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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!

May Update

A Trip to America##

America, here we come! Our family is planning a trip to the States for this holiday season. By then, it will have been two and a half years since our last trip home, and we are looking forward to reconnecting with family, friends, and supporters!

Our trip will last from early November to late February. We are planning to stay with family, but it is looking like we will need a vehicle that can accommodate four car seats/boosters during our time in Texas (November, and also mid January through late February). If we can't borrow/buy a vehicle, we are looking into leasing a vehicle from an organization that leases to missionaries on furlough. So if you know of any good options, be sure to contact us and let us know!

Kids in a box

No, we won't be shipping ourselves to America in boxes! BTW, starting with this blog post, you can click on the pictures to get a bigger version.

Good and Evil##

The Good and Evil project is coming along well. We are coming down the home stretch on proofing the translation, and are mainly working on the layout now. We need to have this project wrapped by the beginning of CMO on July 12th, so your prayers would be appreciated!

Carpathian Mountain Outreach##

The CMO project is in the same place as the Good and Evil project. Lots of work to do, and not much time! Pray that we would be able to get all our preparations done in time, and that God would bless CMO.

More specifically, we are planning a trip to the Carpathian Mountains for the week of June 11th to scout out the area we are planning to work in the summer. Our hope is to contact some of the local authorities and make arrangements for the first couple film showings of the project.

Family##

We are currently in the process of renewing our residency permits. So far, everything has gone without a hitch, and by next month, we should hopefully be all ready to go for another year.

Tea
            party

Warmer weather means tea parties on the balcony!

The pregnancy is also going pretty well, but we would continue to appreciate your prayers for a healthy mama and baby. The girls are getting bigger and more helpful by the day, and are looking forward to meeting their baby brother in August!