Outreach, Concert & Family Update

It’s going to be a crazy week!  We have some YWAM friends of Bronwyn arriving tomorrow, then a team of +20 from Steiger Ukraine / Heroic Nation band from France on Wednesday.

Bronwyn and I outside of a college today – So thankful for the Directors and friendly atmosphere in each place!

Wednesday 29th, 19:00 / Student Night / Free Pizza / Concert & Meet the Band

Thursday 30th, 19:00 / Heroic Nation – Steiger – Revolution Tour – Free Concert ‘Culture House’

Thanking God for the generous donation which has covered the cost of the production rental/equipment from Kiev!  If you are in the area, be sure to come 7:00pm Thursday night.

Pray with us – We believe the hearts of the youth are open, hungry for truth and the reality in Jesus Christ.  We are praying for the Holy Spirit to engage, to experientially transform as we focus on the giver of life.

Bruce & Deb

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Set the Stage – Our Biggest Outreach Yet!

Allow me to set the stage.

Small Ukrainian town, less than 8k people.  Three colleges, +750 students, ages 15-19yrs, a majority of them away from home living in dorms. Nothing to do.  Bored, without a penny to rub together.  No work, no hope for the future.  Small fraction of the young people are experiencing the real, available love of God in Christ.  Yet, increasingly more are responding to God.

Then, boom. Everything changes.  Smack in the center of this town, a free concert, youth oriented, professional level, international crew of musicians show up and host something out of this world.

When: March 30th
Help us raise the $1,000 needed for this outreach!  Click here! 

Together with our Steiger friends, we are welcoming the band ‘Heroic Nation’ from France. Click and take a quick listen!

Heroic Nation is a French EDM (electronic dance music) band led by brother and sister duo, Jeremie and Lydie. They share a passion for delivering the message of God’s love to their generation through music.

We’ve rented our largest, and really only large concert call, seating up to 400 people – it has the perfect stage for putting on a City scale concert, and we’re doing just that.

We’ve contracted with a professional sound & lighting crew to turn our small town auditorium into a ‘Kiev’ level experience for our students.  The moment they will enter the hall, they will know they’ve entered something completely different.  From the lights, the sound, the digital displays – to the most important element – they will experience the love of God.

From the crew coming, to the team already here, including the students already touched by the love of God – we are praying and believing this night will be one for the eternal record books.  Lives will be touched, and even changed – we are believing for a packed house, and ready for those responding to the Gospel through music.

In the past, I wasn’t a fan of using such evangelistic styles.  I don’t care anymore, I’m seeing hearts open to Jesus, and we’ll do all we can to help this generation experience Him.

This is not America, or Canada.  This event should never happen in rural, economically collapsed Ukraine.  Those coming in with a message of hope will find listening ears. I believe the timing is ripe, God by His mercy is compelling, reaching and pulling in hearts to experience something greater than they’ve known.  This is our first ‘mass’ outreach type event in our town, and we are praying hard for fruit to care for.

We are asking if anyone out there would help us reach our $1,000 goal for funding this event?   This is crazy good soil, we are excited to sow, but need help!

Deb and I are also personally hosting (lodging, feeding) the team coming in, which will be +20 strong, including folks from Steiger, Heroic Nation, and YWAM.  We’re going to host a free pizza evening the night before, as a way of collecting in students and giving them a taste of the music before the big concert so they can all get their friends.

If you can’t give, please pray.  March 29/30th, pray these two evenings, God shows up, that the Gospel is heard and experienced.  Our youth are excited obviously, and ready to fill the building – and by God’s grace ready to reach and connect with all that respond.

My dream, for the past 8yrs in our town, has been to pack this particular place with youth, and see God work in an incredible way through music and the Gospel.

Help us set the stage! – click here to donate.

If you would like more details on the actual costs or have some questions, message me on facebook or by email at bruce@liftupyoureyes.org.  As always, your gift can be made tax-deductible.

Every dollar is received with joy and thanksgiving, trust me.

Excited!

