Spring has arrived in all it’s glory. Our downtown is bustling with activity. Smoke rises from every yard and streets are being swept by everyone that owns a broom. This past week the cafe has been open (though not officially) with several activities and construction resuming on the 2nd floor. While we wait for the gas project to finalize (this week we’re told) and a few other required documents to open, we’re moving forward with renovations of one of the offices. We even put up the trampoline yesterday.. the circus of smallish visitors has begun!
After a long, hard and isolated winter, it’s like being reborn. Seeing people you haven’t seen for months. On Friday I must have visited with at least a dozen friendly faces downtown. Everywhere I went I was shaking hands and hurdling my rough russian towards poor folks. I was full of hope again. Not only was the glare and warmth of the sun on my face again but the reality of blossoming relationships. We’re here for people, not just business ventures and long lines – the springtime re-invigorates that reality in a small community.
The new office upstairs will be a Cypress development office. For those that don’t know, I own a small web design and development firm in Texas. It’s actually two businesses – www.cypressinteractive.com and www.edsuite.com. This August will be 10yrs that Cypress has been in business. It was an act of faith then, and continues to be today. I’ve attempted several times over the past 5 yrs to ‘disconnect’ myself from the west. In particular, I’ve wanted to see my business run on its own, without my direct or indirect involvement so we could be more fully ‘here.’ Alas, after several failed ‘disconnect’ attempts, I’ve surrendered to the will of God! As long as I have the privilege of working with and in the realm of business, and it looks like that may be a while, I will embrace it as a vehicle of tremendous blessing.
Practically this means my time is more focused these businesses, both here in Ukraine and the US. Instead of working against or stressing about this reality, I’m seeing that for our particular family and immediate future, business is where we can be the most effective for the Kingdom. I no longer see business as a venture that simply ‘supports’ mission like I did early on. Instead, as a believer living in Ukraine, my business ventures are spiritual by nature. Everything I do has an eternal mindset and determination to influence for Jesus Christ. As business owners we have experience and resources enable us to reach people that is unique- whether employees, vendors, authorities in town, competition, and those we are serving (customers). It’s not ‘business for mission’, but ‘business as mission’. While our hearts continue to move towards a discipleship school and more strategic missions ‘center’ (and eventually Russia), the immediate road we will travel is through business development. This feels right. Admittedly it’s not what we thought we’d be doing 5yrs into this, but it’s very satisfying to realize God uses your actual skill and experiences too. May God be glorified!
There are many hurdles and prayer requests before us right now that we’d appreciate prayer about – too difficult to explain in detail, so here’s a quick bullet list:
- Kids Permanent Resident Applications: several hurdles and frustrations!!
- Registration of Vehicle
- Cafe BTE document, been waiting over a month for simple document from town.
- GAS Cafe – been waiting 5 months now for a contract and price to move a meter outside and turn it on – we call/visit weekly.
- Broderic Summer employment
- 28th hosting a Christian Event here in town – hoping to have +100 believers attend. Several musicians and churches participating.
- What to do with kids next school year (Particularly Brent).
Thanks for checking in. Thank you even more if you would pray with and for us.
Bruce & Deborah Crowe
Missionaries | Rzhischiv, Ukraine