We are excited to announce the 11×16 asphalt pad is finally complete. It took about a month of ground prep and a lot of manual labor, but we have the smoothest blacktop around!
Next step is building a perimeter fence. We are already over budget (surprise) so we are attempting to this on our own.
We need to be able to keep stray animals out of the play area – and if you’ve visited our town, you know there are various packs roaming about. We also need to be able to keep human critters in so the parents can relax and enjoy their ice cream or coffee!
Vova is about 70% finished building a large wooden lighthouse which kids can climb and slide down – will be interesting to see!
Shane is ordering frame and cover for the half-pipe and we’ll be assembling ourselves in Rz. We want to leave a large portion of the pad open for roller-blade and future growth.
We don’t have budget for sod/grass, but I’m moving forward with the hope we can lay down a large area in the kids zone so the park can be used right away. Still hoping for a Sept opening, hope against hope!
Summer Interns Update!
We’ve been really happy with the three girls the Lord has allowed us to invest in. They have spent many mornings with us in study of God’s word, prayer and worship. With very little backdrop of the bible, we’ve walked through the Gospel of John, and taking steps back into Israels history – the covenant God made with Abraham, the exodus and Passover memorial, through the prophets echoing of the restoration of God’s Kingdom to come. By the time we get to the end of John, and the Crucifixion we see a glimpse of the beauty of God’s plan, His redemption and Kingdom begun on earth through a new redeemed people from every nation and tongue – His Church!
It was especially cool to have groups and visitors from all over flow through the ‘Big House’ this summer. This kind of exposure for young hearts is immeasurable and it was neat to work as a team with various believers in the area, and the team from Minsk. The Kingdom of God is vast, and this summer the interns got to taste some of the mission heart of our Global God.
As I type this, they are en route as a team of 6 to the beautiful mountains in western Ukraine. Through a generous sponsor, we were able to help pay for a retreat where they will spend 4 days enjoying God’s creation, praying, and filling up with vision Lord willing for their coming new year. God blessed us with two young men from Minsk team who stayed back and are helping to lead this team with Natasha who has been serving with us this summer. Pray they have an amazing and SAFE time!
The camp was great, everyone served well and many young lives were loved. Here’s a quick picture of it!
We are really enjoying the two youngest girls Abbey and Claire. They are playing together more and being so silly.
Brent is coming back in 9 days from his working/play stint in Canada. Yesterday he went to Canada’s wonderland, a huge six flags type park for the first time.
Broderic is about to start his first intense college course at Augustine College in Ottawa. He’s feeling a lot of pressure, working on the farm and for our development company on the side. Life is full out for him I think now. We sure do miss him.
Bronwyn is considering some last minute college options herself. Please pray for her this week as we together seek His best for our eldest daughter. We would hate to lose her this fall, she’s an amazing help and influence for the young students here – but we want to see her maximize this year for the Lord and her own character building.
Tucker is a solid dude, he has a close friend Igor who comes from Kiev on the weekends. They are like two peas in a pod. He’s still loving computers and anything soccer, and his little dog.
Clark and Noah are roaming about the village daily. Noah rarely has much more than shorts on – he’s fun and creative, silly and obnoxious to his siblings. Clark is becoming quite an athlete and competes with his older brothers in just about anything. I wish we had more athletic options for him here – we actually looked the other day at sending him to a sports boarding school in Barcelona, Spain. It would cost $40k Euro – we all had a laugh at that one.
Deb and I are anticipating some changes in the near future. We have opened up our hearts to the Lord in working more in Minsk for longer stretches. We have connected on some deeper levels with the ministry there and bonded with their leaders. We’re starting to court a Pioneering ministry in the US that has 100’s of like minded ministries that range from businesses to charities, to schools to cafe’s – ministry partners and support for those that seek to impact culture outside of traditional local church structures. It has been so refreshing to realize we are not alone in our particular calling to plant things outside of the church, for the growth and expansion of it.
It is extremely difficult to live and move inside Belarus and Russia right now for any religious purposes. We have the opportunity to be invited by a Belarusan entity for an extended period, and become a board member of it – we are walking through this process now. Also we have been invited to Russia again this fall to teach at YWAM – with the new laws in place, this is a matter of legitimate prayer and we appreciate your support in that.
We haven’t spoken too much about this, but we’re in our 2nd month here at Lighthouse Studio and have begun recording! Tomorrow we have a young lady, a songwriter coming to record an hour worship ‘session’ which we’ll video as well. Dima has been amazing, learning the in and outs of studio recording on the fly, but also brings many years of playing, singing and technical know how to the table.
A few weeks ago we met some studio guys from the war torn area of Donetsk, where their studio was actually destroyed. They were excited to hear of our new work, and as brothers in Christ look forward to seeing how we can partner. Our heart is to simply see Jesus take these rooms and equipment and be glorified. More on this soon!
We are preparing for the students return this September, and also more guests coming! Andrei and his family from Minsk, as well as Josh from Crossroads in Texas will be joining and serving with us for a season. God continues to encourage us with Russian speaking friends in and around our home, in little Rz, Ukraine – and I believe our Russian as been improving along the way because of it, thanks be to God!
Thanks for checking in – Bruce & Deborah