Sunday, July 4, 2010


First off Happy 4th of July Everyone! Thank you to all those that are serving, have served and will serve to protect our country! I am so thankful for you all!

Talk about a night and day difference! I thank all of you commenters for your support and prayers! I don't know what happened but today was just awesome! Is our God awesome of what?

It began with me waking up to a very sweet message from the love of my life! I am telling you guys I have the best woman in the world! Hon, you ROCK!
Then I got up and went to church today, we had church in the woods. Let me tell you something, we all as Christians in America need to get out of our "comfortable" seats or pews every once in a while to take time to remember how it was for most of our forefathers, and most of our missionaries to have "church"(just out in some field in the woods) then let's hear the complaints about the style of worship, air conditioning, or type of chair we sit in, etc. NOT! That was one of Pastor Bob's points in his sermon today and there were more! God showed me today how AWESOME He is, and I want to apologize to anyone about my lack of enthusiasm yesterday. I was just being truthful with my feelings in yesterdays blog. Our God has blessed me so much here, and I need to keep my heart guarded and take every thought captive for the glory of God! After all, what God set in my heart in doing this adoption was above all that YOU may know Him, and just bring Him glory! Like Pastor Bob said today, if this adoption falls through, will He stop being God? NO WAY! He is my Rock. Psalm 103 1-5 says "1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." That is exactly what happened to me today! He totally renewed my heart!
Feeling tired this morning, not feeling like getting up and going to church? Well check out this young ladies dedication to coming to church in the woods. Mind you, she went through the paths you saw in the pictures above. Her spine is totally soft from some disease, and so they had to create this wheel chair/bed for her to get anywhere, because she literally cannot sit up or anything, but her family was dedicated to get her here to see her sister be baptized. Another humbling thought for us American "comfort" Christians. So just after these two experiences alone, I was like "what am I doing complaining?". See how quickly I forgot what a miracle our God performed to even get me here! I guess it goes to show that I am a work in progress still!
They baptized 9 members of their church today!
Here is Pastor Bob, by the way! He reminds me sooo much of Mr.Spitale, he even tried to crack a joke today in the same story fashion!
Then we all had lunch together, they made a beef, rice, carrots, & chick pea dish out of this one bowl in the middle of the forest. It was good! Then I got to meet Misha, this converted Muslim to Chrisitainity!

What a great man(he's on the right), and he speaks great English. His wife Tamara is a very sweet woman as well!
I hope he and I get together more, because I would love to learn more about Islam, and the Koran to be a better equipped man of God! I would also love to help him in his radio ministry.
After church was over the young translating ladies, and Igor invited me along for the day with them! Is our GOD AWESOME or what? We went for a walk through some parks, and here is a real life sundial. Can anyone tell me what time it is with this clock facing north?
We also went on the bumper cars, and we tried our shooting skills at one of those target shooting carnival deals. I was not sitting around today. What a difference a day makes hugh? Then it was time for me to go see my son! Talk about joy!
We had such a great afternoon together! I was goofing off so much with him it was great.
Look Mama, only one hand!
Then we went inside, and guess what they did? They left me alone in the room with Misha and Zhenya!
Yeah, Zhenya's future parents you owe me one! Just kidding!
See that stack of chairs. He literally lifted it up all himself with his arms! Then after weightlifting, what do we guys want to do? Eat!
Well Happy 4th of July everyone! To top it off, on my way home from the orphanage, Igor and the girls spotted me walking and we sat down and hung out till it was almost 8 oclock! Thank you, thank you, thank you  Lord, for blessing me the ways you do! Praise His name everyone!
Well I am going for a walk to get some of that yummy chicken now! It's 10 pm and maybe someone will blow off some fireworks. Wouldn't that be unbelievable?

Can't wait for your comments, Toby!


  1. Mush again for dinner... Ugh! LOVE THE PICTURES - Love the joy! I was praying for you last night. Glad that you are renewed in spirit. Only a few days left and you will be rocking and rolling with that little guy. Zhenya's family is only a week away so he won't be alone for long! I know that you are being a tremendous blessing to them right now!

    Your little guy has a grin that can light up the world! I am so grateful to be part of so many Godly people who are crossing the globe to rescue little ones in His name. Thank you for sharing with us your journey! The Good - the Bad and the Funny!

  2. Toby You Rock! What a blessing you have been to more people than you know! Especially when it comes to the pics of Zen! We can't thank you enough for the updates on our strong boy!

    I am glad you are renewed today. I can't wait to experience church in the woods! Wow Nine Baptisms today, God is good!

    What a pair they make! Buddies for life! We will have to make sure to come to Nebraska and get you guys to Kansas at least once down the road!

    See ya in a week or so.

    Keep the pics coming. :)

    In His Name!


  3. Happy 4th of July Toby. Only by this time it might be the 5th for you there. I wonder if being there and seeing what you have been seeing brings to you a new appreciation for our independence and country. TJ's pictures are so cute today. Thanks for sharing them.
    Oh, do you folks attend Crossroads in Kearney? I went there today.

  4. Hi Toby, My Husband and I are thinking of adopting from Ukraine. We're In Grand Island. I enjoy reading your blog. your son is beautiful!!! Im hope your time there goes quickly!!!

  5. Toby, this was a great reminder for all of us Christians who take our faith and creature comforts for granted. I'm reading a book you'd be interested in called "Radical--Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream" by David Platt. It talks a lot about what you posted above.

    Your honesty and "real" feelings are refreshing! I had a few of those moments in Ukraine myself but I think it DOES show God being glorified because we give our weaknesses to Him and He makes us strong again--just like He did for you with the incredible day He gave you today!!!

    T.J. is a doll baby an I can't wait to see those coming home pictures!!!

    Prayers from North Carolina to Ukraine!


  6. Hey Bro! Awesome to hear what God is doing through you, with you and for you! Church in the woods sounds like a ball, very cool to witness 9 babtisms!! Happy 4th Bro from all the Willetts! You're a long way from home but never forgotten!! Praying for you and TJ. As you said in your blog today, God is still God nomatter what!!

  7. Sorry,,,I tried to post yesterday and thank you for the posting, but my computer was being bad and would not let me. I love the pics of TJ sucking his thumb. I know the orphanage doesn't like it, but it is so, so cute. It looks like your weekend got flipped right around and that is great. I may be traveling alone for a while and I dread it.

    Church in the woods with the babtisms (and pics) in the Ukraine is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Thanks again so much for the postings and information. Happy 4th!!!


  8. Toby,
    Happy to hear that you were renewed today. It is difficult enough to be away from your family but it makes it more difficult when you are in a foreign country......alone. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Today he worked in your favor. I can't wait to meet Misha. He is such a cutie. Thank the Lord for matching him up with the McDonald family. Love, Mom Mezzocchi

  9. Toby,

    It has been so refreshing to follow your blog and get the Dad's point of view of adoption and life in Ukraine. My daughter is adopting a little girl through RR and will be traveling in a few months. Following everyone's blog when they are in Ukraine is so informative for those traveling soon.

    You have given so much insight on the people of Ukraine and their daily life. The church service today and the baptisms warmed my heart to see Christianity at work in Ukraine. May God Bless those missionaries and their work.

    TJ is adorable and so lucky to have you as a Dad. Being able to share the stories of
    his birth country will be priceless.

    Looking forward to "Gotcha Day" pictures!
    May God continue to bless your family.


  10. HAPPY 4TH TOBY!!!!!!!

  11. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences at this church service. What a powerful reminder for us sitting in our "comfortable pews". And so many baptisms! Go God!

    Can't wait for Gotcha Day! :-) Bet you can't either.