Broderic, our eldest joined up with us, attained his driver’s license (what a relief!!), and hung out with his best buddy Brady Bolding. I didn’t have my camera with me this trip, just my iPhone – but I really liked the silhouetted effect, the Texas sky backdrop, as the boys ran and jumped across rooftop.
As usual, our bags were packed with some things we can’t get in Ukraine, and some fun things for the kids. We found these superhero costumes at Walmart. The boys now wake us up in the mornings, saving the world.
The realities of flight never cease to amaze me. How many months would a trip like that take just a few decades ago. What a privilege to be able to hop in and out of cultures. The heart and mind adapt to whatever conditions we face. As much as we loved our trip and were sad to see it end so quickly, we both admitted on our drive back to the house, that we were home – wretched road conditions and police waving batons and all.
Ukraine is a popular destination for Jewish Rosh Hashanah. It seems that every trip either to, or from Kiev the plane has a large group of Jews traveling. Admittedly, I’ve not been a fan of traveling with them. They keep the stewardess hopping with demands, they show little concern for those around them, and do nothing in my view to declare the glory of God (what they believe is their mandate on earth as God’s special chosen people).
Deb and I were upgraded to first class last minute on one of the flights. I had been watching this one certain Jewish man that had the kindest face, and was discussing spiritual things in the terminal waiting area. I had this random thought, sort of a prayer, “It would be cool to have him sit beside me, I have so many questions and frustrations with these guys.” Well, you guessed it. He was also bumped to first class – we had two solid hours of meaningful, theological, and rewarding discussions. I was able to share about Christ, he was able to share about history, traditions and the law. By the end of our flight, we had formed a friendship, he’s a medical doctor out of NY State, divorced. I learned a lot, and I believe sowed some seeds as well that will not soon leave his mind and heart. My mind was opened to considering new thoughts – but I’m sure glad the Messiah has come!
Lastly, an update and picture from the Cafe. Today we received and paid for the final BIG document we’ve been waiting for 4 months now. We have now submitted the final local request to open the cafe, and believe it COULD take only two weeks. One step closer! In the meantime Dema and his cousin installed the pizza oven vent and fan. You have no idea how challenging that was – finding a fan that would properly fit, then hanging this beast – it’s sounding like an airplane at the moment, working on that – but should nicely push all the lovely smells of pizza over to the bus station !
The one thing I’d ask you to pray about over the next couple of weeks is heating. We currently have a $4k bill staring at us to activate the gas, which heats our building. This process will take up to a month, and it’s getting cold already in Ukraine – about a month before it might snow and leave us in minus temps for the long winter. Our friends Art & Tracy raised $1000 through their home group last week, so we’re down to $3k. We have to move on this quickly if we’re to keep the building functional much longer.
Another option we’re looking at is installing an electric furnace as a backup and possible quick solution, but that is another $1k. Either way, we need some financial help as we approach possible the opening of the cafe. I may post something on facebook, especially now that we’re inches from opening to the public. We’ll open with Coffee first only, then move into Pizza as the gas situation is resolved.
Thanks to Shane and Jem for watching the kiddos whilst we were away – they loved it. Thank you to all our Crossroads peeps for prayer and elevating missions and the Kingdom of God like you do. Thank you Bo and Beth for your hospitality as always. Thank you guys at Cypress and EDsuite, you are part of this.
Ok, let’s get to work.