Box of 100 Wheat Drinking Straws!

This week we finally received our shipment of wheat straws along with the packaging. It had a difficult time passing into Ukraine through customs, without surprise! We had fun all sitting around the kitchen table in assembly line fashion for an hour trying to figure out just how to package them in the most efficient manner. Even Abigail was part of the fun as box folder and inspector.

We posted our activity on Instagram and Facebook and didn’t realize our online store was actually live.. we had two orders within minutes! Small problem, we don’t know what we are doing. So that was fun. Long story short, we mailed our first packages of straws to friends in US and Canada, from Ukraine, we have 100 boxes now in Florida with Broderic, and we hope to launch officially soon!

Check out the pretty stamps and where they make you put the address? It cost the same to ship from Ukraine as from within the US.. but now to see if it arrives 🙂

This week we’ve been preparing as a team for incoming friends from Belarus and parts of Ukraine. 27 registered for this weekends leadership training. As these are growing and developing with more content (thank you Fuller!) we are now bringing alongside some emerging leaders (Vadim, Aleksa, Natasha, Lena) in more responsible roles for logistics and teaching of the content.

Last night we spent 4 hours going over some of the material, surveys, and lessons, and allowing them to pick and choose what they felt comfortable leading. Because the material is really interactive, it’s a great way to allow them to both learn the material themselves more deeply, but also better understand and appreciate the sheer amount of work that goes into feeding, serving, design learning space for a large group like this. I love their enthusiasm!

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, reading and processing the concept of differentiation (as has Deb in her own world of material). It’s been so rewarding, freeing, but super challenging. I’ll be sharing this weekend about the nature of chronically anxious systems (families, churches, orgs) and the symptoms. We’ll be looking into the nature of resistance (to change), how being differentiated is essential to pioneering and helping fearful, reactionary souls adapt and grow. Our post-modern world, like the time of the 14-15th century explorers has changed so rapidly beneath our feet that folks are excessively tribal, seeking stability and a sense of certainty through belonging (who’s in, who’s out).

For the visionary explorer, the rewards of risk are greater than the accepted status quo; The pursuit of what could be just around the corner is greater than the necessary growth that must occur to get there.

Jesus was the ultimate example of being differentiated. He knew where He came from, who He was, and where He was going. He was comfortable with the temporary discomfort of others. He was strong and loving enough to speak the truth, and not fall into the trappings of empathy which often only consoles the unhealthy in need of difficult statements that might help them to actually take responsibility for themselves and grow. He wasn’t in a competition for the most likes, and was the proverbial calm in the tempest of religious hatred and jealousy as He shook the structure through deliberate ‘being’ of Himself. The structure didn’t take kindly to Jesus, and the anxiously fearful within it reacted, blaming and looking for a quick fix as well. Crucify Him!

Can we be like Jesus in this anxious world? The sheer nerve of Jesus is astounding to me.

I’m looking forward to tonight as the different friends arrive. We have a really cool mix this weekend with some new folks as well. We invite those that have long term vision for cultural impact, and are hungry to grow in deeper ways in a learning community. Please pray for us this weekend!

Last week I was interviewed, along with some business folk in our town from a journalist from Kiev. He works with a Swiss government program that is monitoring and aiding government reforms in Ukraine to help with growth in various sectors. I found myself talking about Economic Development, an area I spent 10yrs serving in with our web company in my previous life. It was really neat to discuss the different things happening in our town. One gentleman (by the window) has just developed a solar panel lamp-post which they install turnkey for $400. They crowdfunded the first 6 for our town, and they are already shining in our dark winter night. He told us he is on a waiting list for RazomGo crowdfunding platform to try and take his idea to more communities.. I was like, wait, you mean OUR RazomGo? We’d never met, and he didn’t know that’s our platform! Small world. I’m looking forward to the article, and what the journalist writes.

Deep breath. Here we go.