Vasiliy—In my inbox is an email from Vasiliy who has been coming to our English club. The club officially concluded a week ago, but many of the participants, including Vasiliy, urged us to continue to meet with them for more practice—which, of course, we will. But Vasiliy’s questions go far beyond the English language. In his email, he explains that he wants to know more about the Bible and our church. And he’d like permission to invite some of his friends to join us. *Name […]
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It’s like a Seinfeld plot line…a club about nothing. We invited people to a conversation club where people could come and, well, converse. And, somewhat surprisingly, they came. To talk. About, well, nothing in particular. This fall we organized and wrote curriculum, and then hosted an English club in coordination with our church. We put together a similar outreach in the past, but this one was even more of a success. The official club has already concluded, but due to popular demand, we are continuing with a couple […]
When Jason was asked to lead our church’s missions team, we decided that the most important step was making sure that the team had caught the vision of God’s mission. That way, they will be motivated to share it with the rest of the church. After concentrated teaching, along with many missions projects and prayer services put on by the missions team, several members of our small church have really caught the vision. One just returned from a short-term trip where she was trained in […]
We’ve never seen anyone so excited to receive a Bible. Two days ago, our friend Sergei flipped through the crisp new pages with anticipation. Conversations were put on hold as he explored his new treasure and we explained how the notes and reference materials would help him understand the Scripture. We don’t think Sergei has yet given his life to Christ, but God is clearly moving. We’ve watched as he’s progressed from total unfamiliarity to eager participation in church and anxious desire to read the […]
People often make the opposite mistake about me that Columbus made when identifying inhabitants of the new world. “Dots, not feathers,” is my typical response. But the question, “What tribe are you from?” has always caught me off guard—until this summer. Our family was invited to participate in a Wild West-themed Evangelistic youth camp. (I know that in the States, the theme of cowboys and Indians is taboo, but here it’s, well, different.) That’s how I ended up playing the role of Sitting Bull and […]
Ukraine is expecting the world to descend upon it in just a few short weeks for a Europe-wide football (soccer) championship…and now suddenly, learning English has become an urgent goal. To capitalize on this peak in interest, we kicked off an evangelistic English club though our local church with a tournament theme. Each week’s lesson is hosted in a coffeehouse environment and is geared toward preparing Ukrainians to host foreign guests and communicate with them better. This project was a great way to get the […]
I say the same thing every time I teach. But one student came back and wanted to hear it yet again. Sergei isn’t one of my slow students who needed to repeat a class. He has caught the vision that brought us to Ukraine, and he wanted to soak in its significance for another session. One of the main reasons we chose to serve in Ukraine was because of its strategic potential to be a missionary sending force and a gateway to the rest of […]
Sophie’s 6th birthday was a splash. Rain foiled the plans to celebrate with a fish-themed party by the lake, but we didn’t let that dampen our enthusiasm. Instead, we quickly transformed our living room into an aquarium and had whale of a time with all the small-fry.
It had been 7 years since we last celebrated Christmas with family, and that made it all the more memorable when Jason’s folks made their first trip to Kyiv in December. Winter isn’t the typical tourist season in Ukraine, but the folks braved the cold with us, and were able to experience our normal life rather than the slower pace of summer. This came with the bonus of celebrating Christmas, a visit to the Nutcracker, and holiday shows at the kids’ schools.
Look at this and tell me what you see. Our new pet is named Rorschach because he looks exactly like an inkblot–at least to us! Gazing at our new pet may tell you more about us than about yourself. Although we’d all really love to have a dog, an 8th floor apartment and a traveling lifestyle makes that difficult. So we recently ended up getting an inky-blue Betta fish.Of course, Casey is still convinced that her pet hamster, Reepicheep,* is the family’s mascot. So, for […]
Recently I finished teaching one of my favorite classes, Intro to Missions. Each time I teach it, I get to marinate in the powerful stories and compelling themes that first motivated us to move our lives to Ukraine. One of these stories has forever changed the way I understand Christmas. It is so much more than a quaint historical romance, with its associated religious and political intrigue. It’s the central event of history, in which our missionary God finally lives up to His promises and […]
In July, I had surgery on my Achilles’ Tendon and heel bone, which meant crutches for 2 months (and a wheelchair while traveling). I’m glad to finally be more mobile, and when a good friend asked the other day how my foot was doing, I told him I was still limping on and off. He laughed, which surprised me, until he said, “Isn’t that what limping means–on and off?”