Stories in the Missional Journey of Bruce & Deborah Crowe

The Great Outdoors – большим наружу


This weekend I decided that I would put away my list, my regular scheduled programming, and explore with my boys. The forest next to our house is huge! We’ve been here for 5 months and I’ve been wanting to see what it’s like in there, but with workers needing materials from Kiev, or the cupboards needing food from Kiev, or papers needing stamping, there hasn’t been time. It was wonderful to explore the deep ravines, and majestic trees with my boys. They are professional climbers and I am, well, not 7yrs old anymore. I found it amazing to watch them dangle from 30ft drops while hanging on to one another, in this picture below Brent is holding out a limb for Tucker to hold while getting his footing. We found this big tree that the kids wanted to climb, we stood there and rested, talked about things and it was special.

I have been on my computer too much, working on the house, waiting in lines and in a constant state of ‘ok what’s next’ and I had forgotten the pleasure of silence, and the special bond of father and son. I’m looking forward to the next exploration, next time we may take some ‘bb’ guns hehe.



We’ve been all battling the flu for the past week, it’s knocked the wind out of our sails in the energy department. Everyday it seems I’m giving a list of things to buy for our workers, the gas company, the electrician… In the west when we hire some guys to work on our house, or you take your car in for maintenance, you expect the materials or items needed to be added to your bill right? This isn’t the case here, by default the worker only provides his experience and skill, but you have to provide almost everything else. My friend Micah from Khargalyk had an engine issue a while back and took it in to be serviced, he ended up having to walk around town trying to find the parts and oil for the car so it could be fixed. When the electrician showed up last weekend at our house he said we needed a new fuse box (if you saw our current mangled ball of wires you would concur), he then began to outline the various materials and hardware I would need to buy first. I’m not complaining about this, I’ve received an education on what materials are needed for virtually ever phase of building a house, and where to find them, but it zaps your time management and slows the process down to the halt because finding the materials can take so long. I’m wanting to buy a trailer right now, have been since my truck came because we have to take our own trash to the dump and you can imagine trying to load this into our truck 2x’s per week, it’s not nice. But the hitch I have on my truck is larger than the Ukrainian size, so I’ve been going all over asking.. I can’t even find THEIR hitches let alone something to convert mine. In another week or so we’ll find a solution, then it’s off to find a trailer. We found a factory that sells trailers, I laughed out loud when Svetlana explained that these particular trailers don’t come with wheels. These things no longer frustrate like they used to (thank you Lord) but it does wear on you.

It reminds me of the scripture about considering the cost before you build something, it’s a whole new ballgame over here in terms of ‘cost’ to you personally.

My office is coming along nicely, Alyosha is probably 2-3 weeks away from completing it. Besides being able to work more efficiently, I’ll have a great little spot to concentrate and pray, I look forward to praying in there and meeting with the Lord. I wonder how many times the Lord waits for us to come out into the woods, to unplug ourselves from the world. This Sunday Masha shared about a message she heard recently on silence and reminded us of the scriptures pertaining to waiting for God in silence, or God speaking to our hearts in times of stillness. I needed to hear this, and tromping through the forest with my boys reminded me of the need to walk away sometimes from the ‘urgent’, and deal with what really matters in our earthly and heavenly relationships. Time. Are you spending time with the Lord? I need to spend more time with Him, not out of any sort of religious duty in the least, but because I know He is my source of strength and my portion. I need His wisdom, His joy and peace to manage my home, run my business and be an influence in this community for Him. Are you like me and tied up in endless lists that seem to keep us from spending that time with Him? I’ve had this attitude that when the lists are done, then I can really relax and enjoy God’s word and my family. These are excuses and rob me/us of the blessings now, we know full well the lists will not end.

God teach us to lay our agenda down and seek first the kingdom of God, trusting Him to take care of all that concerns us.

искать прежде всего Царства Божия (Seek first the Kingdom of God) Matt 6:33



  1. Merryl

    Morning Mr. Bruce,

    I so enjoy reading your posts and see what you are all up to. How wonderful to wander through the woods with the boys and have special time with them.

    You spoke to my heart with your words about lists and waiting until they are done before getting back into the Word of God – I am always putting work and home first and then as I fall asleep, talk to my Heavenly Father. It is so bad and now I feel so guilty. Father please forgive me for putting you 2nd in my life. Amen.

    I love you guys and miss you all so much. Take care Bruce, Blessings,

  2. lorrie

    Great post Bruce, that made me laugh too about the trailer with no wheels:) Ed and I went for a walk in our backyard forest last night too and are always glad when we do, its always so refreshing and peaceful:) thanks for the reminder to spend time with God, the needs of raising a family are legitimate but they can’t take first place!

  3. Noline Rhodes

    Great pictures. It certainly is an awesome place to bring up boys with the forest right there and not a whole lot of traffic – especially with little ones running around. Glad to hear you are getting your office sorted out. It will be so much easier to make business calls without little voices in the background.

  4. nana

    thanks for the post, there is something special about getting out in God’s creation, and then to see it through the eyes of your sons, God is good!

  5. Judy Tomasino

    there is just something about being in the woods, in being close to nature – that really puts things in perspective.
    Great photos of the Boy Tree!
    Its true isnt it, that we allow all the busy-ness of our lives to rob us of time spent with the One who gave us all.
    Please forgive me Lord.
    As always, your family is on my prayers.
    Be well, God bless,

  6. papa

    Hi Mr Bruce,
    I love Meryls comment.I also am too busy,but at least am outdoors.I used to always listen to Christian radio,while combining,but have switched to Gen Beck and Rush Limbaugh,with all the politics.
    I need to smarten up too.
    Love them boy pictures.
    Next ,it will be knives and guns,bringing home food,
    with bandanas wraped around thier forheads.

  7. Bonnie Walters

    Seek Him while He may be found. That’s now!
    I understand. We’re all growing! It is good to stop though and let God help us see where our treasure is. He doesn’t give a flip about being first, He wants to be all. Everything else flows out from that. Amen! Who can stand in the day of the Lord, The man with a whole heart that rests in the Lord, and draws from the well within.

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