Saturday, July 28, 2012

Prayer request

Dear friends far and near, 
Phyllis encouraged me to pass on this prayer request to all of you who aren't in our home churches, but would want to be informed of this need. 

I talked with church leadership here last week about my taking a time of sabbatical, a break from my over-involvement in various ministries (in a church where one can never do 'enough').

They approved a sabbatical, at least a short one, and I will be mostly pulling back to 'only' preaching on Sundays, helping lead congregational singing, and singing solos myself.
(I will also be involved in periodic meetings w/the youth as we prepare for an upcoming VBS at the end of August.)

Please pray that I can graciously explain why I need/want this break to people who have never considered the idea. I may meet with condemnation, manipulation, or accusation. (i.e."No youth meetings?? Those young people will leave the church and walk away from the Lord - and it'll be your fault!!")

It's truly a foreign concept to many here. They live under the driving need to 'do more for God' and heap guilt upon themselves and others when they think we fall short. (Which we always do, don't we?)                   
I've already had one rebuke in passing "Come on, you just had a month off in the States - how can you need time to rest - jump right back into things!"

Pray that I may use these conversations to talk about a life lived by grace, in dependance upon the Lord and His strength.

Also be praying that this can be a good time for our family to spend together, as well as a time to  consider direction for our ministry in the future. 

Thank you for your faithful love, support, prayers and concern!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Baby steps (and more)

Bogdan is trying hard to walk these days. He has been much, much slower to take off than any of his older siblings, but he did take four steps the night before we left Florida. Since then, he has discovered that he can get around upright quite well when he borrows Asya's doll stroller, and so he does. He rolls it up to where he wants to play, parks it while he is busy, and then takes off again when he's ready. He's still not walking on his own, though. The first two pictures are just of something he loves to do: crawl around with shoes on his hands.

And the "more" part of the title is that I'm sorry I've been neglecting writing here. I've been very busy with a big project online. (AO friends, have you heard rumors of a forum coming? ) Plus, I've just been really enjoying being back in Ukraine: playing outside, talking to neighbors, swimming and going for walks. It's been really hot, so the swimming part of that list has been especially wonderful. I'll be back to writing more regularly sometime soon, I'm sure. I still have a lot of photos from our trip that I want to share, too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mountain photos

I already wrote a Part 1 of our trip to the states. Since we got back, I haven't had much time to write more. I just started uploading photos, though. Now you can see part of our trip to the mountains.

Please keep praying for Bogdan to readjust to life here. Well, actually just to sleeping here. The rest of us are doing quite well, but he seems to be terrified of going to sleep. He's always been a really good sleeper, so we hardly know what to do with him now. Before we went, I was very worried about how he would do in the states, because he was going through a stage where he was really afraid of people and places that he isn't familiar with. I prayed and prayed about that, and he did just beautifully. God definitely answers! Now we just have to pray for Bogdan on this end of the trip.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Home again

We made it back to Ukraine. Thank you for all your prayers. To those who we got to spend time with: thank you for all you did for us. It was so wonderful to see you all!

The trip back was really exhausting. We all went to bed early last night, and now--after 11:00 am!--I'm the only one awake. Bogdan got me up earlier, but now he's asleep again. I figure sleeping in is the best birthday present we can give Will.

I hope to be able to post lots of photos from our time in the States soon.

Oh, by the way, one of our checked bags didn't make it here. This is actually a wonderful blessing, because it's already been found in Viena and will be delivered to us soon. Without this, we wouldn't all have been able to fit into the car that met us in Dneptropetrovsk. So, that's an answer to prayer for any of you who were praying for smooth travels for us.