Ready, aim, fire!

Target Practice - backyard at the Crowes, Brent in green makes sure everyone plays nicely:)

We are enjoying some gorgeous weather over here in Ukraine.   Where did the summer go?  Loads of kids have been playing in the backyard on a daily basis, they come in waves, usually in groups of 3-4 at at time.  As I type this, you can hear the springs bouncing and screeching.  This trampoline must be setting some sort of record for bounces, it is in use literally 8-10hrs per day, 7 days per week.  I don’t know what we’ll do when it does actually fall apart, I can see the wear and tear on the frame.   Have to bring one over in our suitcase.

Broderic, in true capitalist form, attempting to sell muffins and sesame seeds on the porch.

I try to speak with the kids, they are good kids and mostly respectful, with the exception of eating all the fruit on our trees before they are ripe.  There’s probably in total about 50 of them, 90% boys, that come through as regulars.  We see them all over town, beep our horn and they are all smiles.  It’s great for our kids to recognize ‘friends’, even if they don’t really know them all, they know we’re the foreigners up on the hill.  These will be kids that, in a few years, will be going to college, hanging out at the cafe, and we pray, will come into a relationship with the living God that loves them.

Neighborhood kids continue to stream in and out of our backyard, mostly for trampoline, but now there's a second sport:)

I often think of all the ‘ministry’ things we do, the investment into these kids, just by being a loving family, may prove to be the most lasting fruit.  At first I thought of trying to start some sort of kids club, program type thing with them, but the more I pray and grow in my own understanding of how God actually works most of the time, I am content to love & accept them, teach them how to shoot (yes, via Xbox I am quite the sniper), obey reasonable rules, and build a level of trust toward the day when I, or someone around here can share about God’s specific love toward them.   With the various kids clubs and outreaches we do as a church, I think God is pleased there is a testimony in this town, and hope for these kids.

After a week of staining, the stairs and walls are looking great!

We’ve made great progress on the cafe this past week by finally purchasing the furnace (kotyol), purchasing and having the fire inspector install the required ‘system’, and ordered our glass front doors which should really go a long way with some curb appeal from the bus station/street.  We had intended to buy the pizza oven and other kitchen equipment but these other items were required first.

Next step, ceiling and then tile floors.

I’ve had to limit our two main workers to 40hrs per week, they enjoyed working overtime most weeks but we don’t have the cash, and I’ve started working myself most days with them.  We’re officially out of money at the moment, but God will provide, He always does!

Our biggest needs remaining to open include:

– Kitchen equipment.
– Chairs and Tables

We have a host of other items we’d like to get, including a sound system, internet/phone line.. but we’ll grow into those things as able.

As far as church update, the Gollans are back with their visas.   I’m really enjoying leading Wed night study through John, versus by verse, and several of the Ukrainians continually comment on the edifying nature from this time.   The Susidko’s are returning this Monday from their time in America, training with their missions agency.  The Ewings are off to Scotland next week for several weeks, they run the Children’s ministry and do a great job.  The Rhodes are in America for 5 more weeks, visiting their kids and grandkids.  Their friends, the Houke’s are coming over for a few weeks end of August, they are praying about possibly moving to RZ with a heart to minister to pastors with the Rhodes.  Continual comings and goings in this little town!  The students are returning in a few weeks as well, we’ve produced some great looking calendar/posters and putting together the packages for first time students.

One of three posters we've designed (Coy and gang at Cypress) for returning students.

Oh, if you would have any spare cash to help with the student packages, they are running us around $1000-1200, of which we have about half between all of us that are chipping in.  These are direct investments into the lives of kids we’ll be getting to know over the next 3yrs, we think this is a great strategic investment.   You can give by clicking here and donating online.

Thanks again for keeping an eye on us, we pray God richly blesses and continually makes you aware of His grace.

PS, deb is doing well, but could use your prayers for strength and peace.  She has been feeling sick lately, mostly pregnancy related.

Sincerely,
Bruce & Deb

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