April 10, 2010

Am I the only one in disbelief that it’s April already?

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This morning Tom and I drove to Kiev to the automarket in search of a second vehicle, in particular one that could help shuttle more people around besides just my family.  There are only a handful of working vehicles at any given time among the church community, and last fall we asked Crossroads (our home church in Texas) to help us raise some funds for this. It’s been two years since we had a second vehicle, we’ve managed fine so far, but with increased activity, incoming groups, family, and church ministry desires which require more transport, it is time we expanded our wheels!
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We found a 2006 Toyota HiAce, not a brand found in North America, but one that is very popular over here among the road warriors.  Vehicles are under constant repair here because of the treacherous road conditions, so we wanted something that will endure and I’m a loyal Toyotian.  It only has 80km on it, one owner, seats up to 12.  A very large Ukrainian business firm which took clients to Germany and back frequently.  Thank you Crossroads family, everyone that helped us get this.  It will be a great blessing to our family, and church family as we serve together.. and to you if we need to pick you up at the airport with your 6 suitcases.

We met a very nice guy who represented the company selling it, he offered to help us look into residency actually, something we weren’t expecting.  He has ‘contacts’ in high places who have helped foreigners fast track documents which can take months.  We’ll see what comes of it, he’s supposed to contact us next week with some information.  We’re considering Residency for a few reasons:

1. No more visa/temporary registration every 6 months (costs, time wasted, potential new rules that change)

2. Import my truck at no (or little) cost.  Currently it’s tied to my registration and a royal hassle and additional cost to keep road legal.

3. Travel in/out of country without worry (or starting paperwork over).

4. Can own vehicles and better management of property/ministry assets.

Pray that we make the right decisions with this, it has a few repercussions we’re looking into in terms of US legal status/documents and potentially our children medical/schooling requirements… not sure of the logistics yet.

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Trying to plant some grass, we miss having a lawn. Right now our yard is a dirty, weedy, and bumpy mess, with clods of grass here and there.  It’s the one thing Deb and I were amazed at when we returned last fall, particularly in New Orleans, the immaculate, finely kept, soft to the foot lawns.. oh how orderly and pleasant to look at after 2yrs of concrete and dirt!

Calixto, do these instructions look right??  🙂

Pray for the local church here in RZ.  We are slowly but surely putting what we (as elders) believe to be biblical principles of leadership and structure in place, for the benefit/growth of the believers, and glory of God in this town.  The body is still small in number, which can sometimes make changes more difficult.  We need to break out of a small minded mentality, there’s still a present ‘youth group’ feel.  I sometimes feel as though I’m still in high school or college myself as we gather together.  I miss being around older believers, their sobriety and wisdom add so much to the mix of a church body.  The strength and weakness of the church (at least our local gathering) is our ‘youthiness’, pray that we harness the positive idealism and energy, and grow in the weaker areas that keep us from growing numerically and in depth of spiritual commitment.

We love and miss you all!

Bruce & Deb

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