Bruce & Deb

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Lighthouse Cafe Update – Spring Needs!

Brent and Max working on gravel driveway.. they are asking for a tractor and I’m like, “look at your arms!”

The snow has melted and we’re needing some partners to help us finish a few things.  First, we want to take a moment to thank those who helped us get through the costly winter months.  Our community, students and staff thank everyone that supported us this winter!

God did some really cool things in the hearts of our students.  Warmth was a huge key in keeping the Father’s heart kindling in theirs!

Now that mostly everything inside is functional and ministering along nicely, we turn our attention to the exterior and ministry opportunities there.

Click to Partner & Give!

If you recall, last fall we started and almost finished the Skate/Kids park.   Beyond the Kickstarter project, we still have a few things that prevent the park from fully opening and being enjoyed by our town.

Grass/Sod:$1,500

  • Ouch, I know this is a lot.  We currently have mud in the kids zone, spring is perfect time to lay it down I’m told.  A guy from Kiev grass company came down today to provide us the estimate.  Our other option is to plant and wait, but nobody here really knows how to do it well (I don’t), grass is not typically what folks grow, can’t really eat grass.  Parents will not keep their kids from entering the muddy park area, and it will make its way into the Cafe.   On the flip side, a nicely groomed area like this downtown will stand out as an oasis for parents.  It would be amazing to finish off the park with a beautiful grassy area for kids to run around.

Skateboards: $40 each

  • We have 2 skateboards. We made this need known last fall, but nobody gave.  Our students share the two, and they aren’t going to last much longer.  We need at least 5 new boards to attract, and keep the students on site for longer periods.  They will come if we have boards.

Ramps/Rails: $500

  • We have an amazing half-pipe, thanks to Shane Paxa and his crew.  I’m told skaters enjoy also endangering their lives on other metal things as well.  We have the space, just need some materials.

Exterior Cafe & Signage: $2,000

  • This is a long shot perhaps, but we’d love to cover our ugly brick exterior to match more of the beautiful interior.  This will also insulate our Cafe for next winter more.  We have had a cheap banner as our primary sign for 2yrs, it’s time we purchased something more permanent.

Sidewalk: $1,000

  • In our town, which has no money, the businesses are morally responsible for sidewalk area outside their zone.  Ours is trecherous, and not even possible for mom’s with strollers to go past.  Once they get to our entrance, it’s nice, but the property line is embarrassing.  Additionally, we need a sidewalk inside our property that leads to our Skatepark.  We have all the stones, just need to pay for labor to lay/cement them.

Insurance: $1,500

  • We really need this for the entire property, but mostly the park.  It’s sort of last on our list.  Insurance in general is still a relatively new concept here, but it does work if you get the right kind.  We’ve posted rules and warnings, but every bit of my American/Canadian-ness warns me against moving ahead without the most basic liability protection.  We are a visible target.

Partner & Give Now!

Our family thanks you for considering to partner on any of these projects, at any level.   We’ll update our blog as any one of these items is provided for.

*all giving is tax-deductible.

Thanks!

Bruce & Deb

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On The Move

“They say Aslan is on the move — perhaps already landed”  – Beaver

I speak a lot about movement, especially these past two years.  I feel a part of some engulfing plot.  Unsure of my actual role, I’m overwhelmingly thankful to be involved at any level in the epic drama of redemption.  What an invitation we all receive!

God.  Dynamic, powerful, engaging, real.  Not Religion, not morality, not rules.  Love breaking out, breaking the mold, reaching, offending.  Uncomplicated yet mysterious love.  We love, because we embrace by faith, the fierce love displayed in Jesus Christ.

Religion attempts to ‘hold the fort’.  The Gospel breaks into new territory.  As hearts are awakened by the love of God, through the people of God, faith emerges and busts through religion and unbelief.  We see this in ministry of Christ on earth, we see this in the history of Christianity –

The Gospel is always on the move because God is always at work.

We who embrace the Gospel as reality are part of a movement.  It’s not something that starts and stops, but it’s been triumphing forward since Pentecost – and will continue into Eternity.

