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April Update

While in the States, we were glad to be able to meet with most of you face-to-face and update you on the ministry. But for those of you that we weren't able to meet with, here is a video version of our presentation.

Also, for those of you that like to hear a missionary preach a sermon, here is a message I shared titled "Salvation by Works".

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

Registration for Carpathian Mountain Outreach 2019 has closed, and we have a group of four applicants: Ralph, Nelson, Kade, and Cornelius. We are very excited about this year's team, and are praying that God would do great things in the lives of both our group, and also in the lives of those we reach.

On a practical note, there are a lot of CMO-related preparations that need to be done before things kick off on June 13th, and we would appreciate your prayers there. One of the bigger things that needs to be done is a scouting trip to the Carpathian Mountains, which will likely happen sometime during the week of the 13th of May. The goal of that trip will be to confirm our target area and schedule the first couple film showings.

Bible First

Over the past several years, we have been developing an website that will allow people to study the Bible First course online. While the functionality for online study is not completely finished, the ability to manage "offline students" is. (Offline students are people who get printed Bible First lessons through the mail).

Before we get too far with the online functionality, we want to make sure the offline side of things is working properly, and we are planning to migrate our students from the old student management application to the new Bible First site this Wednesday. Pray that everything will go well!

Good and Evil

This is not something I have been personally involved in, but God has recently opened the door for our ministry to get copies of Good and Evil into libraries across Ukraine. You can read more about that over on the Steele's blog.

Residency Permits

Our family is currently in the process of renewing our yearly residency permits. So far things are going well, but prayers are always appreciated!

Family

Spring has arrived, and we are happily trading in our winter boots for sandals! The tulips we planted last fall are blooming, and vegetables are sprouting up throughout the girls' garden. Katelin and the girls are getting a lot of school in, and as of a few days ago, Jonathan is scooting across the floor. Look out, world! The baby is on the move!

Planting peas

Planting peas!

A Trip to America

Once again, it's been awfully quiet on the blog. This time, we'll blame it on our recent furlough to America! While we had a wonderful time, it was also very busy as we tried to squeeze everything into about 3.5 short months. What were we up to, you might ask? Here is the rundown:

Family

Far and away, the main purpose for our trip was to see family. We had not seen most of our family in 2.5 years, and I personally had only met 3 of my 8 nieces and nephews!

We kicked things off with a Rebsch Family reunion. The kids had a lot of fun with their cousins, despite the fact that many of them were meeting each other for the first time! Katelin regularly took the kids to their great-grandparent's house, and we spent many happy days at Katelin's Aunt Nora's house, helping with farm chores and living the country life. And last, but not least, we got to spend a lot of time with Katelin's parents, because we stayed at their house!

The Rebsch Family

The Rebsch Family, plus Mema, Papa, and Nora

In Colorado, we stayed with my parents, and several of my siblings still live at home, so we got lots of good family time in there. My brother and his family live not far away, and the kids loved spending time with the Colorado cousins. The rest of the family flew in for Christmas, which was the first time the whole Day clan was together since the last wedding.

The Day Family

The Day Family

Friends and Supporters

Aside from family, it was good to reconnect with friends and supporters. We were able to visit all of our supporting churches, as well as see most of our individual supporters, and share about the ministry in Ukraine, face-to-face.

Medical

Lydia's eyes began to cross a couple of years ago. (It's hereditary, she gets it from her dad.) While in the States, Lydia had surgery to correct the crossed eye. Unfortunately, it looks like she will need a second surgery to fully correct the problem. (About 20-25% of the time, two surgeries are needed.) We would appreciate your prayers as we continue to monitor the situation and look into our options.

Lydia's Surgery

About to head to the operating room

Other Stuff

While some of the things that fall under the "Other Stuff" heading are things like banking, legal matters, etc, most of the "Other Stuff" is just that: stuff. While Ukraine has come a long way, there is still a long list of things that either we can't get in Ukraine, or are just easier and/or cheaper to get in America. Certain foods, electronics, homeschooling materials, clothes, and English books were some of the main things. Imagine cramming a year or two's worth of non-grocery shopping into a few months, packing everything up to ship to the other side of the world, and you'll start to get the picture!

So much stuff

That's a lot of stuff! And that wasn't even all of it!

