[I just love these old bikes, I stopped and talked to this older man, told him his bike was cool, he just smiled]
The gas has been turned on! The radiators in the house now emit this pleasant warm feeling throughout our living area and it is good. Our tile floors in the kitchen were getting so cold that we were having to wear shoes… the weather here is the same as in Eastern Ontario, it’s been about 40F, what’s that, about 5 C or so? It’s been warmer some days, but at night gets mighty chilly for these East Texan acclimated bones. Anyway, we are very relieved and ready (we think) for the winter ahead.. hot water, internet, gas heat, what more can you ask for? Deb would say closets, we don’t have closets yet.. on the list honey.
The kids are doing well. Noah our youngest is talking more and more, walking around the house with a small hockey stick, hitting anything that is hittable (bags, food, people). Speaking of hockey, Brent has started going to weekly practices in Kiev. We aren’t sure if we can keep it up.. it involves a 1hr drive, 30 metro ride, 10 min walk to get there… but it’s sure cute to watch. Here’s a picture of him this past week, he is the one bent over on the left in black, catching his breath or about to fall. These kids practice 3 times per week, we are trying to get him there once.. so the other kids have an advantage but I figure he’s 50% canadian, so it makes it even;)
[Note this little kid on the right, in white, squatting. Locals here squat with regularity outdoors, it’s just a natural position for them to squat down and talk.. it’s the funniest thing. They say they can spot a foreigner immediately by their inability to squat and hold that position… ha. I find it impressive that they can squat with ice skates on.]
[Deb spills the potatoes at the market, I thought it was picture worthy]
This week we also had our first ‘lifegroup’ type meeting in our house. It was so neat to use our home for a gathering of believers. If you had seen this place a year ago, it seemed impossible to live in let alone be filled with 20 or so bodies, laughing, eating and warm. We are meeting Thursday nights with missionary families from the area. Micah and Christi Claycamp from Khargalyk (20 min drive west) are joining us in organizing a weekly time of fellowship and some study. We look forward to getting more acquainted in the context of a home group, this has always been our favorite environment. We are watching the Drive Thru History videos – if you haven’t heard of them you should check them out – www.drivethruhistory.com.
Deb is off for 3 days with the ladies from the area, a woman’s conference north of Kiev that takes place every other year. Cassie is going as well, this means I will be changing diapers…. they are actually about to leave in 10 minutes so I have been racing to type something up… I don’t think there will be time to type much for the next 3 days:).
Life is busy and unpredictable here in Ukraine. I can barely keep up with one update per week. Sometimes it’s the internet connection, this week for whatever reason it decides to shut off around 2-3pm for the rest of the day… just as work in America gets rolling. I’ve been wondering if it’s a signal from God, I’ve been forced to make more of a separation from the US time zones and plug in to what’s happening around me more during the day. I’ve not yet fully submerged myself here, with weekly work in the US pulling my attention away it still feels like I have two, or split personalities.. sort of like Jason Bourne but not as cool :). I was telling Deb this week, I don’t want to be busy for it’s own sake, any of us can very busy with little effort… being busy doesn’t mean we are being effective, sometimes it’s just the opposite. I want to do the things that matter. We met with the director of a nursing home here in town.. we were given permission (not a small deal) to visit with the sick/elderly once per week for 20 minutes. We all have opportunities like this around us, but don’t you want to know that what your hands and heart are doing, are sponsored by the Lord.. that He is both leading and blessing the efforts. A big part of joy (for me) comes from not simply doing good things our Lord would like, but doing them ‘with’ Him, remembering His last words on earth, ‘and I am with you always, even until the end of the world…’ I’m going to spend the next week or two praying for direction, re-evaluating the course before us. I appreciate any prayer, scripture, advice you’d like to send this way. I think my spiritual wheels need to be re-aligned and I need some clear direction before I take on more responsibility.
[Svetlana is a great teacher, and our Russian is coming along.. slowly]
‘If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.’ James 1:5
Miss you all –