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Jesse on the Lake

Alyosha Kurilko


Alyosha Kurilko, husband of Natasha and father of Lilya and Denis, just called.  Natasha and her kids were here for the evening and she took the call. 

He and his fellow soldiers were on their way to support a position in Piski, (located slightly to the left of centre in the photo).  The airport you see on this Google-maps image no longer looks like this.  It is under snow and is a bombed out wreck from all the fighting that has gone on for it’s capture during the last several months.  Alyosha said that they came under attack from artillery as they drove along the road just near Piski, and were hiding in cellars that they’d managed to find in buildings they were passing.  He’s in extreme danger and would appreciate our prayers. 

Thanks, on his behalf.



There are a few things in life that make me emotional.  I was just brought to tears as I watched a video of the war going on in this country of ours.  Not sure what it is that affects me so.  The cruelty of war?  Suffering?  The hate that war stirs up between men?  I’m not sure.  I do believe; however, that a sovereign God will, in so many ways, be glorified because of the events of these days.  May His people be faithful!

 There have been a number of times over the last 12 months that Ukraine has been shaken to its core.  The bombing of Mariupol by the Russian-backed separatists last week was one such time.  The war has been quietly ticking away over the last few months; then this happens, and suddenly everyone is again talking and wondering what will happen in the short-term future and voicing frightening possibilities.  Here’s a clip of the “Grad” (Hail) missiles on YouTube which fell on Mariupol.  (This weapon used to be impressive in my eyes.  I now see it from a different perspective – it’s death.)  The clip is actually one put together by the separatists.  Funnily enough, I’m still surprised by their audacious attempts at lying their way out of sticky situations.  I guess their philosophy is that they only need to convince their own people.  (Click on the link.)

Exchange rate

                                  (A year ago)                                     (Today – but no one will sell dollars at 16.65!!)

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…