Greetings during this celebratory season!

Hi, and greetings to you during this celebratory season! We are well, enjoying life’s challenges and… right now, cold to the bone! I’ve been outside today and what with the wind blowing and the temperatures hovering around 0ºC, shivers are the go! The snow is beautiful though!!! Full update in the attachment below.

Yea! I just got a call from Yarik! I’ve been inviting him round for several weeks now after getting to know him following a fight he got into outside a club I’ve been visiting. I bundled him into the van and we took off for a couple of hours so he’d calm down and not end up bloodying the other bloke’s nose. It seems like he’s going to come over tonight. Good. He’s one of several guys I’ve become friends with in Baleko Shuchenka, a village next to Ulyaniki, where we have the farm. Recently, Uri and I gave out a survey of 12 questions to the young people. One of them was about whether any of them would like to learn “English, Computers or Guitar”. I could teach all three of these to various degrees of expertise, and I would like to, BUT… 16 is all the wake hours I have in most of my days! I really want these young people to spend some quality time with Christians who will love them and give themselves to them. Anyway… I’m praying and will quite likely end up teaching one or more groups out there. Strike! I typed that and then it hit me that I’m really going to be seriously stretched for time.

Yes! Yarik came. I feel like he and a couple of his friends will be a “ticket” into this close knit village gang. I smile at the thought of your feelings if I were to take you into their club. “Passive” and “quiet” are not adjectives anyone would put on this bunch. Physical contact of a violent sort as well as a sexual sort is the theme of the nights. They are absolutely amazing in their passion! Yeah. You’d be uncomfortable. And if you think not, hey! I know of several groups of young people in villages around here who God might want you to reach out to so that they see Jesus and meet Him personally. They await a witness on their way to hell.

The Church in Rzhishchiv is experiencing God’s blessing as we seek Him. When trying to “diagnose” a church’s health or lack thereof, I look at the lives of the people. Are they seeking God and His kingdom or not? Are they loving God’s people regularly in action and word or not? If they are, then most other things fall into place and the group is an effective lampstand, revealing Jesus to the world and glorifying God. Every church contains some people with serious problems and weak faith, but when a majority are living out God’s will I am encouraged. I love these people and a large part of my thoughts revolve around how to spur them on to love. And I believe God is working in and around us in preparation to do something special here.

The beast that is the strawberry farm project is still puffing away. We have prepared the hothouse for winter and will take a break for two months before growing for a very early spring crop. Masha, our first and most faithful worker broke her leg last month and has been staying with us as she recuperates. She’ll be off her feet for another two months and then hopefully back into business. Kristina is her replacement. Kristina is 23 and from a pretty horrific background. She’s a great worker though and this is a wonderful opportunity for her to grow in her young faith and learn how to live. She was recently baptized down in the river.

Pris and I went for a drive a couple of weeks ago and found a friend from Baleko Shuchenko organizing the cleaning out of a lake. There were about 10 guys wading around in icy-cold water pulling nets of fish up onto the bank. We were given one monster which we fed the church family with the next day. I think they kept themselves warm with vodka.

More foreigners are coming! Bruce and Deb Crowe are soon to join us with their six children. They will be coming from a small church in Texas and living amongst us with no plans to leave. We are looking forward to their arrival. They are God-lovers and we expect to see God use them in our town and also expect to have some sweet fellowship with them over the ensuing years.

Jon and Ruth Pirini have also chosen to buy a house in Rzhishchiv. They are special Kiwi’s who have already worked their way well and truly into the hearts of many of the folk here. Currently, they are teaching in Kiev, but are hoping to open a fish and chip shop (of all things wonderful) here in Rzhishchiv. Lots of money will not be made, but lots of contacts will be made and knowing their love for people and for Jesus, a strong light will shine forth.

We went down to visit with the mayor and his assistant two days ago and had an amazing reception. We talked with them about opening a coffee shop down-town as a service to the youth. They surprised me by being extremely enthusiastic, talking about giving us land or renting us prime location. It seems like we have a genuinely good mayor! How did that happen? We prayed with them before we left and the mayor seemed really touched by it.

Pris Writes
The sky is orange and blue! A very pretty evening it is. I never get tired of looking at the beauty all around. I'm so glad we live in Rzhishchiv!

We are doing well. Daniel's back has caused him a bit of troubles the last few months, and my arm still is not good, but wellness does not depend on these things.

Daniel loves loving these people and I love helping him do that! God has blessed us with a large house for a purpose. It seems we often have people over. It is not second nature to me yet, but I think it will be soon.

I have been learning about joy and faith. It seems they are very strongly linked. I cannot have the joy of the Lord without faith. I can't rejoice always without faith that God is good, and that he will work all things out for good.

I feel really blessed in many different ways, but two ways stand out, especially. My brother and his wife gave me a program that enables me to speak into the computer and it types for me. I'm using it now. It gives me lots of laughs when it misunderstands me, and it also puts me a bit more in touch with people. I basically couldn’t type since it causes my arm so much pain. Now I just have to find time like everyone else! The other blessing is that not long ago I decided to ask God for a new laptop computer for our home. Our beloved little laptop is on it’s way out. God said yes!

I have begun to pray about getting a Ukrainian drivers license. I think it would be especially useful in that it would enable me to visit people. I guess then I would need to pray for little car too. I'm not sure if the effort to get the drivers license or the cost of buying and maintaining a car would be worth it. I really don't know. You can pray for God's will.

Jesse finished reading his Bible through! What made it so special is that as he was reading the New Testament books. He would ask so many questions, and know that God was speaking to him to change things in his life. One thing that bothered him is, "do to others as you would have them do to you”. He wondered if God is serious. That sure makes me think too!
The children are doing well. They spent a month in a village school to improve their Ukrainian. They really enjoyed it. Now they are busy thinking Christmas thoughts and making gifts of love for each other and others. Jesse is our thoughtful one; interested in history, politics and life. Marie is our creative one. She is fascinated with how our bodies work. Angel is a lively spot of sunshine (although suffering through some severe eczema right now) and Elizabeth is just fun for us all.

I feel like I've written a bit of a hodgepodge today. I hope you can follow it. It comes with love and hope that you have a beautiful celebration of Jesus in a couple weeks.

Dan again
Hey! We are looking forward to getting broadband soon and hence, a updating this web site more regularly. I’ve put off tinkering with this site as our connection speeds are just too slow to justify the time and I don’t have the time to travel somewhere where there is fast internet. The post-office has said that it will be available by September 2007. Only three months late. Great expectations!

Enjoy Christmas, eh?

And over this next year, I encourage you to:

*Do those things you think will make God feel loved.

*Believe that the work of Jesus on the cross has saved you and sanctified you (given you victory over sin).

*Consider the power of God and trust Him with all your heart to do what is best for you.

*Drop us a note every now and again to let us know how you’re going and if there is anything you would like placed before God’s presence by a couple who is in far-away Ukraine.

With much love,

Daniel and Priscilla

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