Back in Ukraine

Despite having a great time in America, our family is happy to be back home in Ukraine, back to our house, our routine, and our ministry. I hope to be caught up on several over-due projects by the end of the month, this blog post being one of them, and start pushing forward on new ministry fronts soon.

Once last thing. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out our new prayer card on the About page!

October Update

While the blog has been awfully quiet lately, the good news is that it hasn't been from a lack of things to write about. Let's get started…

Good and Evil

We had hoped to finalize the files for Good and Evil before Carpathian Mountain Outreach started, but alas, things always take longer than you think. I actually took my laptop on one of our first trips to the mountains to finish proofing an updated version of the print file! CMO aside, we were eventually able to give the printer the green light.

The books were finally delivered toward the end of August around 9:30 in the evening. A small team of volunteers worked into the wee hours of the morning to get the books to their final destination. Except that the "final destination" of these books is not actually our office, but the hands of Ukrainians. And bit by bit, the Good and Evil books are working their way out to their true "final destination". For more info and pictures, be sure to check out the post on the ETO Blog!

Good and Evil unloading

The job is finally finished! Clockwise from the left: Nathan, Yura, Sasha, Taras, Tolik, Joshua.

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

CMO 2018 was our shortest summer project yet (right about four weeks long), but with all we managed to pack into it, it was arguably one of our most intense projects! We had a great team of guys, we are exited to see the fruit of the summer's efforts in the months and years ahead!

The CMO 2018 Team

The CMO 2018 Team. From the left: Tolik, Elliot, William, Nathan, Jessie, Ben, Joshua, Andrew Howard, Andrew Joyner, and Isaiah.

Once again, for more info and pictures, be sure to check out this post by one of the CMO guys on the ETO Blog, as well as the recap of the project.

Jonathan

Jonathan was born just about a week after the end of CMO. He arrived a few days early, but thankfully, not before Katelin's mother, Patricia, made it to Ukraine! (Not sure how we would have done it without her!) All in all, the birth went well. Jonathan is a healthy little guy, and Katelin is doing well also. That said, Jonathan has definitely not been the most easy-going baby we've ever had, and he has kept us busy! I'd say he's at least partly to blame for the lack of a blog post last month!

Jonathan

Welcome to the world, little guy!

Furlough

We will be returning to the States for a visit in just a couple weeks. We will be in Texas for the month of November, in Colorado for December and the first half of January, and then back to Texas for a month. We have a lot to do to get ready, and we would appreciate your prayers for the preparation and a good trip. The bigger our family gets, the harder it is to pack up our life and move it to the other side of the world!

The kids

Jonathan and his adoring fans!

June Update

Good and Evil

Good and Evil is coming down the home stretch! We are hoping to finalize the files this week, and hopefully by next week, get the presses rolling. Pray for no mistakes or typos, or at least a few as possible!

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

CMO starts in just about two weeks! Our scouting trip went well, and we were able to schedule the first three film showings of CMO. We still have a lot to do to get ready, so I am trying to work hard and let tomorrow worry about itself. Please pray for God's blessing on the whole project.

To keep abreast of the action during CMO, be sure to subscribe to the eReport, and like ETO's page on Facebook.

Scouting trip

Tolik, Josh, and I on the scouting trip.

Also, it's highly unlikely that I'll have time to put together a blog post next month, so we'll see you all again in August. (Although it will likely be late August, because the baby is due in mid-August!)

Bible First

Unfortunately, we were not able to finish the website that would have allowed our students to study through Bible First online. We were getting really close, but then we had to set web development aside to finish Good and Evil and prepare for CMO. Hopefully we'll be able to get back to work later this year.

On the bright side, enrollment in the paper Bible First course has picked up recently. Also, Maria and Ralph have finished proofing the Spanish translation of Bible First. All we need to do now is format the text for printing, and/or finish the Bible First website, and Bible First will be available in Spanish!

Family

Our residency permits were renewed, so we are good to go for another year.

Continue to pray for Katelin's pregnancy and a successful birth. We are down to just over six weeks to go! Katelin's mother, Patricia, is coming for a month to help out, and we are hoping that Patricia will get here before the baby does!

Balcony picnic

Time for a picnic on the balcony!