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Jesse on the Lake


Spectacularly good camp

IMG_4809Camp 120 is over for another year.  113 people came out to the island to be with us and it was an amazing time.  We had more couples than ever before… and more little kids than ever before.  We had more amazingly talented musicians and singers than ever before.  (Four of them are renowned in Ukraine.)  We had hot weather, a touch of rain and wind on the last two days… making for a rough crossing for ferrying passengers home.  We had four speakers who were responsible and challenging and made me glorify the Lord.  We had a waterslide on which no one died… and a Tarzan swing on which no one disemboweled themselves.  We had a non-poisonous snake in the girls toilet cubicle and two snakes which crawled into a tent during the night.  We had one “pukey” who toughed out the night and one child who on the last morning caused some consternation when he struggled to breathe for about an hour.  We had several people learn to wake-board.  And we had lots of people reveal God’s work in their lives as they served and loved.  It was a spectacularly good camp.

For me, the most memorable moment was probably killing and skinning the sheep.  Rivaling that moment was hearing Slava and Mariana’s young son spontaneously break into “song” during a guitar intro someone was doing for the talent show.  It was hauntingly beautiful, partly because it was such perfect melody of classic Ukrainian sound.


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!