Well, the family has arrived back to Ukraine.  It’s great to have everyone under one roof after 3 months spread around Minsk. It was a great experience to live in a larger city, and also for our older kids to have more independence, but it was also a challenge logistically with on car.

We became Uber’s best customer.

I messed my back up the night before we left playing a final game of hockey (of course!).  By the time we arrived in Ukraine I could barely move.  It’s taken a full week to be able to put my socks on without a lot pain – my wife is very happy for the decrease in whining I am sure.

Yesterday, just before our snowfall, the town’s paving equipment crammed into our Cafe parking lot.

Snow has fallen upon our fair town.  Our town is getting a new main street paved, miracle!  All the equipment is being parked, without my permission, at our Cafe parking lot.  I initially was a bit perturbed but then I realized God actually blessed us.  I had been wanting to get these packing machines to come anyway because we never had our gravel parking lot properly leveled.  Voila, they move around in/out and it’s already looking better 🙂

Collin’s smiling for camera as we get photos for Russian Visas.

We just sent Collin’s back to the US.  He’s planning to return Lord willing with some support for 2018 and serve with us again.  If you would like to help him, he’s not needing a lot, but for a single musician missionary who doesn’t have a sending church, it’s a big faith step.  Contact me for details.  We believe God is going to use him in some cool ways this year, including our next Lit event in Russia, and our hopes to start a new effort in Kiev (more later).

Deb has managed to unpack our suitcases, it’s always a chore after travel with this crew. She even was able to put up some decorations and our Christmas tree.  We love the little girls at Christmas – they are so fun and mesmerized by the lights.  You have to have kids around this time of year to keep it fun.

We’ve got guests down at the big house.  It’s been a continual flow of ministry partners and friends starting to come for leadership weekends and work related getaways from Kiev.  It’s funny seeing people hashtag Rz on Instagram and then their friends are, ‘you are where?’.  Even they have a hard time pronouncing our town – makes us feel better.

Today we forced the crew into their winter wares for photos outside.  It had been 2 yrs since our last collective photo.. we had to be quick, it was blistery (word?) and we all started to freeze quickly.

Claire isn’t potty trained yet.  Concerning? Yes. But we’re tired, and she’s content telling us when she’s done her duty, then brings us her a new diaper. We use to take pride in how quickly we had our kids trained.  We’re seriously grand-parenting on this last one, mailing it in, our older kids know it too. Funny how chill you become after 8 kids and into your 40’s. Young parents are obnoxious aren’t they? 🙂

I’m in the middle of ‘end of year’ reporting for our charity, putting together vision stuff for 2018 and summarizing the past year.  The dust is still settling on this whirlwind year. I’ve already written enough for this blog, but going to try and send out one more update before Jan 1 with more details about our family and trajectory in mission.

I hope you have some family to surround yourself with this holiday season.


Bruce & Deb