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January 2009 Newsletter

Greetings! January 15, 2009

clip_image002Heard about Ukraine in the news recently? Heard about the gas problems? How does Ukraine do it? It seems to always find itself in hot water… or cold water as the case is right now. I understand that the Ukrainian government is keen to get the best deal for gas that they can, so they are holding out for that price until the spring when the prices are lower. Meanwhile, Russia incites the masses by saying Ukraine is stealing from the gas pipeline and Ukraine incites the masses by saying Russia isn’t pumping enough or giving them enough gas to operate the pumps so that Europe can receive gas. (Reminds me of poker.) The gas being pumped makes the house smell sometimes and doesn’t produce heat like last year. But even if the pressure is lower, at least we still have it! On cold days, Pris is very happy to light up the new wood stove.

clip_image002[7]We are all fine. Pris has had a pretty serious ear problem the last week or so with some unpleasant symptoms, but seems to very slowly be responding to the antibiotics. Angel has some sort of tummy bug and Elle is staring down the barrel of having her teeth blackened by some treatment in order to save her baby teeth from further decay. (The absence of enamel conceivably should result in problems and has!) The rest of us are doing well health-wise and we are all well spiritually. Joy and peace reign in the household.

clip_image002[9]My alarm just went off… I pray for Zhenya, Kristina and Alyosha at 10:00a.m. each day. They have all been baptized but none of them are in fellowship with the church today. Zhenya actually did choose to join us Sunday when we met, but he is not walking with the Lord. He reminds me of Saul a bit. I hope he ends up reminding me of the New Testament Saul… but I must admit; my prayers for him aren’t filled with much expectation. God has surprised me before. May He do so again!

Christmas and the New Year here were snow-blanketed. It was a beautiful time. I’ll include several photos at the end of the update. The church had another lovely celebration.

clip_image002[11]On the 26th, we held a celebration of Jesus birth for the Mayor and other significant leaders in our community down in the local café. It was superbly organized and wonderfully blessed. We had about 40 people attend – none of whom have a relationship with Jesus that we know of. We had a message at the end of the evening and it was very simply a great opportunity to share the LOVE OF JESUS with these people. I just spoke with Anatoly, the chief of police, and he and his family would like to share a meal with us this week-end. You could pray for him and he may end up being eternally grateful.

We have had a break from Bible studies in Baleko Shuchenko. Next week, we’ll be starting up again. Andrei, one of the guys who has attended just called me again wanting to know when we begin. Pray for him.

clip_image002[13]We are going through a good period of change in the church here. Jon, Bruce and I have been publicly recognized as elders in the church and we are moving forward with some good positive steps which will strengthen our relationships with God and with His people AND better enable us to be salt in this community. Sounds a bit of a mouthful, but that’s our desire and we’re enthusiastic about it. There is a group of Christians here who are champing at the bit to be useful in God’s service, so it will be interesting to see what God does with these willing hearts!

clip_image002[15]Saturday, a few of us went walking down the river. We found us a nice little island and ate sausages for lunch. On the way out there, 17 year-old Yevgeni fell through! After the initial shock and after we had taken some steps to get him dry and warm, it became laughable. Thankfully, he didn’t go completely under and where we were, the depth would have enabled him to push himself back up anyway. Anyway, he was fine. It was a good day of strengthening relationships.

There is so much more happening around us! Here’s a way to briefly sum up:

clip_image002[17]1. Jono’s English school is going well.

2. The farm is on hold until February but looking very good for tomatoes.

3. Simeon and Asia arrive soon with a desire to “be a home for orphans”.

4. The summer is looking “scary” with the number of groups of people who are saying they would like to get involved in what God is doing here.

5. The bottom is falling out of the real estate market nicely and will hopefully enable us to pick up a good property or two for Tom and I to work on with local students from the college.

6. We are still looking for an all-purpose building down-town to mainly use as an outreach center.


And so goes a very small part of our lives here.

Much love,

Daniel and Priscilla