We’d like to thank everyone at Crossroads, as well as the many friends and family that supported us through this particular pregnancy. We were hit early on with some challenging news that this child was in the extremely high risk zone for Down’s Syndrome.
This possible trajectory was sobering but produced a new appreciation for life and for our previous healthy pregnancies. Little Claire is our smallest baby, weighing in at 7.5lbs – thanking God for this gift.
We’re now back home in Rzhyshchiv and the family is together again. It’s interesting to watch the dynamics among the siblings. Abigail struggled immediately with sharing Deb with her new sister – this was never a problem with our boys.
She’s doing better, but needs a lot of affirmation and structure. The little beast ruled the roust for the past 2yrs, and she’s been overthrown!
The Cafe is going well, slow but steady customer traffic. Training is continual on a ‘service’ mindset. Neat to see ‘regulars’ and this week some Mom & daughter little dates. Hot Chocolate (at least American style) is a newer thing here, and isn’t even on our menu officially yet, but a favorite already. We still don’t have any gas (surprise!) however I visited the chief on Friday and within minutes the local gas guys stopped in to tell us they will come back Tuesday.. whatever that means.
So far the weather has been pleasant this fall, with only few really cold nights. Our new electric boiler is managing to keep the Cafe warm enough, but I don’t know for how much longer. If and when we do get gas, we don’t know how dependable it will be, and if we’ll be able to really start the pizza side of things – but we hope to.. SO many people come in and ask us when it will be coming… It’s my least favorite question.
I titled this blog post ‘Old and New’. This is because we had a new baby, but also Neil and Noline are here (Debs parents) haha. They have been a timely blessing, helping clean and care for the family during this delivery. The kids sure love their grandparents and are enjoying the special attention. Bronwyn will go with them to Ireland next week while Neil does some seminar/teaching.
So many other things I’d like to update you on, but I’ll leave you with a short prayer list if you could join us this week:
1) Gas Company – their visit Tuesday, that we could have gas heat before temps drop.
2) Finances Cafe – it’s going to take a lot of work and help from the Lord to make this self sustaining in the current economic conditions of Ukraine (Ranked dead last in the world for past years currency devaluation..over 40% lost against dollar!). This means folks are struggling even more than they normally do – Alcohol becomes the cheapest/easiest alternative for more reasons than one.
3) Vlad & Prison Ministry – Vlad has started taking in some food items and reaching those behind bars. This is something he’d like to do more of, and will need supporters. We are helping him, but would like to ask others to join in and will do this soon probably via facebook.
4) My Truck – Last year, when the government ordered me to ship my SUV back to Texas, I bought another SUV. I was sold a lemon essentially, that needed quite a bit of expensive repair work to be dependable. I started down that path, but recently decided it best to bite the bullet and sell it, take my losses and start over. I have it now listed online and would love to sell it before winter – but the economy is terrible right now, so it would be a bit of a miracle.
5) Ukraine – While it’s not making headlines as of late, the problems in the south/east are not resolved, and very unpredictable. Alyosha has moved slightly north of the dangerous area he was in last week, and hears rumors of continued migration away from the battle front while this ‘corridor’ (sounds more like the Berlin Wall to me) is created.
The economy, as noted above, is hemorrhaging and employment extremely hard to come by. There’s no overnight ‘fix’ for this nation, and the display of a zillion blue and yellow flags doesn’t wipe out decades of corruption or suddenly create a middle class. Blind patriotism doesn’t serve anyone, on either side beyond the propagation of hysteria. It’s as fervent in Russia as it is in Ukraine. Pray for continued spiritual awakening, an embracing of Kingdom ethics, and the power to live by them through Jesus Christ. This is what we all pray for each of our nations – nothing unique about Ukraine in that regard – it needs Jesus Christ, the revelation of God, the Way, Truth, and Light.
Pray with us for continued meaningful relationship building downtown.
Bruce & Deborah Crowe
Missionaries – Ukraine