Every year, for the last fifteen years, Edna puts on a brunch. She invites family and really close friends. They all come in the door, they greet each other and everyone is happy to be together — chatting a mile a minute. And then, she serves the brunch. This one year, Edna decided to ask Mary if she would share about Christmas in the Ukraine. So, she started to share and the ladies got teary-eyed. All of a sudden, one of them came into the kitchen and said, “Do you have a basket?” Edna responded, “Sure, what’s that for?” The lady replied, “It’s for money.” That is when the giving first started. Their first trip was called the Fraser Valley Gals. They saw the worst of the worst and it was incredibly heart wrenching. Looking into some of those kitchens they wondered how the Ukrainians stayed alive. There was so little food; so little food. It was awful. Edna recalled, “I remember going to the stores. When we go there we buy a lot. I mean, you can have four big carts and people just stand back and look at you... But, most people can pack it right in their arm (whatever they’re buying). And, that’s probably all the money they have.”
When Edna looked and saw what they ate, it just broke her heart. In one of Edna’s most vivid memories, she was in a home sitting on a couch. She was between two widows. Each one of them had an arm through hers — holding as tight as they could. Edna wasn’t going anywhere and she felt so good. She thought, “When we first came, I didn’t know the language. I didn’t know how I would get through to these ladies.” And yet, love is a universal language. She decided she would start hugging them all. At first, it was like hugging a cement pillar but she squeezed a little harder. Finally, there was a little give. The next time she went back to Ukraine, they were lined up to hug her. “The miracle starts right here; before we ever leave. People believe in what’s happening.” The Ukraine changed Edna’s life. It gave her excitement. It gave her something to do for the Lord. Her greatest gift is the Ukraine.