From Dan & Priscilla

Here I sit on the edge of a fog-choked valley overlooking Rzhishchiv and I can’t see a thing. The day started clear and then just got foggier and foggier as it progressed. Beautiful!! We have just traveled back from a trip to see Priscilla’s parents. This sight of the rising sun caught our attention early this morning so we stopped and got all cold for a few minutes as we took in the beauty! Our weather has been peachy the last few weeks. No snow!! We’d hoped for weather like this for a couple of projects that we have going on (children’s room for when the church gathers here as well as the hothouse out at Ulyaniki). But we didn’t hold out much hope of having this sort of weather two years in a row! We are thanking the Lord.

We are all fine and gearing up to figuring out how God would have us love others during the Christmas period. It is going to be a beautiful time for us if we keep on loving. : ) I recently remembered that God loves through me. (Funny, eh? How could one forget?) I often have a bad attitude towards people who are acting foolishly and instead of loving them how they need to be loved, (either through rebuke, gentle words or patience), I find myself reacting to them. Bad habit. “Here’s a life needing more refining, Lord! Please love through me.”

The church is doing well. Optimism must sometimes misrepresent facts, but I honestly feel that God is blessing us abundantly. There are times I wonder at just how devoted to the Lord we are due to one reason or another, and then I am encouraged by several people at once as I see God at work through them. I love being overwhelmed with praise for God as I see His “body” working in sync and to the glory of God. I do have concerns about the church here. One of the main ones is that we serve and love each other to the extent that God desires. The other is that we be actively sharing our faith with those on their way to hell. The Holy Spirit is working and would love it if we joined Him, I’m sure. Subduing the flesh is quite often easier said than done, but I see it happening as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ and His way.

ElleElleElle is nearly 2. Just beginning to put words into sentences is this little tyke. She’s a cutie. Her longest sentence thus far:
“God, thank you light on all time.”
MarieMarieMarie is doing well at school. She’s beginning to have the same avid attraction Jesse has for books.
Jesse is living for God. I like what I see in this 10 year old. God is glorifying Himself!
Angie & PrisAngie & PrisAngie is as impish as ever. Everyone loves expressive and friendly Angie.
Pris is going to write to you herself on the next page. My comment about Pris is that she is precious.
DanDanI am spending a lot of time building the hothouse at Ulyaniki. 10 hour work-days are seeing us get a fair bit done. I’m loving the challenge and enjoying working with the guys. Gradually, we are developing contacts and making friends in this small town.

DanDanChristians from the church organized a soccer tournament for about 10 teams since we last wrote. It went well and our team actually came runners-up! Absolutely amazing! At the beginning, each of us secretly hoped we wouldn’t get knocked out without winning a game… as per our past two tournament entries. It was lots of fun and a good way to spend time with the community. Jono once again did a good job at ref. as well as calling the shots during the organization of it all.
Gav and AlyoshaGav and AlyoshaGav and Alyosha in their camouflage work clothes before work
GrindingGrindingHere’s one of me giving the angle grinder a good work out. This little Ukrainian-made tool has basically been going non-stop for over a month! Amazing!

Peaceful. I was just thinking how I felt about life and ‘things’. The days are so busy right now with Daniel working long hours, plus having different gatherings to prepare for and be at. I would love to have more of his time, but at the same time I see that God is using him in so many ways. Dan loves me so much and for that gift I am always deeply grateful to God. It is a wonder.

The children are doing great. Angel will finish her ABC’s next week, and then we’ll work on polishing them up a bit before she launches into normal school work.
Elle brings so much joy to so many people. She has no idea, but I think God uses children, especially those who are learning to obey (generally those children seem happier). She recently learned that good lusty screams seem to bring results. =) We’ve had a few ‘bedroom’ lessons, and are trying to teach her to replace the scream with a simple, “Please help”. It is hard to believe that two years have nearly passed since she was born. I treasure her little hugs and cuddles when she wakes up sleepy, and find it amazing to think that she will be our last little baby unless God sends others along who need a Mommy and Daddy. Dan and I would love that if God brings it about. In the meantime, we feel blessed to have been given four.
Marie and Jesse are good friends. I do pray that God will one day allow them to have some friends their age who love Him as much or more than they do. They study 3 hours of Ukrainian four days a week right now. Jesse feels a bit overwhelmed at all the rules he is learning. Marie plods along. They know more grammar than I do, because I haven’t ever seriously studied.

We are still praying for a dentist. Dan and I both need major work done. The local dentists are cheap…. Yikes! There are all sorts in Kiev, but as to which one would be good and affordable for us we have no idea. Pray that God would show us and enable time and courage to try it out!

We are looking forward to celebrating God’s gift of Jesus. Daniel wrote a little play for our family to do together. The children will start memorizing some of the Christmas passages again. I want their hearts to be filled with the wonder of God giving His Son, and of Jesus willingly coming to such a humble beginning knowing that in the end He would suffer a lot and die, but then conquer death and bring us life. Christmas (on the 7th of Jan.) seems like such an afterthought for Ukrainians. Their big celebration is New Years. I love being a part of sharing an understanding of Christmas with them too, that it is more than just another fancy meal where family members get drunk. It is a remembering of the love of God.

I always feel like there is so much more to write. =) We wish you a lovely remembering of God’s love!

I am just about to print this off after seeing the last group off after a night of study, worship, eating, having fun together and fellowshipping. It has been a good day. I was excited this morning to see two young ladies who I used to teach when they were 7-9 year olds in one of the villages. They have been fellowshipping with the church in Kagarlyk for a while now. I didn’t know that they had believed in Jesus as adults! Nor did I realize that 8 years have passed! So much has happened during that time! And God is acknowledged by us as faithful, loving and worthy of all praise!

Much love,
Daniel and Priscilla