Stories in the Missional Journey of Bruce & Deborah Crowe

Pause Button Please.

photo-3The past month has been a blur.  Do you ever wish you could pause life?!  Several big changes have taken place that have impacted our time and energy since I blogged last.  The biggest event relates to my business in Texas, Cypress Interactive.  I’ve decided to prune back a significant portion of the company in an effort to grow another part of our business.  It meant letting some valuable people go, the toughest part of business!  This has meant several weeks of planning, communication, and a trip to the US two weeks ago.

Brought back a fishing rod for the boys - their first casting.. thankfully nothing caught haha.

Brought back a fishing rod for the boys – their first casting.. thankfully nothing caught haha.

Through this transition, I’ve been amazed by the goodness of God, and the quality people He has surrounded me with over the years in business.  As a business owner, you care for your company, and it’s people like it’s part of your own family.  This is a double edged sword, because in business things change and you have to remain agile, willing to make tough calls for the good of the whole.

In any case, this is why I haven’t been blogging lately.  I’ve been working US hours for the past few weeks, and only now able to turn focus again to the Cafe and the ministry opportunities the Lord has before us.  It’s my hearts cry that through this transition, we’ll be able to finally move forward with the focus, time, and energy needed here in Ukraine.



We found this skatepark in Kiev, under a bridge - the boys were in a dream - too bad it's 1.5hrs away, we need one in our town!

We found this skatepark in Kiev, under a bridge – the boys were in a dream – too bad it’s 1.5hrs away, we need one in our town!

We have so many things on our hearts, big things, things that require faith, prayer, and God to move.  You’ll be hearing about them again, and soon.

I’ve longed to be ‘all here’, living and working in one primary continent for an extended period of time, and I believe there will be now a healthier balance as I will only have one company in the US to focus on.   This company has an established management team and does not need me on a daily basis.  Anyway, it’s been a tough few weeks, and I appreciate some prayer for God to strengthen and give more wisdom as we still have a ways to go.

New TV and HD Satellite Live at Cafe thanks to a donation!

New TV and HD Satellite Live at Cafe thanks to a donation!

Many things have taken place with the Cafe over the last few weeks as well, most of which behind the scenes.  We are not yet officially open, but it’s now a day-to-day thing with the health and tax inspectors.  We still don’t have gas, and I’ve actually started the process of requesting our money back – this, as we suspected, as caused a stir and we’re being asked to ‘wait until tomorrow’ and ‘we don’t need to do this we will try to get the documents for you’.  We didn’t want to go down this path until we were certain and prepared to actually NOT have gas at all – which we are now, we’ve waited now over a year, and need to now start preparing for other sources of heat for winter – it could take 4 months to get more power to the Cafe, as currently we don’t have enough to run an electric furnace – and converting to fire/wood options would be a significant undertaking as well.

Other updates at the Cafe:

– We received a donation for a TV/Satellite hook up.  We ordered this last week and it was completed yesterday.  We might just have the only HD soccer games in our town – the installation guy had never seen or installed HD!  It will be a huge draw for students to come watch sports.

– We received another much needed contribution while in Texas which has helped us buy remaining odds and ends, as well as products – we’re stocked up and ready to go!

– Our fire system is installed but the other night went off in the middle of the night, waking up neighbors and they were not very happy.  It turned out a bug in the system, so the company has been out every day this week trying to figure out the problem.  The fire system now texts our cell phones if it goes off.. so we can at least drive down and turn it off before the neighbors come at us with burning torches.

– We found a cash register!  It’s at the post office ready for pick up, we found one that will, or should be perfect for us and on Ukrainian ebay (slando its called)… for 75% less than new cost.  Pretty excited to get it and install it with our products/coffees this week!  This, and the menu board is the final steps I think to practically open and take folks money – enough free coffee we have bills to pay!

– We bought a freezer last week, and completed tiling our pantry.  We also bought a hot water heater/tank..  We shouldn’t need this if the gas turns on, but at least now we can open and wash dishes and clean things with hot water.

– We’re now hunting for an electric ‘open’ sign.. amazing how hard it is to find things here.  When I was in the US I went to Sam’s club and in one isle I found everything we have on our ‘final list’.. things that have taken us weeks to find here and so much cheaper in the US!  If the US is anything, it’s convenient, man is it easy to do stuff there.

– We re-sanded the deck and stained it, it was looking terrible as the wood they sold us wasn’t dry (as they promised) so it was molding.  It looks like new now.

Ok, I wrote way too much.  I haven’t even updated on family.  I’ll show a few pictures for that, everyone is great.  Deb and baby have had good doctor visits and we are thankful, hopeful the baby girl is healthy.  Abbey is talking up a storm, full sentences that blow our minds.  Girls are so much smarter than boys, at least when they are little 2yr olds!

I’m sharing this weekend to a youth group in Kiev.  We’re staying overnight as a family at our friends with Hope for Orphans Saturday night, they have a great new house a few blocks over from where we go to church – we need more than a few hotel rooms, we need a hotel house!

photo 1Last weekend we rented a friends boat for an hour to take the kids tubing.  It was nice to rest for a few hours and enjoy the beauty of nature.

I put the drums on the 2nd floor of the Cafe, along with an electric piano.  I took Noah up there last week to let him mess around.  He hadn’t touched drums since he was like 5, and even then just a few times, no lessons.  We know he has a musical gene and I bought them with him in mind actually a few years ago, albeit a bit prematurely 🙂  We want to get him in lessons – so here’s a proud papa little video of his first play, back in the saddle.


Thanks for checking in, especially for prayer – we’ll keep you posted!

PS – We are a good 5-6hrs north of the troubled areas currently in Ukraine.  The country is still unstable, and there doesn’t seem to be an end to the divisions.   Alyosha, our friend and future pizza cook is enlisted by draft currently – We hope and pray guys like Alyosha can return to their wives and families soon and that things don’t get worse.


  1. mom

    great update bruce, love the pictures (and noah video!) will be praying daily for you all..

  2. Vicki Doll

    You are certainly learning patience over there aren’t you. Over a year to open a cafe, wow! Glad you and the family are doing well and staying safe, think about you often especially while watching the news. Good move on getting Noah to the drums; can see the joy in his smiles.

  3. Trevor

    Do you want us to mail you an open sign?
    the cable guy never seen or installed HD?! Lol.
    Did you request the gas money back, or are you holding off? I would be requesting it back despite what they say. “Too late, I don’t trust you.”

  4. Elizabeth Tashman

    Awesome family and will be praying all works out for Good in your new venture.

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