We don't have cake mix, so you have to get creative and hope things turn out!

We don’t have cake mix, so you have to get creative and hope things turn out!

Our first born daughter - Bronwyn turned 14.  We have her under lock and key:)

Our first born daughter – Bronwyn turned 14. We have her under lock and key:)

This past week we celebrated Bronwyn’s 14th birthday, got another foot of snow, ran on generator power for 24hrs, towed Tom’s tow truck, and shared at a couples night.   We’ve also amp’d up our Russian learning with more classes, and trying to do a better job of training our behemoth St. Bernard before he eats one of us.

Tomorrow Alyosha K. returns to the district gas office to obtain a permit which ‘should’ start the process of re-activating our gas.  We went last week but it wasn’t ready.  I’m beginning to second guess our decision to use gas over electricity.  I’ve had several Ukrainian friends recently warn me to steer clear of the gas for business in particular.  One friend told me today that he was charged over $1,000 US just for permission to use gas in the winter – they called it a ‘seasonal tax’.  Our pizza oven is gas, something we may have to change after the first year if prices are as ridiculous and unstable as we’re hearing.  Those brick ovens are starting to sound good too!

View from our table - that's actually at the Gollans.  It was really decked out.  That's also sparkling water;)

View from our table – that’s actually at the Gollans. It was really decked out. That’s also sparkling water;)

In another 4-5 weeks we should hear about the final stage for remaining building permit to operate the Cafe.  There’s currently nothing we can do to speed things up, in fact we’re paying for expedited service as it is.

Have enjoyed meeting some new folks over the past few weeks.  We had a nice couple and their two kids from Kiev come and visit.   He is the active director of YWAM for Eastern Europe, they’re based in Kiev but oversee the bases and their directors.  It was very refreshing to chat for the afternoon about some of the things on our hearts and hang out with a fellow Canadian – we finished our visit with hockey on our rink of course!


Saw this on the way to kids school today. This old bulldozer has some stories to tell – but she’s not done yet!

I’ve also enjoyed both praying and seeing God work in a some much needed ways with my business in Texas.  The world of websites, design, programming, apps, has become a lot more competitive.  We’ve needed to find ways to increase productivity but without continuing to increase our expenses.   The Lord blessed me with a contact last summer down in Cherkassy, Ukraine, about 3hrs south of here.  This fellow missionary from the UK started a cafe and a web businesses 3-4 yrs before we arrived in 2007.  They have a staff of about 10, mostly programmers and doing some great work.  Anyway, our Texas office has sent them a few pieces of some projects this past month and so far they are doing a great job.  Lord willing, if they can continue to produce for us, it would greatly help us push more work out the door and improve struggling profits.  If you wouldn’t mind, pray for this.  I would love for our company to have more revenue so we could develop some new things and not be so stressed.  God has sustained and blessed our business, this August will be 10yrs that I stepped out in faith to start Cypress.  I’m continually reminded when things get tough that He often puts us in positions where He can be God, and we can learn to trust Him.

Thanks for checking in!  Deb has come down with an awful chest cold.  I’m teasing her that she sounds like an old grandmother but we’d really appreciate prayer both for her, and that our kids would stay healthy!

Bruce & Deb CroweRzhyshchiv, Ukraine

Verse of the week | 1 Peter 1:8,9

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.