Belarus & Back

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Daniel and I just returned from Belorussia today, which is about 5hrs north of here. It was the suggested border crossing by customs in Kiev… we had to exit and re-enter the country in order to get a new stamp for my truck. It was, of course, an overly technical and inefficient process but we praise God for a successful day. We were allowed to exit Ukraine without technically going into Belarus… which would require a separate visa for US citizens… they told me “just drive up that bridge a bit and look at the river, then come back.” We dealt with no fewer than 7 individual border agents, one did this, another that, there was quite a bit of joking and laughter throughout the process which was refreshing. These guys were located in the middle of nowhere so I think they enjoy visitors. They said they get roughly 40 US citizens doing this exact little routine every month. Here I thought I was special… pretty sure it was the first Toyota Land Cruiser from Texas they had on site though.

We are healthy again, thanks for any prayer sent this way. We’ve had someone sick with the flu for the past 3 weeks I think, it’s been a vicious circle. Amazing how much energy and positive attitude resurfaces when health is restored. dsc00361.JPG

RZ has fully approved the Sister City relationship! The city council voted this past week and we are now moving forward with some possible dates for the Skype video conference between mayors. We’ll keep you posted.

Was able to share this Sunday with the church. Dan and Pris were out of town on a little rest. It was nice actually to share a bit from scripture and try to encourage us. I spoke out of Numbers and the faith of Joshua and Caleb. It’s my prayer that the believers here (including us) look at this community with biblical faith, praying and believing God that He’ll motivate move us toward action – we need to start doing the things we can and trusting the Lord for the results. If there is one thing God is not pleased with in scripture, it’s unbelief I think. Part of believing God is believing His Word.. and that means obeying it right?

Brent has started hockey in Kiev. He’s only gone once so far, hopefully we can get him there with some regularity.. is there such a thing in Ukraine? He’s going to be a little superstar, can’t you see Him playing for Team Canada.. I mean Ukraine? I look forward to getting more of the kids in activities that engage them in this culture through language and friendships.

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Wild watching the economy  at home and here locally (US Dollar up 20% in past month), keeping up with the election in the US (as much as I can handle anyway), the European Union struggling to come up with a financial rescue plan, Russian forces refusing to leave Georgia.. I’m not an end times theorist by any stretch, but one thing we do know is that we are a day, an hour, a minute closer to His triumphant return, and I hope He finds us with wicks trimmed and ready.  Let’s be closer to His heart than to cable news.  Let His Word flood over the fears of this world.  Let’s trust Him with our money, lavish Him through charity and unselfish behavior.

17 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18 ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished;”  Number 14:17-18

Sincerely,

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