Garage Sale & Table Tennis

It’s always so cool when God provides in surprising ways! Last week we hosted 2 days of an american style garage sale. We saw, with very little announcing, probably 100 folks go through and find lovely deals for $0.20- $0.40 cents. We had so much stuff! Thank you to those that donated over the past year or so, many families were blessed with fresh western styles and good quality clothing (for the most part).

One of the things we are working on is finishing out, finally, our playground park area. Oles, our friend from another town and brother in Christ is the project manager for this, and he and our team decided the best use of the space was to put in some outdoor exercise equipment, and a table tennis spot. Now, for me, table tennis is an indoor sport, but here in Ukraine you can find them in public parks and they are quite fun to play.

Anyway, I wanted to share this cool story. We raised about $100, which is quite amazing for us, considering each item was at the most $0.40 cents! We had funds saved but not enough for the table tennis, and were planning to just buy two stationary sports pull up bar type things, then next year Lord willing get a table tennis set (they are over $1,000).

About a week earlier, I was leaving the cafe, and this guy was backing his car up towards the cafe. It looked like he was trying to turn around, but then he just kept backing up, and backing up.. until he smashed into our Cafe wall! I sort of just stood there, half stunned and amused. The guy got out, a little sheeplishly and said, “sorry” in english.. he obviously knew I was not ukrainian and the owner somehow, but I had never met him before, he wasn’t from the area (we know our clients, and they can all drive!).

So, anyway, I just found the whole thing a bit odd, and something in my heart urged me to pray for him. I then told our prayer group which meets on Wed and Friday mornings at the cafe. I told them the funny story, and that I really feel to pray for him, the guy who crashed into my cafe.. didn’t know his name. Fast forward to our yard sale, and as we were setting up, I saw the same car, and guy once again turning around in our small parking area.. once again, he was moving towards our cafe building, and en route to crashing! I ran over and noticed he was quite deliberate in backing up onto our sidewalk and trying to get as close as possible.. I waved and yelled (at least as loud as I can yell), ‘whoaaa, hey stop!’ .. he then opened his door and I was able to figure out that he was just trying to park his car out of the sun, in the shade.

After taking for a few minutes, I was amazed at his english, his name is Yan. Yan isn’t from the area but knows several members of this growing creative/ecological group that is building houses, and parks outside the town. It’s a real movement of 30-40yr old’s who want to see Ukraine build a new future, they care about things like sustainability, and also seem to really desire meaningful dialogue, ideas and relationship. We’ve hosted some of them at our house, and I was pleased to know we had common friends.

So, to make this story shorter, he donated for us their professional tennis table! He messaged me out of the blue and asked if we had need for it, and would like one? We have it now in our garage, and next step to install and get accessories. I’m enthused to see how God will use it to draw more of these guys to the Cafe, more relationships, more dialogue and I think it’s probably going to get pretty competitive!

I love when the Spirit comes along and encourages you, we aren’t carrying the world on our shoulders, and it’s a joy I think to His heart to orchestrate surprises, blessings and affirmations that we are in fact not alone.

Bruce & Deb

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