A heartfelt thanks to our support team that has been praying along with us these past 2 weeks. We are excited to share some significant news for our family and ministry.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be assuming the position of International Director of MIR (pronounced ‘Meer’) Ministries, a US based Christian Charity that was formed +20yrs ago by the founders of Christ for the Nations, Belarus.
The mission of the charity is to expand the Kingdom of God within the Russian speaking world, which is exactly in line with our mission and heart. The charity owns central Minsk property and currently funds the Bible School staff and provides space for several ministries including the church and weekly youth events.
We’ve been praying for God to connect us with more of His Kingdom, to work alongside those with the same vision in this part of the world. God has been so gracious in answering this cry. He hears prayer!
It’s also pretty cool for our family to be the answer to prayer for others seeking vision and leadership that by God’s grace we can provide.
Last week Deb and I flew to Seattle to meet with the founding family, Minsk directors, and supporters. This was the first time we had met them in person after a series of Skype calls and correspondence. Actually, I had met the Brunk family in passing over 20yrs ago during a short term missions trip to Minsk. Their family made an impression on me then, and their sacrifice still encourages us in our similar journey of faith.
We were there for only 3 days, leaving the kids back in Ukraine with my parents who arrived the day before we left. We had several long, fruitful meetings, as well as prayer together. They totally spoiled us, and they fell in love with Deb.. go figure!
This is a big step for all involved. So many have given sacrificially with this network of friends and families. In the coming weeks and months we’ll be sharing more. I wanted to at least let everyone know our trajectory and the peace that is surrounding us collectively that God is orchestrating.
There’s still many logistical hurdles for our family and the ministry in Minsk over the coming few months – we ask you to pray for us!
We will need greater measure of wisdom and insight, and favor as we deal with a much more strict government in terms of religious liberties.
We will have to consider next steps for social media, our blog, videos – Ukraine is so very free, we have no fear expressing our faith and being embraced by the community here. As we step across borders, this landscape changes and how we communicate with the west will change at some level.
So, allow me to list a few bullet points for prayer, things we are working towards:
- I will be attempting to get long term, multi-entry visas for our family in Belarus. We need some miracles.
- We are planning to return to the US/Canada in May or June and travel around to supporting churches for a few weekends. If you are open to hosting our crew, or would like us to share at your church, let us know!
- We believe God wants us to be ‘in’ Minsk for 3-4 months this year, how that works out, we don’t know. Ukraine, and our home here will remain home-base for now.
- We’ll be improving the way supporters can give, it will much easier and via the MIR Charity so everyone can receive end of year tax receipts. We’re also working on Canadian tax deductible option.
Think about Ukraine tonight. 700km south of us in the town of Avdiivka, just north of the devastated city of Donetsk , several soldiers have been killed and many more injured as potential city-wide evacuations could be immanent as things escalate. We wonder about the timing of this outbreak. You can read more about it click here.
Tomorrow we are hosting a Pizza Day for college students. We’ve posted on line ‘free pizza from 4-6p’ – no idea how many will come, but I suspect it will be quite a few! We’ll be inviting them to our music club and Wednesday nights.
Just heard from Bronwyn, our adventurous soon to be 18yr old daughter. She’s finished in Kenya, and now back in Ethiopia for her final 3 weeks. She’ll be returning beginning of March, just in time for some pretty cool outreaches taking place – we’ll need her help. For those that also think about Toto when you think Africa, go ahead, you can listen.
We have many needs beyond our abilities, both now and moving ahead. It’s difficult to ask for financial help, but it’s both prayer and money that keep us moving ahead. The US dollar goes so far here in this economic crisis. Don’t underestimate the value of your gift – $10 is an average day’s wage. We are employing 8 Ukrainians right now, we’d like to employ more in active ministry and will need to as we try to free ourselves up for more focus in Minsk.
Please take a minute to learn how you can immediately make an impact as part of our growing and generous team – click here
Sincerely – Bruce & Deb