Deb’s at a retreat for missionary ladies this week, she took Bronwyn so it’s just the boys at the moment. We are enjoying sunny skies and warm 60 degree weather. It’s been amazing once again to come out from the hibernation of winter, seeing people downtown roaming about and neighbors working in their gardens.
It was nice to say hello once again to our church family in Texas. Texas is becoming less and less ‘home’ with each passing month. We’re approaching our 3yr anniversary this May. We just put the trampoline up again, that made me think, “didn’t we just put this together.” How time truly flies by. Door bell just rang, new kids I’ve never met wanting to jump on the батут (trampoline=ba-toot), here we go!
Took some pictures today of the cafe. It looks a bit different now that the walls have been stripped back to the brick. We have poured new concrete on most of the first floor, and getting ready to build the utility closet, which must meet very specific requirements.
Our plans over the next few weeks are to install the heated flooring, using plastic pipes that we pour concrete on top of. We then will tile the floor. Tile is actually more affordable here than in America. Wood flooring isn’t that popular so it’s very expensive, and they are just getting into the quality laminate flooring – about the same price as tile. It should heat up nicely in the winter.
We’re still deciding where to purchase kitchen equipment. We’re happy to find that there are some decent options in Ukraine. For a while we thought we may have to drive to Poland or Germany to get what we wanted. Importing quality goods into Ukraine forces companies to pay outrageous fees, which in turn make it difficult to afford, but slowly more options are becoming available.
Shane Paxa will be the cafe manager to start. He has a gift and passion for cooking, as well as love for God. He and I will be working out menu details, pricing, rules/guidelines for the business side of the cafe. Our hope is to open in August for the students, even if it’s only on the weekends, then slowly expand as we’re confident and able. This is going to be a very unique place for our town, and we want to be careful that we don’t get in over our heads (at least too quickly!). It’s not going to be affiliated with the church or any religious organization, it’s a 100% business and will require a lot of documents/work to keep it going after we start. The goal is for the cafe to sustain itself which will allow us to utilize the building for other things as God directs. It will most likely employ 2-3 people.
The reality of the economic conditions in Ukraine, and in our small town, is that most people will not be able to afford pizza or specialty coffees. The average salary is still 100hrv per day ($15), there’s a reason there aren’t any restaurants flourishing in our town. But praise God the building will be paid for, and we’ll open debt free, so the operational expenses will minimal.
We have started a series at church on “mission.” Dan and I are tag teaming every other Sunday. I started last week on Creation, the ‘intention’ of God to expand His perfect loving relationship (Father, Son, Spirit) to His creation, and the efforts/cost God Himself has taken to restore that broken relationship. I’ve been enjoying thinking about God’s Mission, his ‘sending’ of Jesus for us, and how our collective mission is simply to enter His. Wherever I live, whatever age or vocation, whatever ‘ministry’ I find myself in, God wants me to embrace His Mission, the ministry of reconciliation.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:18
Thanks for checking in, thank you for prayers as well-
Bruce & Deb