Okay, I admit it----I haven't written anything on the blog since November 12, 2008. (I have to admit it, it's right there in front of my face!) I'm going to get it started again. This past winter was a very slow time for us. It seemed that there wasn't anything new and interesting to write about. We didn't have many meetings to talk about Ukraine, and actually we were wondering if we would make it there. Our new support has trickled to a standstill, we were a long way from what we needed financially to get to Ukraine. We were really down a lot. But we kept asking God, that if it wasn't His will for us to go to Ukraine, then He would have to show us what He had in store for us instead. And He did not show us anything different.
However, we did keep up our preparations to go. We started Russian lessons in November and continued with them. In fact, although our tutor, Olga, has gone back to Russia now for her summer vacation, Frank in particular is continuing to study and study and study Russian. He is getting a good grasp of the vocabulary and grammar and works on pronounciation now (without Olga) with the help of two computer programs that we have to help us. I haven't done as much----I can always find lots of things to fill my time and I don't have the drive to study any language, it's just a big struggle for me. I tell myself that when we get there, I'll have to learn it, immerse myself in it. We'll see.
Another thing we did was to continue attending our small group sessions with in a church near to us. This is training for becoming facilitators of Living Free, an organization which has developed materials to use with people who have life-controlling issues that keep them from being all that God wants them to be. Issues such as addictions, relationship problems, acceptance of self, and so on. The wonderful thing about this program is that all the materials are already translated into Russian and are available free online to qualified facilitators. Our field leader in Ukraine is very anxious for us to get there so we can get the program started in the churches that have been planted by World Gospel Mission. I have written a little about this in some of my last entries that I made in November. Well, we haven't given up on it. In fact, we're in a group now called The 12 Step Recovery Program which is really good. The material is excellent. We have learned so much from the prisoners in the groups. Some are stumbling along, but some have made definite decisions to change their lives and with Christ's help to be released from their life-controlling issue even if they aren't released from prison. One of the women in our group now, Jean Ann, spent 10 years in prison for dealing drugs; it took two more arrests for her to finally face the fact that she needed the Lord and needed His help to change her life. Her problems aren't all gone, but she is serving the Lord and trusting Him for each day's needs.
Finally, I have gotten a little involved in the work in Ukraine in another way. The Bible school was closed and the library was moved to Berydansk (where we will be) to begin pastors' training and lay development. It is being organized and set up on the computer there, and I have having the opportunity to give suggestions as to how to do it correctly. I have even bought some library materials that every library needs, and am working through that to send information and help to Bill and Betsy Tarr as they direct the setting-up of the library. WE NEED TO GET THERE!!!!
Okay, that's all I'll write on this posting. Tomorrow I will write more about how things are slowly coming together for us, and we are encouraged, feeling that we will finally reach Ukraine in the fall.