SELFISH GENEROSITY

To be described as generous is for me a very high compliment. And at times I have been told this. However I believe I live an oxymoron in this regard. I am happy to give, but on my terms. I am happy to sacrifice, a little, yet still live comfortably. I am happy to compare myself with my peers who I consider to have more or live more extravagantly.

I left my home culture in 2004 and made some sacrifices. Over the ensuing years I became comfortable in my level of sacrifice and generosity. Now what should I give? I don't know. But I have been convicted recently that I am too caught up in seeking my own comfort. As Blaise Pascal said, "All men seek happiness." That is our natural bent.

What is my motivation in being generous? What is yours? I fear that often I seek the applause of men rather than the unseen applause of heaven. I want to pour my life out as an offering.

WHERE'S WALLY?

In the words of Sam to Frodo, "I wonder what sort of a tale I've fallen into." I am currently in Central Asia. I have had diarrhea and now have the opposite problem. I want to travel to the mountains but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not allow foreigners to go there following political and civil unrest which included a murder and armed conflict. So what am I doing sitting here in the middle of a hot summer? Back in March I visited Central Asia and during that visit I met a young lady named Marie with whom I have developed a special friendship. She came to Ukraine last month to visit for a couple of weeks and now I am in Central Asia hoping to see where she has lived for the past three years. Unfortunately I cannot travel to the town where she has been living. I have enjoyed getting to know her.

I will return to Ukraine next week and have a couple more weeks there before heading to Nepal on my way back to Australia. I am enjoying the ride that God has me on and feel that certain life lessons are stretching me and teaching me more about myself in ways I could never have imagined.

UKRAINE MATTERS

Please pray for UTSIM. It will continue to operate for at least another year. However there are some decisions I need to make this August as to my involvement as I am the owner and founder in the documents. Natasha manages UTSIM and Sveta teaches. It continues to be an amazing opportunity to be involved in the community. This summer UTSIM moved into a better and cheaper location provided by the local council in Rzhyshchiv. They want us there and operating.

I need to make decisions regarding my future in Rzhyshchiv. I will probably sell my boat and I have to decide on a rental agreement for the house.

DOWN UNDER

About the only thing to report from down under is that NZ is well above Australia in the medal count at the Olympics. So is Ukraine. The Chiefs also won the Super 15 final in good style. I attempted to watch it streaming online but was unsuccessful. Sometimes I miss mod cons.

About the Olympics, I must tell of Eloise Wellings. She ran in the 10000 on Friday night and will run again on Tuesday in the 5000. She is an amazing athlete and has an inspirational story of overcoming hardships. Eloise also helps promote an amazing program in northern Uganda empowering women and liberating former members of the LRA.

WATHCYA READIN'?

I finished Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis. It gave good food for thought and I look forward to reading the next two in the series.

THANKS

Pete and Soph for letting us watch Eloise run at 1:30 in the morning.

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