Today’s post title is not so much a reference to the coffee I’m drinking (I have a lovely, hot cappuccino parked on the side table as I write), in stead, it’s more a reference to the fact that I often invite you to sit down & get news on our goings on over a cup of coffee…
… and it’s been a while (Feb. 12 to be precise).
I seem to have begun more and more posts that way over the past year or two. There are times when I wonder about the future of the blog, whether I’ll continue or not. On one hand, a reduced impetus to write regularly would seem to argue for a ‘walking away & letting it go’, but on the other hand, it’s been part of our life (and life-line) ever since we began making plans to come to France, making it hard to just let go at the same time.
After all… what does one do with blog content when one stops blogging… where does it go to live? …or does it just ‘get archived’ in the depths of the interwebs?
In any case, today’s not the day, I’m still writing…
I’ve mentioned this before, but usually, when I write a post, I look back through pictures that I’ve taken during the week or so – it’s like a reminder of where we’ve been, what we’ve done and what’s punctuated our week.
Having to go back nearly a month is a bit of an arduous task (confession time: I have over 15K photos on my phone… I take a lot of pictures), so today I’ll start with the things that come to mind and go back to look for a few pictures afterwards.
“Strike while the iron’s hot” as they say.
Soph is a long way from home right now, and is about 400km (250mi) from the border with Ukraine. She is quite safe at that distance and Romania is a NATO country, but still… as you can see from the map, she is much closer to the conflict than she is close to home. What’s more, while she is far from Kyiv (about a 12h drive), it’s well known that Russia has aspirations of cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea, extending it’s territorial reach along the entire southern coast of Ukraine. I can’t see that happening, though, based on how things are going.
Where she is seeing an impact is with an influx of Ukrainians fleeing the war… many are arriving in Bucharest and her university is making residence rooms available for refugee students.
War in Ukraine
Since we’re there… let me just say. On one hand I’m in complete shock about what’s happening.
I remember growing up during the final years of the cold war when Russia was still basically “the big, nasty, far-away, enemy – a ‘boogie-man’ of sorts” (given my age at the time). But then the iron curtain fell during the 1980s and it seemed like the enemy was enemy no more. It was making reforms, taking a more active role on the world scene, etc. Sure it’s a bit of a perpetual bully – throwing its weight around, but there was a sense that we were all more or less playing by the same rules to some extent. (overly idyllic, I know, and with obvious exceptions).
But that all changed last week. The world as we knew it is fundamentally different. Leaders of nations look us directly in the eye and lie through their teeth (Putin’s not the first and won’t be the last).
On the other hand, I shouldn’t really be surprised because Matthew 24.6 says that in the end times, “there will be wars and rumours of wars… but don’t be alarmed.”
Don’t be alarmed!? Really? … really.
It’s very difficult to live through these things, even from a distance – and I can’t even imagine being there on site. The fact that the Lord included these words in scripture should be a comfort for us. Not only do we know in advance that such turmoil will come at some point, but they make us long even more fully for that time when the there will be no more war and we’ll be in His presence eternally.
We are living in the last days and if ever there was time to mare sure we were right with God… now’s the time. Lord help us. Lord help Ukraine. Lord help the Russians who didn’t choose this.
Bordeaux – a happier note
Last weekend we were once again down to Bordeaux service. We drove down on Saturday so the kids could take part in some youth-oriented workshops that afternoon, on the subject of relationships.
At the end, the pastor asked what questions they had in particular – if any – so he could address them in a future session. I was surprised with one of the questions that came up several times:
“What are the rules around dating non-Christians?”
I was surprised because, having grown up in the church, you know what the Bible has to say about being closely tied to people whose worldview is fundamentally different, and who have different views about the authority of the Bible over our life choices and priorities.
The positive thing about that question is that many of the young people are new Christians… meaning there is growth occurring and they’re authentically looking to please the Lord with their lives.
Sophie’s Guest in Bordeaux
One of Sophie’s very best friends here accompanied us to Bordeaux. She’d spent a couple of days with us over the March-break holiday and had some great chats with Liz. She enjoyed her time with the youth and was deeply touched by the Lord during the service.
Even without being here… Sophie’s impact is being felt. We thank the Lord for touching this young lady and showing her his love for her.
Dominic’s off to the USA
Keep Dominic in prayer over the next few days if you would… he flies out to the USA on Tuesday morning to attend a friend’s wedding in Nebraska; Julie Cooper, whose parents were missionaries to Brazil. He’ll be hooking up with another MK, Justin Burton, whose parents were missionaries to Venezuela in Chicago and from there they’ll drive to Nebraska.
Please pray for:
- Safety during air travel (he’s flying standby thanks to an Air Canada friend of Liz’s)
- Safety during land travel (winter driving across the midwest)
- Clear Covid tests (he’s fully vaccinated)
- Rich times of God-centered friendship.
Spring = Mimosa
Our neighbours are very faithful when it comes to ensuring that we have some mimosa to liven up the house every Spring.
They have a lovely big tree and routinely bring us branches when he’s giving it a trim. Getting it from branch to vase however is another bit of a process…
A bit like life… it always requires a bit of trimming and cleaning up before you have something beautiful and fragrant.
What would we do without the Lord!?
Thanks for stopping by today.
Here’s to a return to HOT coffee sometime soon!
God bless you and yours today!
Goodness! What a lot of news! Prayers for your traveling children. What a comforting verse, you shared. God bless us all. In Christian love, Michele