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Up until Saturday, I could say that I had never been responsible for running a funeral service - quite surprising, really, considering how many years I’ve been loving and serving God’s people.  On Saturday, a few of us gathered at the small Ulyaniki cemetery and buried Pasha’s brother.  Pasha first did drugs as a young child and ended up spending over 20 years in prisons.  His brother was a drug addict and ended his life by jumping out a window while high.  Actually, earlier in the week, a few of us went to Rovno to bury Igor’s brother – also a drug addict.  Both these men, Pasha and Igor, are walking with God and deeply appreciative of God’s grace and mercy to them.  As we contemplated the death of their brothers, we were reminded of God’s gift to us of more time in which to live for Him and glorify His Name.  But I can’t say that I greatly enjoyed these two funerals.

Experiencing peace and joy in life is not a given, is it.  Often a problem comes along and if we stop for a second, we notice we have a lack of peace… an emptiness in our stomachs or a sense of disquiet in our minds.  I know that when it comes to the question of peace in my heart, an awful lot is dependent upon my trust in God.  Peace/joy is something to be desired – that is obvious.  I know that if I am walking in fellowship with Him and have settled in my heart that He is sovereign over all, then peace and joy either… simply never disappear or they quickly return.  I’ve noticed it enough times for it to no longer be remarkable.  And I’ve noted that personally, the thing that most often knocks peace/joy out of MY life is unresolved conflict with another person.  It’s something I can grow in.

We seem to be doing fairly well.  Pris is vitamin-C-ing her way through a cold, but is well enough to go into Kiev tomorrow to look for some winter clothes at the second-hand markets for our growing youngest daughter.  Angie is doing some tough yards right now with her reaction.  Elle has her sights fixed on finishing school for the Christmas holidays and we are all eagerly looking forward to Jesse and Mimi’s return. 

We’ve been discussing false teaching recently.  It’s hard in this day and age to find two theologians who agree on absolutely everything.  We have asked the question, “What makes a false teaching a dangerous heresy.”  Disagreements about many doctrines/truths will always be present in a church.  When does a difference become an important difference.  It has been useful thinking our way through that tough question.

I’ve sent out a letter to people about a project we believe is something the Lord would have us move forward with.  It involves vehicles for running freight.  If you haven’t received the email and would like to, please drop me a note.  We need to have an alternative source of revenue than Christians from the west for local ministries in our church.