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Praise God from whom all blessings flow

This letter is attached as a PDF file at the bottom of this article, it's highly recommended to view that to read this letter. The photos will be bigger and there's more of them. All the photos are also in the Photo Galleries.

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August, 2008
Dobriy utra. Gospod velik i ya rad sluzhit emy!
Good morning. The Lord is great and I’m happy to be serving Him!

We have entered the middle days of summer and I love it! These temps (18ºC - 30ºC) are “Garden of Eden” temperatures. They are beautiful days on which to work, swim, play volleyball, camp, etc. etc… About the only negative I can think of is driving around in an overheating vehicle in Kiev traffic (which we did yesterday). We turned the heater on full-blast and just managed to keep the temps in the radiator below 100º.

The family is fine.

[img_assist|nid=76|title=|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=101|height=150]Jesse has glasses. That’s his news of the month. He was blown away by the clarity of vision he experienced after trying some glasses with his prescription! He didn’t know the world was so beautiful! I’m thankful for this son!

[img_assist|nid=64|title=|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=114|height=150]Marie is doing well at growing up. She’s helping in the kitchen and can prepare meals by herself now. “Shepherd’s Pie” is a favorite. River-life: both she and Jesse are pretty much at home in the river now. It amazes me how they get about in the water looking like they are one gasp away from drowning but actually being in complete control! I really should get someone to take some video of it!

[img_assist|nid=60|title=|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=96|height=150]Angel also loves working in the kitchen, but she’s still a bit off Shepherd’s Pie by herself. Her allergies are still acting up but what with a rotating diet and the sun on her skin, she is doing better. She is amazing how she makes friends everywhere she goes! It’s like she decides to go make some new friends and just heads off with that determination. Kids are often turning up and asking after “Anzhella”.

[img_assist|nid=62|title=|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=87|height=150]Elle is amazing for a different reason. Her veggie and fruit intake is negligible! She begins to vomits each time she puts most veggies or fruits in her mouth! She’ll surely grow out of it, but for now it’s crazy. She’s a much loved little girl amongst the church family in spite of this rather anti-social short-coming.

[img_assist|nid=61|title=|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=150|height=84]Pris: It has been a great summer, the highlight of which was having Daniel’s parents and two of his sisters spend several weeks with us. It was the first time since we married that they could see where we are living and be with us that way – so special to me!

We are planning to go camping on a local island for our family holiday again this year. We are looking forward to it. After that I’ll be getting ready for school again. You can pray for it to be fun for all of us as well as beneficial. =) I don’t think that the words ‘school’ and ‘joy’ go together in most people’s minds, but I’d love it if I could figure out how to teach/show them that joy is found in accepting and even enjoying the work God has given one to do. I am very thankful for the materials we have been given to use and the structure that provides.

It will be interesting to see how the church body here changes with the arrival and departure of people which happens at the end of summer. Frankly, I’d love to outgrow our home! It is super convenient in so many ways to meet here, but it would be great if we had the inconvenience of having to find a larger hall because people had come to give their hearts and lives to Jesus. May God be at work and use us as He will. Many seeds have been sown, but God will have to make them grow as they are watered.

Three wives have begun asking me about teaching them about being a wife/woman who pleases the LORD. Daniel says to go ahead but it seems my heart/mind are not sure where to start. I would love to have thoughts and ideas from some of you. Tell me what has helped you or words of advice that you would give to someone younger than you… Please pray for wisdom for me.

The strawberry farm is “struggling along”. Man! Do weeds grow well here. : ) Our tomato crop is going great guns. We’ve made the decision to plant several thousand of three different varieties late February in the hothouse and add our several tons to the 125 million already grown around the planet. We grew several thousand seedlings and sold them at the markets earlier in the year and will repeat what was a very successful experiment in the years to come. We also grew a couple of thousand cabbage seedlings which also sold well, but the tomato plants were our most profitable crop. The strawberries suffered a few setbacks this year, however. We lost many of our plants during the winter and much of our fruit during the summer (the local thieves recognized a good strawberry when they saw one)! So… next year, we are setting up to grow many [img_assist|nid=67|title=|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=109|height=150]tomato plants and less strawberry plants. Oh! Shane is here! Shane came over from Western Australia for the summer. He has been putting in some good hard hours out at the farm with Gav and the team there – most notable of his achievements – a new dunny!

The house I spent the first several months of this year working on for the American family (Crowe’s) is nearly finished. Kolya continues to work up there adding finishing touches now and he has done well. He and his new wife will be leaving Rzhyshchiv next week to build a house down on the Black Sea. I’m sorry they are leaving. Crowe’s will move down here next week from Kiev and they will be a blessing.

Pris mentioned my parents and sisters coming to visit. We had some good times together and I think they all appreciated the things which make Ukraine a special place. One episode with a pick-pocket will leave them feeling “robbed” for a few more years however. I reckon that this thief is like the Roger Federer of his profession! What skill! The sad thing is that I went back and actually caught him on a metro platform, took him to the police only to discover that he had handed the wallet off to an accomplice already. If there is a nice thing about getting your wallet stolen, then we found it when we recovered it, minus the dosh, but with all the cards and driver’s license still in it. Thanking the Lord following such an incident always felt a little bit funny to me, but my heart can’t “NOT THANK HIM”! It’s really not that surprising really, I guess, as He has proven Himself perfectly faithful and good to us over the years. Faith is one of the most dragotsenaya, (“precious” sounds better in Russian with a rolled “r”), blessings!

We’ve just finished up another camp. Jon, Ruth and Sasha headed up the organization of it and I felt like it went great. I guess one of the things I most love about it is the opportunity it gives to be together for more than just a few hours. We were encouraged by some good teaching and ate some pretty good camp food, to boot. Shashlik for 120 people (see below)!!! Impressively achieved!
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Prior to that, we enjoyed being involved in a week-long kids club in Rzhyshchiv. That went pretty well with over 50 children attending and the American team who came to run it did well. We are going to repeat the fun with a group of English/Irish Christians next week. And last week, we had a superb [img_assist|nid=68|title=|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=150|height=37]time in Ulyaniki running another kids club by ourselves. It is a special opportunity to plant seeds into their lives and we just love it. The photo behind this text is of the barge being towed by a little 5hp motorboat. Slow! In fact, inexorably slow! But it was steady.

[img_assist|nid=66|title=|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=555|height=404][img_assist|nid=72|title=|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=150|height=84]May God continue to bless you and
be the light of your life!

With much love,

Daniel & Priscilla
Jesse, Marie, Angel and Elle

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