Stories in the Missional Journey of Bruce & Deborah Crowe

Where’s the Turkey?


Wait a minute, doesn’t EVERYONE celebrate thanksgiving? I may get desperate and go hunting.. or maybe one of you could ship us over a butterball. New Years day is the big holiday around these parts, Christmas is on a come back though. During communism the Russians suppressed anything religious in nature, they emphasized New Years as the ‘big event’. In schools children dress up on New Years, get treats… The Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas (click for history of Christmas) as Jan 7, following the Julian Calendar. Over the past couple of years in Ukraine the Western influence has also made a seasonal impact, we saw some Christmas stores in Kiev a couple of weeks ago complete with trees and colorful decor, Deb was overly excited.


We’re getting closer to having our basement ‘use-able’.. although it’s still a mess of wires, concrete, bricks and sheet rock at the moment. It will be great to send all the kids down there to the playroom when we have guests over. Oleg and Yura, the two college students continue to show up faithfully 4 days per week, chipping away at things in between smoke breaks. They are good kids.. I can say ‘kids’ now right? They rarely eat or drink anything. We feed them and try to show Christian love with our limited vocabulary. It’s been neat to watch them loosen up, I’ve begun asking them some questions about God, please pray for them, we probably have another month together with them.. well at the pace they are moving, let’s say 2 months.

We’ve had Sasha Sr. and Sasha Jr. from Karghalyk, replacing our electrical box. They can only come at night and on the weekends so it’s taken a while, but we actually have a breaker box now, replacing the ‘oh so safe’ on/off lever and open wires we had. They are also going to install a water filtration system, our well water is not drinkable and so hard that we’re told our appliances will not last too long if we don’t do something soon.

[Our garage from the street]

[Garage, now office from inside… excited to move in it]

The former one russian car garage is now my office,, it’s 90% finished needing only carpet to complete. I’ve been working from the kitchen table, Deb will be happy to see me take my computer and associated junk to my barn:). We are one of only a few DSL highspeed internet owners, especially with open access wifi.. we’ve got a few people coming over during the week to check email and use it, hey an internet cafe… it’s right here in Deb’s kitchen! Kidding Deb.

I don’t like waiting so long to update, too many things pile up to write about. Oh, the official date for the Sister City Web Conference is Wednesday November 19.. 8:30am CST / 4:30pm Ukraine. Both Mayors have committed to the date and I’ve worked with the city IT person here to test things out with Hunter back in Kilgore.. all systems are a go! Please pray for the event to work (internet to work!) and the first meeting to be an enjoyable one, I’m excited to see how things will move from here. We’ve already been shown much kindness and some doors have opened for Jono’s school, the city is donating a small building for his english classes, though I believe it will require a lot of fix up. I think the more the Christians here show themselves to be community assets, the greater opportunities will open up for us all, we are starting to see this and it’s encouraging. The lady at the Mayor’s office is trying to get our kids in dancing lessons, like the cultural Ukrainian dancing… I told her my boys would rather shoot something and asked her if there was anything in RZ for boys… she just shook her head with a frown. Imagine them dancing ha.

Next week we have Ukrainian lady/friend coming over to teach Deb how to make Borsh. We have become friends with this couple, they are Christians but don’t really fellowship too much here in town, they go to Kiev sometimes for church. He installed our cabinets and counter-tops. The other day a drunk man came to our house and wanted to see inside.. I guess he saw it before it was finished when the guys were all working on it.. he was overly friendly/tipsy and thankfully Daniel was here to guide him back out of our coat room. There’s a definite socialistic mindset here when it comes to personal property, on one hand it’s a good opportunity to get to know people more intimately (like your neighbors who will be obliged to give you some tea if you show up at their door) but it puts us in all sorts of situations we’d never dream of back in the US.

I heard you all have a new president? Ok, we. Plenty of room in Ukraine 😉

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)Good devotion on this verse click here



  1. Dana

    when our polish friend came over to work with dave for a week, we gave him his very first thanksgiving meal. he had eaten a lot of potatoes but never mashed up, buttered up, and with gravy. i can’t remember if had ever had cranberry sauce either. it was fun… so you’ll have to have a huge thanksgiving meal for everyone. let’s see, if we mail you a turkey, by the time it actually get’s there, it’ll be just in time for… new years! 😉

  2. Judy

    Lol!! I had an English friend come over 2 weeks ago (across the pond!) and we had Thanksgiving in October!
    (and he has now been “upgraded” from friend to fiancee….think it was the turkey? lol)
    Glad to read things are progressing there, water and electricity – both things we take for granted until they arent there! Hope your boys find a happy medium between dancing and shooting.
    be well, God bless,

  3. nana

    please don’t ask me to bring the turkey! how many are we having over for Christmas dinnner? remember i’m just coming from lorrie’s so take pity! your “garage or barn” looks a little unstable out front, have they had an earth quake there lately? thanks for the you…mom

  4. papa

    Hey Bruce,
    Just checking between corn (I love ethanol plants)loads.
    I thought the garage outside was the guest house maybe.
    Seems like maybe your over the hump now.Good your busy.Hows the economy over there?
    Do they have welfare? or unemployment insurance?
    Great pictures,but prefer video

  5. tanya susidko

    Hi there Bruce and Deb, enjoy reading your updates. Things look great in your house. Look forward to coming over some day. Keep up the good work!

  6. Bill and Mary Ann Barrett

    Dear Bruce and Deb, Your Mom shared your recent update with us at church -it was wonderful to se how the Lord is using you all and how faithful you have been to His call. Sara checked out your website as well and was so thrilled to see and read about your journey. God bless you and keep you and we will cover you in prayer. in His love, Barretts

  7. Bill Bradshaw

    Hey Bruce and Deb,

    It was fun reading and getting caught up on what you are doing right now. It looks like everything is shaping up for you and your making inroads into the community. God Bless You All.

    Bill and Ann

  8. lorrie

    Why don’t you work out of your truck? Ed has his little electric heater and extension cord going into the garage:) You could say its a North American thing lol!

  9. Emily

    Hey Bruce,

    How’s life with you? Mine’s great. How’s Rodgey & Bron Fron doing? I looove the pictures oh Noah on Debs site. Their so what you call-ADORABLE. Well gotta go, catch you later!

© 2023 Lift Up Your Eyes

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