I often find pictures on my camera from one of my kids, this one is from Bronwyn, a lovely Christmas shot girl!

Today is our 17th anniversary.  What an amazing gift God gave me in Deb.  It’s neat that we’re in Texas for it, we had friends offer to watch our kids tonight and we’ll have an official date!

This week has flown by.  We’ve had several group type gatherings, seeing our dear church friends and family as well as hanging out with Bo and Beth earlier this week at their house.  Deb has enjoyed catching up with friends and the kids have been enjoying lots of play.  I’ve been working since we hit the ground in Texas with our guys at Cypress, pushing for a Jan 1 website launch for The Brooklyn Tabernacle, a project 8 months in the making and much overdue.

The hectic pace all around is not something easily adjusted to.  In our 3.5 yrs overseas we’ve become increasingly Ukrainian it’s not good or bad, it’s just a fact.  The first few days in Texas I watched in amazement at all the traffic, the sea of automobiles racing to and fro.  The orderly chaos of moving masses, some to work, others to shop, but all on schedule and strictly on it.  I was reminded again how the gospel has such a difficult task to ‘break in’ to the lives of this busy culture and what an opportunity we have in Ukraine where people aren’t in a rush, and relationships have the time to develop in meaningful and rewarding ways.  Everyone here has such isolated, modular lives, packed to the brim with 100 things each day.  The ‘conveniences’ and time saving efficiencies have only served to create more time to do 10 more things.. There’s got to be a balance between ‘some’ conveniences and not having any..

We love visiting our friends, but trying to spend quality time together seems like a daunting task, and simply inserting ourselves into the fray for a week doesn’t produce all that our hearts long for.  The answer?  They need to come and visit us!

Last week we were in Canada, here are some pictures from the Picton Parade.  My parents church had a float with live music and kids on the back.  This is the town where I grew up, driving in the truck with my dad I was able to see a number of school friends, old neighbors and relatives.  It was an odd experience as well, talk about time warp.

The marching band was always a favorite to listen to as a kid

View from the truck pulling the float, smile and wave boys, smile and wave.

We head back to Canada this coming week, where’ we’ll spend Christmas and New Year’s with my family.

This Sunday I’ll be sharing at Crossroads Community Church, our home church.  I’m excited about that, to try and encapsulate what the Lord has been doing in my own heart, as well as in Ukraine.  I don’t have as much desire to share about Ukraine or ‘ministry’ per say, but to encourage those that are hurting, or struggling in their faith.. and to do it in english without a translator will be fun again.  If you read this before Sunday, please pray for me!

Quick few updates:

A) pray for Vlad’s appeal date: Jan 12!!!

B) we received over $12k toward the finishing of the cafe!!  Thank you to all that gave, it was a timely encouragement as we’ve been out of $ for about 2 months and continuing to finish it in faith.  When we return we’ll order and finish the kitchen Lord willing, and then final stage is chairs, tables, and documentation.. we’re almost there!

C) We’re going skiing Jan 4-8th, this may sound trivial but would you pray for our family that this would be a relaxing/refreshing time?   This trip hasn’t been anything close to restful yet, especially since coming to Texas.  I want to be ‘all there’ for my wife and kids during this trip, it’s really a special thing for my older kids who’ve never been skiing.  Anyway, please pray that this would be a great time of family bonding.. and that nobody breaks anything!!  🙂

Thanks for checking in, we appreciate your prayer and support.  Please remember to pray with us for Vlad, and the church in Ukraine.  God prepare us all for what He wants to see happen this new year.

Bruce & Deb