Update from Staff in Ukraine

We are getting a lot more information from our staff in Ukraine. I think they are seeing the Western news about what is happening and they feel like they have pertinent information to add.

Below is a summary of a letter we just received. If you are really interested in this, feel free to let me know and I’ll send you the full letter. I’m leaving off the contact info. and names of the people who wrote it so it does not come back on them.

Our dear English speaking friends!

We can`t help but notice that your media does not cover objectively the events in Ukraine those days and we are terrified to see that you might think that what is going on in Ukraine is a threat to the public peace or lives of our people.

Let us tell you just several simple facts and you will see that Ukrainians do not have any other choice but to do what they are doing:
1) On January 16th our Parliament adopted a set of laws that limit the public freedoms so absolutely that no other government in the world has ever turned its country into dictatorship so rapidly before.

2) Those laws were adopted by a severe violation of parliamentary procedure – in THREE SECONDS by the show of hands, the speaker of Parliament proclaimed the law was adopted).

3) One of the laws that I would like to underline specifically – permission for the police to use FIRE GUNS against demonstrators.

4) On Sunday in Kiev, after those laws were adopted, the demonstrants were trying to get to the Parliament to protest against the tyranny, but they were stopped half way by the riot police. Usually the riot police attack, people run away, the police catch lonely runners and beat them severely. This time though the people`s anger made them stay and face the police. the police were shooting rubber bullets and fire/gas/sound grenades. The demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and stones in return.

5) Police seem to not simply following the commands of their commanders, but get personal satisfaction from beating and shooting at people…

6) Jobless were brought in and paid to create an illusion of chaos; damaging property, beating pedestrians, etc

7) our political leaders during those 2 months of the protest have unfortunately showed total impotence in conflict solving,

8) President Viktor Yanukovich is controlling all the governmental branches, including Parliament and Court.

9) there were several “round tables” organized but the government did not really want to negotiate…

10) The government is trying to discredit lawful demonstrants in Ukraine,

Ukrainians are peaceful, very patient and dignified nation with the centuries of history and rich culture… One has got to really cross the line to make a Ukrainian burst with anger. It seems that our government has finally done that…

March Newsletter

Today is the last day of March. I finished our newsletter yesterday and put it in the mail room. I would think they’ll go out today which makes me say “Woohoo! We made it in March!”.

You can download this month’s letter by clicking on this link or by visiting our Newsletter Page.

If you enjoyed getting a glimpse into the life of our Area Team Leaders, Marek and Ala and would like to read more, a much fuller telling of the story is available here. And as promised in our letter, below is a very humorous video that I think shows clearly how humble our CCCI leaders are. They also love to have fun, even when that means poking a little fun at themselves.

(The gag isn’t original to us, it was first done by someone with BBC I think. Here is what I believe is the original. I think the added touch with the Polish is genius though.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

As Ingrid and I sat at breakfast today, she mentioned that this is our fifth Thanksgiving in Florida. It is hard to believe. (On a related note, it occurred to us the other day that Eddie has lived longer in Florida than he did in Arizona. Kind of strange.) We are really hoping this will be our last Thanksgiving here for a while. Not because we don’t like Florida but because we are praying and hoping that we will spending our next few in Hungary.

But in the middle of looking back, and forward, we have so much to be thankful for. God is so good to us, and has really lavished his love on us in too many ways to count. He allowed his only son to die in our place, providing for the forgiveness of our sins. He gave us a beautiful world to live in. He has given us work to do that we enjoy and allows us to share in the joy of people coming into a personal relationship with him. It’s nice to have a day to pause and think about all that we have to be thankful about.

It’s our prayer that you are also able to think about all that God has provided for you. Sometimes it’s hard to see due to the day to day circumstances that can cloud our view of his goodness. But it’s there if we look.

Meals for Haiti

They are setting up downstairs to pack meals for Haiti. Our office consists of 2 main buildings that are each 2 stories tall. (There is a middle part that goes up another two floors but it’s small.) And there is an open section between the floors, so I have a pretty good view of where they’ve brought in the pallets of food and boxes, etc. I tried to get some pics with my phone. They aren’t that great but I’ll put them up here anyway.

Click on any of these for larger version.

There is rice and other ingredients to go into the meal packs. They have tables spread out all over (my picture is just of a few) where the meals will be packed. Then there are boxes for the meal packs.

We are doing this with Kids Against Hunger. If I remember correctly Kids Against Hunger are one of our partner organizations through GAiN, our relief arm. From 11 – 1 today anybody from the office can go down and help pack up meals. Like most of the stuff we do around here families are invited, so soon I’m sure it’s going to be pleasantly noisy as hundreds of people start packing meals.

Super Bowl Breakfast Webcast Update

OK – I was a little confused, some of the information on what to do was confusing and there was just a lot of confusion. This page clears it all up. In a nutshell, to watch the broadcast one needs to sign up for it. It will be available starting Saturday evening, though I think they make a great suggestion – watching it during half time of the game. Though I’d want to double check and make sure it will fit in that time frame. Anyway, if you are interested in watching the breakfast, follow that link and all will be made clear.

Merry Christmas!

We pray that your Christmas is as wonderful and blessed.

Here at the Peck house we were up early, our bed surrounded by eager children. They were apparently completely unaware of the fact that it was still dark out and much too early. But there was no going back to sleep for that crew, and so no chance for us as well.

Last night we attended a wonderful service at church and came home to light the last candle of our advent wreath. We read together about what Christmas means. I’ll leave you with that.

“3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:3-11