River of Joy base from the road

River of Joy base from the road
Picnic Patio goes to work

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baluster, Paving Brick, Umbrellas. Weddings, and Two Visitors

Baluster (above)
When Tolik saw the above design he said, "Yeah David, but why don't you draw one yourself?" 
Well, when God directs my hand as He did here a design looks too pro to be my work. 
These will be close spaced to form a beautiful fence around the picnic area to discourage children from wondering off  into our (future) vineyard. BTW, please help us pray in good quality Concord grapes (here know as Isabella grapes) for a vineyard that can provide tasty grape juice (like Welch's). 

Construction of  the baluster will involve forming one from wood on a lathe, then making a two-piece form of a sturdy plastic or some quality cement aggregate. The form or forms will be filled with a concrete mix and shaken on a shaker table, as yet not constructed, so as to delete all air bubbles and make the baluster smooth 
and ready for final finish and assembly. After the formed baluster dries sufficiently to be removed from the form it will go into a damp place so as to cure dry slowly and gain strength.
I will attempt to keep you informed about our progress.

Before I go on to show you some details of our designs for the River of Joy Picnic Veranda, let me ask prayer for the paving brick we need for it. Basically we need 150 square meters. The brick we need is 32 bricks per square meter. That is 4800 bricks. So far I have not been able to find them for less than
2 grevna per brick delivered. That means we need to find 9600 grevna ($1200) for bricks. Well within God's capabilities.
Let me show you another design I was helped with this week. Did you ever notice God knows what He is doing? We need what might be called a, 'Market Umbrella,' to shelter our picnic tables from sun and rain. Unlike my native California, Crimea sometimes gives us more rain than is comfortable during camping season. So we need to protect the tables where the children eat. This umbrella is more than 2 1/2 yards square. We have no ready made source for such a large high quality umbrella and we need six of them, so off to the drawing board.
The Umbrella is square, with 6'7" clearance under the open umbrella and 7'wide.
Building them will involve serious materials selection for economy and toughness. The poles will need to be either a quality wood like teak (not readily available in Crimea) or steel pipe, or some combination thereof. The cloth material will be preshrunk canvas. We will need to get the canvas sewn by professional seamstresses or perhaps a sewing school to which we donated sewing machines some years ago, 
that can sew thicker materials.  
This week two guys stopped in, both of which I had not seen in a long time. Firstly Peter came. This Peter is not a big fisherman but a little beekeeper. He has something in common with the big fisherman though. He has seen the Lord! I will not repeat that story just here but Peter told me over coffee this trip about his personal encounter with, "Christ the Baptist." Some of us have yet to know Him in that capacity. John the Baptist clues us in as to that however in John 1:33. There it is written, "I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' '' I remember when Jesus baptized me in the Holy Spirit. It was a most wonderful experience and the beginning of a great adventure. Let that story be told later though. Peter wants to fellowship in our home church. That church will begin, Lord willing (He is I am sure), a week from Saturday. That is because this coming Saturday we will be hosting a double wedding party at River of Joy.
Two Ukrainian missionaries are getting hitched. They are so poor as to need our help in throwing a traditional wedding party. We did one last year shortly before I left for the USA. For a little on that event see our website posted newsletter at http://www.riverofjoy-crimea.org/NEWSLETTER_AJanuary_2011-Pg2.html (scroll down to the bottom).

The second guy that showed up at River of Joy this week was Viktor Semichkov...father, or surrogate father, of 10 orphaned children. They live about 20 kilometers away in our Belogorsk region. He had come in riding his sport bike. Viktor is 55 years old, but by the great shape he is in you would never know it. He is training for a place in the Olympics! we talked a long time and I fed him lunch. He told of how his wife Natasha had gotten quite fearful of the children's health since Nellia was drowned last December and we prayed for her. 
(see our article about that, "TEARS FLOW UNDER NELLIA'S BRIDGE) http://www.riverofjoy-crimea.org/NEWSLETTER_Jan/Feb_2011_pg3OK.html . I assuaged Viktor's own fears about our plans to collect funds to build their family a bridge over their small creek that easily becomes a raging river.
He formerly was afraid of the loss of security a bridge might bring. I told him I had thought about that and suggested we do a covered bridge with a modern garage door/opener on the far end so unwanted guests would still be stopped by the river. He was not aquainted with this "Technology"but agreed that it would make the family more secure than an ordinary bridge. 

Viktor corrected my understanding of what happened on that fateful day last December 10th. So far as he or anybody knows, Nellia was on the other side of the creek chasing the cow when the cloudburst filled up the creek in what we in the California desert would call a, 'flash flood.' Nellia was too young and inexperienced to understand that she would not be isolated from home for long by the temporary flood and in her fright tried to cross the creek at flood stage. She was a strong girl but the fast moving water loosened the stones on the river bottom and as they rolled against or under her legs she lost her footing, was swept away and drowned. When her body was found she had been badly bruised by the raging flood. The Semichkov family~type children's home was traumatized by her loss to say the least. 
Please pray about contributing to the Nellia's Bridge Fund. Designated funds should be notated such on 
a sheet of paper separate from the check itself. Go to http://www.riverofjoy-crimea.org/donation.html and follow instructions under Check Donor - See the dark Yellow Panel. 