I’ve had this vision in my heart of an old spaceship. We’re all tinkering away on it, and suddenly something we do triggers a light. It excites us to keep at it. Then, by ‘co-incidence’ we meet others who are working on the same ship. We see their progress, ideas, enthusiasm. We realize what we’re fiddling away at it part of something greater.  It has a designer, and He’s up to something.  If we keep plugging away, maybe, just maybe, this thing is going to fly. 

This movement looks more like a revolution than it does something predictable and comfortable.  It says, ‘Get up!  Join in!’, it impulses us forward, out of the boat, onto water.  The revolution urges us to trust Him in fresh ways, and excites us to see a harvest.   We ‘see’ the harvest, we ‘lift up our eyes’ and what we see in the Spirit is a feeling,  – the heart of our missional, moving God.

It doesn’t matter if you are living in Texas, Canada, Ukraine or Belarus.  You can be a truck driver, teacher, or unemployed searching for work.  The movement of God is heard more loudly in hardship as hearts awaken to the needs of the soul.  It thrives where the Cross is elevated and understood to be the most glorious event in history, love of God incarnate and believed.  It swooshes past us all in our busyness, in our stress and gadgetry.  It’s like a rushing river inviting us in, but we need to see it.

‘for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.’  Phil 2:13

Pray for our Belarus Visa applications. It’s quite a process, costly and nothing is guaranteed.

Deb and I are being asked, by the Lord, to step into new territory.  We’re saying “Yes” to directing and providing vision for a new Missions Course in Minsk, to partnering with like minded ministries across the Russian speaking world.  We’re seeing God connect, provide in ways we’ve never experienced.  It’s accelerating so quickly, I don’t know quite how to explain it.

How about a few bullet points, to communicate where our focus lies for this next season!

  1. God is raising up a new generation of missional youth among the un-churched. The rejected, outcast, hopeless, the forgotten – God is awakening and restoring.  He’s doing it through love, and ‘nets’ like Lighthouse model, and ministries like Steiger.org.  We’re seeing this emerge across the Russian speaking world and believe God is going to use us (and you!) to cast more nets for this harvest.  Help us plant more Cafes! (coming soon).
  2. This generation coming to Christ (15-20yrs old) need a new form of discipleship training than we’ve supposed in the past.Less academic, more hands on and focused on the heart.  They need to know the Jesus in the Gospel, not simply understand truth.  We need to create something affordable to those who are incredibly poor, but who have a calling on their life.  We are beginning this new course in the fall (more soon!), it will be 13 weeks of lecture/relationship/mission training, then 13 weeks outreach in a place of service.
  3. We need to pioneer and partner with ministries (like Lighthouse) to create places of culturally engaging places of ministry. God is wanting to sow these hearts right back into Russian/Ukrainian speaking culture, not back into churches who inadvertently incubate them from it.  We need more Cafes, we need the West to ‘see’ the joy and responsibility of fueling this effort.
  4. We are submitting visas next week for Belarus to be there in the fall.  We felt for 6 months the need to be there in the fall, before any of this new missions program or any of the new MIR director role came to light.  Below is a video showing what we currently offer, a “Year for God’, which has been a good vehicle the curriculum will be changing in preparation for what God has in store.  We’re working on a new video now.

Год для Бога 2016 в Библейском колледже ХВЕ

Приглашаем пройти уникальный учебный курс "Год для Бога" в сезоне 2016/2017. Это будет незабываемо, мы обещаем! И выпускники 2016 подтверждают. П.с. Ваш репост этого видео поможет молодежи найти призвание 😉

Posted by ХДН-Колледж on Monday, May 30, 2016

So please pray for us.  We have greater responsibility for more than just Lighthouse staff and leaders, but now a larger team in Minsk to work with.  We have a ton of legal/property/tax issues to work through in Minsk as well, pray they don’t bog us down.  I can’t blog publicly about a lot, so you have to trust me that we need your prayer and support.  Don’t forget us if we disappear!

