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I just talked to a young 30-year old.  I’ve known him for about 4 years.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him sober.  He comes around every so often and has this extremely intense look about him as though he is trying to control his world through force of will.  He looks you in the eye and in so doing, issues a challenge – “stare me down”.  Today, I was able to suggest that he needed a rehab center… and we just so happened to have one.  Who knows if he’ll end up coming once he’s sober… but I definitely hope that he’ll come.  I’ve long thought that mIMG_1679aybe God was calling him and that was the reason he kept on visiting us.  But I must admit that when I opened the door and saw him swaying there, I think I winced.

The students are due to start studying again officially today– the 1st of September.  In fact, I can hear the loudspeaker and some poor girl singing.  Wow!  Anyway, the start of the new school year means that the youth groups will pick up again and we’ll get a new batch in – some of whom God will call to Himself.  We are losing several of the old guard as they go off to study in other cities… there are benefits of living in the capital where there is work more easily found and many institutes.  And yet, there are also benefits of living here.  But being able to spend years teaching and discipling the students isn’t one of those benefits.

Last Saturday, we were able to again “put on” a special night for people.  A highlight for me was hearing Tanya Yakovchuk sing.  (God has blessed her with an incredible voice and beautiful heart full of love for Him.)  We invited a couple of different people.  in addition to Tanya, to come and speak and then invited a heap of friends and acquaintances to join us in the town hall.  I’m guessing about 10% of those personally invited ended up coming.  And they heard the gospel message.  God was glorified, His Word was proclaimed and won’t “return empty” to Him, so we’ll declare the night a success.  I took “Sasha” home afterwards and he was ruminating about how we all talked so much about “repenting”.  I want to visit him in his village tomorrow and we’ll see where his heart is.  He’s an interesting friend to have.  I picked up a couple of good books for him to read in Russian and I’ll give him those and see what God does.


My two little girls started back at school two weeks ago as they needed to do some catch-up.  Angel is progressing very well with her piano skills and has a beautiful sweet voice to go with it.  Elle is cooking our evening meal tonight… I heard something about chicken strips. 

Pris is coming down off a few weeks of pain connected with her neck and right side.  Yesterday was the best day in a long time.  Thankful.

We are taking a heap of people from our church to a conference in two weeks time.  The conference will be on pastoral counseling, psychiatry and medicine.  I was surprised that so many people wanted to go – the theme doesn’t exactly inspire.  I expect it will be a good time though.

IMG_7524The Rehab Center is going… mostly ok.  (Here’s a picture of two of the guys at the small store in the village.)  We have another bloke coming in on the bus tonight… if he makes it without being “distracted”.  Right now, we have three men out there – two drug addicts and one alcoholic, (plus Mitya who is serving there).  Sergei, the one who we didn’t think was going to make it is doing real well… while another who we were confident was doing well ended up leaving two weeks ago and gave himself to his idol.  It was pretty sad… for him as well as for us. 

It’s an interesting time for the center financially, too.  The guys out there thank the Lord daily for those who have given and I think most of them are truly thankful.  It’s a bit unnatural to want to help those who are in the situation they are in because of their own bad choices… but I got past that when I realized that they were desperately asking for help with their addiction and some of them were bowing before Christ in humility.  These guys I love helping!  Anyway, if you would like to know more of our setup and needs, please drop me an email:   I’d love to share about some of the needs we have.

Pavel and Marina have finally reached the birth month for their little bub.  Marina will give birth in Kaharlyk, a nearby town.  I was there a few months ago with one of the alcoholics we took in who was suffering withdrawal real bad – and the place is definitely “a contrast” to Australian hospitals.  Comfort?  It doesn’t exist at this place.  In fact, I wince.