Back to Ukraine
It's official! The Day Family is returning to Ukraine! We are planning to fly from Houston to Krakow, Poland on February 28, and then continue our journey to Lviv, Ukraine by car. (We can't fly directly into Lviv because Ukrainian airspace is still closed.) Thanks to that final leg by car, this trip is going to be even more of a marathon than the trip usually is!
Marathons notwithstanding, the different components of our return are falling into place. We recently found a buyer for our van, found an apartment to rent in Lviv, and were issued Ukrainian visas. (Because we weren't able to renew our old residency permits, due to not being in the country, we are having to start over from scratch.) Our last few weeks in the States will be full of selling/giving away/packing up our stuff, wrapping up our affairs, and saying our goodbyes.
Please do keep our family in prayer as we return to Ukraine. While most of the big puzzle pieces have fallen into place, there is still a mountain of little things that have to be taken care of. I know everything will come together, but the road is going to feel a bit bumpy at times.
One of the main concerns regarding our return to Ukraine, both for us and others, is for our safety. After all, there's a war going on in Ukraine. And while that is true, the war has not affected all areas of Ukraine equally. There are some parts of Ukraine that are very dangerous. But there are other parts where life continues on almost unchanged as it did before the war, with the exception of the occasional missile strike. But to put things in perspective, in the part of Ukraine that we will be living in, you are about 10 times more likely to die in a car accident than in a missile strike. So while we will be exposing ourselves to a level of risk, we don't feel like it is an unreasonable level of risk.
Since it as been a long time since our last update (again!), there is a lot to catch up on.
Carpathian Mountain Outreach
Carpathian Mountain Outreach (CMO) took place in August. Some parts of the project were different, in part because of a smaller team, and in part because the war had affected some of the ministry we usually do. Overall however, things went well and it was good for me to get a boots-on-the-ground view of life in Ukraine. If you'd like more details, you can read the updates from CMO on the ETO blog. (Currently they are the most recent three posts.)
The 2023 CMO Team. From the left: Hosanna Steele, Bill Thompson, Nathan Day, Joshua Steele, and Abigail Steele.
By far the biggest event of October was when Kiera Joy joined our family! Her birth went off without a hitch and Kiera has been a (mostly) happy, healthy, and easygoing baby. She has recently started to "talk" to us, and everyone loves her!
Christmas in Colorado
In December, our family traveled to Colorado to spend some time with my side of the family. It was also my first time in five years to be "home for Christmas". After getting in lots of quality time with family, we headed back to Texas for the final push.
I recently had some testing done which showed that I've made significant progress in reducing the levels of toxins in my body. There's still some work to be done, but I've talked with my functional medicine provider, and I'll be able to keep working on things while I'm in Ukraine. The best part is that I'm starting to have more days where I feel good! There is light at the end of the tunnel!
People often wonder what the kids' thoughts are regarding returning to Ukraine. While there are people and things they will be sad to leave behind, everyone agrees that they want to go back to Ukraine. In the mean time, however, life continues on. The kids are still working on school, and soaking up the beautiful weather in our backyard.
Be sure to pop over to the About Us page to snag a copy of our newest prayer card!