Here we are 5 months into the great experiment of the Price-Williams in Odessa Ukraine and we began to evaluate where we are. I wonder if you ever take time to just grab a hot cup of coffee, sit down in the living room and wonder, how is my life going right now? Am I where I need to be? Am I doing things that matter? It was a question like that that got us here in the first place. It is still common practice for Teniece and I to grill each other on what really matters.
This past month I was expecting to come to the U.S. and be the primary witness in a civil suit. If you know anything about civil suits you know no one “wins”. It’s just a question of how much. Realistically it was not about anything less than my integrity. It stressed me out and I poured hours into this process. I had nothing to lose in this case but my perceived integrity. I prayed for God to remove this “cup” from me so I would not have to drink it. He did. Right as I was getting on the plane I was messaged to stay in Odessa. So I did. I wondered if my time and effort in the project mattered? Had my integrity before mattered? Had it all been wasted?
This event has caused me to see that what we think matters, doesn’t. And things we think are nothing; are actually huge things. I often feel like my time is wasted. I get upset that I am not progressing as fast as I would like in the language and the main reason is because I don’t like studying Russian. I miss having a job because what mattered was much easier to quantify.
But now I see things that matter. Being available to make friends with the Mormon missionary guys here in town, I believe matters. I choose to come here but it is a requirement for them. Being available to lead a prayer meetings every week and finding a way to teach on prayer to 12 others, I think matters. Supporting the church through setting up the coffee bar and leading the Children’s Ministry each week, it matters. Being there to support the Odessa church in developing a burden for the orphans, that matters. Being able to participate each week in the leaders prayer meeting for a new start up church here in Odessa, that matters. Spending three to four times a week with the Pastor or leader of that team, it matters. It also matters that we have engaged the men of Odessa by reaching them with events like watching futbol together and other sporting events building relationships. We have turned squad and platoon sized war games like air soft (called strike ball here) into ministry opportunities. We have used our witness at the firing ranges. We have developed relationships with people at Megan’s horse lessons. We have reached out to college guys here in the universities close to our apartment. We have developed a relationship with our landlord and her son as well. Teniece meets with numerous women, most single, helping guide them along a path of life that is centered in faith in Jesus. Most of all, our first responsibility is our children, and that matters. We have had the chance to be more involved in their lives than ever before and they have been able to observe firsthand what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. We have been able to give them the best gift of all.
I guess in the past I felt “no pain, no gain”, but now it seems the things that matter are the things we enjoy. We enjoy spending our lives doing things that matter. Yes, it is tough getting used to a new culture. I don’t know if I will ever be able to say I enjoy life here more than at “home” in America, but for right now, I know I am where God wants me and that’s all that matters.
This month we celebrated Jacobs 12th birthday. He and Megan displayed good financial responsibility by saving for months and using birthday cash presents to split the cost of a Nexus 7 tablet. As a father I am very happy with their decisiveness, fiscal responsibility and determination to come together to achieve this as a team.
As I am about to send this off we have maxed out our Strike ball resources. I will be buying 4 additional guns from a shop in the city. We have the guys from our English Evangelism Camps coming out. And the team we play brings out graduated orphans. The ages are from 16 to 46. This is a great time of manly ministry. And guess what? The old guys usually win! If you would like to support this ministry please do so. Also if you would like to take part or lead a Military evangelistic camp please let me know. If you went looking for the mighty men of David where would you look? See you on the battlefield!
#1 Pray as we continue to practice and learn the Russian language.
#2 Please pray for our decisions involving finances. Our monthly donations are not enough to cover our monthly expenses.
#3 Please pray for us to properly utilize the time the Lord has provided for us.