Hi. Life continues on its limited course with the passing of weeks and years communicating that an end is in sight. Pris and I are nearing the half-way point of our allotted three-score and ten with honest expectations of seeing the return of Jesus before the passing of another 35 years. YET… you never know. However and in the meantime, we continue to see God’s Spirit at work in our lives, in the lives of our children and in the lives of His Church in Rzhishchiv.

The last couple of months have been special. I put off making a decision to fly alone back to Australia for Anthony and Kez’s wedding until the last possible moment and ended up spending a month there working, visiting friends and eating meat pies and fish ‘n chips. It was busy and beautiful and hectic and just plain “good” to be with the family over the celebration time. Being away from Pris and the kids was harder than I expected, especially when I had an unexpected passport problem and had to stay extra days, but seeing them all again was sweetness.

Since coming back, I’ve found myself busier than ever before, I do believe. Maybe I’m even busier than Pris now! (I smile.) The brothers and sisters here are growing in their walk with the Lord and God is surely blessing us all.

Jono and Ben, (who came back from Oz for the event), again organized a highlight in the lives of about 80 people – Camp 120. There was a distinct atmosphere of worship pervading the 5 days which was just delightful! Coinciding with the camp was the visit by a group of students from a Christian school in Sydney. They did an admirable job thinking positively about the food and the toilets and ended up surprising me by being a real blessing to the church. They left last week as a day-camp for kids got underway.

Now THAT was an absolute SUPER time of contact with the age-group 6-12. We had similar numbers to last year (40-50) and less than half the leaders/helpers. And yet it went extremely well with many relationships built with these children by young Christians in the church. God was glorified. Here is a photo of us all walking to the beach for a swim.

You may remember I talked about a couple of guys who had been trying to give up smoking. Alyosha Smoker, (that is how his surname translates), has been struggling a lot. At camp some of us did a skit demonstrating the hold sin gets on your life and the end result unless you turn to Jesus. He shared publicly afterwards of his struggles. Then last week, he came up to me as we were praising the Lord and looked into my eyes and said, “I’ve got to get baptized.” Tears came to my eyes as we sang another song of praise. At last!!! I’ve been waiting a long time for this! We stopped singing, packed up and all trooped off down to the beach to celebrate with him his commitment. We made quite a spectacle as about 40 people invaded the already packed beach to sing praises to the Lord and celebrate what most of the beach-goers would never have seen before. May God shine in Alyosha!
The berry project is underway and looking good. We did a couple of trial runs to sell berries in Kiev. They sold like wild-fire and we had a ball setting up in the market with a set of scales and plastic bags. It will be interesting to see how strawberries sell during the winter assuming we get the hot-house erected, fitted out and get the plants to flower.

Roma – I must introduce you to. Roma has been coming to Rzhishchiv for his summer holidays for a number of years. We met him two years ago as a 14 year old. He attended the baptism of Alyosha and had his quite brilliant mind challenged about his relationship with God. Sunday evening, he repented of his sin and believed in Jesus. He is planning on finishing school in Kiev and coming down to Rzhishchiv next year to study the two year “culinary arts course” offered in one of the tech. colleges here. This guy is a comedian with a serious side to him. May the Lord use him and bless him, eh?

Some words from Pris:
I always wonder what to write—what highlights or personal challenges or encouragements to share with you. For our family’s day to day life, the last few months have been different in this sense: Our van stopped working, and although the mechanic promised to have it up and running in five days, it took over three months to get it back. We have had it back about ten days now, and whenever I look out of the window and see it parked there, I feel a wash of thankfulness since it is so much easier to do shopping and ‘stuff’ with wheels. In February, our dishwasher broke down. Before we had one, I didn’t think it was necessary, but after having had it, I appreciate the time it saves and the good cleaning it does. It was five months before we could get the part to have that fixed! Jesse, Marie and I (the main dishwashers) are happy to have a dishwasher to load and unload again! Then on the eve of Jesse’s birthday (June 20th), I flicked on a light switch and all our electricity disappeared from the second floor! On the first and the third floors, the electricity works, just not on the floor where our kitchen, lounge room, bathroom and bedrooms are. =) We are still waiting for that to be solved, and if you want to pray about it, I would be glad. I have to chuckle. I have an even greater appreciation for extension cords now, and it is WONDERFUL that the electricity works on the other floors! On an even smaller level, my hand mixer broke for awhile until my amazing husband pulled it all apart and put it together a few times. Certain things are done much easier in the kitchen with a mixer! A little guest had a tangle with a TV we had been loaned. They were fine, just the television suffered. When the electricity problems began, our laptop power pack burned out, and still needs a replacement found. Also a part of our toilet seat broke which can only be replaced in Kiev. So for three weeks we have kept the porcelain rim spic and span, but I will be glad to have a normal seat again! I felt the temptation to be dragged down by these things (especially when I was extra tired), but you know, there is a lot to be thankful for, such a: the toilet does still work even without a seat, power pacs, and extension cords, and many other things. You cannot be thankful and trusting while complaining. It is one or the other.

We are in the process of getting Jesse a new passport. Probably over the days August 9-11, we will go out of the country to Poland to get new visas. Please pray. God has miraculously granted us three year visas in the past. This is not supposed to be possible for Australians (Daniel and the three girls). We would be delighted if God chose to grant us long visas again.

From August 25 to September 8, Marie and I will fly to Ohio to be with my family as they celebrate my Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. I am so grateful that God has made a way for me to attend. And it touches my heart deeply to be able to share my precious Grandparents with one of my children. It has been a dream of mine for a long time.

I continue to seek God’s presence as we ask questions and implement answers concerning “the church”. It has been a pleasure to gently lead God’s people into a deeper relationship with Him and with His people. I recognize that we are weak and desperately need more of Jesus in our lives and relationships. May He give.

We close praying that the love that binds will be yours!

Daniel and Priscilla