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The Family

Grad

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.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O0hTNulR-w

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… 

Greetings to you at Christmas

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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.