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The end of a Sunday

image_123986672I’m home.

It’s been a nice quiet day.  Every time someone thanks God for His blessing of giving us a quiet town –  my thoughts go to those who are still in Mariupol or Kharkov or the Irpen area, north-west of Kiev.  God isn’t having mercy on everyone.  There are thousands and thousands of people who are living in fear surrounded by death and have nothing to warm themselves with…  Five or six days ago now, I pushed through the emotionally infused question of “how long does this have to go on!?”  We are living in comparative peace and the burden is heavy.  It has to be 10 times as heavy for those under the missiles! 

I’ve been humbled by the response of the church in the west.  So many people have written letting us know that they are praying for us and the church and town and country.  How many?  I’ll love finding out in eternity.  I was talking with Pris today and she was exclaiming at how strong she has felt.  I’m astounded at how I’m doing with so little sleep and the pressures of making all these unusual decisions and feeling stretched on so many levels.  Does the answer to this lie in the prayers of God’s people?  Surely.

Pris and Elle and Cheryl continue to serve at the refugee centre in the west.  It’s actually been a bit ironic.  When they were here, we had a lot of people coming and staying in the church building.  Since they left one week ago, we’ve had just 11.  At the refugee camp the girls went to, they’ve had over 80 people there for the last few days… most of them wanting to move west into Poland/Germany .  Their presence has been deeply appreciated. 

I have an extremely unwelcome suspicion that Russia is going to be shelling Kiev and possibly the two cities between us and Kiev in the next few days.  (I wish to be 100% wrong, but time will tell.)  If this happens, I expect that we will get another wave of panicked city-dwellers come through Rzhyshchiv.  Then we’ll miss these three girls.  We have had Vika and Sveta and Masha serving wonderfully over this past week though and it’s been a good transition.

Pris mentioned today something that I thought I should write about:  We’re a tad sensitive about photos with refugees.  1.  We most certainly don’t want them to have the thought that they are being treated like zoo animals, or used in some way.  2.  We want to respect their privacy.  3.  We don’t want our brothers or sisters in the church to have the suspicion that we are doing things for the photo op.  Occasionally, a photo will be appropriate to post.  Mostly though, we just don’t take them.

Tomorrow, I’m going into Kiev to pick up three people and to hopefully get some tea, biscuits and other supplies from a bulk buy place.  Mitya and the boys here should be going to buy a large hothouse that can be dismantled that has come up for sale in a  nearby village – an absolute steal that we hope will reap big rewards for us if the state of the war gets darker over the next month rather than lighter.  And if things do improve, it will still be a blessing to many over the coming years.  We think that the war will call a lot of people back to the gardens… and so the plan is to also plant a load of cabbages, tomatoes, capsicums and give the transplants away to Christians and see if we can sell cheaply at the market without damaging the sales of the babushka’s who also sell transplants.  (That may be the tricky aspect of this.)  We have a few acres to plant the transplants in if we decide not to sell them…  so no serious problems there.

May God have mercy on Ukraine.


P.S.  Here are a few random pics I’ve taken recently: