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Soccer in the Rain

IMG-1512_thumb[8]I was out walking a couple of days ago when it hit me… now is the time to start my yearly habit of dreading the onset of winter. In actuality, we are only now hitting the straps for the peak of summer, so I’m way early. Am I becoming more morose in my old age? That’s a way scarier thought.

On Sunday, I played soccer with the lads again. Dima and I are the old men on the field.  When he realizes some youthful skill on the field, I give him a yell, “Go, grandpa!” His quiet faith is a great encouragement to me, but also to the guys still in rehab. He is in the 3rd stage, working, serving and glorifying God. (He is 4th from the right in the photo).

Priscilla’s recovery is going well… we think. She still hasn’t got her voice back yet, but there’s nothing unusual about that. She just went for a walk to visit a couple of ladies she tries to meet each week… and is getting noticeably stronger with each passing week. An interesting thing about replacing discs in the neck which no one told us about is that Ibuprofen isn’t a drug you should be taking as it inhibits the screws joining properly with the bone. Ibuprofen is off the table… and so, we replace it with Paracetamol.  She half-jokes every now and again that she’ll need to go to rehab after everything settles down.  I’ll encourage the special lady to write some words for this blog when she gets home and will tack it on the end of this blog.

We are enjoying the blessings of God with the importing cars project. We keep moving forward and I find myself waiting for the “catch”. After all the months of not seeing success with the trucks… could it be that it is this “easy”? Last week, two new drivers took the truck/trailer to Germany.  We gave some precise instructions about coming back in to Ukraine that were ignored… which has put a bit of a spanner in the works as far as us trusting that particular driver.  (It all turned out fine, but could have resulted in some very serious repercussions.)  We will see how we go moving forward with him.  But for now, we’re a driver down – something the other drivers are benefitting from, as they will have more opportunities to work.

Here is something that encouraged me.  Many of you have read of Igor whose arm God allowed to be taken away a year and a half ago.  Last Wednesday evening we hosted a short Bible Study and volleyball in our yard and he sat down and began chatting to the lady whom I was sitting beside, recounting how God had blessed Him in so many ways by taking his arm--including the many opportunities to witness because of it.  He shared that he was in the local photo shop talking to 'Nina' about Christ and she said, "Oh, you are one of those people."  She told him how two years ago a man named Daniel had been in her shop during the time when there are tons of flies everywhere.  As she was serving him she commented on how annoying they were.  Then she said that later, he came back to her business and gave some netting for her door, (which she pointed out to Igor), to keep the flies out.  She linked that simple kindness to the Jesus whom Igor talked about.  Perhaps it will be within our Lord’s plans to gift this lady faith… that would be an even greater encouragement!

IMG-1514_thumb[8]After a good long stint, the pump in our well finally packed it in a couple of weeks ago.  Our well is about 20 meters deep with a meter and a half of water at the bottom.  The man who dug it over 15 years ago was an alcoholic, and if you look down it, you can see that it curves a bit as it goes down.  But if memory serves me correctly, I think I saved about $10 by using him rather than the more professional blokes.  (What wonderful logic!)  Anyway, Mitya helped me bring up the old pump and attach the new.  The homemade ladder you can see the top of in the photo allows me to go down the couple of meters necessary so that I can unscrew the pipe at the 90° angle and bring up the pump.  In my younger years, I would just skinny down there bracing myself with feet and back.  (That craziness is long gone.)  Our reservoir is again filling up with good water and we are grateful.

We said goodbye to Artyom on Saturday.  Poor Artyom had a weak moment and bought himself a gin in the local store.  He was nearly finished the adaptation stage in rehab and was doing so well.  This was his “second strike” and the guys know that we will not permit them to stay if they do drugs or drink alcohol while in rehab.  He was so regretful that it happened… but we have hope that this experience will ultimately be a blessing to his life.  Actually, we really hope that he follows our advice and joins himself to a rehab centre up north for several months before coming back to us to live… that would be an ideal scenario.

Last week, we drove down to the sea for five idyllic days of sand and salt-water.  Priscilla’s parents and a couple of friends joined us for this special time.  For some reason, the traffic police were out in force down there… and stopped me twice just to check documents.  The license I have in my wallet is out of date right now.  (My new one is in Australia until Shane and Jemi get back – I don’t trust the international mail right now.)  Thankfully, both times, the officers were more interested in the holograms and design of an Australian license than in the actual details on the license and after chatting for a bit, they sent us on our way… a car full of grateful holidayers.



IMG-1577_thumb[3]Igor's attitude and acceptance of God letting his arm be taken has been such a blessing to me as I recover still from the neck surgery.  (Dan talked about him above.)  I am healing at a slower pace (at least it seems that way to me) than in the initial weeks.  It is an adjustment to have no more than a slight hoarse voice.  Quite possibly those paralyzed nerves, (which frequently happens with this surgery, but is usually better within days), will begin to function again.  Meanwhile, I recognize that my voice is the LORD's.  I would love for Him to heal it and at times have to push away fearful thoughts of living without a voice, but one definite blessing is that another woman in our church has stepped up and offered to help teach the wives in the autumn. I am also listening differently - and I hope I 'hear' better too, whether it is lessons about God or pressing into Christ or hearing people's hearts.  It is a learning process.  I am glad to be in this time - hopeful that I will be patient enough to learn and not just keen to have it 'pass'.  =) 

Thank you for your prayers.  They are a great treasure.