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Still wearing masks here in Ukraine

Normally, at this time of year, we are gearing up for Camp 120 on the island. (“Thank you, little virus, for the cancellation this year.”) We may do a “half-camp” with just the folk from our church yet, (in August)… but the chances of that are slimming. In lieu of that, tomorrow, Pris, (brave lady), and I are taking several of the young people out to the island for a few days.

Priscilla’s recovery is going pretty well. She’s still speaking in a whisper and tires very quickly. She also has very tight muscles in her neck and shoulder area which give her “a bit o’ curry” – especially in the nights. But it’s all to be expected, and thus nothing to cause concern. I dare a guess that she won’t be doing as much as she normally does when we go camping.

1594022630463178Elle is happy to be finished studies for the summer. Because of our trip to Australia, we shuffled around her study time a bit and she kept on studying while her friends were already on holidays. Actually, it feels a bit like a lot of kids here have been on holidays for the past several months. Doing school over the internet is one thing in the city, but quite another in villages like ours. Els has again started up the Sunday club for kids from difficult homes. She is reveling in the responsibility and loving the kids. It’s nice to see.

I talked with Mim today. She is still “stuck in Australia”… along with Shane and Jemi, working with “Uncle Josh” doing initial cleans on houses. She says that the earliest she could get back here is August… she thinks. But that is assuming she can get a visa and I think that’s where the rub will be. She is thinking to “detach” herself from heavy involvement in the ladies’ rehab and to give herself more to the ministry to children in crisis and general children’s ministry.

We have been taking the rust out of her car while she’s away. (Today, Pavel, the spray-painter, showed me a couple of new tricks of the trade. Perhaps we can get it to a condition in which it will do another 15 years… that’s likely wishful thinking).

Talking about cars… Pasha didn’t have any problems at the border bringing in a VW Beetle and a little blue Mercedes. Now we just need to sell one of them so that we can repeat the process and bring in another couple of cars. God has been blessing this project. We have started to count our chickens before they’ve hatched a bit and are even talking about expanding the ministry and bringing in more men who need God in their lives. May God give us wisdom!

IMG-1496Right now, we have six guys in rehab.  Interestingly enough, four of them have gone through rehab before and even taught at rehab centres. One of our volunteers was talking with me the other day and said that it’s a bit intimidating doing a Bible study with this particular group of guys. They’ve read a lot of books and spent a lot of time in the Bible… their knowledge outstrips that of half our volunteers. I easily understand the feelings of intimidation.

On Saturday, several of us went to the wedding of Ghenna, who finished rehab with us last year. It was a nice wedding, with both him and his wife giving glory to God for His grace in their lives. The guys who went with me were talking and said that about 90% of the 60-odd guests were former addicts. What a beautiful stat. And there were a number of very special people there.

Every now and again I feel an overwhelming sense of delight at the glory that a particular person gives to God through their demeanor, words and actions. There are a lot of us ordinary Christians in the world, but most of us never really reach the heights of the “uniquely beautiful”… that small percentage who are graced with the ability to somehow exude love and humility and peace. What an interesting thought, eh?  Another one:  Could I become such a person?