It’s been a long time since I’ve updated you. Sorry about that, I’ll try to stay more on top of it. Although I felt like there wasn’t so much to say, I’m sure Jesus felt differently.

Winter was long, and cold and grey. I cannot even begin to describe how the damp, dark days seem to pierce and penetrate your soul. It seems to drag on even still. And while I seemed to have missed a lot, I now can see where Jesus was in those dark, cold months. I can see his love sewed into the fabric of our lives. I suppose it’s a reminder that He does not simply work in the supernatural, fantastic ways, but in the smallest moments that we sometimes take for granted or count as insignificant.

We’ve been pressing through and so elated to feel the prayers of you all around the world. As spring enters in, so do new beginnings and opportunities.

We are excited to share that we’ve begun two new classes. One for literacy of the youth and one for teaching English language. Our students are nervous, and excited. Filling our tiny, two-room church with laughter.

Oftentimes, we are working with only natural light or otherwise with electricity that flickers in and out overhead. And we are always wrapped in warm coats as the heating isn’t very strong in the little building.

Sometimes we forget to bring water to drink or glue sticks. But either way, the children pile in and we do lessons on bible study, writing our names and learning to say “thirteen” in English.

I sit back and watch Nastya teach the alphabet with great courage. She never studied to be a teacher but she has a knack for it. The kids feel comfortable to make mistakes with her and have learned to laugh at themselves occasionally.

I notice our circumstances, the cold room, the inconsistent electricity, the lack of supplies. All of these things make some people think ministry is impossible. Some days the children come two hours late. And the improbable, sometimes is frustrating, but I find God there.

With thousands of prayers and tears and days we feel like we just can’t do this anymore. Fighting our own personal battles as well as battles for ministry, it’s easy to get discouraged.

As we pulled in today we noticed someone has stolen the gate to our church. Last week our neighbors power lines were cut and stolen. It’s imperfect, it’s sad, and it’s messy.

But there is joy. There is laughter rebounding off the walls. There are children learning more about the heart of God. Children learning that they are individually important to the creator. Children coloring for the first time, learning for the first time, experiencing Christ for the first time.

Our staff’s hearts are growing, our personal comforts and boundaries are being laid down. God is on the move. The weather, the cold, the dark, the pain, doesn’t stop the almighty. Our personal weakness and failures are not greater than His power.

Some days it feels like everything has gone wrong, like everything is failing and there is no point. But the spirit of God is here. He is pushing us onward. He is noticing the setbacks, the broken hearts, the illness and pitfalls. But His power perseveres, His love pierces the darkness, and as you know, the darkness has not overcome it.

Happy Easter weekend all, and may you also feel the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit even in the darkest of times.

With abounding love,