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Fulfilling our Roles

I wrote to my cousin, Chris, recently . image_40041759

I also wrote to my second cousin, Gordon – not something that happens too often.

Following that, the thought occurred to me that surely very few people write to a second cousin of theirs during their life!  I feel as if I’m pretty lousy at keeping in touch with people generally. I justify it by telling myself that I am “living in the moment with the people who are rubbing elbows with me”. The more likely reason can probably be found somewhere in my pride and self-centeredness. But whatever the reason, it’s good “hearing from” and “getting off” a letter to people you love and appreciate, yes?  Here’s another installment of what is, (truth be told), a far cry from a personal email, and yet surely better than… nothing?  Smile


IMG-0684We are well. In August, things slow down in Ukraine as people go on holidays. July/August are always the hottest months in our year… and August has done itself proud this year.

Our kids’ camp was a good’un. We used to do kids’ camp at the local hall. I wondered how it would be having it at the church building – would we have less kids coming? I need not have feared.

This year, Jemi led the kids in singing Scripture at the camp. It was classical! I loved it! The kids loved it. And it was so beneficial! I recommend it to all churches who are either doing children’s evangelism or discipling their own kids.  Sing Scripture.   That was a highlight for me.

The other highlight was giving the kids Samaritan’s Purse boxes. The joy and excitement was intense! Wow! Several of the kids came up to me afterwards and went through their box showing all the “specials” they received. If you’ve ever been involved in the Samaritan’s Purse drive, well done. If you will do it in the future, make sure you include a brief note of blessing and a photo of yourself. That will be icing on the cake.

IMG-0638Pris seems to be doing well pain-wise. It’s a nice gift. She is gearing up to teach a series to ladies with Jemi starting this month and will enjoy that. She keeps busy in a hundred different ways: cooking, visiting, helping plan different ministries, making sure the house keeps running, watching the series “Alone” with Elle and I… and a host of other things.  Considering the plans He had for my life, I regularly have the thought that God prepared the perfect counterpart for me to marry. 

We have been given the privilege of taking in a young mother with her two cute little kiddies. Her husband once again decided he loved drugs more than God and we sent him to another rehab centre. He chose a different course and has dropped off the radar. This young mother has probably less than $100 to her name, has gone through the wringer… but deeply loves God and His ways. Initially, we felt we just “had to” take her in. We quickly realized though that it is actually a real pleasure having them.  A pleasure… but one requiring sacrifice. Ksusha would love stable work and to be able to set up somewhere permanently with her children and we are praying to that end.

On Monday, last week, I took 18 of the men who have gone through rehab out to a spot on the river in a nearby town. They camped the night there and remembered what God has done for them as they fished, sang, swatted at the bugs and enjoyed God’s creation. At one stage, I had 12 men packed into/onto the car, plus the trailer on the back, going up and down winding tracks along the river. Thanks, Lord, for a versatile vehicle! This link will pop up a YouTube video of about 20 seconds duration showing our trip back:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7BSg1hSOksthe boys go

A few days ago, we had plans firm up for the kindergarten in the church building this year. We have no desire to expand this so that it becomes an elite kindergarten for the rich in the town. Rather, for both the kindergarten and the “school, we ARE KEEN to have the focus on teaching and discipleship for the children of Christian families. The Christian parents we know in our area are extremely interested in developments… and we keep on praying, talking and planning.

We are also continuing reaching out to the kids from families in crisis in Rzhyshchiv. Three days a week, people from our church will spend time helping them with homework and teaching them more about the Lord and His Word. These children could have an incredible future if the Lord has mercy on them and they follow Him. That is our prayer.

We are still working on the church building, (I do wonder when I will be able to stop saying that). We had a couple from Sydney give to this project recently and give things a much appreciated boost.  This week, we will be taking the long-awaited step of laying a heated floor. Sergei, a former… soldier, policeman, (and now police guard for some holding cells), is also a pretty handy builder and is heading it up. I’ll called in a “sickie” today, (flu bug), and didn’t go to church, but I’ll be with the lads tomorrow as we get everything ready to lay the cement.

1629902799115911Oh! We are just about finished changing all the lights out to power saving lights so that we can hopefully stop forking out big dollars each month for electricity. I’ll be very interested to see how things go on that head because we are about to start using the church building three or four times more often than in the past.

Thanks for your care and prayers. It’s always a privilege and normally a pleasure serving the Lord and His people in this neck of the woods. The old cliché is ever true: we are all cogs in a machine, fulfilling the roles for which we were designed. God has designed us to help you fulfill your role in reaching people in Ukraine with His wonderful gospel. Nice, eh?