11 episodes

Hello from Ukraine! I'm Kim, co-founder of Wide Awake International. Our mission is to bring hope, love, and dignity to people with disabilities here in Ukraine. We are working hard toward deinstitutionalization- bringing our friends out of institutions and into family life. It's a wild ride, living life with our boys. This podcast is a place for us to share the joys and sorrows of our life and work. Welcome!

Wide Awake International Kim Johnson

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

Hello from Ukraine! I'm Kim, co-founder of Wide Awake International. Our mission is to bring hope, love, and dignity to people with disabilities here in Ukraine. We are working hard toward deinstitutionalization- bringing our friends out of institutions and into family life. It's a wild ride, living life with our boys. This podcast is a place for us to share the joys and sorrows of our life and work. Welcome!

    Advent Thoughts: Love and Joy

    Advent Thoughts: Love and Joy

    It's almost Christmas and we're coming to you with the third and fourth themes of Advent: Love and Joy. 

    In this episode, Jed and I shared what we have learned about living lives of love and joy here in Ukraine. We don't claim to have all the answers and are definitely in progress, but maybe a few of our thoughts will encourage you today.  Merry Christmas, Friends! We are thankful to have you along on the journey. 

    BeLOVE[d]
    Connect with us: Newsletter |Blog | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Website
    The vision of Wide Awake Int. is to bring hope, love, and dignity to people with disabilities in Ukraine. We are living that out by bringing our friends out of institutions and into family life.

    • 18 min
    Advent Thoughts: Hope & Peace

    Advent Thoughts: Hope & Peace

    Christmas is just around the corner, but there's more to the Christmas season than shopping lists, Christmas movie marathons, and curating the best holiday playlist (although I'm definitely in favor of all those things!).   Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, is a wonderful time to prepare our hearts as we anticipate the celebration of Jesus' birth and wait expectantly for Him to come again. 

    We really love Advent around the Homestead and wanted to share a few thoughts with you about the first two themes of Advent: hope and peace.  So, sit on down, relax with your cup o' nog, and enjoy! 
    Connect with us: Newsletter |Blog | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Website
    The vision of Wide Awake Int. is to bring hope, love, and dignity to people with disabilities in Ukraine. We are living that out by bringing our friends out of institutions and into family life.

    • 16 min
    The Thanksgiving + Ukrainaversary + Day of Dignity Episode

    The Thanksgiving + Ukrainaversary + Day of Dignity Episode

    Happy Thanksgiving! (in the USA) ☺️

    Once we realized that our 9 year anniversary of living in Ukraine, Thanksgiving, and Ukraine's National Day of Dignity and Freedom were all happening within about 10 days of each other we decided it was a good moment to pause and reflect. Plus, the podcast was getting a quite dusty and needed a little attention. (I blame Russia)

    In this episode Jed and I shared things we are thankful for in each of the 9 years we have lived in Ukraine.  So much amazingness has happened and in light of today's very difficult reality it was really good for us to pause and consider all we have to be thankful for.

    So, grab some eggnog, pull up a cozy chair and give it a listen.

    PS: We officially give you permission to listen to Christmas music now. You're welcome. 🎄

    Netflix Documentary: Winter on Fire

    Vlad's Adoption Advocacy Video
    Connect with us: Newsletter |Blog | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Website
    The vision of Wide Awake Int. is to bring hope, love, and dignity to people with disabilities in Ukraine. We are living that out by bringing our friends out of institutions and into family life.

    • 34 min
    The Road to Germany: Our Evacuation Story

    The Road to Germany: Our Evacuation Story

    On March 5, 2022, after much discussion and prayer, we decided it was time to get our kids, our boys, and our team to safety. The final destination was Germany and the journey there was one we will never forget.  From a room filled wall to wall with mattresses to a 26-hour wait with no toilet, in this episode, I share the ups and downs of our road to safety.  The fact that I can laugh about it now is quite miraculous because it was a DOOZY.

    Please don't forget Ukraine. 🇺🇦

    Our Wartime Youtube Playlist
    Connect with us: Newsletter |Blog | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Website
    The vision of Wide Awake Int. is to bring hope, love, and dignity to people with disabilities in Ukraine. We are living that out by bringing our friends out of institutions and into family life.

    • 28 min
    And So the War Began...

    And So the War Began...

    We're baaaaaaack!
    Our last episode was published on February 24th, the day Russia began its brutal war here in Ukraine. We published that episode, and then promptly fell off the podcast map.  Our whole lives changed on that day and we'll never be the same.  But at long last, we have picked up our heads and decided to revive the ol' podcast. ❤️

    In this episode, I (Kim) shared our community's experiences during the first couple weeks of war and how we responded as the fight came closer and closer to our Homestead.  It was a bit emotional for me to return to those days, but I think it's important to share our experiences with you. This war in Ukraine is far from over and it is our responsibility, those of us who love Ukraine, to remind the world of what is happening here.

    Please don't forget Ukraine. 🇺🇦

    Our Wartime Youtube Playlist
    Connect with us: Newsletter |Blog | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Website
    The vision of Wide Awake Int. is to bring hope, love, and dignity to people with disabilities in Ukraine. We are living that out by bringing our friends out of institutions and into family life.

    • 38 min
    Joy in Uncertain Times

    Joy in Uncertain Times

    Well, Folks, things are gettin’ crazy around here. Russia has attacked Ukraine and we are at war. How is this happening? 
    We actually recorded this episode last week while things were a bit quieter, but I think today’s events make it even more relevant. In this episode, my daughter, Addy, and I discussed the joys we find in our work and life here in Ukraine. From creating community, to dance parties, to wardrobe malfunctions, our life here is rarely boring. 😆 I hope our chat brings you some laughs and encourages you to find joy wherever you may be. 
    Joy-filled moments with our communityOriginal music and sound design by Matt Bittner
    Connect with us: Newsletter |Blog | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Website
    The vision of Wide Awake Int. is to bring hope, love, and dignity to people with disabilities in Ukraine. We are living that out by bringing our friends out of institutions and into family life.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

ChrislaNich17 ,

Love

Couldn’t love this podcast more. Thank you for sharing your heart and the struggles of Ukraine, and especially of your boys. We continue to pray for all of you! May the Lord continue to bless the work you are doing.

MrsBancks ,

Privileged to pray with you!

What a treat to hear these updates in your voices. I’ve been following Wide Awake since 2014, when I went searching for trustworthy updates on Ukraine. Really appreciated today’s update and am fully expecting the Lord to continue to bless this labor of love.

J. Catt ,

Oh the stories!!

To know the Johnson family is to love them. While their WideAwake story is amazing and inspiring, we are in for the real treat of hearing Kim or Jed tell us stories of their beautiful, messy, tragic, wonderful life in Ukraine. Jed, with his gritty voice and deep understanding of people, and Kim, with her sweet buttery voice and ability to find humor in almost anything, will be on the top of my listen-to-this list!

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