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Expect great things from God... Attempt great things for God.

I’m official again

If you’ve never been in a foreign country and had you passport stolen of even lost,  there’s no way I could explain what it’s like.

But thankfully I’m officially a person again. 

The next step is getting a duplicate of my permanent residency ID. It’s several weeks away still but we are heading in the right direction. .

Bless the Name of the Lord!!

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Beautiful Day in Kyiv

1798661_10152443535438865_295871988137451572_n 1907826_10152443535038865_8349450665893976990_nIt’s a beautiful Fall day in the city today.  Windy, brisk and crisp.  And that could only mean one thing!  It’s time for Hot Chocolate on the street!  Happy Autumn.

 

Blessing the Name of the Lord!

 

Fall Arrived

I walked out the door yesterday morning and Fall had arrived.  I mean basically overnight.  One of things we love about Ukraine is that there are four, distinct seasons.  And they change quickly.  We went from too-warm-to-really-be-comfortable to brisk-rainy-and-leaves-changing weather overnight.  The sun is coming up much later (making it easier to sleep till it’s time to get up) but also going down earlier.  When winter sets in, we really will have only about 7 hours of sunlight (when the sky is not completely overcast).  We love it.

There’s a new Malone in town.  Her name is Penny.  We’ve been planning to get a dog and really wanted to get a Lab (full or mix breed).  On Saturday, the girls heard crying out in the field across from our house and found a sweet little puppy that had been thrown out.  She’s not a “street dog.”  She’s well fed and clean.  She’s probably about 6-7 weeks.  She’s weaned, but just barely.  Guess what?  She’s a Lab mix.  She goes to the doctor today to get her shots and get a general stamp of good health.  We have officially named her after much discussion.  Did YOU know that there are websites devoted to dog names (like there are for baby names)?  We didn’t either.  Now we do.

Friday night Bible study has started.  We are studying the “Women of the Bible.”  The ladies seem very interested.  We have studied Eve so far.  It was surprising how much of the story is brand new to these ladies.  It’s surprising and exciting to see the Word come alive for them.  Please pray for our sweet ladies (and the couple of guys) that are coming.  This year we are so excited to have a Ukrainian friend providing lessons for the children.  She’s doing a GREAT job so far.  She feels so unable to help these kids, yet she is doing so well with them.  She accepts them and loves them.  It’s going to be a great year!

School is going very well, too.  We are preparing for the annual Fall retreat.  I have the opportunity to be the faculty adviser for the worship team.  It’s great to be doing this kind of “work” again.  It’s a wonderful privilege to have an impact on these young lives from around the world.  Only the Lord knows where they will end up and what He has for them in their lives.  I’m so thankful to be a part of the journey.

Having Katie here has been even more wonderful than we thought it would.  She’s way more than just an extra set of hands for Mary.  She is INVESTING in the lives of our kids and in this beautiful country.  She’s not afraid of people (even though she can’t understand what they are saying) and she never goes and hides when we have visitors or when we go to someone’s home.  Maybe her parents will just let her stay.  :-)

We continue to experience pretty significant spiritual warfare but we are trusting that the Lord has a purpose for all that He is allowing.  So we wait and we trust and stand still so God can fight for us.

Bless the Name of the Lord!

Loss Equals Gain

Philippians 3:7–9

7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

I would like to say that the theft we experienced wasn’t hard and that it didn’t cause great anger (from the loss of property and the feeling of violation) and even fear (loss of passport and the fact that our address is in the hand of thieves).  But I can’t.  What I can say is that in this journey of the last 10 days, I have come to the conclusion that “I count everything as loss for the sake of Christ and knowing Him and making Him known.”

Driving in to school yesterday, the sky was so clear and the row upon row of apartment buildings along the river were in clear view.  At first, I thought how pretty the view was.  Then the Lord pricked my heart and I thought of (and could even see) the literally tens of thousands of people who live in those buildings – and don’t know Him – lost and going to hell.  A real payment for rejection of God in a real place.  Suddenly, stuff doesn’t seem so important.

So I’ve been trying to wait upon the Lord.  Letting Him renew my strength.  It’s then that we can mount up with wings as eagles.  Run and not grow weary.  Walk and not faint.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Going Home

Ukraine MapIt really has been a good summer together as a family.  We’ve been really homesick, but we have also been right where God wanted us to be.

We have received blessing after blessing after blessing.  We have raise additional support while we have been here.  We have had all the kids seen by their doctors and had a few small surgical procedures taken care of that we couldn’t have done at home in Ukraine easily.  We have been able to see all of our families and spend time with them.  We have seen friends.

We know without a doubt that God had in His plan for us to come to the USA for the summer – but we are just as sure that our next step is to return to our home in Ukraine.  We don’t know the future, at all.  Yet, we trust the One Who does.  We can’t see several steps ahead, but we can see that our next step is to go back.  We fly next Monday afternoon and will get home on Wednesday afternoon.  We are excited!!

Thank you to the MANY who have blessed us so richly this summer.  You’ve made a difficult situation (living somewhere besides your own home for 2 and a half months) not only bearable, but you’ve made it home for us for the summer.  We are doubly blessed to have 2 homes on this earth!

We hold our future lightly before the Lord and will continue to seek to obey Him for our every step.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!