Stories in the Missional Journey of Bruce & Deborah Crowe

Let the Russian Begin

We ventured out as a family to the center of Kiev the other day for the first time.  Bus, to Metro (subway), then a bunch of walking with a mess of kids and a stroller, it was a blast.  Brent asked on the Metro if they were going to serve food.  We started our Russian lessons today, Deb, Broderic, Bronywn and myself sitting at the kitchen table drawing letters like we did in 1st grade.  It was very surreal to look across the table and find my kids finishing their papers before me, and doing a better job too!  It brought back all that I did not miss about public school.  I asked the teacher if she could just teach me to speak converstationally and not have to do the writing part, she looked at me with a puzzled face.


Tomorrow I venture out to Epicenter (home depot Ukraine style) to pick out and purchase some more paint for our house and meet up with Dan.  I hope I can find it.  I then have to take the Metro to meet up with Maxim, a brother from the Assocation of Missionary Churches who helps us get our visas (invitations for religious visa), we’re supposed to have Cassie Walters tomorrow and then I’ll then try and find the Fedex office and mail it to her so she can be ready for her July 31 trip to Ukraine!  On a work note, things are going well there (cypress), we have a great group of guys and gals.  I find the time difference still difficult to deal with and getting a rhythm that works has been next to impossible, I’d like prayer for this if you have a moment.

This week we may meet up with the Claycamps, they are coming to the city to visit a park with their kids, they have a van (I forget how to drive I think).  We’re also going to try and have Alex and his wife/baby (never met) over for dinner.  Alex is a young attorney that helped us with some legal paperwork on a previous trip, I like him and want to get to know him more.  I don’t believe he is a christian, pray for him.  We also had a nice time with Kolya and Jeanne from Rz, they have family in Kiev and came over to visit Saturday night.  Kolya is the main builder on our house, and they both love the Lord.  Pray for them too, they aren’t sure what their next move is, they won’t have a place to live after July and have been involved in the church in the past, they are not sure what the immediate future holds.   Bo may be visiting in July.  If he does come, pray things line up well for his short trip, I may co-ordinate (or try to) visiting the Mayor of Rz with his visit, unveiling the sister city opportunity that has been approved by Kilgore, TX.  Daniel has been faithfully plugging away at the paperwork for our phone line at our house among other things, which will have DSL (mucho importante).  They love their stamps, official signatures and mounds of paperwork/procedures here.  It’s a miracle anyone ever gets anything done.  Dan’s received no less than 5-6 signatures (over the course of 2 months) just to get the line installed, and he’s not done yet.  He has to drive to different spots and even towns to get the approval needed (can’t imagine trying to do this without a vehicle).  He emails me each time we get a step closer.  Literally the mayor of town is one of the final approvers of the new phone line, maybe we’ll have a ribbon cutting and get our picture in the paper when it’s activated!  When you go somewhere to get a stamp or signature, the odds are very high that they aren’t working, or will be back in an hour (or two).  The patience needed to work within this framework is unbelievable.  A few nights ago our friends Jon and Ruth took us to the large grocery store here in Kiev called Metro (like a sam’s club membership place for bulk).. we spent 5 hrs there folks, no joke.  I spent close to 2hrs in line with two carts full of food while the rest of them drove to another store for other things.  Thankful there are things to buy here though.  Customer service hasn’t made it to Ukraine.. you don’t realize how customer driven (customer is always right, customer is king) America is until you leave it.  I’m either going to develop the character of Job (preferred) or very high blood pressure. 

Thanks for checking in again, and your continued prayer and encouragement.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Phil 4:6



  1. papa

    Hi Bruce and family,
    Glad you guys are fitting in.At Bible study last night we all prayed for the kids health and you and Deb.Many are reading with interest this blog,and pictures are wonderful.
    Miss you all terribly,

  2. lorrie

    I like your family pic, funny that Noah turned away. I know what its like to get all six of them to look and smile:)

  3. Connie

    We’ll be praying about those things, and that you take maximum advantage of all of those opportunities to develop patience. 😉 After 5 weeks in Colombia at the mercy of the taxi service I really wanted my car! I feel for you guys. Great photo, by the way.

  4. Noline Rhodes

    What a great picture of you and the kids. I’m sure Russian is a difficult language to learn. Maybe, Neil and I will get the Rossetta Stone course and start learning some ourselves. Sounds like you will be getting a lot of visitors in the near future, so there will be little time to get homesick. We certainly will keep you in our prayers. You are all very close to our hearts.

  5. Bo

    Hey Bruce & Deb,

    Your finally taking a little time to explore Kiev. I remember that one big, flat, metal scupture of the soldiers. Calixto and I went there 6 years ago.

    I am also glad to see your learning Russian. We’ll send some Big Chief Note tablets. Maybe that was before your time.

    I will be in touch. Bo

  6. Tanya

    Uh-oh…I remember the Big Chief tablets!

    We’re praying for you all here in the Johnson home.
    We would LOVE to all come and help out there someday.

    May Father make His Presence very tangibly real everywhere you all go and fill your home with His Glory.

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