March 1, 2010

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Someone told me it was officially the first day of spring in Ukraine today.  I’m not sure about that, my street is a block of frozen snow with train track like grooves to follow.  It’s still below freezing here, but very bearable compared to a few weeks ago.  It will be a joyful day when all of the snow does melt, and the green spring truly does make its appearance.  I can stop yelling, “shut the door” every time I feel a gush of cold air in the house.

Deb’s father is here, Neil.  He arrived last week and has made a welcome addition to the kitchen.  He’s the chief cook and bottle washer!  Noline, Deb’s mom arrives next month.  Neil has started taking over the building project and making his authority known among the workers.  It’s a totally different way of thinking over here, as you’ve already read.  Neil is starting to experience this first hand, and we can’t help but smile.  The lady that he is buying their house from, visited the other house we are finishing (for them), and politely inquired if they could continue growing their potatoes at Neils house.  They are having a hard time ‘letting go’ of this other house, and it’s going to take some careful hand holding over the next few weeks to solidify the deal.  Everything thus far has been on a handshake and trust, if they were to totally change their minds now, after we’ve completed their house and invested a lot of time and money.. we wouldn’t have a leg to stand on legally.  It will be ok, but it is nothing like the structured deals in the West.  Here, you need to care about their potatoes.

Thank you for praying for Deb, her back is a little better but still causing some issues.  With her dad here we have considered going away for a few days and getting her some real rest.

Tucker celebrated his 7th birthday this weekend.  He’s a great son, we really enjoy him.  Deb made home-made donuts, and they actually tasted like the real thing, I was quite impressed.  The kids gobbled them up, reminiscencing the good ole days in Texas.  He then opened a few little gifts and had home-made pizza (how about i stop with the home-made, you get it right?) and cake.   It’s been very special to watch our kids interact over the last few years.  They are very kind to each other, they watch out for one another, genuinely ‘like’ to hang out.  It’s a lesson in God’s joy when we love our neighbor, especially those in the family of God.

Work has been going well, trying to spend more time every day working on something related to the business.  The guys are a great friends and I’ve been delegating increasing amounts of ‘rope’ as I seek to be involved in only major decisions.  I don’t share a lot on my blog about work, but it’s a significant part of our life here, and ability to go about ministry efforts and helping others.  I thank God for the work, and the situation we are in, though it does continue to challenge my capacity to function in both ‘worlds’, I’m blessed with people that I can trust and who understand our calling.

Pray for Valik, he is a young man whom God has been working on very obviously the past few weeks.  He won’t mind me posting this, not that he can understand English. He has come to home groups, and church and heard the gospel from several of us.  He has been opening up to the truth, convicted of sin, recognizing his need for a Savior.  He is still wrestling with some things, but we are praying as a body for complete salvation, the kind that convinces him thoroughly of sins forgiven!  It has been so encouraging to watch God Himself draw and work on this man’s heart.  It definitely strengthens our faith and draws us to more prayer, what a spiritual battle we are in every day.

Just recently launched www.missionsnetwork.com .   If you get a chance, visit the site.  We are on Facebook as well, and have 200 people in the ‘fan page’.  Our heart is to see churches, business, and christians everywhere with a heart for global missions to connect.  We want to start adding more mission projects, missionaries, and update with prayer requests and trip opportunities.  Pray God sends us the people and places that He wants us to promote.

Needs:

Land Downtown for Ministry Center
Housing for Sergei & Lesya (couple from NY, they are Russian/Ukrainian and want to move here)
Ladies Outreach in two weeks
UTSIM language school needs a place to function (kicked out of public school room)
Documents for Neils house, that the ‘deal’ would go smoothly
Debs back to be healed

Thanks for checking in,

Bruce

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