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Seeing

Something nice has occurred in our family.  God has healed Priscilla and Jesse from something that has bothered them for years.

They have worn glasses for a combined total of over 40 years – with Priscilla being classified as legally blind without them.  Today, they are seeing perfectly without glasses after a visit to a clinic in Kiev that specializes in laser eye surgery.  Jesse, (yes, he’s back for the summer), has commented a couple of times so far that he loves his “upgrade” and thinks he now has better than 20/20.  Pris is loving the freedom she feels without glasses.  She feels a bit like she’s in a new body. 

It was a pretty special birthday present for Pris – a day that will be remembered for the rest of her life! 

We had a Sunday recently which was also special for the church.  Dima – the only Ukrainian in our church who is not a first generation Christian – preached his first sermon.  It was definitely a blessing to many and absolutely thrilled me.  God is good.  The next week, Sergei, a young guy we befriended on the local beach over 10 years ago, preached.  Two years ago he married and now has a little girl… and is preaching!  May these two guys grow in the Lord and serve Him greatly in His church! 

We’ve had the last session in the parenting course.  17 weeks of meeting and learning and discussing… it was greatly valued by all the parents.  We announced that we hoped to do a conference next year opening it up to anyone who wanted to learn.  This idea was met with enthusiasm… so it looks like we’ll plan to bring that about in February/March… 

I like to see

Driving at night without lights when thick fog is blanketing the roads is dangerous… it goes without saying.  I remember once coming up a hill on the way to Kiev and encountering an old tractor that was doing this very thing.  Incredible that I didn’t run up the back of them.  It gave us a fright though.

I remember another time driving in a snow-storm.  Lights were basically useless as they reflected into the snow for a few meters only…  It was a scary drive even at 10km an hour…

I remember scuba diving down in Tassie.  It was a deeper dive, (30m or so, I think), on a cloudy day and the descent felt surreal as nothing was to be seen above and nothing below. 

I like to see.  I like knowing what is ahead.  I like knowing what is out there.

I’ve been considering truth over the last few weeks as I’ve studied textual criticism as it applies to the Bible.  It fascinates me to note that 2 intelligent men can look at the same information concerning the Bible and one has faith while the other doesn’t.  One is blind while the other has been given sight.  I like being able to see and am overwhelmed with thankfulness that God gave me, (one who is a natural skeptic), faith to look at the information available and have confidence in Him.

It’s an interesting question to put to yourself:  What could shake my faith? 

I am confident in my belief in God’s Word and His Word itself gives faith.  Romans 10… “faith comes by hearing the Word of God”.  “The pure milk of the Word strengthens our faith…” thanks, Peter.  To the man who has been given faith, the words of the Bible just ring true!  It’s beautiful! 

May 1

Who said the Communist Party didn’t exist anymore in Ukraine?  This photo is from a couple of years ago but is probably close to what was visible in Kiev today.  May 1 is supposedly a day to “celebrate” peace and labour – International Workers Day.  It seems as if it is also a day for protests and political rallies in Ukraine – particularly for the Communists.  A country without the Communists is like an oyster without a piano – a personal opinion.

Last night, I was proud of Lena.  She was invited to go to Kiev for the May Day parade by someone from the Communist Party in Rzhyshchiv.  They offered free passage and 80 grievny to those who will stand with the communists in their parade in Kiev.  Lena came down and told us she had invited her friend to skip on the communists offer and go to Kiev with her and her kids instead.  Great choice.  Aside from refraining from supporting the communists, she also refrains from being “bought”… and by her actions, lying about her loyalties.  I hope God blesses their day.

We’re enjoying spring.  The blossoms are colouring the fruit trees a beautiful white and pink and perfuming our village air with… “blossom fragrance”.  Pris raves on quite nicely about the beauty.  We have about 20 bright tulips out the kitchen window which give her no end of joy. 

I went to the market this morning for food AND FLOWERS.  It is rarely a quick visit for me as I end up talking with people and today I had conversations with more than 12 people… and must have shook hands or “exchanged pleasantries” with about 20 more.  My “quick trip” took over 2 hours… which resulted in it being more profitable than I expected… and I found some more flowers!

Celebration

photoAnother major celebration of “The Resurrection” goes by.  There has only ever been one like it in the history of the world.  Planned, predicted, executed by God while alternately dismaying, surprising, and delighting men… this was arguably the most important event in the history of man.  Jesus was dead; in a strange sense, killed by the hands of every sinner who repents and puts their trust in Him.  But He rose from the dead, thereby revealing some rather important and beautiful truths. 

Jesus is God.  And last Sunday we let our voices spread over the expanse of the Dnepr River below us and loudly proclaim that our God is risen!  “Kristos Voskres!”  It was a good morning for the 20 of us who gathered to remember the event that happened at dawn in Jerusalem a little less than 2000 years ago. 

We gathered, sang a couple of songs, prayed and read the victory story then as the sun peeked over the horizon I gave three resounding “Kristos Voskres-es” and received in return three “Voistino Voskres-es”.  Then we enjoyed coffee/tea and buns and muffins while we stood around the fire and enjoyed the beauty.  It was a perfect morning.