What is music to your ears? I enjoy seeing the Cafe abuzz with activity. When the team from Texas & Belarus was here, we had two floors packed with activity every day and night. Since they’ve left, it hasn’t been quite as busy, but we’ve had something cool taking place in the wake of the activity.
Last week, starting on Monday, the ‘drummer boys’ started coming up after school. Several of the boys from the drum class continued taking lessons with Collins. Six consecutive afternoons later, there’s now a full band.. well, an aspiring one. We have a Bass player, Piano, Guitar, and several drummers making quite a racket.
Most of those here are from the Creative Courses, and had never touched their respective instrument 3 weeks ago… now you are getting a picture of what we’re up against! 🙂 Collins and I take turns popping in and giving some basic strategy and lessons – partly for our own sanity as we try and make progress in our respective offices (it is loud!). Regardless of the sounds they actually make, it is music to my ears.
We had 10 students, several new ones show up and just hanging out on the 2nd floor listening to the ‘music’. These kids thrive on encouragement, and their confidence is noticeably growing. I literally have to kick them out after 3hrs so our poor customers on the first floor (and staff) get a break. Pray for these young hearts – many of which have taken steps in the recent weeks to living for God – several came last Wednesday night to Club 180.
Collins is attempting to put together our music studio, making frames and waiting on our acoustic sound proofing material to arrive. I’d take some pictures but it’s still quite a mess – Collins if you read this, the people want a photo!
The widow ministry continues to make a spiritual impact on our little community. We are even getting some inquiries from our local Mayor’s office – not necessarily something we want, but the ministry should and is causing questions. When Christianity gets legs and starts walking, it is completely counter-cultural to the Kingdoms of this world – we want nothing in return, we simply want to express the love of God we’ve already experienced.
We gathered again yesterday for a time of testimony and prayer. We are believing God this month for even greater awakening to His love and care – God is to be trusted, not just for earthly provision, but the weightier eternal cares of the heart. By God’s grace Rafael was able to share and pray with one women to receive Christ. Several others have been prayed for, and hearts are opening up. What’s really neat as well is that the team is starting to invite others to go with them – a perfect training ground to encourage others in the body of Christ to share their time and love with those in need.
We have been given word that the financial sponsorship for this ministry has been discontinued beyond the funds for this year – this has helped us re-focus our energies on making every package and opportunity count. If we are faithful with this, I believe the Lord will continue this ministry and provide the needs. We are now feeding 35 monthly (25 last month). The packages are about 50% the total monetary value of the average pensioners incoming – it’s no small care package for them. Ask God to grant us wisdom needed as many interesting situations arise for the team with this sort of ministry.. just like the early church.. disputes arise from the selfishness of some. Overall however there is a ton of gratitude.
I’m racing to prepare for a week of teaching at YWAM Vladivostock next week. I will be taking the train on Sunday from Kiev to Moscow (overnight 12hrs), then a flight from Moscow direct to Far East Russia and the beautiful port city of Vladivostock. It’s a 9hr flight – so bascially I’m heading about the same distance East as heading back to the US is West.. Incredible how large Russia is! Please pray for me – I’ll be teaching 16hrs on the Kingdom of God at a DTS there, and two evening gatherings. It will be a challenge to hit the ground running with the 7hr time difference from here..
Thankful for your prayers, and support. We are so blessed to see God answering prayers, young hearts moving toward God – and continued opportunities to invest in others – and give of the grace lavished on our hearts. He is an amazing God – His Kingdom reigns and where He shoes up, incredible things can happen. I pray God refreshes your soul today, and affirms His great love and awareness of the many details in your life.
Please pray about:
- Natasha from Minsk, she is praying about returning and serving with us for a longer period.
- Collins and the studio. We have stepped out and budgeted $500 which we’d love to have help with. A brother at Crossroads donated over $1k worth of equipment which will get us started – we’re trying to do the most minimal as a phase I, but still create something functional for recording for the area – it will be as unique as the actual Cafe for our area and attract all sorts of folks. More later!
- Summer Interns – please pray for this. We have a core of youth that we believe could really grow in their relationship with God if we spent more time in the Word, and in practical outreach. This is completely new for us, but we’re excited about it – pray for discernment who to choose, and for provision.
- The Cafe – by the grace of God we continue to pay our bills every month. We have an amazing team that works hard and tries to be as frugal as possible. Thanks to 3-4 monthly supporters we only personally spend about $400/mo now (used to be $700) to keep it operational, using our personal support. Costs should decrease with the warmer weather as utility costs decrease and business hopefully increases.. however the economy is TERRIBLE, the worst it’s been – it is so difficult in Ukraine right now – this sort of business should not operate in a smaller town in Ukraine, it’s a wonder, and I know the town realizes this (especially visitors from Kiev that can’t believe it)- and we thank God for the provision, but do need to keep asking for support if the Lord puts this on your heart – any amount, keep the Lighthouse shining with us. We aren’t a local church, we have no regular income, yet we are serving in many of the same capacities (and many unique ways) with the same expenses – we have staff, building expenses, ministries through the week.. all without any sort of income like most churches get with an offering. We’ll continue to invest as we have the money from personal support as well, but it would be so cool to see it either break even, or see some additional monthly support come in. I have no doubt this Cafe will do fine if the economy picks up, but that still could be years away. You can’t lose 300% of your national currency value and rebound without massive changes. In the meantime, the Cafe’s influence and opportunity continues to rise in value in terms of Kingdom impact – as long as we can keep moving forward. If you aren’t giving regularly to anything specific, consider this field for investing in. We have +300 customers per week, dozens of regular customers, and an increasing student population making the 2nd floor ‘home’. 90% of our interactions are with non-churched.
Bruce & Deb