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IMG_0679I’ve been “relegated” to my office.  There is a ladies gathering in our lounge-room where I am normally set up and there are several little children in the ministry centre room with Angel and Elle and one of Elle’s friends.  I seldom get “relegated”, but am enjoying it at the moment.

I’ve been listening to a video on YouTube by Dr. James White on John 3:16 as the kids have played.  I’ve given this verse a fair bit of attention over the last month… this isn’t the first time I’ve heard Dr. James White address it.  My conclusion is that like me, most of us have heard it, quoted it, and have a good basic understanding of the truth contained in it.  But still, many have an imperfect understanding of it.  What do you reckon?  Are you in that boat? 

Here’s the test:  1.  To what does the word “world” refer to?  2.  What kind of love is God loving with?  3.  The word “whoever” implies that anyone has the opportunity to believe, or does it?  4.  What sort of belief is required for it to affect my eternity?  5.  Are you sure of your answers?

Today, there are many who will say that the simple truths of this verse are all that matters and it is even dangerous to get “tangled up” in doctrine.  Hmmm… .  (I remember as a young man using this cop out to hide the fact that I was “doctrinally deficient”.)  Anyway, may the above questions on the most famous verse in the Bible either cause you to praise God anew or once again turn your mind to seeking truth.

Things go fairly well here. 

Pris is tired, but feeling fulfilled.  We’ve been doing a lot of hospitality the last month as well as prep for camp, (food/kitchen prep).  She is also coming off, (hopefully), a few months of headache/backache problems and she tells me she’s ready for a two-week holiday somewhere.  Perhaps she’ll get a third of her wish later on in the summer.  :)

Angel’s health has been on a big upswing for the last month.  Pris has put many many hours into researching what might help, and discovered some vitamins and other tablets which are recommended for people suffering from her malady.  We think that they may be the cause of the alleviated symptoms.  Anyway, Angie is very much changed from a couple of months ago.

Elle is enjoying holidays.  She does a fair bit of cooking and seems to enjoy that.  She is delighted to finally be going to youth group and has a ball there with the 20-odd kids who come.

Marie is living out at the ladies rehab centre with two ladies and a daughter of one of those ladies.  Last week, she had one of her newer ladies leave.  It nearly always feels like a tragedy when this happens.  I guess it can be compared to hearing someone say that they are going to jump into a pit of poisonous snakes to be in the shade for a bit.  It’s madness – and akin to committing suicide.  And it wouldn’t be so bad for us if we didn’t open up our hearts to love them… but that isn’t the case.  Marie is a champ.  She took off last week to be at camp – the first break for a few months – and appreciated the break immensely.

IMG_0694The rehab ministry:  We had another bloke graduate last week.  He’s done real well and I’m again surprised at “who” God keeps with us.  Bodya gave the impression of being an irresponsible young bum when he first arrived.  I didn’t think he would be with us long.  Nearly a year has passed and he has grown in his faith.  The responsibility he shows is encouraging.  On the other hand, we had a long-termer leave us Monday.  I just talked with him on the phone.  He’s definitely lost his way, but will again experience the mercy of God in his life… I pray and hope and believe.  But, my word!  I wouldn’t mind skipping the heart pain of having brothers give themselves over to sin!  And then just today, we had a guy leave and our hearts dropped.  We called him and he explained that he had misunderstood Mitya and if someone could go with him to his home town for a few days to keep him accountable, he would love that.  Phew!

God once again kept us safe and blessed our “Camp 120”.  We had over 110 people this year, (a bit of a jump from last year’s 80), and we were kept on our toes.  Shane and Jemi once again did a top job of administrating it.  Both boats had break-down problems, but God’s mercy covered us and when we needed them most, we had them.  I think I went for drinking water (about 500 litres) every day this year with three or four guys… one of who was able to carry by himself 60 liters of water 60 meters to our boat and impress us all.  I’m always delighted when we get to the end of camp to be able to thank God for no deaths!  We warn parents and carers of the danger of the water, but still; IMG_0682inattentiveness for a few minutes could so easily result in sadness.

Tomorrow, we go to the border to do some documents for the cars in the rehab ministry.  It should be a simple process, but officialdom in Ukraine is notorious for the unexpected.  We will take the girls and drop in on some friends in the area for a bit.  I actually expect it to be an enjoyable day.

Enjoy your day!

John 3:16