Well, there's a lot to catch up on right now. I'm going to start with a two-day course we took in Chattanooga. It's called Living Free. You can see it at www.livingfree.org. The basic purpose of Living Free is to help Christians (and others if they so desire) to break free of life-controlling issues such as substance abuse, behaviorial problems, and difficult relationships with others. It is not a counseling program, as such, and it does not consider itself to be psychology. It works on the theory that small groups within the church can help everyone, not just those who seem to have problems. We can take a good look at themselves, sometimes through the eyes of others in the group, and find help spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. The program uses three things to help each one: the Word of God, the Spirit of God and the people of God.
Our training was to enable us to use the material in the church, and to train others in using it. Actually, the two days were just the beginning of the training. We have a list of books to read and we are supposed to participate ourselves in some of the groups. We have a year to finish up the training process. Our field leader in Ukraine, Ernie Smith, is really excited about us doing this. He feels that the program can really help new Christians in the young churches overcome some of the big problems that are keeping them back from becoming all that they can be. One of the best things about this program is that all of the materials have already been translated into the Russian language and will soon be available for free download from the internet by those who have been trained to use it.
While we were in Chattanooga we stayed again with Frank's childhood friend Ken Anderson and his family. We had a lovely time with them and especially enjoyed their backyard swimming pool! It was a real treat for us to cool off in the evenings in the pool. I can't swim, so I just paddled about the edges of the pool, but Frank got out into the water and and learned some new water games from Ken and his family. The Lord gave us a wonderful week with them before it was time to move on to far-western Pennsylvania for a service in Genesis Church which has supported us for quite a few years. The drive from Chattanooga to New Castle, Pa., was beautiful. We enjoyed driving along some back roads and seeing "wild and wonderful" West Virginia along the way.