Plans for the picnic area.

Hello dear friends, I am back in Simferopol for the first time since last Tuesday. I am still getting way too hard hit on the cost of internet in the boonies. It is runnng nearly $10 a day there. I go through my prepaid account like a hot knife through butter. Thus after a couple of days I wind up with no money left in my account and no internet access at all. This is the first time I have gotten online in days. During the hiatus however I got some serious drawing done for the next round of building at ROJ in Ovrashki (Canyon) or Kainaut, (which I am told means "Cliffs"in old Tatar).

The Lord has given me artistic talent which has developed somewhat over the years, but during this session I was keenly aware of the Lord's intervention in the creative process. This is not at all surprising as our Lord is the ultimate creator and all the best creations of man have His stamp on them. Let me share the Baluster pic here if I can figure out how it is done. In short the design was beyond my personal abilities. Only God can do such perfect designs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waiting for Tolik

When it gets 'round to building season I can spend money faster than most women! (sorry). This morning Tolik was on his way up to a small village in the Krasni Gvardieskaya (Red Guard) region where he grew up. He needed to visit his aunt who raised him as a mother would. She has gotten ill and Tolik feels some satisfaction in looking after her, a kind of return on her emotional investment in him. He and I traveled together on the bus to Simferopol. He wanted to help me purchase a water pump from a store I know that specializes in such items.

We chose a pump that purports to be somewhat more powerful than our last one which has broken down for good after only two years. That occurance reminded me of my maternal grandfather's pump that supplies much water to his orange orchard. As I recall it worked for at least 10 years. Well I am hoping this new one will do better than 2 years. The increas in power makes me hope that once we have it installed I shall be able to take a real shower that amounts to more than a fast drip. We did spend some time talking with the store manager, explaining the job it has to do. Now to see if we got the message across. Tolik wants to save me money on the installation. That is good as I wound up having to chip in on his trip to see his aunt. Oh well.

Tolik will hopefully use the money for a visit tomorrow to a guy up there who has some paving bricks . If he can get me 4600 quallity clean aged 12.5 cm X 25 cm bricks for a grevna each and a cheap delivery, I shall be pretty well set up for paving the picnic area that we need in order to do two children's camps this year. Then I need to design the canvas market umbrellas and picnic tables, the ballustrade and lighting...lots of drawing...OBOY!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I just returned from Simferopol. Yesterday I fast hiked almost a kilometer up our Burulcha creek road to the bus stop at Mezhgorie to catch the 7:25 AM bus to town. as usual it was standing room only full before we left the Belogorsk region, but I did get a seat. I got to town, bought some groceries to augment my stay with Dr. Wil Turner, the octogenarian apologetics missionary I usually stay with when I am in the Capital. I buy groceries out of self preservation. Will tends to buy cereal grains and beans, then cook them all together in one gelatinous mass. It is not to die of but it is not for anyone with a taste for real food. I am the designated cook when I visit and Wil likes it that way so we get along OK.

About noon the bank sent me an SMS showing the international Bank Transfer from Mike Longhi of River of Joy International had arrived in our account. I paused and made lunch, then got over after the noon break and got the money.  I paid back Wil's loan that helped me take delivery on some mission tile for this summer's building at river of Joy site here at Ovrashki. Then I fellowshipped on the internet last night at Wil's. I can do internet faster in his city basement than my country canyon. I slept like a baby on Wil's broken couch and caught the 9 AM bus East on time. Got off in Krim Rosa and blessed a 3 year old with cancer with healing and money for his hard stretched parents. I was waiting for a bus at the Krim Rose bus stop when a private car stopped and gave me a FREE ride to Belogorsk. Hmmm, "Give and it shall be given you...." In Belogorsk
I bought a few groceries and paid a little over a hundred bucks for 800 more mission tile. I caught a cab home and the driver's questions lead to a chance to witness for the Lord all the way home.

After a nap Tolik brought me a hand full of parts that used to be our water pump at the center well. Tomorrow morning I plan to go to Simferopol again and buy a new, hopefully better, pump. Lenur stopped in and greeted me. I hadn't seen him since I returned from the States. Lenur is a Crimean Tatar...a good worker and a happy friendly guy as well. We talked about the Spring building we need to do before camps start. As soon as I can take delivery on paving brick we will start the picnic area. Plenty of work and money needs just ahead...sigh :-) Well I have to catch that 7:25 bus again tomorrow...its time to stop and go to bed.   ~

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tax Time Blessings

Today is April 14. This morning I took the 7:25 bus back to Simferopol. My first purpose this AM was to figure out why I went through so much money using the Mobile Internet Modem. It cost me 400 grevna (about $50) in just a few days! My favorite MTC mobile store has bit the dust. I went to the central store where you take a number and spent 40 minutes waiting for help. (This is why it has not been my favorite store). They said I had been using the wrong system. I told them I had always chosen the cheaper one but the techy seemed to think I was lying or stupid or something. He did something with my computer...not much. I renewed my account (another $200 grevna) and went off, saying I would be back if there were no changes, a stipulation to which he agreed. 

