Cafe Update: Natasha and Dema have both been at Camp 120 all week so things have been on hold for remaining permits with health and gas. We did however complete fully employment registration for Dema legally, so we have one legal worker ready to start pouring coffee! We’re now paying taxes for Dema every month whether we’re open or not. We’ve met with the local paper, a tiny circulation of about 600 readers, but an influential one with the older crowd. We are going to do some advertising in a couple weeks, once we have a hard and fast open date – We still believe we can open before the students return mid August..
Gas Update: Well, this hasn’t progressed like we were promised. The Kiev gas authorities refuse to answer their phone now, we even have their cell phones and they ignore our calls. We’ll keep hassling, and hoping. One person in the gas industry told me they have been ‘notified’ to limit new gas accounts – the looming debt and pressure from Russia may be having an added effect – but I think it’s mostly inefficiency and corruption…
Business Update: We have trimmed back Cypress to only hosting and support for our existing clients. We serve around 70 businesses and ministries. We’re not taking on any new clients for the time being, and exploring some opportunities to partner or merge entities so it can continue, but without my involvement.
EDsuite (www.edsuite.com), our SaaS software side which provides website & services to around 100 communities in the US, is now the primary bread winner. This is now the focus moving forward to grow. I’m very appreciative of the advice, help and encouragement through the last month from many people – it’s been hard to ‘let go’ and trust Him with a piece of my life/work that I’ve invested so much into and has helped provide for many, including our family and ministry. However, it was time for change and I’m hopeful for new beginnings and the added focus to our hearts calling here in this part of the world.
Family Update: This past week we saw Broderic fly to Canada to work with his grandpa on the farm again. We then saw Bronwyn and Brent off to Camp 120 with around 70 other young people and believers from the region. This annual event continues to provide encouragement and sows into many lives for His Kingdom. It was amazing how quiet and restful our house was this past week – we still had 4 of our youngest here but the drop from 7 to 4 was noticeable! We cooked so much less, and the house stayed much cleaner. I guess that proverb is very true:
Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. Prov 14:4
With less moving bodies roaming about the house and property, less coming and going, less managing – less parenting… Deb and I were both able to spend some quality time with the younger ones, training them on cutting the grass, more conversations, more enjoyment of their unique personalities. This is a negative of having a big family, there’s only so much time in the day, and only so much time you can give each one. We love our big family, and it’s still growing… but it has challenges for sure. I can see that the older kids growing up and being released into adulthood (moving out!) will have some real advantages for the little ones that need molding and care.
Deb is doing well, she’s rounding out nicely! We have had to have more tests this go ’round with the concerns. This has brought some extra costs both from the testing/visits and travel. Every trip to the doc’s is a minimum 5hr journey with travel, traffic and actual visit. We are thankful however for the quality medical services at this Kiev hospital – we’re paying for it, but I can’t imagine not having the peace of mind it brings us – it’s extravagant to the average Ukrainian that only knows the ‘free’ local hospitals, but it’s like a Texas hospital for us.
Our yard is continually hosting kids every day. It’s not only the Trampoline that is the attraction, but now the free WiFi. There are very affordable $50 tablets now for sale in the center, and most of the kids now have them. However, high speed internet is not as available. They’ve figured out they can play their gadgets and take turns on the trampoline.. I find them hiding around the fences and on our porches randomly. Some of them are pretty cute kids, so far no trouble makers but they do continue to sneak too many on the trampoline and steal my pears (they aren’t ripe yet crazy kids!). Anyway, some of them will spend all day at our house, just hanging out – I find it encouraging, sometimes annoying, but mostly encouraging 🙂
Next week I’m taking Deb for a week to Egypt. She only has another couple of weeks of travel (by plane) permitted with her pregnancy, and we wanted to getaway to rest and prepare for the fall, new baby, new focus. I look forward to turning off my iphone and reading, studying for a course I’m teaching in September at YWAM Vladivostock. We’re not ones for extreme heat, but it was a very affordable option along the Red Sea – a popular destination for those in Eastern Europe. The added civil unrest in Egypt has caused hotel costs to plummet, making it even more attractive. Ukraine and Egypt both have similar travel warnings at the moment, we’ll try to stay out of trouble – something about Al Quadi in the Sinai mountains which we’re close to. I want to dress up like Lawrence of Arabia and ride a camel but Deb isn’t too keen. I told her we’ll get her a donkey.
– This week Christian Life Church (Kiev church where we are attending) is having a week long camp – Bronwyn is going, pray for their week.
– Cheryl as she watches our kids and allows us to go – Lord bless that woman!
– Travel safety for Deb and I, and baby next week
– Continued wisdom and help for US business, need some divine provision for the next month as things continue to transition – that means we need money!
– Cafe gas, health inspection to be completed while we’re gone, that would be so great to come back and open this first of August.
Bruce & Deb