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It has been a while

I was reading about John the Baptist this morning.  The bloke was arrested, imprisoned and kind of abandoned by Jesus, his cousin and Lord, whom he had faithfully served.  Then, still in his early 30’s, he was abruptly informed that he was to have his head cut off and that was that.  I find it fascinating that so many Christians, despite stories like this, refuse to give credence to the thought that God has the right to use our lives in whatever way He sees fit to bring about His will.  In fact, we should really want God to use our lives in any way He sees fit, even if it does mean suffering.  It sure goes against the pull of our natural “fleshly” inclination.  But when we understand this truth and live it, our lives shine very nicely for God’s glory.  So if I may be permitted:  Trust in God.  Trust God.  Trust in His perfection.  Be wary of caring too much about your own comfort/pleasure/health.  When you suffer loss, take a leaf out of Paul’s life and thank God for the opportunity of suffering for His glory.

Last night was the first real cold’un for this new season, (minus something).  I’ll forgo the privilege of using this update to have a gripe about the crouching big freeze.  We haven’t cranked up our faithful gas furnace yet… too expensive to justify the comfort.  We ward off the freezing with a few logs on the fire in our lounge room each morning and then a few more in the evening.  It’s a good system.

August 28

August 28th…  And another summer draws to an end.

I remember reading a Lawhead book many years ago in which the protagonist was known as “the Lord of the Summer Realm”.  I get how the designation is meant to praise.  Spring, (and the promise it brings of summer), and then summer itself are my favourite seasons.  Autumn and winter have their own attractiveness, but I’m not sure I’ve ever really “looked forward” to those months.  And now, at the end of summer, I again sense impending loss as I see the leaves browning and feel the cooler temperatures!  Time to take a trip to Australia for six months!!  :)  That’s actually not something I let my mind think too much about for fear I’ll desire it too much!

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We’ve enjoyed meeting in our local hall during the summer for Sunday church.  Regularly, between 60-70 people have been gathering, which contrasts quite effectively with the 15-20 of a few years back.  We believe that a church makes a mistake if its main goal is to get a lot of people to the Sunday service.  And yet, when people are gathering to worship God and learn and fellowship together… it is a very healthy thing and it’s encouraging to see.  We trust it is an indication of spiritual health and faithfulness.

Oleg umer

IMG_9073“Oleg umer.”  Those were the abrupt words I heard from Pasha as I answered the phone a few days ago. 

Oleg, the quiet, diabetic book-binder, was with us for slightly over six months, but sadly left a few weeks ago without our blessing to “make his way in the world”.  We don’t know if he experienced the cleansing work of God in his life resulting in salvation.  It felt as if he did, but we don’t know for sure.  He was asking about baptism shortly before he left.  We had hopes that he might get in touch with the church we co-operate with in the city he is from, but that didn’t happen.  And now his body is dead.  His Spirit… we can’t help but hope that his spirit is with our Savior. 

The rest of the guys at “Armageddon” are doing real well.  The rabbits and pig which we’ve added to the small collection of animals, (cat and dog), are also doing well and are lovingly being cared for with the knowledge that they will eventually become meat-providers. 

We are meant to be meeting a lady in a few weeks about joining our team and serving in the ladies rehab center.  We will drive to a city about six hours away and visit a successful rehab ministry there where we will meet with the leaders and with our lady. May God give us all wisdom.

We are a week out from Camp 120.  This year looks like being a bit of a reprieve from the last few in that we are looking at 90 people coming instead of 120.  It is expected that Shane will get a new boat too, which will make a beautiful difference!

Baptism

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It’s Monday morning and our home is quiet. 

The young American couple who have been staying with us for the last several months have moved out.  Yura and Oleg left early this morning for studies and work in Kiev.  My girls are reading quietly and doing school.  And Pris is doing little bits and pieces in the kitchen in preparation for a late, but special breakfast to celebrate IMG_9216Elle’s baptism yesterday. 

IMG_9209We did have a beautiful day yesterday.  Two of the guys who have gone through rehab also got baptized.  We went down to our river and witnessed the declarations of the two men and Elle.  Then we came up to our home and had a short service before celebrating with a picnic.