August 18th

In Kiev today with Deb and Cheryl cleaning the apartment we’ve rented, the Perhai’s return this coming Friday. We’ve officially moved to Rzschchiv, and the kids are loving it. It took them only 3 days to build their first fort in the woods, complete with a pathway and campfire pit. It’s been in the upper 90’s this week, unbearable during the afternoons. I wouldn’t have imagined Ukraine being a country that experienced such heat waves.

I’ve been in a real bind without regular internet, so I’ve found this very cool internet cafe called “the vault” about 10 minutes from the apartment. I’m in this dark warehouse building, very cool metalic decor, edgy and youthy… and there’s about 200 pc’s in this place, complete with 50-60 young kids playing every kind of video game you can imagine (pirated of course). Here’s a glimpse.dsc00084.JPG

I’m awaiting a phone call or email from AGS movers, a local Kiev firm that acts as a broker for foreigners importing cargo. Our 40ft container has arrived in Odessa and now awaits the proper documentation and instructions. I believe it will come to Kiev where it will pass through customs, then shipped to our town 60 miles south. Pray this goes well, there’s a chance the entire container may be unloaded and searched, that would be a nightmare as the guys that packed it were professionals and crammed every last item in … no way they’ll get it all back in… or I should say, I will get it back in.

In addition to fellowship at the Gollans yesterday, I took a short 10 minute drive to Khargalyk where a church of about 50 met. It was nice to see some older believers, it had a loving atmosphere and energy to it, they are putting a big emphasis on outreach to children through kids camps (VBS type things) and everyone was encouraged to bring some potatoes, cabbage and any extra food they could help out with. This group effort mindset goes a long way in building a community, I was tempted to donate money to it, but felt the Lord stop me, this doesn’t usually happen (usually wants me to give more!). I think the Lord is blessing those believers just fine, and I need to be careful to not interupt what the Lord is teaching them through sacrifice and giving… there are times to bless and help, and times to hold back I’m learning. The summers seem to be filled with children/youth type events, which makes sense, the winters are harsh and more difficult to do such things indoors.

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Ok, well, I’ve got internet for a few hours so I’d better get some work done. This couple just sat beside me and lit one up… cough cough… must move.

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Brent has been my big helper. Broderic has also helped out around the house/yard but Brent has a certain ethic about him that comes naturally. He doesn’t mind getting sweaty and pulling up his sleeves. We must have loaded 10 wheel-barrel loads of trash/cement blocks/glass/wood pieces… trying to get the yard in a position to cut it, then the little ones can roam around more freely.

Ok, thanks for checking in. Here’s a scripture I’ve been meditating on for a few days. We often think of attending church as something that directly benefits us (or in some cases doesn’t!). We’ve been told to ‘not forsake the assembling of the saints’ and given many reasons for ‘why’ we should gather but beyond the personal edification (building up) what other biblical reasoning do we use for justifying this assembling together? This scripture encourages me to do my part in the laboring for truth, the ‘holding up’ of the banner of Christ in a community and nation… we do have strength in numbers and our collective testimony matters! Paul calls the church of the living God a “pillar” and “foundation of the truth.”

“..if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Tim 3:15

Can we be a pillar by ourselves? Probably, but not a very strong one. We need to gather in order to sharpen one another, to strengthen the weaker pillars. We are His people, His church, before we ever gather together and ‘do our thing’… whatever that looks like. But we ACT like His people, His church when we labor for truth, proclaim it together and change the culture around us.

Thanking you for your prayers-

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