November Update

Our web development marathon is now in the books, but the work continues. We were able to make our goal of importing test data into the application, but the import of the test data exposed some more bugs. (Which is what we expected.) So the development goes on.


Left to right: Nathan, Trevor, and Josh. Nerds for Jesus!

Lately, Josh and I have been dedicating our mornings to working on the Bible First app. We usually have a quick meeting on Skype, talk over what needs to be done, and then jump into the code. Progress is slow, but steady. And of course, Trevor does what he can from his side of the Atlantic.

Bible First

We recently received a note from Catherine, who is translating Bible First into French, saying that she had completed Lesson 3. In addition, the translation into Russian is now 90% complete! There is still a lot of proofing left to be done, but it is exciting to see the progress being made!

Good and Evil

Speaking of proofing, Josh and I just finished proofing Chapter 6 of Good and Evil, and plan to proof Chapter 7 sometime this next week. Tolik is making good progress on the translation, and it looks like he has just about finished translating Chapter 8. So maybe will will be proofing Chapters 7 and 8…? We'll see. There are 13 chapters in all, and our goal is to be finished with the translation by the end of the year.


We had our first taste of winter last week when we got a light dusting of snow. Of course, the girls were determined to go play in it, even though there wasn't much of it, and it was all soaking wet. The girls are still enjoying their school. One of the highlights of the month was a couple of boxes that arrived from America. While there were a lot of Christmas and birthday presents that got set aside for their respective holidays, there was still enough fun stuff left to make it feel like Christmas had come a month early!


Soaking up some beautiful fall weather!

October Update

I'm happy to report that our web development marathon is well underway, and we are making good progress! Josh and Trevor are optimistic that within a couple days, we will be able to start importing test data into the new app. Then we can take things for a test drive and spend the rest of Trevor's time here squashing bugs and ironing out wrinkles. Hopefully by the time Trevor leaves on the 24th, we will be to the point where we are comfortable with importing our actual student data into the app, and we will begin using the app ourselves.

Web development

Trevor and Josh discuss the best way to structure the application.

On a personal note, I am by far the junior developer on the team, but I am excited that I have been able to make some meaningful contributions to our forward progress. As a result of everything going on, my abilities have increased exponentially in the last few weeks, but I sill have a long ways to go. I am looking forward to making more progress in the near future!


Our family is currently dealing with some colds, so we would appreciate your prayers. School is going well. The weather has taken a turn for the cooler and the trees are starting to turn, but according to the forecast, we have a bit of Indian Summer coming our way next week (or Grandma Summer, as they call it over here). It will be nice to set aside the jackets for a few days before the cooler weather sets in for good.

September Update

I've spoken many times in the past about our desire to create a website that would allow people to study through Bible First online. I've also mentioned a young man named Trevor Brown from Florida who is helping to build that website in his spare time. Well, I have two pieces of good news to report on:

  • Trevor survived Hurricane Irma.
  • Trevor is coming to Ukraine for just over two weeks in October to help finish the website.

While the website will still need more work after Trevor goes back to the States, the hope is that we will get it to the point to where we can start using it ourselves. Once we get the bugs worked out, we will open it up for others to use.

While Trevor doesn't arrive in Ukraine until October 8th, we are making a lot of progress on the website as we speak. Now that Trevor's trip is on the calendar, everyone is doing their best to get as much work done ahead of time, so that we can make as much progress as possible while he is in Ukraine.

Good and Evil

Tolik is continuing to make progress on translating Good and Evil. I have been working on converting the text into a format more suitable for translation, and hope to finish that project soon so I can focus on preparing for Trevor's trip.


The big news of the month is that we have officially started school! Katelin has been "unofficially" doing school with the girls for a while now, but now it's official: Katelin and I are homeschool parents, and Melissa is a first grader. Melissa is doing quite well, and is already turning into quite the bookworm!

Birthday cake

Working on Lydia's birthday cake.

August Update

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5)

When the Apostle Paul wrote these words to Timothy, he had something else in mind besides proofing text. Nonetheless, this past month has been a month of just that: proofing text.

For the past two months, Ralph has been working hard to convert the English, Russian, Ukrainian, and Spanish texts of Bible First into Markdown format. This is important because we intend to use the text online in the future, and it also allows us to put the text under version control. (If you want to know what that is, be sure to read Josh's article about Ralph.) Once the text has been converted, it has to be proofed for errors introduced by the conversion process, as well as for mistakes made by the translators.

In addition to the Bible First project, we are also overseeing the translation of Good and Evil into Ukrainian, and the Ukrainian text of Good and Evil is one more thing that has to be proofed. As we work on the translation into Ukrainian, I have also been making a list of suggestions on how to improve Good and Evil which will eventually be sent to the publisher of the English edition.

Proofing Good and Evil

Josh and I proof Chapter 3 of Good and Evil via Skype.

New Team Members

I'm excited to announce that Anatoli and Anastasia Zhylavy have joined the ETO Team! I personally have known them since they were teenagers, and if you'd like to get to know them, you can visit their page on ETO's website. Initially, Anatoli's main responsibilities will be the re-translation of Bible First and Good and Evil into Ukrainian.

The Zhylavy Family

Anatoli (Tolik), Anastasia (Nastia), and their children: Kateryna, Valentyna, Hanna, and Lukian.


Katelin's cast has been off for a month now, and life has pretty much returned to normal, except that she tries to avoid long walks and/or heavy loads. For which I am very thankful. I much prefer being Mr. Dad to Mr. Mom!