Passionately Extreme

For over a year now I have been trying to pinpoint what it is that I love about Ukraine. People frequently ask “Why Ukraine?” when I speak of my love. Usually my answer is “I have no idea.”

However, recently while perusing various blogs and articles, I came across “For the love of Slavic culture” written by Sarah Wade, a missionary in Ukraine. She describes the Slavic world as “neither a warm nor a cold culture, but it is passionately extreme.”

Passionately extreme… I like that.  Why?

Probably because I’m that way. Maybe part of my love for Ukraine is that I don’t have a problem with there simultaneously being two polar extremes. In fact my life tends to operate in that manner.

Please don’t read this the wrong way… I am a huge advocate for bringing balance into your life. However, it is also true that for every situation there are two opposing sides. I usually see both sides too clearly, understand both sides of arguments to well and sometimes  I admit I get lost trying to reconcile the extremes.

They don’t always have to be reconciled though. The fact of life is that there is death and life, beauty and suffering, rejoicing and mourning, knowledge and mystery.

I still don’t think I have found a good way to explain it the way I see it and understand it, but for now I would say “passionately extreme” is a good description of both Ukraine and myself.


A Summer in Photos: Ukraine Part 2


Babushkas on a Bench



ёжик в тумане ("Hedgehog in the Fog") monument



Vika and Nastia look like they are up to something



An acoustic afternoon



Until we meet again



Scrapbook Love



Just what I need for survival



Conversations over pizza



Sushi Happiness



A Walk in the Park



Soli Deo Honor Et Gloria


All photos property of  © Stephanie Pridgen 2010   
All Rights Reserved.

A Summer in Photos: Ukraine Part 1


On the Streets of Lviv


The Percussion Duo


To Be a Radish


Wall Flowers


Bracelet Making


Identity: The Crowd Fades Away


I will wait for you in Odessa


Pondering Stalin


Slava Ukraina (Glory to Ukraine)


Purple Maze


Conquering the Wall


All photos property of  © Stephanie Pridgen 2010   
All Rights Reserved.


Three years ago. . .

I was an intern at the International House of Prayer in Atlanta, praying and worshiping nightly from midnight to 6 a.m. I didn’t consider myself an intercessor and many evenings wondered what God was up to asking me to be there. I was confidently unconfident,  defiantly independent and intensely imploring God for freedom from the shackles of self-injury. Face down on the floor of the prayer room I fought a battle and came away dusty from digging in the ashes but delivered.

Two years ago. . .

I was at training camp in the backwoods of Georgia with no idea how drastically life was about to change. I didn’t consider myself missionary material and didn’t even know how to set up a tent. I was terribly timid, perpetually frozen and completely convinced I was in over my head. It was a stretching week and a half that would become a mile marker in my story. When camp came to a close, I breathed a sigh of relief until I  had to attempt removal of red clay from the clothes I had been wearing for ten days.

A year ago. . .

I stumbled off a miserable platscart (3rd class) train ride and, with soil from a Romanian Gypsy village still clinging to my sneakers, I entered the country of Ukraine with no clue that God was going to use this time to alter any ideas I previously had about my future. I didn’t consider myself a social butterfly and hated large cities. I was feverishly sick, unfashionably dressed and needlessly nervous about university ministry. When the month came to an end, I cried crocodile tears until I was almost sick. Now I am moving there.

And I can’t help but wonder. . .

What will next October hold?

The Return of Wonder Woman… Not Quite

A glimpse at my brain processes is like staring at one of those never-ending news tickers scrolling across the bottom of your TV screen providing you with lots of useful and annoying information constantly. It lists off things I need to accomplish, tasks that need to be started, problems that need to be solved and a whole host of gibberish that sometimes even I can’t follow.

Where does that leave you and me?

I have returned to Georgia and am living near Buford. I am hoping to land a retail job for the next few months and, upon returning to the States, I went into hiding for a bit while trying to fill out applications, which have a way of making you feel about as intelligent as an earthworm. So far I have received one friendly rejection, one maybe, and a lot of silence.

I am also working on a new blog site (that would be this one…), since obviously I am not on the World Race anymore, and I am trying  to compile supporter e-mails so I actually have them in one database and am learning how to use a program that will help me send out my updates in a nice, creative, yet professional way that will link to the blog site. To top it off I am working to make sure I have information needed to offer everyone the details of my move to Ukraine, what that looks like, and all the normal support questions, concerns, etc.

Other than that, I am delving into learning to cook (had to happen sometime I guess) and working on being a well put together young woman complete with nail polish, styled hair and make-up (but I have yet to master the art of ironing clothes). Moving to Ukraine already seems to be having a positive impact!

Photo shot and edited by Anna Coffey

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