Nice to have Bronwyn back from college in PA. Excited to see Broderic mid January for a week. Unfortunately the entire family won’t be together for more than 2 days at the same time, but we’ll take it! Something tells me it will become increasingly rare to pull off.. especially if they launch themselves all over the globe.
Just said goodbye to a YWAM crew of 12 that stayed at the Big House over the Christmas break. They are fresh from Hawaii, and seemed to really appreciate the home atmosphere and get over jetlag at the same time. Our power in the city went out this morning, so not sure how many of them got a shower or coffee down there, but welcome to Ukraine!
It’s been strange to not have pressing papers and book assignments due with Fuller. I thought I would enjoy it more, but I think I’ve grown to appreciate the required structure, and with it, the regular seeds mulling over in my heart.. challenging me. I start that back up January 7th – this next semester is on “Leading a missional community” – this entire season of learning continues to amaze me, so relevant, timely. I have gleaned a lot from my peers, through dialogue online as well as the material itself.
This past week Deb led an enneagram class with those who were interested at Lighthouse. Also, her and Natasha hosted a refresh for our local widows ministry volunteers. They went to a Ukrainian spa.. outside big pot of water with fire underneath it.. and a freezing pond.. dip in, out, in out.. I think I’ll pass! They loved it, was great time of prayer and rest for these lovely servants too. Some of them really struggled to enter quiet prayer, but when they did, the Spirit spoke several deep, encouraging things to them. This is why we need to go and provide more of these spaces in areas we are growing this ministry – that the leaders would know how to care for their own souls, that they would know how to refill and give out of a full heart.
Last night we hosted a Christmas carol sing and free hot chocolate night for customers and friends. It was nice to have the YWAM team, joined by our staff and Bronwyn join in. There was a mix of Ukrainian traditional and western carols. I noticed some eyes closed, not sleeping, but just taking in the atmosphere and being blessed. We heard some neat testimonies, one person shared how thankful they were for the evening, that they had a new and deep sense of peace. I also met an older gentleman and his wife who shared their daughter married and American and now lives in Florida. I said to them in my not-so-good Russian, “I understand as a parent, my son is in Florida also.. we all have a piece of our heart in that State!” They can’t visit their new grandchild because Ukrainians still have much difficulty getting visas to the US.
Next step for us is to get working on our next leader’s weekend. We have a large group coming, I think around 30… January 25-26. We’ll be starting a new year obviously, but I’m really asking the Spirit for wisdom how to move forward and specifically how to integrate new hearts and friends into a community that has already journeyed through some great material and experiences over many weekends. Time to perhaps have two tracks.. those going in deeper material and prayer times, while newbies go over some of the core material on missiology, leadership theory, Trinity… Really appreciate some prayer there as my heart wants to tackle more than I know I should right now.. but we love this group, and the potential it has for growing and influencing long-term in so many places.
Thanks for checking in – love to each of you. May 2020 be a year of victory, closer friendships, growing, and increased faith.
Bruce & Deb