Back from Minsk!

We went by size.. I think if Broderic were here I would be 2nd.

We went by size.. I think if Broderic were here I would be 2nd.  Oops missing Clair.

We had a great time in Minsk!   We’re loving what God is doing there, and was neat to get to know more of the city with the whole crew this time.  We also deepened our friendship with several of the leaders at the school and church.   The first part of our trip consisted of attending the Worship Marathon with our Ukrainian team.

Here’s a little clip of Yan leading an evening – he’s one gifted dude, along with his drummer brother Vikente, and artist sister Liza.  Love this song, “Your love, in death and life, to me Jesus.  Your love lives in me, my Lord, always.”

On the Saturday of the event, around 300-500 young people flowed in and out of the main auditorium during the 12hrs.  I was really impressed with the level of talent the church at large in Minsk.

The student leaders are all into these Meme type photos - this quote was taken from a message I shared to the youth on our recent burglaries. The quote says, "Install a security system on your heart." It looks like I am going to steal your purse.

The student leaders are all into these Meme type photos – this quote was taken from a message I shared to the youth on our recent burglaries. The quote says, “Install a security system on your heart.” It looks like I am going to steal your purse.

After the team returned to Ukraine, our family rented a cottage on the outskirts of the City and enjoyed the city for a few days.  Minsk is an incredibly clean and beautiful City.   The City itself is well laid out, and traffic laws are strictly obeyed – it’s such a contrast to the jungle free for all of Kiev (although I have to admit I’ve grown fond of the jungle!).  Our kids had a blast wake-boarding and enjoying their little zoo.

Each evening we were involved in Worship Nights, and a couple of them were quite memorable as God touched and spoke to many hearts.  There’s something so attractive when believers gather, not out of duty or tradition, but hunger for His presence.  It doesn’t matter if there are 5 or 500 – if believers gather sincerely, God shows up and it’s so refreshing to experience, especially among youth.   It’s a pity that most Sunday gatherings tend to grow into stale, uneventful ‘meetings’ – God doesn’t like to be predictable, but seemingly allows us to confine him to our expectations when there is little faith for more.

5 nights of worship and prayer - love it!

5 nights of worship and prayer – love it!

One evening, was not unlike a specific evening in Ukraine where the room was ushered into a chorus of prayer and worship that was very acute, forceful, ‘other worldly’.  The music faded into the background and the folks gathered, mostly 20 somethings, began to intercede for their nation, their world.  What’s unique from my other experiences in the west, is that none of it was engineered by a preacher or even motivated by the worship leaders – it rose up, it culminated – God’s people taking His heart, touching heaven.  You had to be there.

View from the loop that encircles the entire City of Minsk.. I love the the City is so spread out, grass everywhere even downtown.

View from the loop that encircles the entire City of Minsk.. I love the the City is so spread out, grass everywhere even downtown.

I believe God deposited some seeds that night in many students hearts, seeds of His heart for His mission.   This generation in the FSU (former Soviet Union) is no longer going to be targeted as a mission field only – but a Missional Community that God is raising up, a Kingdom force for years to come.   It’s a paradigm shift for me personally –

I’ve always believed God was calling us to help bring the Gospel TO a people group.

Yet, there is a Gospel Movement underfoot that flips this on its head – God has a people that is already starting to take the Gospel TO the nations.  Our mission is to help fan this flame.

In the coming months we’d love it if you prayed for our families role, particularly as it relates to level of involvement in Minsk.   A piece of our heart is there, and we are excited to see how God weaves together our world in our small community of Rzhyschiv, Ukraine with something larger in a big city.  I think there could be some serious synergy and impact for the Kingdom coming.

Loved this photo from day of Wake-boarding - perfect weather!

Loved this photo from morning of Wake-boarding – perfect weather!

We’ve unfortunately returned with some sickness among the troops, coughing and sneezing abounding but thankful to be home safely.   Clark and Noah are now at kids camp with our friends up in Ivankiv.    Thank you to a special someone out there that cleaned our house while we were gone!!  They can break in anytime they want 🙂

Time to meet with our Cafe workers, get a read on how the week went and make some adjustments for June.  We had a record pizza day while we were away, the last day of school… over 20 pizzas in one day is a lot for us!

Some bullet point areas of prayer!  Sorry for so many, but we haven’t blogged in a while!

  • It looks like our Kickstarter won’t reach the 100% mark, but we made it to 50% with 2 days left.  We need wisdom to know if to re-launch with a smaller goal and do less, or just leave it for now.  It’s been a neat experience and I’ve learned a lot.
  • This summer.  We will be receiving a couple of short term missionaries to serve with us, as well as starting our internship program.  Prayer for wisdom and for the 2-3 students that are very interested in committing.
  • August Team from Minsk coming to serve in children’s outreach.  Meeting with some area leaders to consolidate efforts hopefully.
  • We’re also receiving guests/friends from Texas, NY, and possibly family from Canada… so much for slow summers!
  • Brent is leaving for Canada this week Lord willing, to work on the farm.
  • Broderic is applying to Augustine College in Ottawa, Canada for Fall Semester.  It’s a one year intensive apologetic course.
  • Bronwyn is considering fall Bible School in Minsk!
  • Who else can we send out…. any takers, we got more 🙂
  • Studio: hoping to see it evolve to next step and we have one person in mind to help with that, but need prayer, wisdom and finances.
  • Continued prayer for Widows ministry – feeding now 40 and I’m looking to see Natasha continue to grow in leading this.  They do such a great job!
  • This week we hope to get another used coffee machine for the 2nd location near the school.  It’s hard to find reliable stuff here (and people that sell honestly).

Blessings,

Bruce & Deb

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