Two days ago in Belogorsk had I topped off the same account, got a haircut and bought a few groceries, then fixed up a deal with the Post Office to call me if a parcel comes in. Later I got a ride home with Ibrahim. He is a good looking Tatar who has a gift of business in spite of a stammer. He wanted to come to work for me. I gave him a building materials request. 

Just the previous evening I had heard from brother Roman, a roofer, that the mission tile (Tatarski Cheripitza) we have been using is now selling for 10 grevna each ($1.25) in the city! I have never paid more than 1 grevna each and hope never to pay so much as 10 grevna each. 

That price news concerned me of course, so I told Ibrahim "I need more mission tile" and gave him my top price...."1 grevna each." Last night he called, said he had 2000 tile lined up and asked for payment. I didn't have the money for so many just now. Later he called and said the amount (from a demolition) is actually 2500 tiles! I called Dr. Wilson Turner and arranged for a personal loan to pay Ibrahim until money comes in. Today, while I am/was in Simferopol he delivered the first half of the tiles. They apparently have more of a ekru (yellowish) tint than most others we have used. We will mix them with the redder terracotta ones that we have already and it will look real nice on the roof. We are using mixed colors for the window border designs anyway. Tomorrow morning, Lord willing, I will check them over and make payment. 

Today I talked with Lena Venomenovna on Skype, told her how much I have been sleeping with jet lag this time. She said she also has sleep problems when she doesn't pray. She says we are in a real spiritual war. I agree, I do need to pray more. Some other travelers say it often takes as long as a week to get over the 10 hour time difference from California. I am almost back to normal now. 

Wil says the radiation from Japan is getting worse. He recommends a visit to www.stevequayle.com to learn more. 

Monday, April 11, 2011


I have wanted and prayed for a Blog for years. Now I have one! I must learn how to attach it to our www.riverofjoy-crimea.org website next. I suppose it will not be hard. This enablement was quite likely an answer to the prayer of 
a spiritually gifted young lady who I am fellowshipping with on the telephone often since I have returned to Ukraine. Let me explain.

Yesterday, Sunday, the 10th of April 2011 I was at Wil Turner's place doing 
my first high speed internet since my return to Ukraine from the States. 
I had been sleeping in huge and various blocks of time since my return to 
River of Joy site in Ovrashki on the 7th, experiencing serious jet lag and fatigue simultaneously. In short I had really needed some rest.

On that day I had at last gotten enough rest to take the bus into town, get my internet subscriptions renewed, met with my old friend Pastor Valentine Ivanov briefly. Then, shortly after a long walk up Wil's hill with a load of groceries, greeting my octogenarian friend and settling into his basement flat with my now connected computer helping me connect to mother, Judy, and others, 
Lena Anatolievna called me from Donetsk. 

She wanted to share her anointing, her joy, after the Holy Spirit had used her in affecting several miraculous healings of people with serious illnesses. The conversation was not entirely comprehensible as she was obviously spiritually inebriated. She did manage to pray God would heal my legs, or rather command their healing along with all other physical issues I shared...i.e. eyes. 

I remember my own euphoria when I first encountered God's power and presence first hand. At a time like that the words, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." takes on fresh meanings. 

Lena said she was drunk with the Joy of the Lord as she continued. She asked the Lord to fill my cup to overflowing and increase my effectiveness in the Lord's kingdom. I began to experience a series of shocks. The presence of the Lord was with me in a stronger way than I have experienced in years. 

Immediately I walked into Wil's windowless bathroom where he had already explained the light was out. He surmised the switch had a problem. But I looked at the fixture and thought it might be the lamp. I removed the cover, screwed in the lamp tighter..."and there WAS light." then felt as though I had just then been empowered, walking in a new "get it done" anointing. 

Today I took the bus back out here to our River of Joy site...or rather about a kilometer from it then walked in through falling hail. Now it is snowing huge flakes and I am sitting here in the new short sleave golf shirt I bought in California. Jet lag seemed to take me back a whole season!

About a half hour ago Tolik brought me the Lord's supper. His 30 something widowed sister, Irina, who is visiting us, repented yesterday! She has new joy...the joy of the Lord. Tolik said they sang and prayed until 2 AM this morning for the second day in a row. Mercy drops (or flakes) round us are falling! I just know we are on the edge of a great revival. 

Burulcha creek is a full river today and the River of Joy is a wild river.

Lena from Donetsk just called. She is going for an MRI then she plans to visit the cancer ward at a hospital at 6:30 tonight (4 hours from now) to pray for patients with cancer. She asked for supporting prayers...Lord make her an instrument of your grace to those suffering souls. Heal all she touches I pray.

Well, I had better publish thie BEFORE it becomes a book. Please jump on in to the river of JOY. Blog with me here.