We are staying put this year for Christmas. It feels different knowing we aren’t packing up and heading to the US/Canada to see family and friends. We’re excited to be seeing Broderic our oldest end of the year, but sad our eldest daughter won’t make it as she’ll be in Africa with YWAM outreach Lord willing – she still has to raise a good chunk of money.
Staying through the holidays does have it’s benefits in Ukraine. Life literally does shut down over 2-3 weeks starting in New Year. Makes for more visiting and the Cafe shines downtown even brighter. It gets dark really early, around 4pm. Very little daylight. The day is made even shorter because we live next to a forest that blocks out 2-3 hrs of sunlight over our house. In the dead of Jan/Feb winter, we get up, have breakfast, and then start to think what we need to do before it gets dark 🙂
Yesterday we met Bettina in Kiev. She’s a family friend of Deb’s parents and worked with them for +10yrs with David Wilkerson. She has served in fundraising and logistics for conferences/setup in probably +80 countries. She was in Kiev en route to several other countries helping Gary Wilkerson setup some meetings for next year.
She also has started a non-profit that is really quite cool. Kids can give $5 to specific vetted projects by Bettina around the world – everything from diapers for orphan babies, to widows feeding programs, to bread in the poorest of poor situations. 100% of the income goes to directly to the needs, no overhead, no staff, just an app and connectivity.
We are getting ready to host the students from Minsk on November 6. So far we have some really cool teachers lined up to join us. Andrei Murzin, our long time friend is coming down to teach on the Kingdom of God. Andrei has been traveling quite extensively teaching in Ukraine and Russia the past few years and also at the seminary in Kiev. We also have a YWAM leader and friend coming down to teach a morning.
Our Pellet stove has arrived and is being installed just in the nick of time too. Thankful to family and friends that helped make this purchase possible, it’s going to immediately bless and warm many folks.
The family is doing well. They have been at home on ‘fall break’ (whatever this is!) and been driving poor Deb crazy. Just finished making them clean both our vehicles, after a year they can get pretty dirty!
We’re meeting this weekend with the widows team to pray and discuss next steps for outreach. We take food packages and visit regularly, however the folks really enjoyed gathering at the Cafe last time, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to give testimony of Jesus reality and love. So, we’re expecting to host some more fellowship for the sweet ladies (and one man). Please remember us in prayer, that the Spirit of the living God awakens them to His love.
This Sunday we’ll also be connecting via Skype to our home church Crossroads in Texas. It’s been cool to see friends and have some visitors this past year from Texas, it makes the skype time more fresh and I think more relate-able – so if you haven’t visited us yet, make plans for 2017 folks!
We’re winterizing and preparing. When you know you are here for the winter ahead it’s more work. My chickens have yet to produce an egg and we’re having little conversations each night. They want heat? They need to produce. What comes first.. heat or the egg? Give me something to work with chickens, its been 6 months. I wonder how God feels when we don’t produce fruit.
Skatepark is used everyday if it’s not raining, but kids of all ages. We’ve added our basketball goal to the pad making it even more unique. So far the ball hasn’t been stolen after 2 weeks! This past Wednesday night we had a large crew of +15 boys come out to Club 180, it’s an overwhelming privilege to share weekly of Christ’s suffering and gift to all men freely. Focusing on the gospel exclusively for the past few years has been just what we’ve needed too. Does His grace still amaze you? Are you overwhelmed by His love toward you? Think upon Jesus!
If you’ve made this far, you most likely really do care about our family and pray for us. We treasure this prayer support. You literally reach across the globe and battle with us when you clasp your hands in prayer. Your faith is a gift from God, and for God – and for us!
We all need Him in greater measure this next year. I’ve had a ‘get ready’ in my heart for several months and been trying to prepare as best I can. God is at work, He is stirring, give us all faith Lord for your exceeding abundance, whatever that looks like!
Bruce & Deb