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Thread: Traveling from US to Ukraine

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    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    Traveling from US to Ukraine

    I was invited by a missionary friend to come and work with him in Ukraine next year; I was originally researching traveling to Russia, but when he invited me, I just couldn't turn it down. so I've been researching visas for Ukraine now, etc.

    Here are the sites I've been reading on:
    Travel.State.Gov
    Travel to Ukraine

    I have never been to another country, much less even seen the ocean. So this is a totally new venture for me...
    Am I looking in the right places for the right info? Does anyone have any advice/pointers? It would be greatly appreciated! I've been told that it can take from two weeks to six months to process visas, etc. What kind of a visa would I need for missionary work? I've read that for up to 90 days one does not need a visa if they are on a business trip...but I don't think I'd fall into the business or even tourist category, either.

    He also requested that I bring my violin with me, and I'd really like to, but how safe is it to bring something of value like that? If I brought it along, I'd certainly want to keep it with me for the flight over but I've been told that would be difficult.

  2. #2
    Властелин
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    Here's info on the visa http://mfa.gov.ua/en/consular-affairs/entering-ukraine/visa-requirements-for-foreigners
    From the Ukrainian embassy
    http://usa.mfa.gov.ua/en/consular-affairs/services/visas
    When we went to Russsia, Ukraine, and Belarus I used gotorussia.com to get our Russian visas. I recommend them (yes it does cost
    money).

    Good luck!

    Scott


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    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether View Post
    Here's info on the visa http://mfa.gov.ua/en/consular-affairs/entering-ukraine/visa-requirements-for-foreigners
    From the Ukrainian embassy
    http://usa.mfa.gov.ua/en/consular-affairs/services/visas
    When we went to Russsia, Ukraine, and Belarus I used gotorussia.com to get our Russian visas. I recommend them (yes it does cost
    money).

    Good luck!

    Scott



    Thanks so much for the links, Scott!
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  4. #4
    Paul G.
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    a missionary friend
    I need for missionary work
    Oh, please, remain in the US, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul G. View Post
    Oh, please, remain in the US, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Why do you say that, Paul?

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    Властелин maxmixiv's Avatar
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    genuinefarmgirl
    Could you re-watch the Season 3, Episode #13 of South Park?
    Starvin' Marvin in Space - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In short, not all people like missionaries. Why really?
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmixiv View Post
    genuinefarmgirl
    Could you re-watch the Season 3, Episode #13 of South Park?
    Starvin' Marvin in Space - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In short, not all people like missionaries. Why really?
    Maxmixiv, I haven't watched any of South Park (and honestly have no desire to), but I did read the plot to get an idea of what you are talking about.

    I do understand that there are people who do not like missionaries (of any sort), but it really doesn't matter to me. As to why... there are so many answers to that question that it would be rather difficult to answer it here. If you're really wanting an answer, you can PM me, and I will do my best.

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    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    Please, keep in mind that missionaries, especially missionaries of weird American quasi-Christian sects are very unwelcome in this part of the world. Don't be surprised when you will encounter a hostility from locals.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77 View Post
    Please, keep in mind that missionaries, especially missionaries of weird American quasi-Christian sects are very unwelcome in this part of the world. Don't be surprised when you will encounter a hostility from locals.
    Thank you for the warning. I certainly am not a "quasi-Christian" and I can see why they would be very unwelcomed. We have had Mormon and Jehovah's Witnesses missionaries stop at our country home and we invite them in, sit down and open our Bibles up - to share the truth with them. Needless to say, they don't visit very often!

    The American missionary with whom I will be working with has never mentioned any sort of hostility from the locals and he has been living in Ukraine since 1992. He "wasted" his round-trip ticket by not returning to America because there was such a high level of interest from the locals that he decided not to leave. He married a Ukrainian girl and presently is on furlough...his last one having been 7 years ago. So, I'm sorry, but I think I will be very surprised if there is 'hostility' from the locals. I do know that there are some people everywhere that frown upon missionaries, and this from experience - even in America.

    On the side, I wish to say that, of all the Christians in the world, of all that I have read about (and that is a lot) I admire the Russians' faith the most. It is incredible. I have not seen such faith, no, not in America. There are a number of Russian churches in our area and I have been to one of them several times. The whole service is in Russian and none of the three pastors speak English. They are all from Ukraine. There is not a single American church that I have been to that has as large of a number with many, many youth and young people in the attendance.

