After a long search, we finally found a house not far from Kyiv and our church that would suit our needs. On the 15th of January, we signed a rental agreement and the next day four men from our church, one of whom had a large truck, helped us move. This move was certainly our most dramatic, with an emergency trip to the hospital right in the middle of all the activity. As one of the men was carrying a heavy electric oil radiator down a ladder from the attic, he lost his balance and fell against Yurko, who was watching from the hallway below. Yurko’s head was slammed against a cement wall, gashing his forehead. When we came running to see what happened, blood was all over his face. My brother-in-law stopped the bleeding immediately by applying ground red pepper directly to the wound. It was obvious that Yurko needed stitches, but how could I take him to the hospital? The truck was loaded and I needed to drive my car to take the movers and lead the way to our new place. ‘Coincidentally’, a friend was visiting when all this happened, and he offered to take Wendy and Yurko to the hospital. They got in to see the doctor with virtually no wait and about thirty minutes later they were on their way home to my sister’s, with Yurko all stitched and bandaged up. After we unloaded the truck, I picked up Wendy and the boys and took them to our new home.
After living in the house just one day, I discovered that the gas furnace had problems: it’s automatic thermostat and safety features did not work and it had no draw, which is dangerous. The gas man who came the next day said that by law, he should cut off the gas to the furnace. I asked the landlady if she would replace the furnace but she said she could not afford it. We even offered to pay for it up front and she could subtract it’s cost from our monthly rent but she would not agree. She was conviced that since there has not been an accident so far, that there would never be one. The landlady said if we did not like the way it is, we could just move out. (Real estate in Ukraine is rented ‘as is’. If you don’t like it, you either don’t rent it or fix it at your cost.) Being concerned for our safety, I began (or should I say, continued) to look for another place. After several days of fruitless searching, I began to get the idea that Lord wanted us to stay here. I called the landlady and offered to replace the furnace at our cost. She insisted that we “really did not need to go to all that expense”, “the furnace is just fine”, “there is no reason to panic”, but we knew that legally it should not be operated for safety reasons. I insisted that we are willing to pay for it and she agreed. We have already had my friend-contractor come do the estimate. The price will depend on the type of furnace we buy and will be between $600 and $800 (we are still looking). It can be installed in two days without cutting the heat off for more than a few hours. This is very important considering the fact that we are experiencing an unusually severe winter, with temperatures running -2°F and even colder. So, by the end of this week, we should have our new furnace. It will not only give us safety but will also give us fresh air (this furnace does not burn the air which is in the room but sucks the air from outside) and save on gas (the present, soviet-type furnace is very uneconomical), so if we live here a few years, the furnace will pay for itself. My friend also offered to install an emergency valve with carbon monoxide and natural gas detector which cuts off the gas if it senses carbon monoxide or natural gas in the room, but that would cost an additional $100. The reason he offered this extra precautionary feature is because the furnace is in the house (kitchen) not in a separate room. We have not yet decided if we want to spend money on that since the furnace itself has some safety features. Please, pray we can have the furnace replaced and settle in soon.