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The November burning.


IMG_1029It’s kind of been an exciting  and very full weekend. 

We’ve had one of our rehab guys and his wife and daughter staying with us since Saturday.  They’re nice people who are now walking with God, so even though it’s been extra work, it has still been rewarding and just “fun”.  They want to move to Rzhyshchiv permanently once the husband finishes rehab.  If the last two days is anything to go by… they will be a blessing.

Marie called yesterday with a strange note in her voice.  She was obviously running somewhere and somehow got out that the barn was burning… what should she do?  One of the men had heated the sauna up and left it unattended – something we’ve done before… but for some reason, was a bit of a problem-maker yesterday.  Something caught alight in the sauna 11and… “whoosh”.  No one was injured seriously and by the time I arrived, the men had run down and managed to drag a lot of stuff out of the bottom rooms… something that ultimately wasn’t really necessary, in fact.  The things we were storing in the attic burned though and the actual sauna area at the end of the building is also a goner, of course.  One of the reasons God gives us these times of loss of physical things is so that when we lose something we value more, (lives or relationships or debilitating health issues), we are “in practice” to trust in His Sovereignty and love.  I was again appreciative of the opportunity to share with the guys that we can thank God and trust Him and rejoice in this loss, too.  I’ve learned that God loves to reward the person who sincerely trusts in His goodness, love and power during times of loss or potential loss. 

This is three years in a row that something like this has happened at around this time.  I don’t believe God is trying to tell us to stop loving and discipling these men and women who come to us… but naturally the question does gnaw away in the background a bit:  What is God doing through this?  We definitely don’t have the money to repair it.  Neighbors are looking and talking about “the curse” that is on the Christians.   We could have lost a lot more than we did, but still, we lost some things that were valuable.  I know God trains our hearts through these sort of things.  But is He directing our attention to something?  Are there numerous reasons God is using this loss for to bring about His perfect will for us, our church, our community, our nation?  Answers will come… in eternity, but likely only a partial answering before then.  El Shaddai definitely cares about what happens in our lives though and we will trust Him.

Over the past couple of hours, a few of us have been very carefully watching what is going on down in the south of the country.  It looks as if Russia is again making some moves against Ukraine with a gathering of force, blockading of the Sea of Azov in the south, (at the opening in the 19km bridge Putin has built during the last couple of years), as well as firing on Ukrainian ships and even capturing some.  The timing is impeccable.  Today after church, talk of another revolution was circulating.  Hundreds of people have gathered at numerous points around Ukraine and are blockading borders and roads protesting a new law affecting taxes on vehicles from Europe.  (We have two such vehicles and will also be hit if the President doesn’t revisit his decision.)  This renewal of open conflict with Russia though will surely have some affect on the protestors and the government response to them… it just isn’t clear yet exactly what.  I find it difficult to dismiss out of hand that collusion didn’t occur somewhere between a couple of the parties involves in the major events of today.  But we’ll likely never know if that is true.  The President has convened his war cabinet just now and has a heap of people waiting on the outcome… including one weary Australian in the little, and tonight, extremely slippery village of Rzhyshchiv.