After another morning of encouragement at grace church, superb translation from our faithful friend Viktor and the choir on finest form, we had a wonderful lunch at church. Over lunch we met with church leaders and celebrated God's goodness in bringing us together as gospel partners. God is doing great things in Ukraine. To mark the 500th celebration of the reformation last week, Christians in Ukraine planned to meet in Kiev city center. Their estimate of 100,000 people gave the police and authrorities some concern, but in reality they needn't have worried. Nearer 500,000 turned up but there were no issues. God is good! Today is a day of opportunity for the evangelical church in Ukraine. Peter was also with us for lunch and was reminiscent of the times when things were not so easy for Christians. The bible says make the most of every opportunity, this is something we need to rememeber in the UK. I fear in days to come missionaries will be sent from Ukraine to England because of the tragectory of our nation. God has ways of humbling the proud, scattering the church and growing the church in the reality and honesty of hard times. Maybe the season we are entering in the UK will require us to listen more carefully to our friends in Eastern Europe who have gone through hard times before us, and therefore show the 24 carrot maturity of tested grace.
Summary of week 1.We have completed 2842 miles on a 'plane, 4 walls, 3 portions of ceiling, 21 beautiful meals, 1 opera, several souvenier purchases, too many boxes of busicuits, 6 chapters of Joshua, the delivery of 3 large loads of gifts to wonderful children, 1 city tour, sveral purchases of materials and tools, 1 delivery / carrying of many OSB boards and 40 bags of 25k cement, and numerous belly laughs. Apart from that we haven't done much!
In a nutshell, we've achieved way more than we thought we could, and are raring to get cracking on the rest of the project. We're looking forward to the 10 guys coming next weekend, which will give us extra impetous tomorrow in a damp and dust filled basement. Thank you for being with us, as we hit the business end of the work, please pray ...
1) that we get ceilings up sharpish and that all the complex alignments match for doorways, recesses and maintance access.
2) that we are a huge encouragement to the awesome people here who live to the glory of God and to love those who are struggling.
3) that we continue to work well as a team (it was great to hear from one of the pastors how our team ethic was a huge encouragement to him - and that he knew when he saw us at work that this work would soon be completed.)
4) that we can encourage each other in God's word to live lives of adventourous faith with great courage and stickability.
5) that as we preach next weekend we will encourage the church to take fresh steps of couragious faith as they elect new leadership teams for the next generation.
In all these things we look to GOD who can do immeasurably more than we can think or imagine. I encourage you to listen very hard in the UK. If you listen carefully enough you can hear the sound of 6 men having their afternoon sleep. The walls are moving as we speak, but the heavy breathing is very jsutified.
Big love to you all, BLOGSKI.