Thankful tonight as we make final preparations for St. Petersburg.. t-minus 8 days! If you haven’t checked out our new website, take a peak in English or Russian –  Shout out to Vova, and Sveta for their fast work!  Social media is active, posters up this week on Nevski Prospect.

Thankful for the amazing creative people serving around us, and new friends we’re meeting it seems weekly.  It takes a wild variety of talent to bring ideas to reality, then to sustain and grow them.

Always enjoy having Steiger crew visit. This band of youth is hard to keep up with, they move quickly and even beginning to send Ukrainians into other countries on mission.

The process of stepping out in faith is not without challenges, but it can be so fun too!  Especially when things connect and a community begins to evolve.

We’re told the crew in St. Petersburg for example, which has been put together through just two exploratory trips led by Peter in Minsk, are united, hungry for more projects and come from a variety of creative and professional media backgrounds.

I haven’t been writing too much lately about specific challenges, but there are plenty. Been focusing more on positive things partly because I still feel like I’m in Belarus and the sense of caution that comes with writing within a totalitarian environment. It really has an effect!

I also recognize how many challenges our friends and supporters face as well, often much more burdensome than my own.  I read on facebook how some of you have lost a loved one, another sick in hospital, or been out of work forever.  I happen to have a blog and live in Ukraine – that doesn’t make my challenges heavier than yours.

Yet, we are living in a suffering culture, and bringing me back to reality tonight was a drunk fellow who decided to pay our Cafe a visit.  He wouldn’t leave, then demanded to see the manager. I happened to be there, and we talked for 30 minutes. Pray for him, his name is Yura, 50 yrs old, husband, father. The bottle is the answer to the sorrows of men here, and this new generation must experience the love of God to escape this pattern.

Oh, someone spray painted a satanic symbol on the side of our cafe. It’s not that noticeable, sort of made me chuckle and if anything, a bit encouraged by it.

With more travel, responsibility for teams and a growing ministry comes increased financial weight on our family. This past year I sold my business, and was able to become free of all debt, not to mention the stress related – thank you Jesus!  It was an amazing ride owning and running a business from across the world, but it was time to close that chapter.  We no longer have the flexibility we had and rely exclusively on your generosity to keep moving forward – a huge thank you for past, present and future gifts.

Been a while since I updated on our family.  It was my intention of this blog, because they are growing up too fast!

So… rapid fire update on the kids if you don’t mind!

Fun visit to Renewal Center with our YFM girls. They plan to host some fun events with the kids this month.

Broderic our eldest is in Canada, about to drive down to his new job in Florida with his Uncle’s new business.  Was really cool having him with us for YFM fall semester.  Too many girls in the program, he got out of dodge and plans to pursue his degree in the fall.

Bronywn is in Austria tonight leading worship.  She went to a YWAM friend this week and I hear having a blast. Yes Bronwyn, you have to come back, we going to St. Pete!

Brent and Tucker are making progress with their homeschooling – even if Brent’s time is mostly spent on his online driving course (when he’s not doing pull-ups).  They both eat too much.  We’re realizing we were too relaxed with our oldest two academically, so trying to improve their trajectory.  Not easy (on us or them!)… This is another reason to have lots of kids.

We are loving Wednesday nights again. This month theme, “Living Life to the Max.” How Christ is the beginning and way to true life.

Clark and Noah are homeschooling for the first time.  They spent the previous 5 years in Ukrainian school.  It was a good experience, but it’s time they jumped into western academics to get on pace.

Abbey and Claire should be our grandkids, but their not.  We feel it on most days – way too much energy for the amount we have to offer.  They are nightly entertainment and terrific dancers.

Deb.  She has succeeded to train each of her kids to massage feet, head, arms.. we even have a massage table setup in the living room and homemade timed coupons are often the gift of choice in our family.  A true test of her motherhood skills lies in the adoration of her kids.  I simply love how much her kids love her.

Visited Eagle’s Church in Kiev this weekend. It’s only 2yrs old, and building a good reputation among the next generation. Pastor is from Kazakhstan, quite a character.

She’s putting these quotes up in the kitchen all the time, they are fresh reminders of grace, of unwavering and exuberant love in Christ. I’ve watched her grow in the very things she promotes – the girl encourages those around her to find rest in Jesus alone, and it’s challenging.

I thought my wife would adore me and think I was awesome for decades, but the tides turn don’t they men?

How about I finish with a bullet list for prayer?  

  • I’ve been asked to share in Havana, Cuba in March at an underground event. Emerging youth professionals, business and creative types.  Several from Ukraine have been asked, because of the post-communist context.  I’m praying about this, would you pray for me?
  • YWAM has invited us to share this April at their Russian conference in Far East Vladivostock.  It’s with our friend Elsa – it’s SO far and not cheap, pray please.
  • YFM students here with us, they’ve started some new clubs, meetings, and beginning to connect on deeper level with college students.  Pray for fruit, health, unity.
  • We are connecting for coffee with the fashion designers we met last week.  Neat couple, and hoping to partner in someway that allows a few of our YFM girls to intern/serve them this spring.  Could be a really cool thing for everyone.
  • March 6 we have an important meeting among potential partners for Kiev Creative Platform.  They include Steiger, YWAM, OM, Christian Vision, HFO, and more.  I believe God is strategically positioning things for a united network to journey through this together, and he’s using our family and charity/supporters as a major conduit of this effort.  A lot of hunger and willingness to lay aside party lines for the good of the next generation.  This could be an amazing model to show other major cities how to work together, and possibly through this group start more platforms.  Wisdom, really asking for this.