Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jer-Bear turns five!

Our little Jer-Bear is five! He brings so much joy to our lives. Here are some of our favorite pics...

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wake Up! Youth conference

We are preparing for our fall youth conference here in Kaharlyk. The Lord has laid on my heart the verses in Romans 13:11-14. The theme...Wake Up! These verses have been on my heart for some time. They are an incredible motivation and encouragement to keep looking ahead...heaven will soon be here. In light of our salvation, let us continue to live it out daily as we look forward to His return. The date is scheduled for Nov. 21. The conference will include about 5 or 6 other youth groups from nearby villages. Our youth team is putting all the peices together and serving with joy. Please pray the Lord will open hearts to Wake a deeper understanding, and commitment to follow God.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Josie has a blog

Josie created her own blog, if anyone would like to check it out!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ministry Video 2009

This is a video of our ministry in Ukraine over the past year.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Visit with Zhenya

Zhenya came to our door wanting to spend the night. Our policy has been she needs to call in advance, we are trying to teach her responsibility in the process. She lives about 9 km from Kaharlyk in a small village and said she walked accompanied with her dog. She was dirty, tired and hungry. We fed her, she took a shower and stayed the night in the guest room. She said she came because people in her village don't like her and she was being hit. I'm not sure I totally believe that as we are still having trust issues with her. She is no longer going to cooking school but has decided that working will be much better. She has recently gotten a job in Kaharlyk's cookie factory. I pray she will hold on to the job and not quit for lack of interest or unrealistic reasons. She is an orphan, and she is at risk as an adult. She is learning what it means to live on her own and be self sufficient. We pray the Lord would change her heart to seek Him and then open her eyes to follow and trust Him. It's going to be a difficult road for her.

After lunch and a trip to the playground with the family, Jaden and I took her back to her village. She lives with a very old babooska in a very old house. They have no running water and no gas, just electricity. There is a well located 50 meters from the house where Zhenya says she carries buckets back to her home. Zhenya took me on a tour of her house. (I think this house used to be one of her relatives that died and was passed on to her.) Her room is 8' x 5', just big enough for some cushions she uses for a bed on the floor. Posters and artwork are hanging all over the wall. Many of them are black and white paper printouts of friends. She showed me her kitchen and living room and the bed where the babooska sleeps. It was humbling for me to see such unsanitary conditions and to think someone could live that way. It was a good eye opener for Jaden as well to see what village life looks like.

We have been blessed so much and often can be blinded by the desire for more. This was a good reminder to be thankful in ministry and continue to love to lost and the poor.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back Home...

Well, we are back in Ukraine and settling in after our 6 week furlough. Our time in the States was great! It was wonderful to see our friends and family and we have come back to Ukraine refreshed and encouraged. Aside from catching up with people, our family spent a lot of our time in the water. Our kiddos became quite the little swimmers. Another highlight of our time home was a road trip to California where we visited Sea World, Lego Land and the beach. Here are some our favorite pics of our time at the beach...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Enjoying our time in the States...

We are enjoying our time on furlough in America, spending precious time with friends and family. The first two weeks of our trip we spent in Colorado. It was very relaxing and the kids had a great time playing with their cousins and old friends. The weather was a bit weird, with some hot days mixed with some major rain storms. So, now we are in Phoenix and loving this HOT weather! The kids have been in the pool often and they are loving being with Mimi and Poppi. It will be a busy few weeks, but we are already feeling refreshed and rested! Three more weeks and we return to Ukraine!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Misssion Team from Arizona

Pastor Chris Ward from Calvary Chapel Maricopa Arizona recently came to Kaharlyk once again. This time he brought a team of 9 excited youths and leaders ready to serve and be a blessing to those they would encounter. We had a great time with the team worshiping, patching walls for our future coffee shop and helping the elderly with some much needed jobs. They finished up their 2 week outreach with Camp 120. I liken it to Survivor Ukraine. It's basically a week long camp for Ukrainian Christian youths and takes place on an island off of the Dnipro river. It's truly "roughin' it", camping in tents and fighting off mosquitos, but it is definitely a highlight of the year. The team had a great time hanging out with the Ukrainian youth and made it through a very unique camping experience!

Looking back, Christy and I were truly blessed by this team and their love for the Lord. We know that God worked through them in ministering to others, as well as in their own hearts. Many of them have already discussed a future trip possibly in the winter or next summer. Either way, we would love to see them again.

For more stories and pics check out their blog

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Servant Leading in Action

Our Youth group planned a trip to visit our friends in Venihorodka 3 hrs away. The church purchased a rundown dormitory from a closed sugar factory a while back. Their desire is to have kids camps in it and use it for the glory of God. The building is in desperate need of repair and there is lots of work needed. We planned a 2 1/2 day trip to serve and help clean the building in preparation for a kids camp in Aug. We joined our friends and and geared up for the big tasks ahead. The days were spent sweeping, patching walls, painting doors, drawing murals, cleaning carpets and landscaping. I shared about servanthood and that we work as though we are working for the Lord not as unto man. It was great to see the students in action...they did a great job. We spent the evening at a local quarry that has been turned into a lake. Never thought I would be able to pile 14 people into my 7 passenger record! We enjoyed swiming and cliff jumping. We came back to camp and spent the rest of the evening around a campfire eating sala, and singing worship songs. Looking back I was truly blessed to serve alongside these hard working youth. My prayer is that their relationship with God will continue to deepen and they will see some of the fruits of their labors on the kids faces next month. Those students who came to serve will also next month be counselors so teaching them servanthood before leadership is huge.