Bags packed, kids excited, Sergei’s van delivered us to the Kiev Airport yesterday as we began our Christmas adventure to Canada and Texas!
It’s been a hectic past few weeks as we prepared to leave our life and home in Ukraine for 2 months. Would like to catch up on some blogging over the holidays, as we reflect and begin to make plans for our return, and the new year.
Vlad: His situation has not visibly improved. He is still in prison, the appeal is not progressing that we can tell, in fact the opposition is mounting even more accusations according to their lawyer. The family has finally agreed to allow another 3rd party lawyer to hear the case and give some advice. We have been encouraging this for weeks, and have lined up the lawyer as well as paying for the services. There’s something amiss with whole situation, please continue to pray for our friend and brother in Christ.
Cafe: As I left this week, Alyosha was completing the tile on the main floor and it’s looking great! This leaves the kitchen as our last remaining ‘section’ to finish. The Cafe is warm, and we meet in it now every Friday morning for prayer. We’re hoping that in the Spring we’ll have enough funds to complete it and open for the public that is VERY excited about it!
Care of Christ Ministry: the cafe garage is now a weekly clothing ministry for the poorest of the poor families in our town. Together with the local social services department we are inviting families to come every Friday morning to select from donated clothing. We have a lot of VERY needy families in our town, some without heat in their homes, many terrible situations including alcoholism and abuse render families in desperate situations. We’ve even had a young 18yr old boy for the past two weeks come, who is an orphan that ‘graduated’ from the system in need, living on his own and completely ill-equipped for life. We’ve invited him to Friday night college outreach. Tom is overseeing the clothing ministry, please pray for us as we connect with some very needy souls that need Christ too.
Texas: we are really excited to meet with our friends and church family next week. We’ll be in Texas from Dec 8-20. During this time we’ll be meeting with church leadership and planning some project next year, including a new discipleship program for Ukrainians (with a church planting focus). As well, connecting with our wonderful Cypress & EDsuite team. We’ll have a number of Christmas parties too, we timed it just right! I’ll be sharing Dec 18th at Crossroads Community Church in Longview, we’d love to see you.
Kids: Thanking God for healthy great kids. Including the little girl growing in Deb’s tummy. She’s now 5 months! It’s been such a joy to watch the grandparents enjoy seeing their grandkids again. Family is such a neat thing. We are looking forward to hanging out with all our cousins, brothers, sister, aunts, uncles, and speaking 100% english!
Over the past 6 months we’ve had Bible Study every Wednesday night in our home. Here’s a picture of some of our church family hanging out with us. We have anywhere between 12-25 join us weekly, this past week on our final night for 2 months, we enjoyed having over 30 not including the kids, we love a packed house!
Found this family picture downstairs in my parents house, it’s about 10yrs old I think, we only had two kids at the time.. how time flies!