New Year – Same God!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever – Heb 13:8

God cannot improve upon Himself.  His is perfect, the essence of goodness and light.  Scripture tells us that God’s character cannot change, His promises are sure.

I like new beginnings.  The older I get though, the more I see life through seasons.  We have our mountains and valleys, our seasons of rest and wrestling.  I’ve stopped trying to construct a life of predictability, but bring God into life’s seasonal rhythms.  He’s the one constant as we navigate this adventure.

Christmas Turkey Dinner (this is about 1/2 of our family...)

Christmas Turkey Dinner (this is about 1/2 of our family…)

We’ve been in Canada this past week enjoying family, Christmas and now preparing for our 9,000km journey by van.  We’ll be heading down on Saturday to Pennsylvania and visiting a church in Harrisburg – close to where Deb and I were married 20yrs ago.  They have blessed us with two hotel rooms for our first night.

We’ll then be going to Memphis to connect with good friends (both in our wedding).  Chris is a pastor in Memphis now, and Matt is serving at Brook Hills in Birmingham.  Excited to bring our families together for first time in 20yrs and reconnect again.

After arriving in Texas we’ll be participating in our home church’s Prayer Advance Week – the highlight for us is two nights of foreign mission focused prayer – one evening we’ll be leading and focusing on Ukraine and the future work God would direct this coming year as a church.  We’re laying it all before Him, and believing God is going to work beyond our own limited imagination.

We also have scheduled visits in Oklahoma, and Florida, with several church visits/meetings lined up too before we head back to Canada.  The family is extra excited to see their cousins for the first time in +5yrs.. some of them have never even met (Deb’s brothers family) in Florida.

Noah and Clark enjoying the model train setup.

Noah and Clark enjoying the model train setup in the local mall.  I remember the same setup at their age.

My grandma.  She is non-stop work and youth ministry.

My grandma. She is non-stop work and youth ministry.

Tomorrow night we have a visit with the Missions Committee and Pastor of my parents church here in Ontario, Canada.  It’s directly across from the public school I went to growing up.  God has really blessed this church, in spite of it being 50% full of my relatives (I jest).  We will be sharing a bit about ourselves to those that don’t really know why we are even in Ukraine, as well as ways they could pray and support.   We’re also wanting to host an evening for young couples/families to encourage them specifically – we’ll do this in February Lord willing when we get back.

I feel a bit like Frodo when I’m here among my Canadian roots.. so many relatives, schoolmates, memories at every turn of being a small boy here..this small community is like the Shire.. not many venture out of it.  It all feels so surreal when I think of the places God has taken us since leaving as an 18yr old for Bible School in Dallas, the people we have met and opportunities God has provided.

He is good, He is with us, and this excites me as I think of the New Year.  I hope you look to Him for this new year as well.  We can all do ‘better’ at things, lose weight, eat healthier.. but He is our satisfaction.. as CS Lewis said, “He Himself is the fuel our hearts were designed to burn.”

Please continue to pray for those in Ukraine – today the government passed some significant tax law changes – some are very good but will be difficult to implement.  As much as the potential outbreak of war is ever looming, there has to be short and long term economic reform for the country, and fast.

Our Cafe continues to stay open daily, but the students have left for holidays making our daily sales very low.  Thankful for Shane and Jem who are watching our house, and doing some repairs as well – keeping it warm.. already a few close calls.

Boys riding the 4x4 golf cart.. I don't know what it's called but it's a lot of fun!

Boys riding the 4×4 golf cart.. I don’t know what it’s called but it’s a lot of fun!

 

Had to show this for our Ukrainian friends.. any flavor of popcorn you want.. in whatever size bag or bucket.. freshly popped...

Had to show this for our Ukrainian friends.. any flavor of popcorn you want.. in whatever size bag or bucket.. freshly popped… all for ridiculous prices!

For any of our reader’s that would like donate in an ‘end of year’ fashion, we’d be very much willing to accept it towards our ministry in Ukraine.  You can donate online, right here on this website, any amount – just click DONATE at the top of the site – or click here.

We will be posting specific areas of need very soon, but if you’d like to know before January 1st, please email me at bruce@liftupyoureyes.org and let’s talk!

Bruce & Deb

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