I’ve written about Broderic’s incredible and ongoing tale in a previous post – so I won’t be including that here. We do however thank you for the prayer, the past 4 days have been a trial for him and our family but we rejoice that things are looking up.
Our time was a wonderful success, and the team did a great job. Max made us a video, it’s only 90 seconds and will capture more than I can write. The most amazing time was the group prayer time. I saw several dear ladies not only praying with our team, but with tear filled eyes being touched by the Holy Spirit.
Special thanks to Max for the video, Cheryl and Rafael for driving around and picking up the Widows, Lana and Natasha for singing while under the weather and Natasha K for organizing all the packages. Also, thank you to World Challenge for being our primary sponsor this year, funding monthly care packages and events like this – it’s a huge blessing to many.
Club 180 Christmas Party
This year we did something a little different. We brought the students to our house for a Skate party on our backyard rink. Deb and Natasha (Minsk) cooked a Mexican feast which was a first for most of the students. God was having an extra special day when He thought up Cilantro.
We are sowing seeds with some of the students about being part of our Summer Intern program. Last year we had 3 young ladies, this coming summer we are believing God for 6-8 new believers to dive into God’s Word daily and in practical outreach.
The coolest thing is happening each afternoon now with some of our musical students. They are wanting to talk about Jesus more than learning their instrument. They are preferring to drink tea and wrestle through what it means to enter a more meaningful journey with Christ. God is at work! There is NOTHING more rewarding and faith/worship inducing for us than when we see a spiritual hunger emerge.
Pray for Anya, Denis, Vlad, Dima and all that are regularly gathering to practice and look to God’s Word for purpose.
Children’s Bible & Pizza Outreach
Several of you have given and helped us to buy 120 illustrated Children’s Bibles in Ukranian. They were supposed to be here last week, however they were accidentally shipped to another town that sort of sounds like Rzhyshiv! Crossroads youth in Texas just raised $100 towards a couple Pizza Parties that we’ll be hosting in addition to the Bible gifts. Christmas is actually Jan 7 here, so we’ll be organizing this soon.
Minsk, Belarus Update
A few weeks ago I posted a video update and request for prayer. Thank you for watching, commenting and praying. We are planning to travel this Jan 14-17, both Deb and I, to Seattle to meet with the founding family as well as the director from Minsk, Piotr. Discussions have progressed and we’re considering a deeper role with the US Charity they run, called MIR (“Peace” in Russian). Ultimately our desire as a family is to make ourselves available to His work and plan in Belarus. We ask you to pray with us and these meetings!
2017 Concept & Vision
Over the past 6 months, God has been preparing us for something. I’ve never been so anticipatory of a new year, as this one. I remember in July starting to have the thoughts, ‘next year is going to be really cool.’ I wasn’t planning anything specifically, other than a focus on ‘more worship, in more places’ and a general feeling that Minsk was to be a focus.
The following print piece is a vision I’d like to share with you, it’s something not yet public, well, I guess it sort of is now. It’s a vision to engage local churches in the west primarily, to spread the financial resources God has blessed them with in the fertile ground in our part of the world – through planting more Coffee Shops. Take a look!
It’s interesting how an opportunity or something out of ‘left field’ can lead you to really take inventory of your own trajectory, motivations, passion. As we’ve considered some of these newer opportunities, we’ve realized that we truly love what we are doing.
We believe the Lighthouse Cafe model, and it’s various developing offshoots is an accurate reflection of how we need to position, and reach this generation.
God seems to be connecting us to those that think the same way, have even already started similar works in different countries.
The question started forming in my heart, “What if God provided the people and resources to expedite the vision in your heart? How would you move forward, what would it look like and how could more people get excited about it?”
This question has led to the forming of a simple, albeit daunting vision; To plant 8 more Lighthouse Cafes in the Russian speaking world in the next 5 yrs.
These print pieces are not official or finished. They are the forming answer to the above question. I envision a network of beachheads in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, which essentially do the same thing as we’ve done in our community, namely :
- Build relationships & trust
- Provide job and ministry opportunities
- Unite the church for action
- Make disciples & impact culture (particularly youth).
I’m hesitant to make even these print pieces public, but I want my kids to see the process of faith. Faith never sees the entire picture, it takes risks based on experience, knowledge, but it’s about hope. Faith can come across as foolish to some, and can incite judgment from others. Faith ultimately needs to take steps, physically or metaphorically. This is a step for me, to say, “Lord, I’m willing to lead in this direction, if you are with us.”
I’ve said it a hundred times, God loves faith, Jesus was always moved by it. To step out and trust His power and nature, is to move His heart in powerful ways. God wants to be known and has already revealed Himself perfectly in Jesus – this is the center of my motivation in this vision:
Everything God has revealed about Himself perfectly in Jesus, must be known to our generation. If we align our hearts to this mission, whatever forms it might take (eg Coffee Shops, local Churches, Mercy Ministries), God will provide the resources.
What I enjoy about this vision, is that we can’t, in our own abilities or wisdom do this without divine resources. The people, the connections, the finances, the favor, would be monumental. If God is moving among the youth of the former Soviet Union, which I believe He, then He is wanting to prepare the nets.
This coming year we will need to see God connect us to the engine room of prayer, and financial support among His people. Thank you for your continued support – consider telling your church, your friends, and those with a passion to reach a culture for Christ to join. Consider planting a new Cafe!
Bruce & Deb