lucky to have a propane stove so we've had a warm meal. We also have water stored away and can manage without for awhile. We are told when Peggy and Al were here, that Molochansk had no running water for six months. For people here life goes on - it just takes an adjustment.
Last week we visited Udarnik, the village of Neukirch in Mennonite times. We think living without water for three days is an ordeal; try eleven years. We visited with the director of the village school who told us of a plan afoot to bring water to this village of 600 people by leading pipes for 8 kms from a neighboring village. They are hoping that sometime this year they, too, will have water.
Not much farther down the road, standing alone like a sentinel on the steppeland, we come upon the last known Mennonite windmill in the former Mennonite colonies. It is an example of a Dutch- model windmill and was built by the mill builder Konrad - ancestor of our friend Abe Konrad. Wind, with such devastating potential, can also be harnessed for good.
We look at situations in our work in Ukraine and hope for a brighter future. Can we recognize and harness potential? Can we forge ahead undeterred by blustery setbacks? Can we catch the wind?