2008_0717ca0025 Wow, it is well over a month since I got back to Ukraine and feels like I have written hardly any emails at all. Actually sometimes it feels good to not be online much, (other times I wish I was more).

One friend Max came to stay for a couple of days after camp. He is away for the summer but will come here in September. I get on really well with Max and it will be great to have him around.

I have had two separate trips to Crimea – both just relaxing holidays. The first with friends from Kyiv who invited me to go with them, and then with Ruth and Jon and extras – becoming an August tradition for us.

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Monthly Newsletter June 2008

Two weeks today I will be in London!! So I decided it was high time I let you know what’s happening now, what’s been happening, and what I expect to happen in the next few months.

Yes, one year is not yet up, so this is still part of my ‘year off’. But the next few months see me back in Ukraine. I will take part in the summer activities as a participant and willing helper. I will then be working to establish the language teaching business that was registered before I left Ukraine last year.

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I am beginning to realise that it's not about me

It's your grace, not my works that set me free

I'm beginning to trust in the grace that I can't see

And it's more than touch and sight to believe


So I will choose another day to step out on the platform of your grace

And I won't be afraid of the mess I might make

Cause Jesus you're bigger than my mistakes


I've been the champion of screwing things up

Taking what's right and making them all wrong

This I know with all my heart,

I can't earn it, I know I don't deserve it.


Awake desire within me,

Open my eyes so I can see.

Without your love I can't even breathe.

Jesus your grace has set me free.


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Way back in 1992 I wrote some poems about my siblings and recently found them.

TimothyPicture 069

T is for Timothy an older brother of mine, And it's also to him I dedicate this rhyme.

I is for intelligent, of Tim it's certainly true; Accounting, sport and music are a few things he can do.

M is for manly, "He's growing up so fast"; They said when he was three years old "But let's hope it will last."

O is for options, Tim has only two and he knows; What's more, only Tim can choose the one on which he goes.

T is for trouble, Tim experienced his share; Cars, family, motorbikes, soccer - and herding goats for Mr Blair.

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2008_0521roof0016Variety is the spice of life. However, too much spice spoils the food. It is the subtle differences that bring about a pleasant change. It is the slight change of perspective that teaches us something new. Trying an old trick a new way uncovers a skill. Approaching the same situation from another angle helps get us out of the rut.

I thought about this today as I was getting dressed. I don't know why, but I put my left leg into my trousers first. It felt weird! I then realised that I don't think I have ever done that before.

Also I bought a new camera. Fiddling around with all the settings and functions, I notice that the subtle changes in setting help bring out a variety of finished products.

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imageI wrote this psalm on December 7 while at

Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zambia.

I had recently been white-water rafting on the Zambezi


God You are Sovereign.

You created the amazing waterfalls that thunder.

The people that live here and all the animals.

The rich and the poor You made.

God, I don’t understand You or Your justice.

But I know You are just – the judge of all the earth will do right.

So God, I see my problem before me.

It looms up big like a dark cloud –

Like an overwhelming obstacle that will swallow me and consume me.

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Anzac SlouchWith NSW on school holidays I spent the last two weeks up in Queensland. I stayed with my "Aussie family" the Gollans. Highlights include but were not limited to:

  • climbing Mt Beerwah
  • organising a garage sale
  • working with Josh
  • ANZAC Day service
  • riding with Tim
  • Jemimah's surprise 18th (which I didn't give away)
  • basketball training
  • general socialising
  • seeing Serge and Tanya from Ukraine
  • walking in the bush etc.

Tim and Judith are both much better bloggers than I (and I currently don't have a camera), so you can see pictures of the climb and pictures from the garage sale on their sites. Judith also drew a really good image of an Australian diggers hat. Click on the picture for a larger version on Jude's site.

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