Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas update

Our very creative friend, Tanya, made a 'photobooth' for our Thanksgiving party - from a cardboard box!

Zeb has fun with strange creations from balloon-modelling practice
We are about to bundle into the team van and drive to Montengro for the 'practical' portion of our Discipleship Training School. We'll spend 5 weeks there working with churches and doing local outreach before moving on to Albania for a few weeks. Christmas will be a bit strange, although its becoming normal for us to celebrate on the road. Joni is decorating our 'pine fresh' tree-shaped air-freshener for the van, to serve as our Christmas tree this year. You can't buy Christmas crackers here but we did find some tissue paper to make our own Christmas hats. Probably sounds lame but we are pretty excited, plus we have a great bunch of people around us which makes everything fun.

We have had a great but exhausting time learning in the classroom this past few months. For those interested in what kind of classroom learning is useful for missions, here are some of the weekly topics we have covered:

The story of YWAM (Youth with a Mission)
The nature and character of God
Identity in Christ
Family Blessings
The book of Acts
The Bible, start to end

We have had a great few months packed with study, worship, prayer and time bonding as a team. I expected to least enjoy our week studying evangelism (in my pre-christian life I branded anyone that spoke about their faith as a 'Bible-Basher'...pretty funny now!). In fact, this week turned out to be my favourite. We were taught by guys with incredible stories who now spend their lives wanting to bring hope into hopelessness. We visited an AIDS and methadone clinic, which was sadly next to a morgue. We spoke to people about their troubles, their dreams and their faith. I chatted to a lady named Galia, we prayed together and I felt led in my prayer to tell her how beautiful she is, inside and out. It later became clear that she is a prostitute and those words were very powerful and restorative for her to hear.
My favourite thing about Ternopil is the sky at sunrise and sunset

This week we are doing similar outreach around Ternopil town. Yesterday we visited a home for the elderly which was harrowing but I'm so glad we could go and spend time there. We took home-baking and balloon modelling stuff. I was genuinely worried about the risk of popping balloons giving someone heart problems! It was a strange idea to do balloon modelling there but someone on our team felt strongly about it and we gave it a go. It ended up bringing lots of cheer to the folk that could get out of bed, one elderly man seemed to find a new lease of life to sword (balloon) fight with our team leader, Megan.  Tomorrow we will visit an orphanage to have lots of christmassy fun with the kids. We'll go back to the AIDS clinic and two methadone clinics later in the week to talk with people and pray with them, if they want us to.

We have met recently to discuss more details about parenting a Transition Home in the town of Vinnitsa next year. There are two teenage boys in the orphanage there who would like to live with us, so we are praying about that and other ministry ideas and getting more and more excited about the future.

Zebedee is having his first solid foods
Please support us in prayer:

For health and strength - we are tired and have been fighting off all sorts of winter viruses. still up a lot with Zeb in the night-times

That we would remain close to God and that He would protect us in our upcoming travel and outreach in Montenegro and Albania

That our time spent with people would be an opportunity for people to discover wonderful relationships with God; bringing hope into hopelessness

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for the link that works. Life sounds far from dull in your neck of the woods. We love you guys.