Celtic spirituality has a fascinating concept that I’d like to totally steal, if that’s okay. (Thanks, all you Celtic readers!)

The concept is called “thin places.”  These are areas of the world where the veil between heaven and earth is at its thinnest. Where the physical and spiritual realms mix. Where pain and healing collide.

I would argue that Zhytomyr, Ukraine is full of these thin places.  Nowhere else in the world have I seen such terrible brokenness on display next to such mind-blowing generosity, strength and hope.

Disabled children, rampant abortion, filthy orphanages, poverty, and one of the most profound movements of the kingdom of God I’ve ever witnessed.

Where else can you find such incredible joy?

Special-needs children full of love and hope.  Babies saved from abortion. An orphanage for abandoned, disabled boys who now have something to live for.

Let’s just say that hanging out with Mission to Ukraine is amazing.

This bittersweet mix of pain and hope is what I tried to capture in my articles, photos and videos.  I tried to paint the picture of these “thin places” in the only way I know how… by telling stories.

So take a look, and let the power of the kingdom of God blow you away!

Ear to Ear

Why I can’t stop smiling here in Ukraine…

Click here to read this travel journal…

Video: Galena’s Story

If this doesn’t give you a glimmer of hope for today, nothing will!

Click here to see this video…

Photo Gallery: Folded Hands

I was dumbfounded. Flabbergasted. Astounded. These aren’t the boys I remember!

Click here to see this photo gallery…

Video: The Romaniv Boys Hit the Town!

For the boys of Romaniv Orphanage, visiting an aquarium and shopping mall was quite the adventure!

Click here to see this video…

Video: Luda’s Story

Thanks to MTU, one young woman’s life will never be the same.

Click here to see this video…

Bittersweet: Part I

There is only one word to describe my week at Romaniv Orphanage… bittersweet.

Click here to read this article…

Bittersweet: Part II

The journey from neglect to nurture has begun!

Click here to read this article…

Bittersweet: Part III

How MTU is bringing the wider world to boys who have seen very little of it…

Click here to read this article…

Bittersweet: Part IV

It seems like Yura is all about love these days…

Click here to read this article…

Video: Tanya’s Story

Meet a young woman whose changed life is now changing others…

Click here to see this video…

Video: Romaniv – A Day in the Life

A glimpse into everyday life for the boys at Romaniv Orphanage…

Click here to see this video…

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About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.

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Comments

  1. Linda Pritz said... 

    Reply

    December 9th, 2012 at 2:28 pm  

    Barry – Thank you for taking me along with you, through your writing and photographs, to many of the beautiful “thin places” in the world.

  2. Tetiana said... 

    Reply

    December 11th, 2012 at 2:54 am  

    Barry, thank you. My words often fail to describe the experiences of the Kingdom of God at this place. Thank you for your gifts and talents that reveal our Lord’s work through our ministry. I thank God for you.

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