So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. -1 Corinthians 3:7
"There's one thing I told the Lord I wouldn't do, and that was missions."
Now, just over a year later, Taylar is settling into her new home in Kyiv, Ukraine, where she has been called to work as a Missionary Associate for two years.
Her new country is eclectic, a mixture of old and new. The view outside her window is filled with post-Soviet buildings; the streets below bustle with women selling raw meat and vegetables while young businessmen and women catch the subway for work. Soon flowers will display their colorful clothing with the arrival of spring, but for now everything is washed in a wintry gray not unlike Taylar's familiar home in Wisconsin.
Taylar was getting ready to graduate from Bible school when she felt God stir something within her. She was reminded constantly of the Pierquet's, a missionary couple she had met several months ago who were looking to build a team to work in Ukraine. "I kept asking myself, why can't I get these people's faces out of my mind? So we met for coffee to talk about everything. And my heart immediately started beating like crazy. I didn't even really know where Ukraine was, but I knew that I was meant to go."
Ukraine is a nation with many needs, but Taylar's heart longs primarily to reach the women and college students. "I prayed for a heart for the people, for the country, because having that is so far beyond our capability. That type of love is just beyond me. But God shifts things within us." Now she's working with Chi Alpha, a ministry that reaches out to college students through discipleship and small groups. Here, the services are a mixture of English and Russian, reaching students studying anything from medicine to engineering to theology.
"It's really about relationship building. Ukrainians have been through so much...it can take time to build relationships because of all the things this nation has been through. But, once they know you, they are such warm people."
Ukrainian's suffering can be felt strongest in Maidan square, where men and women lost their lives during Euromaidan protests that were meant to be peaceful. Political strife has dominated the country ever since. "It felt like I stepped into the heart of Ukraine," Taylar said, She went quiet for a moment. "You could just feel the weight. These people need hope." Ukrainians still leave photos and memos throughout Maidan square and other parts of Ukraine to remember what they've endured. The flowers planted in this time of hardship are beginning to bloom despite the crisp, winter air.
Taylar may not know exactly what's ahead; but she does know she's meant to be here. The next two years will be spent forming friendships, planting hope, and finishing the task.