    I am greatly looking forward to this trip and hardly think I will be disappointed.

  10. #10
    Hanna
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    Hi GenuineFarmGirl ---- It's probably a good thing if you respect that the Orthodox church is the Christian flavour that people in Eastern Europe prefer.

    It kind of gets to me with evangelical Christians who try to evangelise people who are essentially already Christian, when there are plenty of atheists to target. Although it's "different", all the key elements to Christianity are present in Orthodox Christianity, and it actually happens to be the church that can trace its roots most immediately back to Paul (historical fact).

    I can totally sympathise how people in Eastern Europe find that, starting in the 1990s, they were literally invaded by anything from foreign missionaries, to foreign corporations, culture etc to tell them how to live... and buying up a resources at bargain basement prices in the 90s.
    So I think the members here are right to advise you to at least be very sensitive.

    Imagine if your country was suddenly totally overwhelmed by another country, for example, China, sending missionaries, buying up companies, spreading their culture, their language their way of life and religion.

    Hope you'll have a lovely time though, and manage to make some difference in someone's life.

  11. #11
    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for your input, Hanna! I was really hoping to find traveling advise, but this has been interesting.

    However, I firmly disagree with your statement: "Although it's "different", all the key elements to Christianity are present in Orthodox Christianity..." if I have a correct knowledge of Orthodox Christianity but I do not wish to dispute over it.

    they were literally invaded by anything from foreign missionaries, to foreign corporations, culture etc to tell them how to live... and buying up a resources at bargain basement prices in the 90s.
    Yes, that sort of thing is very, very sad. Missionaries should never go about trying to turn other people from other countries into "proper" "English" or "American" or "Scottish" or whatever else. No! That is NOT at all what being a missionary is about. Though, very sadly, there are people out there like that.

    Imagine if your country was suddenly totally overwhelmed by another country, for example, China, sending missionaries, buying up companies, spreading their culture, their language their way of life and religion.
    I have read a good many books on missionaries (as this is one of my favorite reading subjects) and greatly admire the missionaries who left their culture and did what was termed "going native". A few well known examples are: Hudson Taylor (in China), Gladys Aylward (also in China), and Amy Carmichael (in India). They were greatly frowned upon by the other "missionaries". I have no intentions of trying to make any cultural changes (except in myself! ). I'm sorry that there have been those in the past (and even present) that have given you the impression that this is what missionaries are about. Please know that not all are like this.

    I have decided that, if possible, I will blog on here all about my trip and, hopefully, give an example of what missionaries should be doing.
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    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post
    Thank you for the warning. I certainly am not a "quasi-Christian" and I can see why they would be very unwelcomed. We have had Mormon and Jehovah's Witnesses missionaries stop at our country home and we invite them in, sit down and open our Bibles up - to share the truth with them. Needless to say, they don't visit very often!

    The American missionary with whom I will be working with has never mentioned any sort of hostility from the locals and he has been living in Ukraine since 1992. He "wasted" his round-trip ticket by not returning to America because there was such a high level of interest from the locals that he decided not to leave. He married a Ukrainian girl and presently is on furlough...his last one having been 7 years ago. So, I'm sorry, but I think I will be very surprised if there is 'hostility' from the locals. I do know that there are some people everywhere that frown upon missionaries, and this from experience - even in America.

    On the side, I wish to say that, of all the Christians in the world, of all that I have read about (and that is a lot) I admire the Russians' faith the most. It is incredible. I have not seen such faith, no, not in America. There are a number of Russian churches in our area and I have been to one of them several times. The whole service is in Russian and none of the three pastors speak English. They are all from Ukraine. There is not a single American church that I have been to that has as large of a number with many, many youth and young people in the attendance.

