Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits- Psalm 103:2

If you are like me, you are looking back over the past year and recounting the hills and valleys.  I wanted to document some very amazing things that took place in our family in 2014:

  • Claire Deborah Crowe was added to our family, completely healthy!  This was no small event as many of you know.  Early diagnosis was pointing to DS, and we began preparing as best we could.  Although it was emotionally exhausting, it was a rewarding journey as we have gained a much needed appreciation towards those families that are ‘surprised’ with an extra chromosome.
  • Russia – if you remember last year, I began to ask the Lord for some opportunities in Russia – to share His Word and begin physically moving into this country that has for so many years been on our hearts and trajectory.  God opened two doors, one on the western border (Rostov-a-Don) and the other on the Pacific coast (Vladivostok).   I am still amazed how that worked out.
  • Lighthouse Cafe – After +2yrs of essentially non-stop documents, and physical rennovations, we legally opened!  It is difficult to describe the feeling of relief and joy I feel when I walk in that place and it’s filled with folks from all walks of life in Ukraine – teachers, students, mom’s, old grandpa’s.   I am thanked regularly by people I’ve never met for investing in such a place in our small town – the folks know it’s not a money maker, but they embrace it with gratitude.  What a natural place of relationship building – thank YOU for not giving up, for giving, and praying too.
  • Cypress – My US web company has been a continual two edged sword since moving to Ukraine.  It’s been great to have seasons of work/income as we’ve certainly needed it over the years.  Yet, it’s been a major burden to oversee, limiting my capacity as a father, husband and missionary – especially because of time zones.   This year was incredibly hard, but needed to happen as we pruned things back significantly and no longer actively growing that side of the business – it’s a temporary band-aid and one that I continue to pray about, but the timing was AMAZING as literally the Cafe launched during the same month I was freed up more – God is good – but let me tell you, it took some major crying out to God for change, and for a long time – it taught me a lot about prayer, and trusting God in fresh ways (letting go of security and the ‘known’ is never easy).

Those are three major things I am personally thanking God for today as I look back.

What do you thank Him for?  I think the Psalmist David knew like the rest of us that forgetting is part of human nature – we have to remind ourselves not to forget.

Bruce & Deborah