“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and he rules over the nations.” Psalm 22:27,28
I’ve spent a lot of time and energy converting the US dollar into Hryvna (pronounced ‘greevna’) both ‘on the fly’ while at the supermarket or at the bank with physical dollars. Anyone that has went on vacation or a missions trip has asked the question, “now what is this in US dollars” right? A few months ago the Hryvna ‘unpegged’ itself form the US Dollar, breaking an international treaty, and has been testing the waters with the central Ukrainian bank controlling rates. If anyone has followed the economy of Eastern Europe, and Ukraine specifically, you’ll know that we’re experiencing some concerning inflation (over 30% YTD). Prices have been rising continually for about 3-4yrs, at an alarming rate. The articles I’m reading (do a google search for Ukraine economy) however all point to an eventual economic burst or even recession as the government will be faced with some major restructuring of it’s checks and balances (like actually getting some). Because of corruption at the highest of levels, enormous trade tariffs on everything from cars to clothing from the west are pricing themselves out of the market. The value of the Hryvna is a matter of East vs West philosophy, some say Ukraine will head toward embracing the EURO, but then isn’t quite ready to fully divorce itself from mother Russia (and she isn’t letting go either!).
Basically, the economists on all sides of the debate agree with one thing, something must happen soon, or something will! We have personally invested quite a bit of money into land, a house, and have hopes to work toward other projects that will engage us with the buying and selling of goods/real estate that may be drastically over, and in some cases under valued. We want to be guided ultimately by the Lord, investing in the Kingdom of God supremely, but do you ever wonder if it’s all going to come crashing down.. how long with the Lord sustain and uphold this world with all it’s devices? In the meantime we have to be good stewards and ‘sort of’ have a clue how to handle resources!
We remind ourselves that we serve a sovereign God who’s Kingdom is not of this world. I also take comfort in the fact that even in this world, He rules over all the nations. The Psalm above speaks of the Messiah who is to come, and through His work on the Cross offer hope to all peoples, of every nation. As Christians we shouldn’t put our hope in governments or economies. We trust not in horses or chariots, but in the name of our God who’s Kingdom rule and reign are not shaken. What comfort! This is an encouragement to me, I hope it is to you wherever you are living. If scripture is true, and God does in fact rule over nations, what or whom ‘should’ we fear concerning the future?
Family is back to normal after a week of fevers. Deb has been stealing my pictures for her blogs, so you’ll have to go there to see family/kids (most of the mothers and girls hang out over there – www.thecrowesnest.com ). Our Russian in improving daily, it’s amazing how much it helps to be able to read! Broderic and I are heading out to RZ this week, end, I’ll be working on our house and Broderic will be enjoying his buddy Jessie on Jessie’s birthday. I’m renting a car this week Lord willing, as our container may not ever get here (we’re hoping by Christmas, that way we can wrap their existing toys). I pray my next post is not that I’ve wrecked the car (it’s very crazy here, like NYC with no rules!). We attended Andrei’s church this past Sunday (below), he’ll be speaking July 27th at Crossroads in Longview (please go and listen!). Cassie’s religious visa application has been submitted, pray that we receive that back in time for her July 31 ticket. We look forward to seeing Cassie and getting her plugged into life here. Below is picture of the little store at the bottom of our building, the lady in there is nice and puts up with my ridiculously limited vocabulary. Last night however I made a fool of myself, I walked in (it was fairly late) and squeezed past a man who was sort of yelling at me (in a nice russian way), I smiled and pro-ceded to look for a drink (non alcoholic), she said they were out and i had to go to the other store around the buliding…. So off I went, until I remembered it wasn’t a drink I was after originally but something else.. so back I went.. this the store was a bit darker, but I noticed the door still open, so in I went. The man yelled at me again and the lady sort of smiled and shook her head… I had no idea what was being said, but I figure the guy was drunk (common here). It all hit me when two folks tried to come in and buy something, the guy started yelling again.. the people kindly removed themselves from the store.. IT WAS CLOSED!! I felt pretty silly, and finished up my shopping, apologized, and the guy smiled and shook his head as well. I’m finding they are pretty gracious to Americans, especially those that buy a lot of milk and eggs!
Thank you to those couple of people that gave to the Family Camp in Rz – we raised $600 for it, you can still give to this (operational costs) by donating here online.
Missing our friends & family!