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It has been interesting to note my feelings upon sending Marie “off into the world”. With Jesse it was: “Go git ‘em, mate!” With Marie, it has been: “My little girl has left our care… I’m not sure I feel great about that! We go to join her in Brisbane in a few days.
Just thinking about Marie… the first time I saw her I was in the operating room in the hospital on Petra Zaporozhtsya St. I remember looking across at the nurses as they took her away to check her and bundle her up, knowing that after a few seconds they would bring her to me to hold. They didn’t take long and then I was holding the little bundle of breathing life. It was nice. A gift from God… who I believed would grow up glorifying Him. She has done that and a father couldn’t be happier. The years have seen her develop from “totally helpless” to “extremely capable” and it will be very interesting to see what God does through her over the next few years. And yet, having said that… there’s a definite hole left in our household.
The summer has been full of events, people, special times with the kids and good times of growth and encouragement. We leave for Oz in a week and will be there through until the end of January.
The plan for now is to be in Brissy at 2 Williamson Rd in Morayfield for a month and then make our way down to Sydney and be there until a week before Christmas. Gymea People’s Church has been so kind over the years and we’ll be privileged to live with them for those two months, right next to the church building.
Life in Ukraine has gone on much as usual.
We recently held a mini-conference in Kaharlyk for members of four churches that we have contact with in the area. Dr. Lucas van Boeschoten, (a professor from the Bible College Priscilla attended “way back when”), came to Ukraine and wowed us with his obvious enthusiasm and love for people and God’s Word. It was a beautiful time and we were thankful for his ministry.
We’ve had some changes in our church over the last month. The couple who were hoping to adopt children or look after orphans, (or children whose parents are incapable of looking after them properly), have left our church to live in Scotland. An orphanage from Mariupol, (the same one who has celebrated Christmas with us the last several years), has relocated here and will set up in the vacated house. Several people from our church are helping there on a permanent basis which is exciting for them. Right now, there are only 10 kids staying in the home, (two of them are studying in the local tech college already). But as I watched them running around at a picnic recently I realized that we’d just been given a real nice responsibility to love these littlies, and I assumed that the number will probably grow over the coming years. Fun.
Poverty… A nasty thing that is sometimes a great blessing. I know so many people who have lost their jobs or are about to lose their jobs. The Grievny, after depreciating to about 40 –US$1, has recovered much of those losses and is about 22-US$1… still 200% weaker than it was two years ago. I’ve heard so many people tell me that they don’t know how they are going to pay for gas in the winter months. Yep. It will get worse before it gets better. And when people discover that they aren’t coping, they often call out to God and get a true glimpse of Who He really is. I would love it it we had to brace for an influx of those seeking God!
I’ve encouraged a number of guys in the church to attend a great Bible college we know of in Kiev. They run a two year course of study where the students gather once a month for lectures and then find time to read and study around whatever jobs they have. You can pray for these guys who are considering committing: Dima, Roma, Vlad, Vitya, Sergei. It’s well worth their time, but it will be a sacrifice for them as well. It would surprise me if they all enrolled, but it would be great if at least a few of them did. If you would like to encourage them by contributing to the expenses connected to this endeavor or offset the cost of enrolling, let me know.
I had an interesting call from an old friend this week. He’s keen to come to Rzhyshchiv and start a rehab centre here as a part of the ministry of our church. He is a former addict and has been working in a centre for people with addictions for a few years now. We are praying and talking about this opportunity and would be keen for others to join us in prayer or weigh in with advice.
Today was our last Sunday with the church here for nearly five months. It is good that we have a good group of people “looking after” the needs of the church while we are gone. Shane and Jem will shoulder the main responsibilities, but Cheryl and Sveta hold a lot of things together with their particular skills. And Dima and Sergei will be preaching and teaching more which will be great for them. I told the church today that if I return in February and there are over 100 people in the church, I’m turning around and going straight back to Australia. And then I realized that it may be better for some for me to say that if there are less than 100 people in the church when we get back, we won’t stay. Today there were about 40, and if that doubles by February, it will be incredible.
I discovered something interesting today. If you do an image search in google for “danandpris”, you get a good photo overview of the last several years… all yours.

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