    I am greatly looking forward to this trip and hardly think I will be disappointed.
    As far as I understand what the word "missionary" means, it's a person, who try to convert locals into his/her confession. As Hanna pointed out, post-USSR countries had an invasion of various type of missionaries after Soviet Union broke. They acted like vultures back in the early 90s. Most people have a very negative attitude just hearing about any missionaries since that time. Besides, Ukraine has a very complex and uneasy situation with Christian churches currently operating there. First, of course, Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), second - so-called "patriarchate" of Philaret, who was anathematised by Moscow patriarchate. Also uniates from Galicia (part of Ukraine which were under Austro-Hungarian rule before WWI, they have kept their Orthodox rituals but consider Roman Pope the head of their church) and several others. All these factions almost hate each other. Also most people are consider themselves atheist or agnostics since Soviet times. I don't see how some religion mission from USA can do any good in this situation.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

  13. #13
    Властелин maxmixiv's Avatar
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    1% of population is enough to keep busy a lot of missionaries. Some people join unknown organizations gladly. My mother, for example.
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    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

  14. #14
    Hanna
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    @ GenineFarmGirl: It sounds like you are serious about being sensitive about all this, so fair enough. It seems like you have a heart to really touch somebody's life, so I wish you all the best for this trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post

    I have decided that, if possible, I will blog on here all about my trip and, hopefully, give an example of what missionaries should be doing.

    Yeah, you should! People here could help you, as well. Several people here live in Ukraine or come from there originally.

    When I did that trip which I'm talking about, I blogged here too. I got really carried away and wrote long epistles, but it was fun to share my impressions with people who are also interested in the region and learning the language.

    I think everyone thought I was a bit silly when I actually didn't manage to get my visa for Russia and had to change my travel plans...

    Back on the religious theme:

    I was really impressed by Orthodox Christianity when I was travelling in Eastern Europe. It was completely unexpected to me.

    I hadn't realised, and wasn't aware:

    How seriously religious a lot of people genuinely are. They have faith -- definitely! Not everybody, but a large proportion.

    Compared with the Netherlands, the UK, Scandinavia... people in the ex USSR are much more religious!

    Even if I am a protestant and my faith is probably more like GenuineFarmGirl's -- how can I know that my faith is more accurate? I learned in school that Orthodox Christianity has the most direct line back to the earliest days of Christianity.

    I was really blown away by the chanting in the Orthodox church and the reverence people showed towards the church, in lots of different ways.

    And I spoke to an orthodox priest, he was SO good at explaining the orthodox faith and really got me thinking. He seemed like a really holy person and I get good, warm vibes just thinking of my conversation with him.

    I had thought that people wouldn't know a lot about the Bible, due to the USSR policies on teaching religion. But people of I spoke with people of different ages, and they knew more of the Bible than the average person in the UK... The policies of the USSR seems to have pushed religion into the very private sphere, but certainly not killed it.

    A few people here told some very touching stories about their secret baptisms outdoors, in their childhood, in Soviet days... I heard such stories again when I was travelling in this region.

    People were so passionate about the icons and art in the church and it's a beautiful heritage. Many of the icons are just people from the Bible, not saints in the Catholic sense. Although some narrow-minded protestants would say this is idolatry, I just don't agree. It inspired people's faith.

    They had collected money to renovate churches that were in a really bad shape and it was SO lovingly done. I saw this both in Romania and in Belarus.

    Compare with Western Europe where people will complain about poor maintenance in the state church, but hardly anyone is prepared to put up any money for it. While in these countries, with lots of people quite short for cash, they can fund renovations of entire cathedrals. In Russia, I understand this is even more obvious but I did not see it myself.

    So one of my biggest surprise travelling in this area was how many signs of strong and genuine Christian faith I saw. I actually had not expected it. I had thought the churches were dilapidated and most people atheists.

    Plus the Orthodox churches are so pretty with their domes, and they actually have the liturgy on display on the walls in the church!

    Quite a few Jehova's Witnesses in Minsk though. I was approached several times on the street.
    Lampada and Basil77 like this.

  15. #15
    Новичок
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    Hello genuinefarmgirl, I am from Ukraine, Donetsk city, you are in the Ukrainian city which will go?

