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Happy New Year

photoWe’ve had a nice holiday time during the last two weeks.  The trip to Rovno to spend Christmas with Priscilla’s parents was an enjoyable time.  The van did break down, but was 400 meters from a mechanic and they fixed it within 24 hours.  The police didn’t stop us this time and the trip was nicely uneventful.  The night before we left, I was just heading off to bed at about 11:00 when the doorbell rang.  Vlad, who I thought was in bed asleep was standing there bedraggled, dirty, bleeding and with an obviously broken arm!  He had fallen out a window… and was alive to tell how it had happened.  I took him to the local hospital and after driving to another village to collect the x-ray technician and then the doctor, he was declared “de trop” and sent to Kiev.  The doctors there did an operation a few days later and he is healing well with a couple of pins in his arm and a cast inconveniencing him nicely.  We’re thankful for God’s blessing.

Pris and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary amongst all the fuss of New Years.  Pris had organized a morning tea for the two of us and we dressed up and enjoyed ice cream and coffee.  This Sunday, we’ll go away to Kiev and have a couple of days away together.  20 years sounds like a good longish stretch to me.  30 more to go… 

Greetings to you at Christmas


We look upon the view out of our window and recognize that we are encroached upon by a world of white. The wind picked up this morning and effectively covered the tree branches with a coating of white frost. The temperature was hovering around -10C when we awoke, so for winter in Ukraine, it isn’t that cold… but it still feels cold enough to turn the heat up a bit more and put more layers on. I pity the soldiers who don’t have heaters to turn up and warm themselves by. It’s going to be a long winter for them.

The situation in Ukraine is in a state of… fluidity. Things are changing in dramatic ways. The Ukrainian government is faced with an incredible work-load as they attempt to get a handle on two major issues. One of those is of course the conflict with Russia and the Separatists in the east. The other is the conflict with the economy. It’s hard to see how they can come out of either of those with something that even remotely looks like a success, but hope springs eternal, (thank you Alexander Pope). And there is the chance that God may intervene for His great purposes and bring about what we are praying for: a spiritual change in this culture that is Ukrainian, (may that be your will, God).

Our family is doing well.

Blog posts automatically sent to email address

photoHappy Birthday Tonya!  


Someone asked me yesterday if if was possible to get our blog post automatically sent to their email address so that they would be informed when we’d posted on the blog site. is possibly the way to go.  They have millions of users around the world using their service to bring content that you regularly view to one site… or to your inbox.  It isn’t too difficult to set up.  And Tim, the most computer savvy bloke I know, highly recommends it.

Even easier… if you drop me an email at asking to be added to a list, I will send out a quick email informing you of new content added any time we do that.

We’re doing well.  Winter has set in nicely and we are grateful for a warm home.  There is still much talk about lack of gas for heating and lack of coal for the energy plants, but apart from the couple of times a day the electricity is turned off for 90 minutes… life goes on as per normal.  The kids in our home actually hope for the lights to go off!  They get to light candles!  I went into a store today and saw candles and kerosene lanterns prominently displayed.  I asked about them and the store-keeper said that they’d been a very popular buy the last few days as the government has announced blackouts.  As we spoke, a lady entered the store and bought a whack of candles.  It’s a good month for the candle sellers! 


It’s Monday morning again and the girls are in school.  They’re reading about the New Jerusalem together with Pris right now circled around the fireplace and drinking hot tea.  Yesterday, we had our first snow settle in Rzhyshchiv, and it isn’t melting yet, so the temps must be below freezing.  We’re doing what most people are doing and keeping our gas heating on low while-ever we can.  Once the temperatures drop to –15, we’ll have no option but to turn it up… but for now, the fireplace does a good job of heating the lounge room and we are nice and warm.

IMG_3059Our visitors from the conflict in the east of Ukraine are doing well.  The kids have settled into school and say that they keep on getting points off for answering in Russian instead of Ukrainian.  They find it difficult.  Lena, their mother, has found work where Tonia has been working at the sewing factory.  She is a bit nervous about exactly how much she will bring home at the end of the month as she hasn’t been promised a minimum salary.  She has a week before she finds out.  But she does know that if she sews seven buttons onto a dressing gown, she gets paid 35 kopeks, (less than 3 cents)!!  That isn’t exactly inspiring.