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Impounded

It’s Monday morning again and the girls are in school.  They’re reading about the New Jerusalem together with Pris right now circled around the fireplace and drinking hot tea.  Yesterday, we had our first snow settle in Rzhyshchiv, and it isn’t melting yet, so the temps must be below freezing.  We’re doing what most people are doing and keeping our gas heating on low while-ever we can.  Once the temperatures drop to –15, we’ll have no option but to turn it up… but for now, the fireplace does a good job of heating the lounge room and we are nice and warm.

IMG_3059Our visitors from the conflict in the east of Ukraine are doing well.  The kids have settled into school and say that they keep on getting points off for answering in Russian instead of Ukrainian.  They find it difficult.  Lena, their mother, has found work where Tonia has been working at the sewing factory.  She is a bit nervous about exactly how much she will bring home at the end of the month as she hasn’t been promised a minimum salary.  She has a week before she finds out.  But she does know that if she sews seven buttons onto a dressing gown, she gets paid 35 kopeks, (less than 3 cents)!!  That isn’t exactly inspiring.

The conflict doesn’t look like settling down anytime soon.  (I wonder how many times I will say that over the next 5 years!)  Donetsk is under artillery fire.  A major fight continues over what is left of the airport in Donetsk.  Mariupol, (still in Ukrainian hands), continues to set up it’s defenses and is expecting the conflict to again envelop their city.  And Russia continues to send weapons over the border.  Mr. Putin, what are your goals?

This week, we went to Rovno to celebrate Abe Bible’s birthday.  It was nice being there again with Dad and Mom and being able to celebrate one more year in a lifetime of service to God.

On the way there, we were stopped by the police on the edge of Kiev.  Their cameras had alerted them that the owner of the vehicle had some criminal case against him and needed to be detained or so I was informed.  So they pulled us over.  In retrospect, it would have been better for us to have taken another course than we did when we bought the car; but we were informed that we didn’t need to change the original documents for the car and just needed to get power of attorney for it.  That was true for as long as the former owner didn’t do anything wrong.  Anyway, the officer made some calls and then gave me our IMG_3042documents back and sent us on our way saying that for now everything was fine.  He said that the cops near Rovno may stop us and we’d have to go through the same checking process. 

The picture below in their “nest” is proof that he was right.  On our way back home on Saturday, about 45 minutes out of Rovno, we were stopped again and this time the police decided to impound the car.  It took them an hour to figure out that they needed to do that… and they were polite and good about it all, but I must admit that I did ask the Lord if He would allow us to travel on home in our own car.  That prayer wasn’t answered, but God gave us all a most beautiful peace throughout the episode.  And once all the bureaucratic paperwork had all been done, the cops stopped a mini-van for us which conveniently had five free places left and we fit our bags in the aisles and travelled public while we watched two cheap French movies, (and one quality Russian classic), on the trip back to Kiev.

I just called the police in the town where the former owner “lived” and discovered that he has “disappeared” and has an extremely large fine to pay which I was assured I wouldn’t choose to pay for him, (cheaper to buy a new car).  The car will stay in the lot for six months and if he doesn’t hand himself in and pay up, it will then be sold.  The lady I talked to says that there’s a chance we’ll be able to get it back through the courts… but only a chance.  I talked with a lawyer and he was doubtful about a positive outcome, but I’ll talk with another one tomorrow and see what comes of it.

Trusting God in situations like this gives me so much enjoyment.  I’ve read and learned over the years that He is 100% trustworthy and He will glorify Himself through these situation that come up which we consider inconveniences.  And that is something I absolutely love being a part of.

As an aside… I was proud of the three policemen who stopped us.  They didn’t hint about any “alternative method” of solving this problem or ask the old question, “Sooo… what shall we do…?”  Progress!  Corruption is becoming less common?  The cop in the picture, Mikola, tried to find a way to let us go but in the end, said that he just couldn’t.  If this is the new Ukraine…  I like it!

 

IMG_3056Pris woke up and checked email this morning and found an email from one of her professors and his wife from her Bible College days.  Tears of gratitude and… appreciation for God’s care flowed as she read that they would like to contribute an amount of money to put towards a new vehicle.  It was perfect timing.  God’s love and care is incomparable for all His children, isn’t it?! 

We had a planning meeting tonight for the next month in the life of this church family.  We will do several special outreaches of different kinds where our Heavenly Father will be represented and love shared with those who don’t enjoy a relationship with Him.  I love seeing people enthusiastic to share the gospel message with others.  May the sacrifices of all who play a part in this ministry bear fruit!

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The ways of God is not always understood by men

As the company where I worked honoured me with a going away party with colleagues and friends as I lost my job two weeks ago, we ate and talked.

Each sharing something from their past. I thought back about our student life and how we had a love feast on a regular basis. Preparing a long time, eating together, sharing God's love to each other and have a wonderful time together praising and honouring God. In the group of non-Christians at work, I shared that I thought back about my student days where we ate together during our regular love feasts. Wow, what a response! Everyone was then on the front of their seats and just wanted to know what happened there, with a lot of questionable comments. The attention to this topic was red hot. I explained the detail how God's love was shared as students, to each other and people praying for each other. Some students washed the feet of others and asked for forgiveness. That was like putting water on a red hot fire at work.

It got me to think about the Lord Jesus, how so many people came to hear Him, because the topic he chose was relevant to peoples life. So many were there, but in the final moments where it really mattered, there were but a few standing at the feet of the cross.

We pray that God will be glorified with the car that is lost. I suggest, write a letter to higher authorities, copied to all levels from that local police station, their superiors right through to the parliament, with complete forgiveness from your point of view and honouring the integrity and credibility of those policemen would go a long way. That is unexpected, with a great blessing. I t might not bring your car back, but God will be glorified in that. God Bless