Container Arrived!

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Yesterday our container arrived from Kiev, it passed through customs without any issues. I was able to pick up my truck in Kiev a day earlier, it was a very emotional experience to see the container in actuality… the finality of it all. Well, it wasn’t over yet, the container still had to make its way to RZ which proved to be an ordeal as well. The container (as shown above) tried to back up my street and about half way down it went off the road.. into our neighbors soggy grass…it was trying to miss the other neighbors trees and ended up getting stuck. Fortunately they had a secondary smaller van which became the shuttle between our house and the container. Deb and I had to laugh at how this container traveled for 5 months, made its way over the sea, through ports, customs, and now was stuck 500ft from our house.

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Everything arrived safely, we thank the Lord! My truck needed only a boost and I was off. After driving a small 4 cylinder rental car, I was nervous driving through the over-crowded streets of Kiev. I also wonder what people think when they see the Texas plates, I’m sure to meet the police very soon, they station themselves at various check points (usually these silly crosswalks positioned in the middle of the freeway) and one-by-one flag people over for speeding. The problem is there are virtually no speed limit signs in this country, not that anyone would follow them.. maybe that’s why they didn’t bother putting them up.

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Our school room, that’s Noah who’s learned to open the front door and escape. We’ve put him to work with a broom as punishment for the last attempt to flee Ukraine.

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Oh the joy of unpacking. We can say with absolute sincerity that we are LOVING the mess. Our stuff is here, we are all a bit giddy. Kids are pulling things out in spite of our efforts to maintain some order. Last night Deb and I just sat on the couch after kids went to bed and it was such a wonderful feeling to realize we are ‘home’. The house is now filled with our Texas life. I even like the smell of things, they are so familiar. The reality that we are really here for good hit me like a ton of bricks.. it was one thing to be here in suitcases, quite another to see your belongings and think about the effort it took to get all this here,,, not something easily undone.

So we are thankful for your prayers, and I’m sure you will all be happy to stop asking us ‘has the container arrived yet?’ Oh, and on the hot water note, Daniel successfully hooked up a temporary electric hot water heater while we wait for the gas to be turned on. What a day yesterday, got our stuff and took a hot shower!

I’m now racing to put together an office upstairs so I an lock myself away and catch up on work.

This week Kilgore city council meets and part of the agenda is to review this contract agreement RZ has asked them to sign. It’s not a binding thing but required by every Ukrainian city to fill out before officially engaging in any foreign activity/communication. My fear is the Kilgore lawyer and folks involved will find an issue with this and not understand the bureaucracy here, nothing happens here with a handshake and a verbal understanding, everything must be stamped. If a process does not require a stack of paperwork 2 inches thick (minimum) the general feeling is that it can’t be official. They are so used to inefficiencies and the overabundance of paperwork, they know of nothing else. We’re getting used to the mindset here, and no loOk nger surprised when things take forever, I guess that is a good thing and hopefully we can be used by the Lord during the process (whatever we are doing). Pray for the cities to reach an agreement soon so that RZ can continue with it’s paperwork process. We were hoping for an October webcast between the two mayors but I don’t think that is going to happen at this point.

I’ve decided to wait on renting an office downtown for the time being. The owners were requiring some more things, including I put in my own meter for electricity and were a bit sketchy on the details of the phone/internet. For now I will get an office going here at the house, and continue to investigate and pray.

Russian classes have begun again for the kids, Deb and Cassie. I haven’t started yet because I’ve either been in Kiev, Odesa or somewhere dealing with the urgent. Pray we stay consistent in our studies and God graces our minds to absorb.

I spent a few hours with a farmer from a neighboring town yesterday, he brought his tractor and wagon and helped me remove an enormous pile of trash from our front yard. He is a bit older than I but we found a lot in common. He spoke about as much English as I do Russian, and has a real desire to learn more. We decided that in a couple of weeks he would come over with his family and we would practice together more. Pray for him would you? His name is Svetaslov.

Comfort– In greek, com=with, forte=strenth… God supplies strength to us in times of need. When we think of comfort, we should consider our great God who comes alongside of us and gives us strength. Consider the power in which God graces us with to live holy, to turn from sin, to rejoice in Him when times are tough, and to endure in a manner that brings him honor. Thank you God for your comfort! Thank you as well family and friends for the prayer that does likewise.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” 2 Cor 1:3

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