40 started with a bang

pir  What a 40th!  I am so rich – rich in people who love and accept me.  Last night, about 40 people dressed up in pirate costume and joined the incredible spectacle that was “the ministry centre”, but turned into a corsair flying pirate colours for the evening.  I was blown away at first sight of everyone as I came up the steps.  Everyone was dressed up and looking perfect for a pirate party… except for some guy who wore a skirt and another who wore a suit and said he was a detective.  :) 

Pris orchestrated the efforts of 10 or so people who made the night real special for everyone by decorating and cooking and organizing and looking after kids.  Shane and Jemi bought some great fireworks (and narrowly missed manslaughter charges being laid against them when one of the packages fell on its side and sprayed exploding balls in four different directions).  But it all worked together to make the night something that was perfect.  Negatives:  I only had one stomach available and by desert time it was already at 90% capacity.pir3

Ladies Retreat and Concrete Pouring

I’ll make this a quick one.

The ladies are away on a retreat for two nights.  The men are acting like their throats are cut.  :)  Nah.  We’re fine.  I had to laugh yesterday though.  My four children are pretty independent and so I thought the weekend would be pretty cushy – no dirty diapers or major spews for me to clean up.  We watched a couple of little kids for a friend and had our dirty diaper.  Then at tea, Elle reacted to the shepherds pie Angel had made and held her first puke in her mouth to spurt out through her fingers all over Jesse, the table and the bench when the next puke followed it.  Ahhh…  it was wonderful.

IMG_1066Pris is sharing a couple of times at the retreat today.  She put in too many hours over pen and paper preparing to speak and for the last few days suffered from arm, neck and head aching.  She was completely out of it for about 24 hours!  This afternoon, the ladies are having a sauna and spa treat, (something most of them have probably never in their lives dreamt of), thanks to a group of ladies on Bribie Island who gave towards this.  It will be the highlight of the year for them probably!

How is your arm

I just asked Angie this question.  Answer:  “Fine, thank you.  Thankfully it isn’t itching.”  She has had a torrid two weeks.  Her whole body has come out in a rash that is itchy and unsightly.  Yesterday, we went to a reputable clinic in Kiev again and had her (and Elle) tested for 100 different allergens.  The doctor said that her body is in “an extreme state of stress” and the first priority is to alleviate the symptoms.  She prescribed a few different creams plus a spray to be used in the evenings and some “other stuff”.  I’m pretty skeptical of all these different creams, having been there before with Angie and not seen much of an improvement.  We’ve been rotating her diet for the last couple of years and managing any flare-ups with a cortisone cream.  This time though, her system must have become run-down following a couple of bouts with the flu.  We tried the creams with one of them getting “rave reviews”!  “Miracle cream” actually healed some particularly badly affected skin overnight spreading out from a small 1cm area.  But still, after a week, she is no better generally. 

Life is enjoyable

A good week…

Pavers, Rap, Sermons, Concerts, Guests, Wellness…

IMG_0978[2]Good on Igor.  He singlehandedly organized Slavko to come and rap at the three technical colleges and at School #1.  Slavko sang about drink, drugs, smoking as well as friendship, love, Jesus and wise-living.  He connected with the students as well as with the teachers (their reaction was incredibly positive) and was not only a hit, but hopefully built the foundation a little bit stronger in the lives of the students to desire goodness for their lives… God inclusive.  I think about 400 students heard the message as well as about 80 primary school students.  We’ve come to the conclusion that to reach these kids with the gospel, we have to see them more often than just once a month.

We’ve started up Friday nights again after a couple of years break.  So far, we’ve had a blast together.  About 20 college students have come out – none of whom are Christians.  We have driven to the dorms to collect students and each week, filled up the van.  Games, coffee and a devotional are the go.  Postscript:  Just before I post this and then go off to bed after another Friday night, I’ll record our record – about 30 guys and two girls!  :)