October 31, 2020 : Family update

When we returned 3 weeks ago, our neighbor had drilled a 100 meter deep well and our own well had suffered the consequences.. it was dry. We live in the village, where a good well is an incredible blessing. We were thankful to hear the same company could come before winter. They just arrived today! The water brigade!
We’re drilling for water! Maybe we’ll hit oil! 🙂 These old soviet trucks are pretty cool, they can go anywhere. The crew tows a little RV (Russian style) behind and they camp out on the worksite. So we have some neighbors for a few days. It is supposed to take 3-5 days I’m told. I’m still unsure how we will afford this unplanned expense, but we didn’t have much of a choice with winter setting in and the guest house booked up most of November.
This past week we’ve hosted a lovely crew of YWAM Kyiv on outreach. Most are Ukrainian, so it makes for seamless ministry to the locals. They hosted children’s events, as well as a concert and served our widows. Our own Lighthouse team was encouraged as well. Thank you Jesus for your Kingdom alive in these young hearts!
Today the YWAM crew hosted our team for lunch. Always thankful for a free meal 🙂 It was delicious! Also thankful we didn’t have to do the dishes, another thing you need water for!
Some of the kids at Lighthouse this week playing games, singing, and learning about (and experiencing) the love of Jesus.
Last night we hosted a small concert as well.
This is Vanya, remember our intern from the summer program we offered to hire and train? The Lord provided for him a course in Kyiv FOR FREE to learn Latte art! This really brought smiles to our hearts as we love Vanya, he’s been a great worker with a humble willing heart. He puts his all into making pizza and coffee.. he even wanted to learn more art and literally within a week or so this door opened up and voila – I’ve been wanting our staff to take this course but it was too expensive! God loves Vayna, and is showing in so clearly. A joy to come alongside his unfolding story.
They love their diplomas here!
Our crew is getting smaller, Tucker taking photo:) We decided to rent an apartment in Kyiv this week for hot showers, deb brought dirty laundry 🙂 We spent 3 days, I had some meetings and we enjoyed the big Ukrainian village (3 million) of Kyiv! It’s changed a lot in the past 10 years.
I was invited to an exclusive investors club in this posh executive high rise. I met investors, business owners and manufacturing directors. The pubic sphere is greatly outpacing the governments capacity to adapt to reforms and international policies. I call it the wild west. A lot of opportunity for our RazomGo platform to build relationships, and hopefully some funding pathways for start-ups and future culture makers!
Since Maiden Revolution 6 years ago, Kyiv was really bounced back and has a really European vibe now. Many coffee shops and more affordable places to shop. However some things are still stuck in time, like this hug theater, still has posters and graffiti from the ‘winter on fire’.
This is close to where we stayed. It’s a famous Kyiv university where many students go. The red color is just.. different yeah?
I liked this little van. Something about it made me smile. You know there’s a history there. Someone was wanting to do a coffee shop, then a coffee truck.. some friend had an old van.. countless hours figuring out how to make it work. Where there’s a will!
This week we are promoting a new Ukrainian Film that friends are trying to crowdfund. It’s about domestic abuse in Ukraine, a topic that is rarely discussed and with all the alcoholism, we know it’s a huge issue. It’s called, “It’s not your fault” – they are trying to raise $10,000 through our RazomGo platform. It’s so encouraging to see such worthy themes and ideas emerging in Ukraine, and to provide resources for folks to try and spread the word.
(Translated from Google) Widow service began in Kagarlyk for more than six months. This is a wonderful time to be a part of God’s plan. We want to tell about Koval Vira Khomivna. 12 years as a widow. She dedicated 41 years of her 80s to medicine. She was with her husband in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident, which inevitably affected her health. All joints are affected and for her every movement is a pain. Especially for moving your feet. The daughter and granddaughter exchanged her house for two rooms on the second floor of the dormitory. She doesn’t even own these rooms – her granddaughter copied everything for herself. Almost no one comes to her. When we met her, she was constantly crying that she had been so deceived and simply thrown here by herself. A lawsuit is currently pending to return her home. She was always hungry. When they started bringing her grocery set she was very happy. There were also thoughts of suicide. But the Lord began to do His work. She began to pray, to glorify Him in her difficult situation at the moment. This week, students from (Name) could come with us and cheer and pray with Vera Khomivna. She listened, cried. She said that we had a big party because so many guests came to see her. They gave her a warm blanket.

It’s been a strange re-entry to Ukraine after our recent trip to North America. Part of it has to do with not having water and not really feeling ‘home’ , but part of it also is a sense that the Lord is truly developing some things around us, and we’re beginning to ask longer term questions about our role, how we can stay agile to the work of the Spirit, not get in the way, and also position ourselves for whatever is next. I sense a season might be coming where I enter the ‘workforce’ again – whether that is with RazomGo and our platform, perhaps with government /NGO opportunities I foresee (leadership development, and consulting work), or perhaps once I’m finished Fuller next summer a break, or season of writing. I’ve been buried in the first 4 centuries of early church development, doctrine, and reading/writing on themes I never imagined I would be, and more surprisingly really loving it!

In any case, it’s an interesting season to be watching things and people grow, and appreciating life through new lens and perspective. Maybe I’m growing up. 🙂 Do we ever grow up? Should we?

If you are interested in some early church writing, here’s a short paper I wrote on Cyril of Alexandria, and his interaction with Nestorius of Constantinople. I don’t get too deep into the heresy of Nestorianism, but more the nature of apologetics and developing creeds during time.. and the historical drama surrounding the development of so many of our Christian ideas. History is so cool! Click Here to Read

Thanks for stopping in. I hope you are growing out there, trusting and letting go of all that isn’t worth pursuing. Life is short, a breath in time. I’m thankful for the health issues of the past couple of months. Thank you for praying for me! Although I’m doing much better, I’m very conscious of my mortality and uninterested in pretending, or faking it till I make it. Jesus knows our frame, our inner most being, and we are wise to align ourselves from his point of view. Striving needs to cease, believing the deep, historically rooted and existentially immersive reality of Jesus is our aim. We need a fresh baptism in God’s reality, then cease running from that place, exchanging the satisfying joys of God’s love and nearness for temporal trivialities.

Where is this Christ surrender in our generation? A whole lot of independence. A whole lot of unbelief. Real, authentic Christianity believes that in God, alone, our fullest experience of this life is realized. As Kierkergaard suggested, the most reasonable human act is to leap by faith into discovering true freedom in God. All else is the matrix of group think, blind sheep roaming about, believing they can see. Pseudo Christianity lives from the place that as good as God might be, we need to secure pleasure from other places, and this thing called surrender won’t fully satisfy, so we live on the edge of freedom, never quite diving in.

Is Creator God enough for me? Am I willing to belief His coming in material form reveals His love over me? I’m still learning the love of God, learning how to respond to this life shaping gift. It’s freeing, in every respect, but so such a difficult path!

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