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A wedding


Disgusted - Discontented – Neutral – Contented – Delighted

We are “delighted”.  God has blessed our son, (and us), with a special girl and they will give Him much glory together.  The wedding was “real nice” and I’m sure God appreciated the ways in which many of those in attendance acknowledged Him.

Jesse and Daniella will finish up their honeymoon in January and return to Bible College where Jesse will continue his studies and Daniella will start hers.

We are back in Ukraine… in our perfectly cool house.  Tomorrow it will snow… and it will seem even cooler, but for now we are surrounded by drab brown colours everywhere due to the plus temperatures. 

Our trip back was comparatively uneventful.  We flew through China again and I wrote the following as we waited for our flight….

We arrived here in Guangzhou earlier this evening. There have already been a number of unique moments to notice:

1. We were greeted upon our arrival by about 12 Chinese ladies dressed up in red Christmas garb and one gentleman in a suit playing on a guitar and all giving a fascinating rendition of Jingle Bells.  A couple of young photographers snapped a thousand photos of them. As we waited in the long line, I took joy in singing under my breath, “Hark the Herald Angels sing… GLORY TO THE NEWBORN KING!” – my little gift to the air of this poor communist country!

2. We were sent to a desk for transiting passengers. At the desk, we were given instructions typed on a little bit of paper on how to get through the airport for transiting passengers. These instructions were classically inaccurate! Impossible to follow and just wrong!

3.  Where are the clocks?  We couldn’t see any clocks anywhere in the airport.  Not even on the schedule screen for flights!  The time the flights were leaving were listed… but no current time.  Strange.

4.  We walked over to a desk to get the free transit visa. The lady actually threw my passport back at me when she’d processed our visas. Whoa!  Incredible!  Did I forget to say please?

5. We wandered around trying to find where the transit passengers go… asking for directions from three people along the way, (little big of paper not helping). We went through immigration and then customs, (plain sailing), but then came to another checkpoint to enter a transit area. The security here basically gave me a massage as they checked me over. The lady even felt my legs… and I’m in shorts!!!! (And I thought the Israelis were serious about security!)  I was reminded of what we teach parents to teach their children.  As the child develops the capability to reason and evaluate, teach “the moral reason why” for behavior.  It will help the child to take into consideration context and other things which might influence his decision making and help him to not simply “robotically obey”.

6. Now we are sitting in a little room on the ground floor listening to a recording blaring out with five second intervals, “Please be cheerful and stash your stuff”… or it might be, “Please be careful and watch your step”. Strike a light! It’s enough to send a tired traveler insane!!!

7.  A lady just wheeled a trolley past us saying something about the coke on the trolley.  Suddenly about 50 people rushed the desk she walked behind grabbing the free cokes she was offering everyone.  Go China!  Free cokes!

8.  No internet for us.  Apparently, pretty restricted internet is available for those with Chinese phone cards.

9.  No internet results in me doing this instead of reading news, listening to the latest James White podcast, following the cricket or playing chess or Boggle. 

It is definitely with mixed feelings this time that we are returning to Ukraine. Miriam Angel is the one we are leaving in Oz this trip, and while we know she’ll be fine… we understand that this part of living as missionaries feels more like a real sacrifice.  The other sacrifices we make feel kind of minor in comparison. 

IMG_0979_thumb[7]It is now Friday… and it did snow this morning.  I got a call this arvo to go out and tow our rehab van back from the village.  We’ll get it looked at again after the New Year.  The mechanic said that he’ll try to fix it, but it really needs a new motor… and for a van this old, finding one could be a problem.  We’ll see.

There are a few new guys in rehab.  One of them is an old acquaintance.  He’s still in denial about his problems.  Usually we don’t take those who don’t acknowledge their problem, but I suspect the guys made an exception because he’s a local who was needy.  Ah well.  May God have mercy.  But my guess is that this bloke won’t hang around for long. 

We have four more guys who have “graduated” out of rehab and who are doing well.  It was so good to see them standing firm against the temptations that greater freedom brings.  Having said that, one of our old men who seemed to be doing real well just up and left this morning without really saying goodbye.  What are the chances he’ll find a church and last a week without drugs?  Very low…

I’m just about to head out to tow the van again…  this time on icy roads.  It could be fun. 

Elle adjusted real well.  Priscilla’s right side has been “on fire,” (her words), since getting back.  It is probably due to sitting so much on the 42 hour trip back here and possibly also the cold temperatures.  We have the fireplace stoked up and the lounge room warm for her.  May God give her relief!

I’ll post some photos of the New Year’s gathering in a few days…