Pray for us! We have a couple important events happening this week.
#1 – Meeting with the Mayor and the City Council tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1:30pm. I’m presenting the business plan for a new ministry center. It will be a private business, operating as a cafe, with several offices and a larger room for events. We don’t want it to be viewed as a specifically ‘religious’ building, but have Christians from the community work and serve in it, as well as host special events during the year that will promote Christian values and the gospel. I have a powerpoint ready and translated, how we have churches and businesses ready to help donate and make this possible, as well as construction teams joining in on the building of it. Essentially I want the town officials to see the motivations involved, to give and invest into the future of this community. These authorities can’t always help you necessarily pro-actively, but they can stop you.. we want them to ‘not stop us’ and have their friendship on our side. The Mayor has communicated that they have worked on some options for us to consider, I have no idea what they look like or entail, but I pray God opens the doors and guides us through this process. The fact that I have the opportunity right now to share my/our heart before this group is exciting to me. I’m nervous, God give me the words and attitude to represent the Kingdom of God, it’s an entirely different worldview that they are accustomed to.
#2 – Wednesday Video Conference with 4 Ukrainian Mayors and some other government officials. They will be at my office in Kilgore, Texas during a week of economic development training. This group can’t speak english, we’ll be doing everything through a translator. My business is buying their lunch, and they are touring the industrial park where we are located in Texas. Pray that we make some friends there too, if we ever work in other communities, relationships like this are key. One of the Mayors is my age, and been a mayor for over 10yrs of a town south of us. I want to get to know him and this will be a great start! Pray for internet to work here, electricity, and all those things we take for granted. Two days in a row the electricity here has gone off.
#3 – Registration - Svetlana and I have been working through the courts, paying fines and trying to get registered before the end of this month. We were penalized for not ‘re-registering’ once we left and came back after our last Texas trip. Our original registration was still good so we didn’t think anything of it, however they have a new electronic monitoring system when they scan your passports now, which calculates how many days you are ‘unregistered’ inside Ukraine. Once you leave, your registration if canceled. Anyway, we broke the law, paid fines, and now have a week to get registered properly again, and our vehicle as well. Pray the famous lady from Kiev Ovir shows grace, according to Svetlana she is extremely anti-foreigner (especially american) and feels we just come in and take jobs (what jobs?) and advantage of the Ukrainian people, live in nice houses etc.. She looks for any and all ways to ‘not’ let you stay legally. I would love to take her back to Texas and show her our life we left, our friends, church family, house, cars, offices, and then ask her, “really? we really left all this to come here and take advantage of you?”
On a lighter note – The many faces of Clark Neil Crowe, age 4, click to enlarge.