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Uncertain Future

Hey everybody! Ellie here. I am currently in America with Dad’s blog computer. So I will be posting the blog for you, but not writing it, excepting this little segment. Being in America with my Uncle Matt’s family is really special, but at the same time I miss Ukraine so much. I have come to realize that I am no more American than I am Ukrainian, I may even be more Ukrainian than American. It has been a blessing to be here and to gain a more expanded worldview. Seeing how another family, culture, and American churches function is fascinating. May God use this time that I have here to bring glory to himself. 

Have a blessed day.


Ellie with one of Matt’s kids.


Six months

Six months of war…

Six months of killing…

Six months of separated families…

Six months of anxiety…I

Six months of confusion…

But six months of feeling closer to God.

To be frank, I feel more unsure about the future than at any time in my life - and this despite a renewed desire for God’s presence or perhaps “comfort” or strength.  I have a lot of questions.

My father taught me to play chess when I was 7 years old in his study in Tasmania.  (I still take pleasure from playing the greatest strategy game of all time and involve myself in battles through my phone.)  Something decent chess players must do is look several moves ahead in order to determine the best move now.  Ultimately, our ability to do so determines whether we win or lose.  We look for the most likely moves of our opponent and then attack or defend.

Russia invaded on Feb. 24, making a major push for Kiev.  I only started believing it might happen a few days before the 24th.   We went through a month of not knowing, (but half expecting), Russia to break through and occupy our town; and so we prepared for this while evacuating people from Kiev and a few other towns.  Our Christian community was strong during this time, and it was really our great privilege to love a lot of different people in different ways.

Russian troops retreated from Kiev approximately a month after attacking.  A few weeks later, a team from our church was able to make our first trip north to some villages that had seen intense battles.  For the last four months, we have made weekly trips up there, excepting for during the kids camps and a wedding trip down south to Dnipro.

So… the questions…

1. When do we return to “life as normal”?

2. How long will this war continue at this level of intensity?

3. Will nuclear weapons be used, or nuclear power stations blow up?

4. Will we have electricity and gas during the cold winter, or will these services be targeted?

5. Do we keep on focusing a lot of effort on helping people rebuild and on evangelism?

6. Do we continue in Noviy Bikiv or go closer to the northern border and work there?

7. What sort of prep. do we need to make for the winter?  How difficult is it going to get?

8. Should we plan to take in more refugees into the church building?

9. Do we offer the church building as a warm place for study/learning for children?

10. Should we go ahead and run the conference for parents we were planning to do before the war broke out?

11. Should we actively work on expanding the rehab ministry now?

These questions are my pieces on the chessboard… and to continue the analogy; “it’s hard knowing how to proceed because I can’t see all the pieces of my opponent”.

It’s likely not a life and death game… but my choices will affect the lives of a lot of people so that they suffer more or suffer less/experience salvation or not/ and grow in their faith more or grow in their faith less.

I’d appreciate your prayers.

The Ukrainian summer is drawing to a close.  It’s been a superb season for apples and pears this year and trees all over the town are laden with them.  We expect perfect weather for repairing roofs and working on houses over the next couple of weeks as we see out August.  But as is the case every year, I have a dread in the back of my conscious mind of the approaching months of deadly cold.

As I type, I hear the rolling thunder of some new big guns from the range nearby.  It’s a comforting noise.  Our lads are training and will use their learning to defend us.

Occasionally, someone asks me how the war is going.  I smile and, depending on who is asking, normally give a non-committal answer.  People here generally expect it to go on for at least another year though.  Maybe…???  Can we hold out?  Probably…???  Which way is the victory needle leaning right now?  I have no bankable opinion… and yet hope says “maybe in Ukraine’s favour”???

Since I last wrote, Pris and Elle went to a family reunion in the States for a couple of weeks.  Elle stayed on with Priscilla’s brother, Matthew, and his family.  She will leave the US at the end of September and work on finishing off her last year of schooling here at home.  That goal has taken a bit of a hit this year.  She’ll get there eventually, though.

I wanted to use this blog to give praise to God for His blessings on our children.  We’ve been greatly encouraged by the improvement in health of Jesse and Angie, (both in Australia), over the last few months.  For both of them, it has been a long haul.  God has given grace and had mercy on them, allowing them to give Him glory during their suffering and now giving them healing from the illnesses that “inflicted” them.  Our Father is wise, loving, merciful and worthy of praise.