April Showers?

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[Spring cleaning- ladies in full force sweeping the streets]

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 [If you look really really closely you can see our house:)]

Our first full spring in Ukraine… and we are wondering where the rain went?  Amazing it’s almost May.. we moved over here last May 15. We’ve begun reflecting and wondering where the time has gone.  Simultaneously amazed at what has been accomplished, both in completion of our house, language progression, social network (aka friends), relationships in the town, opportunities to promote our great God.. and youth group that congregates around our trampoline daily.  Another thing that feels great is having a better grasp on visa/passport/registration regulations and procedures.  Registering a business here in Ukraine has already proven to be a very good decision, we were able to keep our ‘stuff’ in the country without import tariffs using the company, attained 3yr business visas, registered with OVIR.  This year we also completed the purchase of our house, registering it fully in our names.. we’re still working on the land part:).  Anyway, when I start to get overwhelmed, I step back and gain encouragement from all these things… most of the time we feel like we are still swimming in mud, but we’re seeing results and learning everyday how to better navigate through the mess of bureaucracy.

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We have a team of 7 coming over July 2-9!  Excited about the group mix, Art Bradshaw a good friend and a teacher in Longview is leading the group.   The group will be meeting folks from our town, building relationships, hosting a business luncheon, a cultural evening.. and representing East Texas.  I’m excited about this type of trip, it’s great for our community here, it builds more bridges, help us foreigners continue to be an asset and gain more trust as we live among our Ukrainian neighbors.  I think the group will be very blessed as well to experience a taste of life here, literally.

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Deb is doing great, she’s a wonderful wife and mom.  She hasn’t been blogging for a while, I’ve been encouraging her to start updating again.. there are so many things happening in her world that I miss reading about on her blog!

Today we met with the city leaders responsible for Child Services.  We have begun researching how Ukraine governs orphans, orphanages etc.  It’s quite fascinating, and complex.  There are over 20k legal orphans according to a state website, and 160-180 ‘orphanages’ which care for 40-400 orphans each.  A lot more information to gather, praying about eventually, as the Lord leads, helping in this area.   We’ve met some interesting contacts over the last few months that either manage orphanages, or work with children/youth in this capacity.  Next week we plan to visit some in the region and build some relationships with the directors, find out really what the needs are. 

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[This picture is for my dad]

We met again last night for our monthly Jacob’s Cafe meeting, we had a time of singing and praying together with the church.  Pray for us, we are going to make next month’s an evangelistic outreach and invite people, share the gospel.  Next month we are also going to host a Men’s Event… Paintball in our woods.. this will also be an outreach focus, I’ve already talked to a couple guys in town that are excited about it.  We’re going to help sponsor the event so it will be affordable for everyone.  I wonder if Ukrainian paintballs hurt like American ones?  mmm. 

Thanks for checking in –

(PS, nothing is growing in our garden yet.. it’s been 2-3 weeks.. shouldn’t i see something yet?)

Bruce & Deb

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