Today Deb and the kids received their Ukrainian permanent residence! This means we’ll be able to exit/enter the country without worrying about visas or the changing laws surrounding them. Thank you Natasha for all your help!
I was joking with Deb that we might be the only ones rejoicing in this. “Hey look, we have permanent residence in a country on the brink of war with Russia!” Nonetheless, it’s taken almost 3yrs to get these documents for our family. We’re sowing our family into this culture (which includes Russia) and believe God has us here long term, as He allows and provides.
Below are a couple cute photos the kids received from school today. They give you a taste for the Ukrainian culture, particularly the Cossack (think Canadian Mountie + 500yrs).
Tomorrow we meet with Ukraine Teen Challenge to attempt completion of their website. I’m trying to tie up several loose ends in the programming world, this is one of them that will be nice to complete, for them and us. We’d love to be fully focused on the Cafe this summer, it’s obviously going to take a lot of time and energy once opened – it will open!
We continue to read/hear about many problems to the south in Crimea. We’ve noticed in the western media an apathy creeping in. I’m not sure that plays in the favor of Ukraine’s desire for independence. With a looming ‘referendum’ vote this Sunday, March 16th, we’re anticipating continued escalating tension there. The general feeling seems to be that Crimea is lost from Ukraine, particularly without any outside help. I feel for the troops stuck inside their camps, prisoners in what they thought was their own country.
Today the Kiev Post posted this – http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine-abroad/parubiy-ukraine-now-faces-the-threat-of-a-full-scale-invasion-339133.html – how much of this is true is uncertain, but it sure motivates prayer and a fresh trust in the Lord. If we didn’t believe God has led us to this place, at this time, we would be hi-tailing it out of here until things stabilized.
Kiev remains peaceful. The center of Kiev has regular prayer for the nation from the stage at Maiden, as well as families/children throughout the center. I was reading in Acts several places where the Jews incited the crowds, hired mobs and generally pressured their enemy through propaganda. See Acts 17:5, or 13:50 for examples. It is sad that Crimea and the rest of the Eastern part of the country can’t personally witness the actual state of the Ukrainian capital. I think they would be shocked by the positive feeling, national pride and hope emitting through the faces of the people.
I’m not sure how long that hope will last in light of the Russian occupation of Crimea. No doubt there is, and has been a divide in this country for a long time – but I suspect the overwhelming majority are seeking for peaceful resolution. We pray for peace, but realize freedom, on earth at least, is never free. If we’re experiencing it, it came at great cost at some point.
I’m thankful we can rest in knowing our freedom, regardless of our nationality has been secured through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a cost in God sacrificing that which was most dearest to Him – and what a gift in return which we each receive, not through striving, but by faith alone.
Thanks for checking in and praying for us in this time –
Bruce & Deb