Emerging Spring. Life.

Abigail 🙂 Turns 7 this month. Life is full of wonder for her

Explorers Full of Wonder

Sunday night we had our first meeting as “Explorers.” There are hearts that want to know more. We want to meet this desire in fresh new ways. What is out there that we can still learn? Are there new things that can continue to shape our lives? Are there wonders about God that remain undiscovered by us?

We ended our time with a picture of a hand holding a sparkler. Do you remember the first time you held a sparkler as a child? “What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world,” said G.K. Chesterton. Remember when things delighted us and filled us with wonder? Jesus said to receive the Kingdom of God like a child. We enjoy watching a child be amazed. Maybe it makes us sad that it is not so with us anymore. Life has taken its toll and we forget what it is like to be enraptured with things. It was my prayer as we gathered into groups that I would be reminded to “wonder” again. The kingdom of God belongs to those who have an unabashed faith and an open delight in the love of the Father. There are things we can all still discover about God as we explore and be amazed at.

Loving on some new kids

Yesterday was the first day of new outreach! Several people who work with us have felt the nudging of the Spirit to reach out to the children in our town who are living in some pretty desperate situations, in deep poverty or homes with substance abuse. Every Monday afternoon, they will spend a couple of hours with them, feeding them a healthy meal, doing some fun activities, and sharing the love of God over their lives. The hope is to bring light and love to the parents of these children as well. This is new and unknown territory for the team. There will be challenges ahead. They are taking these steps in faith and we ask that you pray for them as they get involved in these precious lives. We have begun this in partnership with a new sponsor – “High 5 Give 5.” Thank you to an old friend, Bettina, (who helped us start the Widows Care program several years ago with World Challenge) who is willing once again to invest with a new outreach.

Club 180

Anya – former Club 180 student

We are continuing our Club 180 student nights, which take place on Wednesday evenings. Dima and Lena are now in charge of it and we have a newly married young couple, Vitya and Anya, that we would like to train to be the next leaders. It has been a joy to watch Anya’s journey. She first came as a student and slowly turned her heart towards the love of Christ. She is growing into His image and serving those around her. It seems so natural and normal we can forget what a miracle it is to be “called out of darkness and into his marvelous light.” I Peter 2:9

Refresh

Desiring to help people connect with God in deeper, more meaningful ways, we are creating a few weekends throughout the year that give time and space for quiet and rest. These are times of silence, times of prayer, where all outside distractions are put aside and hearts have the opportunity they need to hear something from God. We just held our third one the last weekend of February. It’s a new experience for most of us, I think, to allow this amount of quiet for our souls, but it is really a refreshing time to just ‘be’ in the presence of our Maker.

Time in Texas

So much eating! yum

We had a tremendous time in Texas. It is always such an encouragement and so much fun to meet with new friends, old friends, and, of course, with family! We look forward to how God will continue to bless these relationships as we all work together in his kingdom. One of the highlights of the trip was the board meeting we had in Dallas with most of the board members of MIR. It is an extraordinary thing to be a part of a group that all desire to hear and follow God’s leading. We are not a business board with agendas to accomplish, but a group of people put together by God to listen. We were reassured and heartened by the response that this truly is the desire of every person involved. The prayer together was a strengthening and comforting time.

We hope you are blessed by the creative efforts of our team member Sveta, who designs these quotes/scriptures, our brochures, advertising, social media compilations, and other odd jobs. 🙂

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Explorer’s Bible Study Group

Beginning this Sunday evening at the Big House 6:30p – Dive deeper into matters of faith, philosophy, meaning of life with fellow sojourners.

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Weekend Update

Our first Leaders Retreat for the year was wonderful! For some it was a time of refreshing, for others it was an important time of hearing from the Lord in very important life decision matters.  I’m going to just post some photos now in hopes that I’ll have more time later to share some testimonies and ways God is shaping this core for future mission. Very encouraged, humbled, and ready for a nap!

Thank everyone for praying – we had several send us notes that they were lifting us all up. 34 young leaders, from around Ukraine, Belarus, France and US – those hungry to grow, deepen their faith and see the Kingdom of God come in legit ways to our generation.

You can follow us on Facebook Group for details of upcoming events – come on over!  Teach, share, give, fuel this emerging generation with us 🙂 Click here

Here’s a few slides form our Leadership & Spiritual formation review – it’s taken from some the books I’m having to read from Fuller and learning over the past few semesters – so good!


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Here we go!

Says, “Disconnect, Refresh, Grow” – the theme of our upcoming weekend.

Big week coming up. We have +30 descending upon our houses, emerging leaders from Belarus, US, Ukraine and Russia! Amazing to see how God is uniting and connecting. 

Last few days having all our kids under one roof. We enjoyed an evening last night of sharing, things God doing in our hearts, lessons learning, and opened our ‘thankful box’ – a small little treasure chest of written things we collect which we’re thankful for through the year. The funniest part was around half of the pieces of paper in the box were scribbles from Claire.. who knows what she was drawing or thinking about 🙂

We took some photos today down by the Dnepr. It was chilly. There’s this large ship barge thing stuck in the ice, awaiting spring.. I thought it would make an interesting backdrop. Here are a few of our photos!

Please pray for :

  •  Travel and Logistics for our upcoming discipleship weekend!
  • Remaining planning.. it’s a lot of work with basically only one vehicle among us able to drive these roads . Thankful some friends are helping with a meal, and local restaurant agreed to make another ‘to go’. Water, electricity, all things we do not take for granted here hosting a group like this.. anything could happen!
  • Our times of prayer, creative listening, and some training I’m leading in the area of developing a story-line of your life, formation areas God has and is now leading us all individually – I’m really excited for sharing some of the leadership and missiology God has been forming me with over the past year via Fuller. It’s such amazing stuff and liberating!
  • First of February will be heading to Texas for few days – Sharing at Christ for the Nations, Dallas (missions dept) as we partner in some cool new things in 2019! Also will be in Longview to visit our sending church and try and prepare our house for sale – it’s a big step for us and feels like pulling up final roots in East Texas as a family.  I think we’ll stay over here ha!
  • My arm is 80% healed and it is amazing, so thankful. Need to continue strengthening.
  • I’m back into Fuller school work, almost finished my first year! Some amazing reading, I’ll post some of the best books of 2018 and some I’ve started this year soon.

Praise! We were able to raise $7500 on facebook towards these discipleship weekends. We are very thankful!  Around 12 first time givers participated, which was our hope, to connect and get more prayer, awareness and investing into next generation in Slavic world.

We also picked up another charity who will sponsor monthly a new area of ministry I will reveal soon. As well, we’re continuing to work towards a possible new platform in Eastern Ukraine. One of the cool things with this Mir Leaders group is that we’re not, as a family, the only ones charting a course, but gathering as a team to wait on the Lord, discern together and move when we have unity and excitement.

Thanks for checking in!

Bruce

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