End of July

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We’ve been crazy busy this past week, and I’ve got about 5 minutes so here’s a few pictures from the weekend. Off to meet Alex our lawyer who has ‘saved the day’ by helping me complete the documentation for the OVIR registration. What an answer to prayer folks, I’m going now to purchase the required health insurance for Deb and I. Then all that is left is some more paperwork to pick up and a rental agreement (on my own house). I wonder how much I should charge myself?

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Here’s a church in Kiev, probably one of the biggest charasmatic chuches in Ukraine. I wanted to check it out this past Sunday. I heard people talking about it negatively and I left actually quite encouraged. It was the first time I’ve seen joy, hope and emotional expression on the faces and body language of Ukrainian Christians since I’ve been here. I was reminded of the verse in Mark where Jesus warns His disciples to embrace those that preach Christ, if they are not ‘against’ us they are with us. I’m pretty conservative these days, but finding the desire to be around those that radiate enthusiasm for Jesus, even if they hold some goofy doctrine. We as believers (limited in number and influence) here in Ukraine cannot allow secondary issues like “the role of the holy spirit” and “the gifts” divide and conquer us. I left a bit angry at the enemy, how even in a culture so spiritually dry as this he’s done a number on the body, keeping them in their safe little camps. The worst part is, we evangelicals think this is spiritual, to split hairs and in the guise of ‘unity’ we hang out with those that think like us. For those that know this church (readers from Ukraine), I’m not condoning the theology of the leadership in all areas, I’m commenting on the actual believers there… their Christianity was ATTRACTIVE and their gathering full of life. If we are to err, let us err being over enthusiastic about Jesus.
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This is a Marshrutka, a small bus. If you don’t want to pay for the taxi cost, you grab one of these. I actually prefer the larger buses (more roomy) but they aren’t as fast. You have to pay attention to two things (at least) when riding, the upper left sheet shows the cost for the ride, this one is 1,50, which is roughly $0.50. They travel in 2-3 kilometer routes all over the city. The other number is the front right, the bus number, this is 45. I made the mistake of hopping on the 445 yesterday in haste, I figured it took the same route, woops. You also have to yell out when you want off, “Na Ostanovka”… at first when we arrived I would yell “Stop” and “hey whooo” but the driver didn’t seam to acknowledge. After missing a few stops I quickly learned this word.

Had some issues at work this week which caused me to want to defend our company and character. I was pretty upset as some potential ‘rumors’ had circulated among competing business concerning my departure (I had ‘fled’ the country).. and were swooping in on a client like a vulture. I spent some time in prayer asking God to help me manage these emotions.  Why is it that we (or maybe this is just me) are so quick to defend our imperfect reputation and go on the offense when someone attempts to bring our character into question? I couldn’t help but think of Christ who was led like a lamb to the slaughter, innocent yet charged as a criminal. How did He keep so silent? Was He not concerned about His own reputation? What if history remembered Him as a criminal?  

I think this is important to learn to trust and be quiet in these situations even though it is very difficult.  Some people may find it hard to stand up and challenge folks (hold them accountable for what they say), but I find this easy… it’s the being quiet and trusting God part that I need to learn. 

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” Prov 27:2

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7 Responses to End of July

  1. mom says:

    got to have that priceless picture for my fridge. sad to hear about the trouble in your business, i guess your being tested all around!

  2. papa says:

    Hi Bruce,
    Good stories and pictures,and I like how you incorporate Russian also.As for the competition,I suppose being on the front page of the city newspaper,does make one vunerable to being taken advantage of,but yo are working for the Eternal God,and they are working for the god of this world.Business,like politcs,tends to be cruel,and you sure dont need that going on right now!
    Wish I could help.
    Dad

  3. Bruce says:

    My work situation ended up working out, we may lose a client but it will be for the right reasons (and probably a blessing). Thanks for posting, my faithful parents!

  4. Jodie says:

    Thanks Bruce for sharing about your issue at work, wanting to defend your character, and learning to remain silent and trust in God. I just experienced a similar situation at work this morning and have been quite frazzled. Your words were calming and encouraging for me.
    Glad everything has worked out! I love reading your family’s blogs!!

  5. Lorrie says:

    Hello there brother of mine, hope you’re having a good weekend with your family. You must be getting excited to move in to your house soon and get your belongings back, it will be like Christmas! One day at a time:)

  6. Bruce says:

    We are headed out to RZ today, it’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen the house, pretty excited are we all 🙂 You have no idea on the excitement to get our stuff, and our truck. We have upgraded this weekend to a van (so expensive we can’t afford more than a few days) and we feel so spoiled, certainly learning gratitude for the thinks we take for granted.

  7. Janet says:

    Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts. I can never get enough of Jesus manifesting Himself in and through His people. His character shines through all your posts and so does the fact that He is indwelling a sheep like me. I love it! You and Deb, Cassie & kids have my heartfelt love and prayers today.

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