In Ukraine progress takes many shapes.  Sometimes you have to go ten steps backwards to make that critical step forward.  We’ve been making a lot of progress on the Cafe over the last few weeks – forward and backward!  It’s just like Croquet – thank you grandma for having that around when I was a kid – my kids have enjoyed it.

Although we are still lacking a very important ‘final’ document from another town, we have what we need to move ahead with registering the actual Cafe as a private business.  This is an easy step actually, and will take only a few days.  This whole time we’ve been waiting on the actual property zoning process, not related to, but a necessary first step towards running a business in the building.

So we’re now moving ahead with ordering final electric meter change, fire department agreement and will start meeting with vendors for Coffee and goods this week!
Our goal is to open with Coffee and desserts by July 1.. it’s a lofty goal, but one I think is possible if we work hard and the Lord helps us – we still need several K’s to get this running but we’ve not come this far to let that discourage us.  God will supply!

I’ve also hired an assistant full time starting later June, his name is Dema and will help me work with vendors and get things setup with the Cafe, do construction with me and help me manage the start up for our development office upstairs.  I’m looking forward to speaking Russian more daily, poor Dema!

We’re still aiming to open the development office in June.  Igor is excited to start learning and we hope to tackle a few ministry projects and get our feet wet.  The hope is that eventually the Ukraine office can work with our Texas office and our new partners 2hrs south at eKreative- it’s not outsourcing, it’s expanding!  It’s also the way the global technology market works these days.. I’ve been amazed recently at how many US companies use Ukraine specifically for their iPhone/Android apps, game development and more.  Ukraine is really becoming a player in the development market with a huge young workforce desperate for work of this nature.  We’re considering a fall ‘programming camp’ outreach, where we take in 50 or so interested students and do a 2-3 day intense course, combined with Christian ethics and business practices.  I’ve asked our guys in Texas to start praying about this possible outreach, would be  a practical and effective way to build relationships and influence young minds for the Lord.   Not to mention maybe we’d find some young superstars in the making and be able to hire them.

We are planning a Yard Sale on June 7 on the Cafe property.  We want to clean out the remaining clothes from our Cafe garage and combing that with some activities for kids.  We’re canvassing the local churches to participate and use this as another way to bless our town – Yard Sales are virtually non-existent here, and I’m pretty sure it will garner a lot of attention.  I hope to open the Cafe for a few hrs with Coffee and Tea.

The kids are officially out of school now, but have been asked to return for 2 weeks as they clean the yard, paint the school and generally work them:)  Deb and I think it’s great that they get the kids to work in the garden, from which they eat.  They sweep the streets, hoe the gardens, now that’s school!  We’re unsure what we’ll do next year – we’re 90% sure Noah, Clark and Tucker will return, but we are leaning towards Brent back to homeschool – his classes will get more intense and without a better grasp on the language he is only going to struggle all the more.  Meeting with teachers soon to discuss.

Thanks for checking in, will get some pictures of the Cafe up shortly – especially as we start laying down floor upstairs – Lord willing this week.