July 1, 2012

I snapped this yesterday at the festival - beautiful little girl, so innocent, and serious looking!

After a few days of jetlag, picking up our older kids from camp, we’re finally getting back in the swing of things.  Returned to lovely 70F weather, a wonderful reception after Texas 104F final day.

It’s this time of year in Ukraine when people switch into ‘summer mode’.  That means you’d better hope you don’t need to get anything done that requires a stamp or document.  August becomes the official ‘shut down’ month here, but July is sort of like the Friday afternoon before the weekend, people are already in vacation mode.  Generally speaking, Europeans know how to vacation too.  They get almost double the vacation time, and truly disconnect from their regular scheduled programming.

Entering the Tripilya Festival - Woodstock minus good music

It’s against this backdrop that the annual Tripilya festival is held a few minutes from our house in an open field.  It’s a ‘Woodstock-esque” festival, but exchange the sexual revolution for a similar looking hippy earth wind and fire vibe.  Literally thousands gather in their tents, for concerts, old Ukrainian folk art, dancing, and primitive celebrations.  Each year it gets larger, and now more commercialized with food options, ticketing for rides.. and they even have port-a-potties this year.

Ukrainian folk guitar, I think this is called a Basolya

We took the kids up for a few hrs last night – it goes on for 3-4 days, and the loud thundering music reaches across the hills.

With 90% of the church heading off the Camp 120 for the week, we’ll be enjoying a week of hopeful ‘reset’ as Deb and I pray and talk through our fall hopes and plans.  Besides seeing the Cafe finish and open Lord willing (still need $ for chairs/tables), we’re desiring to put some our little ones in school this year, and dive back into continued language studies after a full year off.  I’ve reached out to the former SEND Language school contacts and hoping we can get a teacher to come down at least once weekly.

There are a few others desiring formal teaching/lessons, so paying for someone to come here makes most sense and is really the only way we can do it with work and other responsibilities still on our plate.  We want to progress though, we know our future ministry for the Lord depends on improved communication – please pray for us, we aren’t getting any younger!

Abigail is now 3 months old

We love our little girl Abigail, she’s starting to jibber jabber a bit.  Her brothers adore her, this little girl is getting more affection than she realizes, at least 100 kisses a day.

Robin Hood, take your best shot if you can figure out how to get in line.

This fall we’d like to start an evangelistic bible study either at the cafe, or in a surrounding village.  Praying for open doors, and seeing some open.  There’s one village about 5 minutes away where there are about 200 people that live, and one believer pictured below, an old babushka.  For many Ukrainians living in small villages, they don’t have a vehicle, or the funds to take public transport with any regularity, so we need to go to them.

This is the only Protestant believer in the nearby village of Kuzmenci

Some friends have been ministering there and working with kids but are leaving for America this August.  Is this the Lord’s open door?  There are so many, and the gospel must get out, so many folks living without our great God, and His heart beats, and bled for them.  Lord direct us to serve where we can be most effective for your Kingdom!

Clark and Tucker bounce down a slide 'bravely' with eyes shut.

Thanks for checking in and thank you as well for your friendship and support.

Bruce & Deb

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