So America, look out.
Our spunky, lip pierced, Jesus loving, newly dreaded 19yr old is heading your way next week. Bronwyn will be landing in the Orlando, FL area to work this summer with her brother, staying at her grandparents.
This isn’t just a summer thing though- she’s in process of applying to an art school in the sunshine state. It was super cool to have her in Minsk with us this past fall and rejoin the family for a season after her African safari. I think she reconnected with some of her ‘roots.’ Hair joke, sorry.
I need to keep this light, because inside, this daddy is holding back the tears. These things sneak up on you, right?
I thought I would be better at firing off these arrows. It’s Deb, who’s admittedly more anxious than I to empty the nest, who keeps us anchored in parenting reality – they do need to leave. I think “The Walton’s” was my dad’s hope- that we’d all stay ‘home’ and wish each other goodnight. I get it now.
The only thing I’m excited about at the moment is sharing less of my potato chips. Bronwyn inherited my weakness for them – she’s a gifted snack thief.
We will miss her piano playing and watching her little sisters adore her. Whoa, tears welling up, I best move on.
This past year I’ve been writing primarily around missions activity, and promoting projects, fundraising (which is particularly a favorite of mine). I’ve missed connecting with friends across the pond on a more personal level.
Deb and I were talking the other day about how dramatically the world via the internet has changed things over the past 10 yrs. When we moved here, our ‘blog’ was cutting edge, the iPhone was just announced by Steve Jobs, and President Obama was taking office. Yeah, I think a lot has changed for everyone.
For missionaries like us, who rely exclusively on communication to ‘connect’ and provide meaningful spiritual and financial resources, today’s glut of information overload is a real challenge.
Up until a few years ago, sending out a newsletter, email, or blog update was fairly unique. Today we’re bombarded with social media 24/7 – everyone posting anything. I was noticing a friend (a few hours north of us), who runs an orphanage and their only ministry vehicle is dead – they need a new van. Their post for this incredible need was sandwiched between marketing ads and “7yrs ago today” photos.
Like the printed newsletter 30yrs ago, social media is becoming an ineffective conduit for missionaries to fuel mission. We need wisdom.
There’s just too much information to wade through.
I’m exhausted after the unending scroll of facebook and I know you are too. Instagram is completely run by the emerging generation under 30. They left facebook a while ago (normal when parents show up). Yet, even Instagram is now dominated by the ultra A.D.D. format of 5 second daily snapshots.
To insert legitimate prayer requests, or promote missional activity in these spheres is increasingly inappropriate and counterproductive. People are looking for dopamine hits and here we are, reminding them of spiritual realities – unfriend.
How did I start this post about Bronwyn leaving and end up here? Our family, like yours, is changing. Deb and I are entering mid 40’s, actually Deb is already there 😉 As you get older, you increasingly treasure meaningful connection. Shallow ‘likes’ and voyeur like spectating of each-other’s lives is lame.
I’m getting back to blogging to update those who continue to care, love and support our journey. I need to be more personal and vulnerable.
I want to apologize if some of our promoting and ‘ministry’ stuff has left you less interested and even disconnected. Our blog still gets cool readership levels, over 60 will read it within 24hrs. Of those, a majority we’ve known for many years. That relationship means more to us than a donation or a like on fb.
I’m realizing I want to write for those that have been more wise than I and have already made healthy disconnects from the use of technology. So if you notice some more edgy updates, frustrations, or more gory details of broken society, this is why.
If you have any suggestions, thoughts, please write me! I want to know how to best stay connected.
Prayer Request March/April:
– Bronwyn: she leaves Tuesday, for her re-entry into the foreign land that is America – I think there will be some genuine culture shock coming her way.
– YWAM Trip Russia: UPDATE!!! We received a generous donation from a Texas friend who will help Deb come with me to Vladivostock! We only need $200 more if you would like to contribute, click here.
****any additional funds we receive for this trip, we’d like to buy some chairs for the Lighthouse Cafe, after 5yrs of daily use we have several needing replacing.
– Fuller Seminary Begun! I have begun a graduate course (MAGL Masters Global Leadership). It’s 90% online and about 15hrs per week for the next few years. How I was accepted is an incredible story and I praise Him for putting this on my heart and flinging wide these doors. Pray for me please.
– Spring/Summer Trips & Mission: We have a lot of changes taking place. I think it’s just the beginning! As International Director with our charity Mir Ministries, we have a new board and exciting new plans for advancing Jesus Christ in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Deep breath. Please pray for all of us and unity as we move forward into this next chapter. So thankful for the oversight & experience surrounding our families in Kiev & Minsk!l
– July 15-August 15 we hope to be in Canada/US (required for my program). My family in Canada has offered to help bring the family, but we’re not sure if we’ll be able to pull it off yet. Regardless who comes, we would love to potentially visit you in person and enjoy your fellowship. Invite us!
Things we’ve been studying/learning:
– Rhythm of ‘working’ to enter regular spiritual rest – how the Sabbath ultimate goal was to help bring our souls to genuine peace and rest (from works) with Christ. (Heb 4).
– Books: Leadership Elipse (Fryling), Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (Peterson), Life You Always Wanted (Ortberg).
– If you want something substantive, thought provoking & completely antagonistic towards today’s humanistic dialogue, check out Dr. Jordan Peterson on Youtube.
Bruce & Deborah Crowe