Fall 2012 Has Fluttered By So Here is an Update
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1 (NIV)

(Photo taken in Mijas, Spain and completely unedited!!)                      

Overwhelmed with Thankfulness

Sometimes words are simply not enough

It's that time of year when we hear a lot about being thankful. Facebook statuses reflect commitments to focus daily on all we have to praise God for and everyone talks about our need to express thanks in all things. I love this focus and pray that it becomes a habit not just for the month of November, but for each of us in our lives every single day.

God showers us with so many blessings that we easily overlook in the chaos of life, and, as much as I love beauty, I am very guilty of missing it for focusing on all the gray, dull, cold that surrounds me.

This past week I received the huge blessing of a vacation with a family that has taken me in as one of their own and had some down time to reflect on all that God is doing and has done this year. I was greeted every morning with sunrises of various hues, but all just as beautiful and unique as the one pictured above.

This year has been beautiful and unique as well. There have been a lot of days that made me want to jump on Expedia and find my way home to North Carolina, but there have also been countless moments that I have realized just how precious Ukraine is how I honestly cannot imagine life in any other place.

I am thankful for many reasons this year. I am thankful for a family that loves and supports me in all this craziness. I am thankful for spiritual parents, brothers and sisters all over the world that make life away from home not so lonely. I am thankful for the students I see each week who thirst for truth and desire to become who they were created to be.

And I am thankful for each of you who have stood by me the last several years as I have stepped out to follow what I sense to be God's call. You have no idea  the impact that  your words of encouragement, prayers, financial support and random boxes of goodies have had in my life and in the lives of those here in Ukraine. Thank you for helping be the hands and feet of Christ in this nation.

A Few Autumn Highlights

Staff and Students at our annual Bible and Life Conference, held October 19-21 in Bucha, Ukraine.
This weekend is a time of training and encouragement for our Christian students in the central region.
I was able to serve as the decorator and official photographer for the weekend. 
         
November 3rd we held our Interpreter's Seminar. These 18 brave students each had the opportunity to interpret for one of the native speaking staff members. This is Marina, one of the first year students at Shevhenko University interpreting for me.



And a Little Bit of Fun...

I had the joy of planning CCX's annual costume party. This year's theme was Superheroes and Villains. A finger rocket war ensued and the villains won! It was a night filled with lots of fun and a few shenanigans. 


       

Prayer Requests

  • The Parliament passed a resolution of changes to the Freedom of Religion and Conscience laws in Ukraine and has sent them to the President for his signature. Basically this legislation would take away many of the freedoms churches have enjoyed the past 20 years, and return to a more Soviet style control over their registration, activities, and yes, invitations to foreigners like us. Please pray that President Yanukovich would NOT sign this legislation. He'll probably decide this week.
  • Pray for our students as they face the pressures of university life and try to discover who they are. Pray that they will find the truth of God's love for them and that their identity will be in Him.
     
  • Our ministry team is losing two volunteers within the next two weeks. There is a great need for new volunteers with CCX next semester.
     
  • Winter Camp 2013 will be January 16-20th and we will be studying some of the passages from Romans. Also pray for me as I prepare to lead a workshop on Knowing God's Plan for Your Life - eek!

     

English club at Shevchenko University ensures that Wednesday afternoons are always exciting. We are averaging 15-20 students each week and have covered topics such as handling stress, the power of a smile, the benefits of travel, and American politics.


       

We made a lot of children and even a few cartoon characters very happy with an afternoon of free, life size Angry Birds on Kreshatik Street, in the heart of Kyiv.




       

A few weeks ago I came home to a fire on our balcony. Praise God some neighbors came to help and He gave me enough strength to handle the situation. After lots of cleaning the balcony looks pretty good, but we lost two mattresses, a rug and the linoleum flooring. Everything lost belonged to our landlords who are going to make us pay. They talked about keeping our deposit on the apartment, but we will see what happens at the end of the year when our lease is up. Please pray that we are able to work out a reasonable agreement.
This will be my first Christmas away from my family. Please pray for me and for them!
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