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    Новичок
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    I would like to say that here in Ukraine are normal people and everything are fine, do not believe a lot of what is written above. The only problem for which you may be, it is something that we have very few people speak English. English may know 3 percent of the population, if you come to teach us Russian, though we live in Ukraine, but we have 90% of the population communicate in Russian. This summer I was in the Crimea, and met a lot of Americans, and communicated with them. Oh, and also, we have such a pattern in people, if you are from America, then you have a lot of money, so this time it is desirable to hold back, tell you from Ukraine, Russia, and other nearby countries, but lived the last 2-3 year in America. Take my advice, you will be easier .... You then will be able to understand it ...
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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roman1 View Post
    I would like to say that here in Ukraine are normal people and everything are fine, do not believe a lot of what is written above. The only problem for which you may be, it is something that we have very few people speak English. English may know 3 percent of the population, if you come to teach us Russian, though we live in Ukraine, but we have 90% of the population communicate in Russian. This summer I was in the Crimea, and met a lot of Americans, and communicated with them. Oh, and also, we have such a pattern in people, if you are from America, then you have a lot of money, so this time it is desirable to hold back, tell you from Ukraine, Russia, and other nearby countries, but lived the last 2-3 year in America. Take my advice, you will be easier .... You then will be able to understand it ...
    Привет, Рома! Добро пожаловать!

  18. #18
    Hanna
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    Yes, she needs to get on with the Russian studies..

    I thought Ukrainians were a bit warmer and more open than my perception of Russians, and the people in Belarus. The people in Odessa were brilliant. In terms of nice people it's first rate. And it's all natural,
    I really liked them a lot. People were incredibly kind and helpful to me, even though my Russian grammar and vocabulary was very bad.

    It's not like in Western Europe where most people simply will not bother with someone who doesn't speak the local language (or English).

    I had heard/read stories about crime etc and was expecting problems. But I felt quite safe and absolutely nothing remotely scary happened.
    I have recommended Ukraine to several people and a couple of friends of mine already went there. One for the Football last year, and another for a holiday on the sea and some climbing. They liked it too.

    I wish I had seen more of Ukraine because I just liked the people. Kiev was very grand and commercialised in a rather random manner. (some places very commercial; flashing neon etc... some had a Southern European feel (markets and a general chaos) and some were Soviet-like.

    I chose to leave earlier than I had planned and went to Belarus instead. The reason was that I wanted maximum exposure to Russian language and the Ukrainian language is used almost exclusively on signs etc.

    I liked Ukraine a great deal and I'll take any opportunity to got there again.

    I've only seen a FRACTION of this HUGE country...
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  19. #19
    Властелин maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Ukrainians were a bit warmer
    Южняне!
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Yeah, you should! People here could help you, as well. Several people here live in Ukraine or come from there originally.

    When I did that trip which I'm talking about, I blogged here too. I got really carried away and wrote long epistles, but it was fun to share my impressions with people who are also interested in the region and learning the language.

    I think everyone thought I was a bit silly when I actually didn't manage to get my visa for Russia and had to change my travel plans...


    Back on the religious theme:

    I was really impressed by Orthodox Christianity when I was travelling in Eastern Europe. It was completely unexpected to me.

    I hadn't realised, and wasn't aware:

    How seriously religious a lot of people genuinely are. They have faith -- definitely! Not everybody, but a large proportion.

    Compared with the Netherlands, the UK, Scandinavia... people in the ex USSR are much more religious!
    Hanna, "the key is not the amount of faith, but the object of that faith. It does matter whether the object of our faith is trustworthy and will support our trust".
    But yes, I also do agree from those I have met in the US:
    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post
    On the side, I wish to say that, of all the Christians in the world, of all that I have read about (and that is a lot) I admire the Russians' faith the most. It is incredible. I have not seen such faith, no, not in America. There are a number of Russian churches in our area and I have been to one of them several times. The whole service is in Russian and none of the three pastors speak English. They are all from Ukraine. There is not a single American church that I have been to that has as large of a number with many, many youth and young people in the attendance.
    how can I know that my faith is more accurate?
    Dear Hanna! If you are placing your faith in something, you had better know it is more accurate! There is no sense in believing in something that you're not 100% sure is the most accurate out there. "Faith is not a feeling, it is a settled choice arrived at by a decision of your will". Please, if you don't know for sure, do some searching! Here is a book I recommend that will show you you can know: One Heart Beat Away: Your Journey into Eternity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    @ GenineFarmGirl: It sounds like you are serious about being sensitive about all this, so fair enough. It seems like you have a heart to really touch somebody's life, so I wish you all the best for this trip.
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman1 View Post
    Hello genuinefarmgirl, I am from Ukraine, Donetsk city, you are in the Ukrainian city which will go?
    Hello! As far as I know right now, we'll be working in Kiev. I am not aware of any plans to go elsewhere. Thank you also for your advice!

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