Our trip from Canada to Texas was great! After plowing through NY State’s ice, snow, wind and fog, the roads opened up and was smooth sailing.
The first stop was in Harrisburg, PA, where we have family friends who pastor a dynamic church called Life Center Ministries. One of our desires on this trip was to expose our kids to a greater ‘swath’ of Christianity, and expressions of it. The people at Life Center were extremely kind, and welcoming – and their worship band was outstanding. Noah was busting all sorts of moves on “God’s great dance floor.”
Two highlights were our visit with Charles & Anne Stock, and connecting with Andy Myers who is part of a YWAM leadership group that is focused on artists/musicians. That connection has led to some serious discussion regarding the possibility of The Lighthouse hosting their team in April/May for a series of Creative Workshops, Concerts and more! Please pray for us as we make possible commitments this week. The vision of their DTS track is unbelievably similar to our passion to begin more focused discipleship this fall – God is good!
We then traveled to Tennessee where we had some R&R with some close friends we haven’t seen for too many years. The kind of friends that, after a few minutes, you are completely relaxed around and you pick up where you left off. Chris, his wife Becky and 4 sweet kids crammed into one room and gave us the top floor of their house. We also visited with the Mason’s, whom we have a long history with.
We left edified and with a sense that God is alive, working in the two places we stopped – and challenged to pray with more faith, believing God can also do ‘exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think’ back in ole Ukraine. Sometimes we need to be around faith and passion to displace our own settled apathy.
Arriving in Texas we were met by 48hrs of drizzling rain and cold weather. I had told the kids, with my fatherly wisdom, to leave their winter coats, gloves and hats in Canada because, “we’re going south baby!” Woops. Had to visit K-Mart and stock up on some things. Our home church here in Longview is embarking on a full week of 24/7 prayer. Various prayer stations and focused points of prayer are setup throughout the church building. We wish we had a few extra weeks as we want to focus in on the prayer, but also have limited time to visit with so many supporters/friends.
The Kilgore paper is featuring an article on our family this Wednesday, and tonight I will be sharing for a few minutes to the City Council in Kilgore on the state of the sister city relationship, as well as general update on the continued tension and fighting. Ukraine is not on the news as much lately, but still a lot going on. As best I can, I want to convey both the reality of what is happening in Ukraine, but also the greatest need to support/pray for a spiritual revolution – which I believe is taking place on some levels through all the prayer already both within and outside of Ukraine.
God has been pouring into my heart personally, some impressive truths from scripture lately. I’ve been challenged to come to him in prayer, and with His Word and expect substantial spiritual nourishment, not just a few scraps to keep me alive. We eat so well here in the US, amazing meals, full and tasty – yet there are also a zillion fast food joints serving up terribly greasy ‘pseudo food’. What do I expect when I come to God for fellowship and mediation? Do I give Him the time, and do I have faith to believe for something greater than a mere morsel of truth? I have purchased a book for this year, a journal of sorts, but not like last year’s which turned into a day planner more than anything. I believe God wants me to use it to write down what He opens my eyes to, and nourishes me with. I hope to share more spiritual truth this year on the blog – and Lord willing less about the state of the Cafe and our ever unconnected gas!
Speaking of the Cafe, it is open again after a week closed during holidays. Please pray for our finances, our main ‘big’ costs is electricity, we are paying now over $400/mo for that, which may not seem like a lot for the west, but it’s big bucks for Ukraine and it’s current economic situation. I’m looking forward to the summer, without the need to heat we will be in the black with our current sales. Sustainable business, that’s what we want, so we can focus more upstairs and discipleship.
If you read all of this congratulations, I wanted to download this information for record – I’m increasingly desirous of documenting for our kids, their spiritual journey and encouragement – God is faithful – our part is to trust and step out in obedience.
Bruce & Deb Crowe
Missionaries – Ukraine