U09 Update: July 25. Back in Kremenchuk

July 25, 2009

12am  local time: u09 just concluded its 1st sweet evening of delirious hilarity. Who knew we had it in us to be so … Weird.  Makes one smile to see that team-building & trust continues to grow. Inside jokes are developing; unspoken understandings; so much to be said with a look or a smile; ease & comfort w/ ea other grow.  We are so thankful for each other.  Occurs to me: missions is for God’s sake, but also for ours – we who have been friends/friendly for so long are only now learning to know each other, to bear each other & bear each other up; to support each other in VERY real ways, and to love each other deeply.  Only in kr’chuk – that’s a shame it takes place 4000mi from home, but such a blessing it takes place at all. Teams like this exist for at least this reason …

Returned from camp in the morn; took showers (pls, friends, never ever take your hot showers & bottles of shampoo for granted!); ate big fat lunch that looked like a ukrainian deli exploded on the table; back to hotel to crash for an hour.

Bus to “peace park” (ironic for the massive war relics, ammo & artillery on display) where we took some absurd pictures on tanks & the like. One of the war machines is named “cathy” – naturally we took cheesomatic pics on it.

Every sat in the park in the summer, nhc does a program for kids & families. Rotating program of storytellers, clowns (eek), mimes (dbl-eek), games, carousel rides, etc. The Gospel isn’t explicitly proclaimed; goal is to outreach, make rel’ships, in Christ’s love. We helped run some games with the 60 or so kids that showed up. Fun; great to be outside.

Got massages in the evening; enough said.  James thought it was too hot for the heated beds (it was), and bob & I ALLEGEDLY snored after we fell asleep. Whatever.

Stroll back to hotel for kvass (fake beer but soooo delish), planning for tomm, & team time: prayer & worship.  Bob led us in prayers for our adopted city & our upcoming day…

Being back from camp: they go right into ministry. Their love for Jesus & this city doesn’t leave room for “I’m tired” or “I need a retreat after the retreat.”. It’s such a blessing to us to see this church in action. All adults, all teenagers, all kids constantly in motion for obedience unto the Lord …

During team time: weariness slowly starting to set in.  We tire easily, and bob feels this is not right, not to be accepted. He & I are praying hard for our team (incl luda & sasha who are both staying w/us): protection against physical & spiritual attack.  Jeehyun felt a little sick @ night; we prayed for her, & joked her back into good health.  Thank God.

Pr sasha is so good to us. We are in good hands here as well.  All are so kind, so patient with our hand-signals, so tolerant of my elementary russian, so lovingly accepting of our need for translators … We are starting to not notice the language barrier. U07 & u08 will be able to attest to this strange phenom.

Tomm: orphanage in morn; lunch back @ home; worship @ 3p; dinner w/ nhc leaders.  We’ll be performing our skit @ orphanage & singing & doing crafts.  @ worship, we’ll present the cd’s, show some of young’s slideshow, I will share on behalf of our team & nhf.  We desperately seek your prayers for sunday in kremenchug.

There is a strong presence of God here; we don’t think it’s just us. If u were here, u might feel it too. Might this not be the city from which revival in ukraine starts? And if ukraine, then maybe russia, & if russia then maybe china, & if china then maybe n/korea… The possibilities r endless &  thrilling.  Kr’chuk & all who r here r so special … Can u feel it over email & blog?  We pray so …

Pls pray: (1) for team always; (2) for nhc; (3) for our sunday together from start to end; (4) for jeehyun’s full recovery; (5) for my shoulder (sharp numbness & pain increasing); (5) for God to be God of this city, & for us to be lovingly obedient to Him in this city.  The blood of Jesus covered us today; may He continue to do so strongly.

We miss u, but mostly bc we want u to be here with us! :). Again, pr sasha conveys his love to u all, as do we.  Grace & peace to u, dear ones …

C, on behalf of u09

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