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The family of God is generous

Well… we are expecting US$44,000 to appear in our bank account any day now.  It has been an incredible month.  Several couples and two churches have donated bringing the total received to US$55,000 – enough to buy the building and do renovations towards making the building something more than just “utilitarian-useful”. 

We had agreed with the owner to sign over the building on Monday at the latest.  So knowing the money is in Kiev is a big relief.  As it turns out, I can’t withdraw it until Monday anyway, (the banks need 24 hours warning of large-sum withdrawals).  So we couldn’t have cut it any finer.

The vision for this place is still coming together.  This week, I want to gather several people together and sit in different rooms praying and listening to ideas. 

It is definitely in my heart to start a Christian day-care and, in a couple of years, a Christian school in the building.  We need to decide whether to put the ladies rehab centre in one end, or build a second floor on the end and put the ladies there… or keep them in the village.  Do we develop so that the youth use the building as a hang-out joint?  Do we plan to build a separate building on the property for children of addicted ladies to stay in, (quasi-orphanage)?  We will have an opportunity to put in a good kitchen/dining room.  Should they be in the one room?  Carpet squares in the main area?  Wooden floors in the day-care area?  Should we take out a column and put in heavy duty beam in its place?  There are lots more questions needing wisdom to decide.  May God guide!

We won’t do any repairs before the first meeting.  I want for us to have photos of our first meeting in the untouched hall so that we can have the comparison.  So it is looking as if we’ll be meeting there as a church in 9 days!!!  People will be so excited! 

This is a very interesting building

Wow!  We just entered a whirlwind!IMG_1426 (1)

During the last 10 days, a building that would suit our church to a ‘T’ has come up for sale in Rzhyshchiv.

For many years, I’ve downplayed the idea of getting a church building.  I’ve been aware of several potential dangers we’d have to look out for if we get a building and they have kept my enthusiasm in check.  These last few days though, for the first time in the life of our church), I realized that I felt open about getting one – this one. As I have prayed and thought about it and talked with people, the desire has only grown since then.  So I surmise that it is finally time for us to move on this.

Here are the details:
* 600m² building (the property looks as if it’s about 80m x 40m)
* Has it’s own well, gas and good electricity
* Wood furnace and heating all round the building
* Lots of territory for parking/playing/more buildings if need be.
* Built as a school back in the 1920’s – solid structure with thick walls and a good roof.
* Used in more recent years as a sewing factory.
* The owner closed the factory two years ago.
* If you’d like a very basic YouTube walk-around: search for “Church Building Rzhyshchiv” and “Church Building Rzhyshchiv 2”

Thick and Fast

“Things” seem to have been happening thick and fast around here this last month.IMG_1367

   On the family front… 

Angel has her license.  She studied up a storm in the weeks prior to the test… in Ukrainian, no less.  God blessed for the testing day and she managed to pass.  No suggestions were made for bribes or anything like that… something that is a welcome direction in the police force.

She is nearly finished school and should do so in the U.S..  She left last week to help look after some little nieces while an aunt introduces a baby into the world in a few months.  Her health is much improved and the periods of suffering are for shorter periods of time and less severe.  Manuka honey has been her very good friend these last few months.

Come July, we will join her and most of the other Bible family members for a 50th wedding celebration that Pris’ parents will hold in Ohio.  Pris is pretty excited.  We’ll be seeing Angie again, but also… the last time we were together in America was over 20 years ago.  We will get to stay with some special friends from Pris’ teen years, which will be a delight and be seeing her brothers and their families.  This last couple of weeks, I managed to figure out dates and flights and was again surprised at how cheap it is to travel when compared to 28 years ago when I first left the shores of Australia.

   On the country front…

Two strange birds

conf rehab fotoEight of us went to a conference on Saturday.  It was the first one we were involved in organizing for central Ukraine and we invited volunteers from eight other rehab centres to come.  Looking over the hall and seeing God’s grace in the lives of these guys and girls was amazing.  The unusual thing was that in this picture, Marie and I are the only ones who weren’t addicted to drugs or alcohol.  That’s a fact.  Actually, I just realized, I took the photo…  Marie is the only strange bird pictured!   

To my surprise, the conference was pretty much perfect.  Rather than have several sermons or Bible studies, we had one sermon and the rest of the day was filled with questions and answers that touched on rehab ministry.  The super-happy guy up the back had just been released from prison and was still high from freedom and the love of his Christian family.  (Most of these guys have spent time in jail.)