August 22nd

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I had to get this picture of Daniel a couple days a go, he has been laboring away on our tunnel for the phone line… He looked like Bin Laden with the towel on the head. We finished the line today, now we wait for someone in to flip the switch and we should have phone/internet – We give thanks!

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We were swept up in the preparations for Ukraine’s Independence Day preparations which will be held this Sunday in the square.. complete with tanks, artillery, marching and other ‘show of strength’ entertainment.. we will try and go to this but it will be extremely crowded. Tension is also a bit high with the Georgia issues currently, we hear and see several fighter jets on a daily basis, something the locals have not experienced for many years. There is an obvious dislike for Russians here in the country side, where there are less Russians and stronger Ukrainian national pride.

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The boys have been enlisted as the ‘fill in the trench’ brigade. It is still very hot here, 90’s for a few weeks now. We hear it is going to cool down in the next week, that will be nice…. I think, we still don’t have gas or heating in the house, we best hurry (not a Ukrainian word).

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Our fruit trees and grapes are doing well on their own… in spite of our ignorance and neglect. The apples are plucked from the trees by everyone around,, and we have plenty to spare. I told Deb she needs to pick some and go sell them at the market with the old Babushka’s. She hasn’t done this yet.

Wonderful news on our passport registration, it is FINISHED! We are registered through April 09 at which point we hope to find a better, more long term solution to these religious short term visas. Pray for Cassie’s.. we aren’t sure how to go about hers just yet, she can’t register in the same way as we did (long story) so the Lord will have to open some other door before her 90 day period is up.

Our container is on it’s way to Kiev for customs (from Odessa, the Black Sea). Amazing amount of paperwork and hand holding, I wasn’t expecting direct involvement in the process but I give thanks that I’m learning and hopefully this knowledge will be used in the future for others/projects.

We may have sold our first website in Ukraine, for my friend Oleg who is CEO of a fairly large construction/design firm (they build malls, hotels, auto dealerships, things like this) and we had lunch a few weeks ago. I though perhaps I scared him away with my testimony, why we are here (and that we have 6 kids!), but received a call today and we’re meeting next week to discuss their new website. Praising God for open doors and opportunities to influence for Christ.

Many other things, but must run, thank you for praying, the past few days it is obvious the Lord is blessing and giving us a fresh boost of joy and His presence. Our strength is our joy in Him. He is good when it is tough and difficult, I’m learning to appreciate this more each day.

“…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3

PS- I’ve been excited by the thought of starting/building a hockey rink of some sort here in RZ, this could be a social gathering place during the winter and in the summer inline/roller blading has not hit the Ukraine much yet. I’ve been lifting this up to the Lord, would you with me? Our boys love playing hockey and skating and I think the community would appreciate it. Yesterday, with this on my mind, I visited an indoor little mini-hockey place (not ice but this funny plastic flooring that you use real blades on) and it was in the middle of closing, literally all tore up and being removed. I’ve got a few people inquiring for me on this, if we could get this material, if they are throwing it out or selling it, would be a really cool. I’m also thinking about inquiring to some places in the US and Canada about donations of used skates or equipment… the people here do not have money to buy their own, but if we could rent for $1-2 they could afford that…. Anyway, this could be a fleeting desire, but I don’t think it is, I told Deb it might be a Canadian version of Field of Dreams hehe. Whatever we can do to build relationships and bless the community. I might talk to the Mayor about this, supposed to meet soon.

Sincerely,

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