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Ukraine Newsletter - August 2009

Greetings to you! August 2009

We are well and enjoying the warmth of summer and the joys that God, during the last few months, has brought into our family.

Jesse: Hello, everyone. I’m helping dad at the work site and that’s pretty fun. I guess I’m not really looking forward to starting school next week, but that’s ok. I’ve enjoyed summer holidays – playing with friends and going camping… even doing “nothing, (reading and what-not). It’s been a good summer, but strangely, I’m looking forward to the snow already. Bye.

Marie: Hi, everyone. I’m enjoying summer holidays – sleeping-in this morning, playing outside, and going to the beach. Some friends from America came over this summer. I really enjoyed that. We talked on Skype a fair bit before they came. Today, I made a batch of Congo-bars. I reckon I’ll do a lot more cooking over the summer. I love working in the kitchen.

Angel: Hi! Today, I am playing with my friend, Igor. (But in the photo, I’m holding Josie.) Igor’s mum and dad are working and he is by himself all day. We might be having a picnic today. I like picnics. I’m happy school is out for the summer. I’m really enjoying all the camps and stuff. I like playing with friends and helping them to know Jesus more.

Ellie: I’m looking forward to when you come to visit. And I wanted to type your name to each person and say this is from Ellie, but I don’t know how. … Ok. Thanks, Ellie. : )

Pris: I’m looking out of the broken window pane of the study window—we had some wild winds and they took out the window! Everything is so green. It seems impossible that a short while back it was so barren outside. I’m thankful for the changing seasons weather- wise and in life. We just finished school for this school year last week. Today was the first ‘summer holiday’ day! It is a relief to have finished and not feel quite so torn in a million different directions. I’m looking forward to doing some spring (ah- summer!) cleaning and catching up on mending, yard work…. I’m thankful for Cheryl who willingly gives a day or more if necessary each week to helping around here (a gift straight from Heaven). We’re also blessed with a young woman named Sveta who is happy to do anything, but recently has been doing a lot of translation work. Dan’s back and leg have really been hurting him since February. You could sure pray that we could find someone who is competent and affordable and nearby to help him. He is a truly great person. I am so blessed to be his. Jesse (13) and Marie (almost 12) are just toppling over the edge from childhood to young man/womanhood. It is fun and scary as a parent. The years slip by so fast. We have loved caring for their hearts, minds and bodies. Pray for us to be wise. Tomorrow I am taking Marie and Elle (Angel will accompany us for a ‘girl’s day’) to the dentist in Kiev. It seemed we prayed for years for a clean and competent dentist. This one may or may not be perfect, but we have felt very blessed! It is exciting to see what God is doing here with the church and the town. We continue to pray that He will have mercy on these people and pour out His love in a way they understand as personal. Most Ukrainians are God-fearing to some degree and don’t see a need for a personal relationship with Him. So pray for us to be faithful in loving and speaking and doing as God asks us, and that we would not grow weary!

We’ve had a good few months. There are a heap of things we’ve enjoyed being involved in over this time.
Earlier in the summer, we celebrated International Family Day with a number of the families from around town. It was lots of fun. Pris cooked up some “Australian pies” for the feast afterwards. Her renown as a cook is like a snowball gaining momentum in this town.
The island camp was again… words fail me. I love the fellowship, the relaxing, the atmosphere, the nature. I would gladly spend a month out there if time permitted! Ha! Jono’s boat broke down again. This time, we couldn’t get the motor going again. It got towed back to the Rzhishchiv dock and rests there now. A new motor is an essential.

The farm in Ulyaniki is in full swing. Tomato plants have been planted outside as well as inside the hothouse and we have oodles of tomatoes. Today, I was out there stealing honey from the bees and so are typing with swollen hands right now. I was stung at least 10 times. Hope it was worth it. I’m also hoping I don’t end up sleeping for a couple of days like last time I was bee-bit.

The children’s camp we did was much appreciated. A couple from Poland came over and assisted Simeon and Asia to organize everything. They all did a great job and I relished the task of trying to get through to the young lads, in particular, and make them feel valued and loved.

Pris is once again gearing up to have twice-monthly teaching for wives. For the next few gatherings, they will be talking about sex. What fun! Few of the ladies want to miss any of the meetings, but I assume that the numbers will swell even more with this fascinating topic.

We have continued meeting with the other churches in the town. We invited the church leaders to gather for a meal together which was special and much enjoyed by all. Last Sunday, it was my “turn” to speak. Subject: Raising kids.

Recently, my father turned 60. What an age to have lived! 60 years! It sounds old to me. I’m closing in on 40. Man!
Priscilla’s parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. We drove over to Rovno for a “re-commitment” ceremony. It was really quite beautiful. Ha! We left Rovno after cleaning up a bit afterwards and attempted to drive the six hour trip home… only to break down a little over half-way. We “slept” on the side of the road - rocked every couple of minutes by the heavy trucks driving by. Thankfully, we broke down just outside a service station and were able to have an early breaky and civilized toilet break there. Jono, generous bloke that he is, came and towed us into Kiev to a good mechanic later on the next day. And now, two weeks later, we again have the van running – albeit with a strange squeaking sound coming from one of the belts.

Tom and I are working on getting the documents ready for building a house next to Tom’s. It has been fun so far. In this photo, Tom and “????” the excavator operator are discussing how much more clay we take off the top of the plot. I’ve got guys asking me every week if I have any work for them. It will be good when the answer is a yes. (So many men are out of work now and Tom and I look forward to the challenge and opportunity of spending more time with non-Christians on the site.) Just finished digging the well, too – all 17 meters of it. This morning, we were finishing off the foundations. Going well.

Thanks for the perusal. People say how much they appreciate pics… so we decided to include an addition to this newsletter of a couple of pages of photos. Hope you enjoy.

Love in Christ Jesus,

P.S. to see a whole heap of photos take a look at the PDF attached below!

Newsletter Ukraine August 09.pdf521 KB