There is an amazing missional, young church and several other ministries that will benefit from a renewed focus on the Bible College and training this next generation.   In fact, all of the ministries there benefit from the legal umbrella the school provides, so it’s critical that we have His help, and partners.

We wouldn’t be even moving ahead with this school and missions focus if one of you hadn’t emailed and offered some significant investment.  Without the funds supplied last minute (and un-requested), everything could have closed up, and instead, is now moving full steam ahead into something new God has for us.  It seems when God provides, it usually opens up more areas to trust Him for, not less.

We are seeing more and more, the calling on our lives (and vision for why we believe God sent us here) coming into fruition.  We’re connectors, encouragers, instigators.  It’s scary, but exciting.  It’s more than I can personally manage, but that’s good.  We are leaning on people more, trusting that God gifts and calls those new leaders we can serve and see them reach their own calling.  We are seeing how God equips (Eph 4) when our passion is to equip others for meaningful service in His work.  Our own personal reserves for financing ‘our’ mission are finished, invested, and now need Jesus to supply for His mission.

We’re planning to be in the US / Canada starting in May, and will be releasing a schedule shortly for the places and weekends we’ll be hosting some events.   These events are for prayer, connecting and allowing God to arm us with the resources we need to take ground for the Kingdom in the former Soviet Union.  He is the one moving, we just need to keep up!

This the event we sponsored, hosted by Steiger Ukraine – packed house of mostly unchurched gathering to hear well known musicians who live for Christ. It impacted our students.

Thank you for your prayer, for reading this far, for your continued support.   So many needs here at Lighthouse, so many opportunities and lives being touched.  Last week, one of our students led the spiritual time, sharing her testimony and brought a few to tears.  The reality of God working is inspiring, more lives need to be touched, trained, and sent out.

Our crew, check out the Lighthouse Ukraine logo, over by Bronwyn’s hand!  Was cool to see it in Kiev 🙂

We have a team of 9 arriving today for a few days, orphan care ministry that is passing through and needing housing.  Our boys are the janitorial team for the guest house (Deb’s parents).  Then, Saturday a team of 19 arrive from Steiger for a leadership retreat.  On the 29/30th of May, we are hosting a huge concert and will have +20 musicians, stage crew, all sorts of stuff there, the Cafe will explode I think.

Come on. This little girl rules my world. That head band has embedded earphone.. she loves rockin’ it out.. .with shades.

We’re believing God for 400 students to attend and fill our Culture House, going to blog about that and some needs next.. saying ‘yes’ to things doesn’t always mean we have the funds.. but it’s a huge opportunity to cast a very large net in our town and towards reaching, training and eventually sending Jesus heart into this culture.

Wow, way too much typing, thanks for your love and support.  I pray the love of God, and the joy He brings strengthens your heart today.

Sincerely,

Bruce & Deb

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March Update

Building where conference this week was held for youth - 5th floor.. attic.

Kiev, Ukraine | Building where conference this week was held for youth – 5th floor.. attic.

Spring is in the air, snow melted, and plenty of mud if you’d like us to send you some?  Bronwyn returns tonight after a 6 month DTS with YWAM.  We’re all excited to hear of her adventures and what God is doing in her life.

Arriving just a few hours before her is Andrew Beach, a young man that attended last years Spring Break group from Texas.  He’s coming for the week to serve with the music students on his college break.

Deb and I fly out to Minsk on Wednesday for 4 days.   Several critical meetings with our friends and fellow leaders as we chart this next season together.  It’s new role for us and we ask for prayer.  Sharing Sunday as well with the church.

The Bible School, for example, which has functioned now for 20yrs, is unable to continue in its current form.  It has provided tuition free study, only requiring $150-200 per month for room & board.  God has sustained the College through the years (since mid 90s!) from renting parts of the commercial property the ministry owns.  With businesses closing continually in this economic collapse, this model has vanished and there aren’t funds available for this type of model.  Over the past year specifically, it’s been a few generous donors keeping the College open.

