June Update

https://mailchi.mp/359906f6e8a9/its-going-up

Thanks to your generosity and a break in the rainy weather, construction on the new mission building has resumed. We thought you might enjoy some photos and rejoicing with us.

Ukrainian building code requires us to lay down massive first floor concrete slabs. I joke with the Ukrainians they build bomb shelters for houses.. they usually smile in agreement and reply with, “and this is not wise because?”

crane
The basement will have a pantry for Widows Care, and soundproof space for louder youth ministry and events. A benefit of these massive concrete slabs! Cinder-blocks (orange) for the exterior walls. Like Lego!
The basement will have a pantry for Widows Care, and soundproof space for louder youth ministry and events. A benefit of these massive concrete slab

After the concrete slabs, the cinder-blocks arrived on cue. Thankful for Oles who has been orchestrating the deliveries and negotiating on the every changing prices! We have enough funds to complete the structure, and roof Lord willing. Our goal is to be able to use the basement at least for pantry/storage before winter – our main Cafe building and personal garages are crammed full. I can’t wait to spread out!

If you are interested in coming over this summer or fall to help with construction, or becoming a sponsor on the inside of the building, please contact Bruce@mirministries.org

We did it! Our staff’s first mission initiative was successfully funded, half from Ukraine, half from western backers, a couple generous Mir friends!

This is a miracle for our team, they simply can’t believe their idea is coming to reality. They are already planning youth trips and have been taking 40km rides around the area mapping out stopping points and camping spots! So cool!

Pray for Dima, Lena, Vita, and Anya as they learn how to lead their own ministry, with their own bikes, reaching their own generation with the love of Christ.

Our two youngest, Abigail (9) and Claire (6.5). Claire is quick to remind everyone it’s six AND A HALF! Abigail just walked by and noticed she’s included in our update, and sighed, “Oh Daddy.”
Abigail has finished her little primary school in the neighboring village. We need to now make a decision where she will go to school next year. She’s quite fluent, and from what we have been told, lacks a foreign accent which is cool!
Tucker (17) has ventured off to the US this summer. He left last week, originally destined for Canada but was rejected at the border due to their ongoing lock-down. He’s currently in PA with Bronwyn. Who knows where he’ll end up, maybe your couch! He’s a talented graphic designer so hoping someone gives him opportunity to shine.
All staff on deck! Lighthouse has fully re-opened in May, and was packed full of students when I asked the staff to stop and pose for this photo yesterday. During this busy day we called on former Lighthouse baristas to join the fun, army of Baristas!
This past week Deb, Natasha, Oles traveled to Sumy, Ukraine near the Russian border to meet and train our newest Widows ministry partners. The Lord continues to expand this ministry and mobilize His Church!
View from the team’s window as they step back in time, always interesting things to see when you take the train through the country
Trains are still very popular in Slavic culture. When you see the quality of the roads, you’ll understand why. This is a typical cabin, sleeps 4. Ukraine is the size of Texas, so there are plenty of overnight options. Bring your own food!
Typically when starting a new site, our team gathers the local volunteers from various ministries, eats together, and establishes the principles and vision for the ministry. Food pantries can be challenging ministries to establish in high power structure cultures like Ukraine and Belarus. These leaders need our support as we come alongside not only their ministry, but their personal growth too!

We have a special page on our website dedicated to the story of the Widow around Ukraine and Belarus. These testimonies are updated each month, click to read!

This week I finished a course on Eastern Orthodox Theology. It was a lot of rather challenging but fascinating reading! I learned a lot, including the history of iconography; theology through art.

In this artwork above, can you see the visual elements the Prodigal Son story? This story, for the Orthodox, is what most clearly reflects the heart of God towards humanity. The Father is revealed through the skin and bones of the Jewish Messiah, the Logos is true Icon of God! Whatever image we have of God must be mitigated through the God’s self-revelation.

This makes God truly selfless, divesting, and good. What a gracious Savior He is!

If you would like to read a paper I wrote on Orthodox unique perspective on the Trinity, I will included it click here. It’s heavier reading, but if you stick with it, I promise it will challenge western constructs! The course nourished my soul, a brought surprising hope that the faith embedded all around me has such potential if illuminated by the Spirit.

I’m now embarking on my final 10 week course at Fuller with the hopes of finally graduating this September. Over three years of seminary coming to a close, so thankful for God’s provision and care, knowing each step of the way what I’ve needed for my personal growth and continued service in Slavic culture.

Thank you for prayer concerning next steps. I have some decisions to make for this fall’s direction and focus.

Deb is still in her spiritual director’s 2yr course with a cohort from Europe online. She’s enjoying it, but I think she’s a little jealous of the more intense interaction and learning environment I have. Her group is quite shy, maybe I should join it to stir things up!

We’re sad we can’t visit Canada this summer. Their covid restrictions are ridiculous. We feel bad for our friends and family there who, for over a year have been sequestered to their homes and not allowed to fellowship. Who’s living in freedom now Canada?! How the tides turn, and how quickly history is forgotten.
Made in His image – we are fearfully, wonderfully made!
Marathon is this Sunday, June 6th!

We have no idea how many will ultimately come. We have 200 ‘interested’ on our FB page, but only few dozen professional runners signed up. Ukrainians like to wait until the last minute in case something even better comes along!

We have raised, thanks in part to a few generous Mir contributions, over 60% of our $4,000 project goal. We are wanting to renovate the bathroom in our local school which will serve the +90 disabled children.

To donate, visit the page and help the % go up!

It’s been so cool to see our community sharing, and gathering funds via our crowdfunding platform RazomGo – so far $1,000 locally has been raised, which is a lot of money for our small town. The average salary, if you have a job, is down to  around $300month in our town (teachers, government workers).

These 9th graders initiated their own fundraising project raising over $100 for our wheelchair accessible bathroom project. That’s the equivalent of $1,000 by western standards!
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