We really enjoy our Wednesday nights with the Club 180 Youth.  Over the past few years the group has ebbed and flowed, some of the core remains while others go off to Kiev and university, some return home to their villages and towns to find work.  Currently, we have a solid young core of guys, some quite new but adding depth to our meetings with good conversations and seem to really be attracted to this little community.

It’s neat to see Dima and his wife Lena investing increasingly into their lives as well.  Being Ukrainian themselves, they are able to dig deeper, having the youth over to their house (Deb’s parents house next door) and now planning some events like camping.  We’re about to demo part of the old cafe garage out back and make it a clubhouse of sorts, on a shoestring budget of course.  It’s next to the skatepark and we’re wanting to get outside more, not just expect everyone to come up to the studio and 2nd floor where it’s going to get increasingly hot here shortly.

We’ve got 2-3 boys that we hope to arm with a $100 budget, and let them attempt to build a wall, door, and some shelves.. then we’ll look to put some skateboards, basketballs, find an old couch (or make one!), add music = youth hangout man-cave style.  I’ll take some pictures, it ain’t gonna be pretty!  I pray it will help us connect with more hearts though, casting nets!  Pray for us.

YFM crew headed home this after 3 months of serving in Ukraine.

This week was weird.  Three full days in a time zone that was 8hr ahead, then back to regular scheduled programming.  It wasn’t like going to the US, because we never really felt like we left the culture, but it does something to your body for sure – wiring gets messed up, hungry and awake at strange times.

Still looking for LIT Kiev location with some friends.  It’s supposed to be June 22-24 but finding pricing is much higher for rental of places in summer months. We’ll have Steiger hosting one day/evening with a festival type style and David Pierce coming to share during it.  The other evening is also still up in the air as we see what Collins is able to put together from his contacts and past couple months in Kiev.  I’d like to see a ‘collective’ band start to emerge that unites various churches, but it’s not showing itself yet.  We may have to bring in some help from Belarus – I think it’s important to keep the evenings international at some level.  More worship evenings are becoming more common place around Kiev – from different churches jumping in and hosting various evenings, to partner ministries, and now even Bethel is coming in September to the 12k seat sports arena downtown Kiev.  This is a huge thing for post-maiden Ukraine, which is continuing to lead the way embracing the Gospel and Christianity in new ways.  I’m trying to get some group tickets to take a few van loads and also aid those Ukrainians that can’t afford to go, as the tickets are ‘city’ priced at $8 or so per person, which is well out of reach for most villagers.

I dug up this old t-shirt we designed 6-7 yrs ago, it says, ‘on mission’ in Ukrainian.  What’s interesting is that we’re studying ‘communities of practice’, or ‘missional communities’ in my seminary course.

Being in a cohort of fellow leaders around the globe is really cool.  We get to interact, learn about how others are applying biblical principles and experience in each of our contexts.  It’s neat to be around not only thinkers, but missional hearted folks living it, struggling with the same things, and desiring to see the church grow in number and maturity.

Missional communities, we aren’t just united by meetings folks!  We are united by Jesus, in our pursuit to be lifelong learners of Him, and effectual disciple makers.  I’m looking forward to being challenged in this area, as I’ve been sitting idle in the area of ‘what is church, really?’ for what seems like eternity. I’m enjoying the community we’re finding and building in pursuit of Jesus and mission. Loving faith steps of first generation believers.  Must see more of this!  I still have many questions, and I don’t suspect this season will answer them all, but I’m hungry to know we’re planting the right seeds which will blossom into a more fully-orbed community, healthy with depth of called and gifted leaders, families, and everything else that strengthens the body of Christ for generations

Bruce & Deb