River of Joy base from the road

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

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Getting ready for camping season this year was a challenge beyond imagination. Thank the Lord we had an involved building crew who worked up until the first day of camp, waiting weeks for their paychecks without complaint. "The Least of These" Camp started at 1 PM on the 23rd and that is exactly when we had the site ready (except for the balustrade and the water feature... art came after function as we raced to finish.

The first mid-day meal (obed). Borscht on the menu. 44 children and 18 councilors were well shaded by the new ROJ 3 meter by 4 meter umbrellas which God had lead me to JIT.

This first meal was prepared on backup. 

We had a gas explosion as the propane tank regulator was not doing
its job, This was to be only its third year of use! They just don't make 'em like they used to.  The little street stove was toasting in the middle of a dangerous fire! I ran for the new hose and hosed down the tank. Vitali, who heads up TLOT in Ukraine, encircled the garage to turn off the gas. Later Vitali drove Rich Richmond and me to buy a new gas & electric combo stove/oven.  It was a long search through three stores. Not one had what we wanted. We started talking about alternative solutions. Not giving up I called Ibrahim, a wheeler/dealer Crimean Tatar who knows Belogorsk well. He sent us to "Garant," and we bought the stove we wanted there for cheaper than we had seen less desirable units elsewhere...seems to be a pretty good one even if it was made in Turkey. Rich has some gas stove experience so with his help we installed it. TLOT also chipped in for most of the cost! THANK YOU LORD! I ran back to town in a cab for a new gas regulator (which we finally figured out was the problem) while Rich and Vitali rejoined the children and before the evening meal we had a working unit going in our archway/veranda. Now you're cookin' with gas (and electricity).

They called this a four burner stove top, just imagine!
Think we could get by with a smaller unit? 

Marina stirs the chicken soup. It was very good with 
a thick slice of homemade bread.

This, "roughing it,"is almost more than I can take.

In our previous Blogs you may seen pics of this former woodshed
during reconstruction. It is at last finished. with a huge picture window 
and just the right furniture from Northern Ireland Children's Charity Appeal, 
added to mission tile and river rock, it got a five star rating from our first guests.
Amazingly we were able to accomplish this with only about $6000.

The Beit Shalom (House of Peace) Guest Cabin derives its
name from this recent gift from Dr. Yuliya Vyaltseva. She bought this
tile in Jerusalem. We hope guests who stay at Beit Shalom
will experience the peace of God and remember to
pray for the peace of Jerusalem when they see
this message tile over the entry door.

The new picnic patio is lit by three small,street lights.
It is nice having tea here on cool summer nights
Land fill for it came from our water feature excavation and three 
loads of river gravel brought in by local boys with an old Soviet Army vehicle. 
The patio is functional but not finished. It is missing a balustrade,
flagstone paving  to be laid in sand above the present white 
gravel layer and steps to a barbeque that we plan to build down left.   

Getting this all done in the time we had after money arrived was not done at the normal Ukrainian pace.
I worked until 11 painting one night. The next day I saw the guys working at an increased pace themselves.
We are disappointed in one old friend here who said he could get the insulation work done and houses painted before camp but did not do it, so we still have some gray walls that haven't got finish plaster on them yet. Still we have seen the hand of the Lord leading us to materials and people throughout the process of this phase of building. Next steps in our building plan include the first family children's house!

I want to give thanks to our Lord for His wonderful guidance and providence 
during this time of testing. I saw His hand at work in providing transport 
when I thought I was left alone by the side of the road, and in the fun ways 
He lead me to the furniture and materials we needed to make this happen. 
Thanks too to our friends who put up with a sometimes grouchy
 old missionary and for their own efforts that helped 
make this part of our vision come to pass.

Thanks to Judy Martin and our other friends 
in Northern Virginia who raised money and got it to us, 
to my loving, gracious and generous mother Ruth Marion, 
to John and Christine Reed and family who may be joining 
us soon here and gave generously, to all of you who helped 
to the  full extent God lead you to. 
Thanks to Rich and Sherrell Richmond and, 
"The Least of These," staffers, 
who have been great first time guests that make 
our inadequacies their clue to be of help.. 

Next Blog should be more about camp and the people
doing camp here now.

Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths
Proverbs 3:5,6

Maranatha (Hang in there!) David


  1. Praise the Lord! God is alive and good down in Crimea! Of course all over too-- but my heart is soaring for you guys and all the kids at camp who are experiencing his joy! Wow! It looks terrific--- I can hardly contain my smile. :)

  2. everything looks great!!It's great that the kids now are learing about God!

  3. Hi David: Your site is beautiful with Jesis Joy.
    How I would love to visit you, but with my severe peripheral neuropathy, I am very limited in what I am able to do. My wife age 53 is a 4.0 student towards her Masters degree at Jack Hayfords Kings University. I am able to work 2-3 days a week at Costco, so we never go anywhere anymore. I'll be 85 in Nov. Love you much. Dr T

  4. Dr. Thompson, sorry to hear about your trouble with S.P.N. (I will know more after I Google what it is ~ internet medical school :-). BTW, please check out Dr. Blaylock, a neurologist turned nutritionist who sends me great reports on nutritional healing. I guess your financial dreams went south with the economy:-( BE HEALED IN THE MIRACULOUS NAME OF JESuS CHRIST OF NAZARETH. BY HIS STRIPES YOU ARE
    H E A L E D !!!

  5. Love the pictures of the progress and work at River of Joy.... Prayers for the TLOT camp and the upcoming ROJ camps. Joy and Blessings....the children of Manassas prayed for you and River of Joy on Tuesday at our VBS Missions class. :)