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Ukraine Newsletter - October 2010

Greetings…

1As Ukraine heads into some cooler weather, we find ourselves looking at the thermometer and wondering how long we can go without turning the gas furnace on! Those thoughts put us in the same category of about 90% of people in Rzhyshchiv. And with Ukrainian workers owed over $220 million in back-pay, the IMF insisting on a doubling of gas prices, and the government pushing ahead with that goal, many people are eerily eying the winter months. We’ll probably be able to hold out until late-October before turning on the heating.

 

42We are fine. The kids are once again “hitting the books” after a good summer. The highlights for them were:

1. Island camp (5 days of friends, swimming and general fun)

2. Uncle Matty’s wedding to Anya

3. Going to a water park

4. Shane and Jemi’s arrival in Ukraine

(In the photo to the right, Mim and Broderic are cleaning out our water reservoir. Screams of laughter echoed across the block!)

5Pris is doing some hard yards at the moment. Despite her pain, she’s hung in there brilliantly doing loads of “stuff” and being beautiful. She is loved and appreciated by all who know her, with me coming in first on that list!

I’m typing this from the lap of luxury—at my Dad and Mom’s place in a city six hours drive from where we live.  Dad is teaching and encouraging in Russia/Siberia, as he loves to do, so 3just Mom is home right now.  The children are with me—homeschooling is wonderful for times like this.  I have had increasing pain in my neck/arms, and after getting an MRI which revealed three disks out of place in my neck, and after seeing a neurologist who gave me lots of meds which didn’t appear to do much, I have come here where there is a Christian man who does massage/physio/chiropractery to see if he is able to help this shell of my soul to pull itself together!  =)  I miss Daniel lots because I love sharing life with him, but it is truly restful to be here with Mom to fuss over me and the children. 

Life has been full as usual.  In spite of the challenges that are always part of this life on earth, I am glad that Dan and I get to serve the LORD in the place we are right now.  We somersaulted through the summer from one activity to the next.  Now that it is autumn, things are getting back into a pattern again. The wives from our town and a couple of other towns have begun gathering together once more. It is good to be able to encourage them, and it always seems that when I give in some way, a blessing bounces back. It has also been great to be involved in the coffee house outreach to the town, which mostly young kids ages 15-20 have come to.  All the ‘normal’ bits of life fill in any gaps of time—the children, our small church body, hospitality, homeschooling….

We are really thankful for your prayers and love.  Sometimes the going is rough, and to know that there are people who care about us and care for the people we love is a priceless thing.  You can sure pray for my pain to ease and my body to heal.  … and for Dan as he is home alone for probably another 10 days or so, and for some of the young people who have shown interest in Jesus through this outreach….

We have just said good-bye to the Landiks, a family who have been living with us for a month or so. Elle especially enjoyed spending her days with 4-year-old Avi and we enjoyed Sergei and Lesya’s joy and peace. They have integrated into the church family quickly and are proving to be special gifts from God! Currently, Sergei is teaching English in the English program Jono started and has fitted into a translator role as well for when foreigners “nye speeki po Ruski”.

The family of God is doing wonderfully.

We have had some pretty extreme pressures internally over the last couple of months which weighed heavily on the leadership. But we serve a faithful God who strengthened and carried us through.

We have seen our “upper room” begin to stretch at the seams, which has been encouraging. To balance that statement out… we supported a group of evangelists from Kiev who came into town with a tent during the summer. We had people with them as they shared the gospel as well as at the evening tent meetings. Their statistics say that over 100 people prayed to receive Jesus as savior. Great? Maybe. That we know of, not one of those 100 is in fellowship with any church at this point in time. Grrr… Hate it! And yet… our body of believers is excited at what is occurring as we quietly develop friendships and see individuals respond to the gospel… particularly amongst the student population.

6Here is a photo of the Sunday night coffee nights we’ve been running for the students. Wow! Have they been good!

So many of the young Christians are serving now! And they want to do more. : ) That is really a very nice problem to have!

Kolya is a great encouragement. He shaved his head since I took the photo below! Last year, he started working with us on the house we’ve been building and ended up coming to Camp 120 where he gave his life to God. He is a force God is using in the lives of many students in the dorms at the moment. Go, Kolya! And may more glory go to God! Next week, we have planned to start a discipleship course with him and a few others.

87Another new friend is Vlad… dear Vladimir! Here he is flying a kite with me holding onto him. He has come a long way since beginning his search for God several years ago. He tried all sorts of religions and lifestyles before finally putting his trust in Jesus at a church in Kiev in 2007. And his hunger for God and God’s truth is a delight. Two days after his salvation, he was a driver involved in an accident in which a lady died. He is innocent of any mistake or wrong-doing, but the driver of the other car is rich and well-connected. The court case has gone on for three years now. Different people in positions which could affect the outcome have been bribed by the “at-fault” driver. So often, Vlad is called to the court in Kiev only to be told that the other party didn’t turn up. Living a normal life has been hard. The threat of jail has hung over his head for three years. We are praying with him for God’s conclusion to the matter! His wife just had a baby boy a couple of days ago.

9

I have stopped visiting Baleko Shuchenko like I used to. I still see the young people from there quite regularly as they come into Rzhyshchiv for meetings or I see them on the streets. The four on the left are from there. A needy, young family is representing the Lord in the village. We see a lot of them. They could do with your prayers if you have the inclination.

Their names: Yuri and Ludmilla.

The building... Simeon and Asia are going to take over the finishing of the building we’ve been working on. They desire to take in foster children and their home is going to be perfect for that. Tom, Igor and I will continue to work with them helping with decisions and work over the next several months. The “other building”, the family centre, we are hoping to soon get will be great to use! Within six months, I would love for it to be finished and ready to use in outreach efforts.

10My health has been pretty good… I think. The fun I had with high blood pressure a few months ago has taken a back-seat as I faithfully pop the little white pills. My eyesight has returned to normal and my energy levels are back up – indicating a better heart condition. All-in-all… God was gracious and merciful. My quick trip back to Oz for Shane and Jemi’s wedding was quality. I so appreciated spending time with my family there! And drinking in the beauty of the Pacific Ocean… I couldn’t get enough of it! Esther wondered where my calm demeanor disappeared to. Heaven must be better than Australia, surely! But returning to Oz from Ukraine sure does feel heavenly!

We trust you are well and have enjoyed the catch-up and photos in this email.

May you be blessed with a continual awareness of the presence of our loving Creator!

Much love,

Daniel and Priscilla

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