Here for a moment

Deb holding a sweet baby Tuttle!

The last several years, we’ve been able to visit North America and stay in one place long enough to rest, recover a bit and return to Ukraine. This trip however, at least for myself, it’s been pretty full out.

After finishing my week in California, I met Deb in Dallas and we spent 3 action packed days in Longview with friends and our home church.

We had a lovely evening with some of our new MIR board members and supporters – a solid time of prayer for both our family but also some strategic events and areas needing victory.

Brent and Tucker joined us in Longview.

We were also greatly blessed to meet some new friends this trip, namely Jim and Ann Mills. They have been serving as missionaries for the past 40yrs (yes, say it with me, four zero!) in Belgium. It’s hard to put into words the depth of encouragement they were to us. As both musicians/artistic people (but also incredible thinkers, he’s got a PhD on the side in theology) they have been instigating creative ministries, schools, events and investing in next generation leaders for four decades.

The result? Not a fully orbed ministry with all the bells and whistles you’d typically expect – but rather a network around the globe of meaningful relationships, history and kingdom impact.  I sense that MIR, and our family will continue working in this general direction, to instigate, but hold loosely.  To start but not control.   To allow the Holy Spirit, as much as we are gifted in, bring hope and love to the Slavic cultures by encouraging others to step up and trust Jesus themselves.  I’m less interested with building anything organizational, but invest in timeless principles and eternal things.

Pray for Rita, from Crossroads. She was moved in heart to join us in Ukraine!

I marveled at their depth, humility and sense of humor. They ministered not only to Deb and I, but to all who were around them this past weekend – missionaries not in name only, but heartbeat of Christ. I am blessed to know them and now have the ear and heart of such a mentor.

Some of our Mir leaders crew and Mills family.As I type this entry, I’m now outside Charlotte, North Carolina at a huge Christian camp facility in the mountains called Ridgeport or something.  CRM (https://www.crmleaders.org/) is hosting their ‘every four years’ conference for pioneering missional leaders.  Over 700 are here, including a lot of families and kids.  Around 100 of them are from overseas.  We know the Ukrainian delegates from Cherkassy, good friends that helped us get a vision for starting a cafe and the many logistics it required.

Aaron and Amanda have been journeying, praying, and trusting that God will make it clear when they should join us in Ukraine someday. We would love it!

While at Fuller I men inspiring fellow pioneer Christiana.  She’s here with her husband Derek, the worship leader for the conference.  We’re here only until tomorrow, just a quick hop over on our way back to Canada to rejoin our family.

Great quick meeting in Dallas with Bryan and Larry from Christ for the Nations. More soon!

Missing my girls incredibly… I miss the crazy boys, but something about a dad and his little girls.  Once we return, we’re only there for a couple days, sharing to a group of men, then driving 8hrs to Life Center church to share in PA.  Then we’ll start packing for our August 20 return.

When God called us to full time mission work, He also prepared men like Bo Bolding to invest in my spiritual formation. Thankful for he and Beth!

Deb reconnecting in person with her skype friends from Texas – Tracy and Dana

I’m exhausted.  Filled.  Optimistic.  Ready to rest.  This has been a really fast paced quick pit stop trip but God has been working and forming my heart in good ways.

Thankful for my parents holding down the fort with all those kids the past week, I owe them big-time.

Thank you also Bradshaws for hosting us in Texas, and letting us (mostly Brent) eat all your food.   Send us a bill! 🙂

Bruce

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