Please watch this video if you haven’t yet.  It gives visuals and explains some of things we are working through now.  The video is a bit old as we were just praying then about involvement.  I have accepted the position of International Director with MIR Ministries since then, which is the US charity that owns the property and guiding decisions.

Please pray that we hear from God together this week, we move in faith, and unity.  Some precious families involved, passionate, those serving within it are gifted and not doing it as a regular job.  This school has been an engine producing spiritual life and changing culture around it.  The church, the youth events, and many other worship projects have been possible because the school has been an anchor in Minsk – a center of activity, a unifying community.   The Kingdom of God has advanced through this vehicle, and I don’t believe it’s days are finished, but changes are needed.

We’ll also be submitting applications for 1yr multi-entry visas for Belarus.  Several steps for this in both Belarus and Ukraine.

FullSizeRender-1

Can you spot Brent in the black shirt? That’s my shirt! Usually you hear of girls taking the moms clothes… Not here.. my sons and daughter (Bronwyn!) all steal mine!

This past week I visited a youth missions week with our friends at Steiger International.  We took a truck full, including Brent.  I was a guest small group leader, and taught on the importance of learning early the centrality of the Cross (as a place of freedom and victory).

My favorite part of the day (it’s a 5 day conference), was watching a couple of our Club 180 students really connect with the Lord, specifically during a 45 minute quiet time.  Seeing young hearts, eyes closed, hands open, and tears running down their face is truly the most incredible joy.  To know God the Father is speaking, touching, healing, wow.

Please pray for Brent.  He’s in a critical place in his life too.  It was unplanned to leave him there, he asked if he could remain at the conference with some friends from Kharaglyk. He’s such an amazing young man (a little bias here), but needs to encounter the Lord in more meaningful ways.  He’s really into fitness, and lacks close friends here that will be an encouragement to his spiritual growth.  Language continues to be an obstacle, but God has big plans for this guy if he will keep moving towards the Lord.

These are the core leaders of Steiger here in Ukraine - they will visit Rzhyschiv for a small retreat this month. They are doing great things for the advancement of Christ among youth in Ukraine. Pray for them!

These are the core leaders of Steiger here in Ukraine – they will visit Rzhyschiv for a small retreat this month.  It’s been so encouraging to get to know them, and begin to partner more together. They are doing great things for the advancement of Christ among youth in Ukraine. Pray for them!

We met with the European leader Luke (striped grey shirt), missionary since 2002 now in Poland, neat guy.  It seems almost all their leaders are professional musicians, like Luke, who’ve traveled the world using music for Christ.  We discussed deeper partnerships, and they are very interested in establishing coffee shops like Lighthouse, and have ventured down that path a number of times, only to pull back and reconsider timing and calling as a ministry.

They are excellent at creative events, mobilizing young people in evangelism and worship.  We are going to continue praying for direction.  I think we may plant a Cafe with Steiger soon, if the Lord provides.  We already have the location in Ukraine, along the Russian border in a City called Sumy.  God is definitely speaking and orchestrating.  We move by faith.. I type by faith!

Clark needed a photo with his mom for woman's day :)

Clark needed a photo with his mom for woman’s day 🙂

March is a huge month for us, with several teams passing through, travel, and end of month incredible opportunity with this band from France coming.  We’ve received approval and reserved rental of the Culture House building, seats 370.  We have done all of this in faith, without any of the funds for the concert.

We’ll be bringing in full concert/stage equipment from Kiev, and will cost around $2k for everything.  To bring the Gospel and the presence of God into the lives of +200 students who have never heard or felt the power of Christ – it’s going to be incredible.

Thank you for praying and staying in touch.  Fun fact, around 10-20 people read our blog per today, and when we post on Facebook, usually +100 read it.  With the amount of media we all digest, I am thankful anyone even clicks…  your simple clicks, they are connections, communication, prayer, resources, then the Kingdom keeps moving ahead together.

Thank you for staying connected, for lifting our spirits in prayer.  Please don’t hesitate to email us any prayer requests or family updates – we would love to stay connected with you too.

Love you all –
Bruce & Deb

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