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Keep or Send Away

clip_image002Do we keep him or send him away?

That is the question we have to answer. Last Wednesday, we picked up a man who had been sent to us from a city in the south. A pastor had been told about him by a volunteer in a Christian mission and he asked if we could take him in. We said yes, and picked him up Wednesday morning. He sat by the fireplace in the church building all day as we worked around him and gradually realized this was going to be a unique experience.

It became clear that somewhere along the line, some deception had occurred. Orist wasn’t a man in his 40’s. He wasn’t really interested in being helped with his “heart-problems” and we have questions about his mental capacity. He seems to understand fine when it involves food, but he seems to lack the understanding that blatant lying isn’t something that will be accepted. He has been living on the streets for over 10 years. He has a serious incontinence problem that went to a whole new level today. He has a top speed of 1km an hour. And he is quite happy that he didn’t need to spend the winter on the streets!

We have eight men in the first stage of rehab right now… these men spend several hours a day in study, prayer and discussion around God’s Word. Orist poses some problems. He isn’t interested in doing that.  And our rehab centre doesn’t exist as a hospice for the handicapped… hmmm… 

clip_image006On the upside, he provides the perfect opportunity for all the guys to see and learn sacrificial agape-love. One of the guys in rehab, “Zheka,” asked if he could have the responsibility of caring for Orist. It’s quite inspiring to watch him. For emphasis: It’s quite inspiring to watch him.  He speaks kind words to him, helps him with his wet clothes, makes sure he doesn’t get lost on the outer-edges, and is patient with his “blankness”.  God is glorified.

I’m advocating right now that we keep him for a bit. I like working on the premise that God allows unexpected things into our lives for a reason… normally for His glory and our good. (Admittedly, I don’t have to sleep in a room that reeks of human waste.)  We shall see…  Update: I typed this a few days ago… and, much to the other 7 guys in rehab’s delight, he’s been dry for two days! Smiles all round!!!

We’ve had our last “working bee” on the church building for the year. This coming Wednesday, we will have a “celebration-day” for anyone who gave time to working on this project where we will relax and have a fun day together before eating chicken and pork shashlik. God has really blessed us and we’ve done a lot over the past few months, in particular. Each week when many of the “non-workers” come into the building on Sunday morning, they look around and smile as they notice the progress.  “Thank you, Lord, for your gift!”  And again, thank-you to those who gave towards it!

Pris was meant to go to Kiev this morning for an MRI and some physio stuff, (which is going well), but when we woke up at 5:00, we decided to cancel the appointment and go later. There were hundreds of accidents in the past 12 hours in our state due to the ice on the roads. We tried to drive down to the bus station about an hour ago… and gave up. Too slippery to get up the hill, (see the last picture to understand). We will try again in 20 minutes and see how we go. (…well, it worked. This is when it is such a blessing to have a Pajero.)

Elle noticed oil on the road where I had stopped for a minute to check the ice ahead. It looks as if I’ll need another trip to the mechanics this week.  I’m really hoping it will be no more than a leaky pipe! 

Last night, we were meant to have a van and trailer returning to Rzhyshchiv from Europe. Rain, just the other side of freezing, fell for much of the afternoon and the roads are about as treacherous as they ever get. We told the driver, who had made it back into our state, to find a place to park and wait out the night. It’s just too risky driving.

We are still buying and selling cars. The profit from this project will offset the costs of running the 2 rehab centres.  Different percentages of the monthly profit will be divided up and go towards several different ministries and needs.  (Church building, day-care/after-school care for kids from crisis families and for our church kids, an account for a new bus for the rehab centre, support for the main people working in the rehab ministry, an account for supporting other good ministries we know about, as well as some other needs.)  It will be exciting to actually start using the profit for these different needs.

clip_image004This last week, we actually had a minor disappointment in that we had to sell a car for only a $260 profit in order to pay for taxes on another car we brought in. In a sense, it was a big relief to even sell it… as the year is winding up and the end of Dec and first half of January have a reputation for being real slow. So… relief and disappointment rolled into one bundle.  Due to lack of free funds to buy more cars for ourselves to sell, we will send the drivers to Lithuania to bring back some cars for clients early next week. All good.

This last Sunday before Christmas, I’m preaching from Matthew 2 – a Christmas themed sermon. I don’t normally title my sermons, but if I did title this one, it would go, “How to wait well”. As I’ve been letting the subject percolate, I’ve realized how often people need to wait.  I’ve also realized how often I don’t wait well – I manage to NOT give glory to God while I wait. I’ll enjoy thinking more about it and then ultimately encouraging the church next Sunday. 

If you are one of the readers who has got this far in the blog…  may God bless you with love, joy and peace in your life!  (A small reward for your perseverance and patience. Smile)