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Zhenya's Baptism
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Ukraine June 2007

G’day, howdy, and zdrastvi! Life continues at what would be apt to term a terrifyingly merry pace. I remember the “gravitron” amusement park ride. Ukraine had the old soviet equivalent still rotating just a few years ago and I couldn’t help but wonder what quality metal had been used and how rusted it had become over the years as we spun at pretty wild speeds around a center. Anyway… forget the illustration. We are “flat-chat” in what I feel is getting a bit too close to “over-busy”… but it sure is a lot of fun!

After several months of no rain to speak of, it rained! People have been dragging containers of water out to their gardens, digging a small hollow beside the vegetable needing the drink, and pouring in just enough to keep the plant healthy. We have been so grateful out on the strawberry farm for the brook passing by our property. We’ve been able to irrigate while most other growers have had to revert to putting on a stiff-upper-lip and resigning themselves to small-sized berries. The rain welcomed us to the trial-filled world of farming through damaging about 40% of our berries. As berry growers, we were the only ones who didn’t appreciate it raining six days in a row! But… we still have berries coming through We’ve been selling our berries at local markets as well as in Kiev. The price has bottomed already ($1.50 a kilo) and stayed there for just a week, but we are still looking forward to the hothouse crops later on in the year when we’ll receive 7-times the current prices and be able to give the workers some bonuses for their hard work.

Sunday was a day to remember! Jesse and Marie asked if they could be baptized. After checking what had prompted them and wondering at the simple understanding they had gathered from reading their Bibles, we went ahead with joy. Zhenya, the body-builder/security guard in the church family, chose to join them and we had an awesome time down on the beach! Thunder and lightening flashed all about us as these three souls showed God and His family that they wanted to be obedient in all. Just as we came out of the water, the heavens opened and the rain finally came down. It was beautifully timed by the Lord as an illustration of obedience bringing God’s blessing… in this case – rain. And as the father of Jesse and Marie… I was peacefully delighted. They are special kids who have a passion for pleasing God and to see them wanting to pursue Him just gives a real nice feeling.

We have finished our school work for the summer holidays here. The children worked hard and finished up on Tuesday instead of Friday. I asked Jesse how he was enjoying these first few days of hols. His answer of ‘half yes, half no’ surprised me. But then he reminded me that we all have been experiencing a tummy bug, and that it seems a waste of free time feeling sick! = )

Last week we started up a kids meeting on Sunday for 5-9 year olds. I am glad. Often it seems that children have open hearts, and many seeds are planted. You can pray that God would bless that time, and that He would send children along. Sometimes I think it would be so wonderful if God called someone in particular, whether a Ukrainian or a foreigner, to minister to lives that are in the 5-15 age bracket, both here in Rzhishchiv and in the surrounding villages. God works in many ways, though. May His will be done and may the young hearts have a chance to hear about hope and forgiveness and true life.

Our family is doing fairly well in spite of the tummy bug! Dan has been super busy—we miss Gaven’s faithfulness and maturity and competency in managing the strawberry farm and sure look forward to his return the end of July. I feel as though my head is spinning in trying to keep up with Daniel right now. God sure does grant strength where it is needed! You can pray that he will continue to walk in wisdom and that he will have God’s perspective and love for all the different people, situations and things that are keeping him more busy that usual. Oh! I had a wisdom tooth removed two weeks ago. It somehow became infected and I ended up experiencing debilitating pain. It is slowly getting better with antibiotics, but the surgeon is still quite concerned. I’m glad he is concerned, but would rather there was nothing to be concerned about! =) My other three wisdom teeth come out over the next couple of months hopefully.

I turned 34 not long ago. I love getting older! = ) Sometimes I just think back and wonder at what God is doing in my life, and I wonder if this life He has given me gives Him joy.
look forward to seeing a number of these young people make Jesus their #1 priority.

Sasha (in the photo) and Tamara are our neighbors in Ulyaniki. There are no believers in the village and I would absolutely love to see them saved. We’ve become friends as we’ve worked the ground together and chased their chickens out of the strawberry patch. Every man is needy who lives without faith in Jesus. These village people though are simple, special and needy. May God work in this town to bring forth a witness of His grace from amongst the people.

The Rzhishchiv believers with whom we fellowship are no less precious than last time we wrote. This summer we will do a number of things together. The witness of the church is only as powerful as the relationship the individual members have with our Father and with each other. It has been a prayer of mine that God use us to have a powerful impact on the lives of the “others” who live with us

That brings us to the close of another chapter in history. May God open your eyes to see that which you need to see to grow in grace, in love and in the knowledge of the truth.

Yours,

Daniel & Priscilla