August Update

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

CMO 2019 has been over for a little over a month now, but requests are still coming in! Over the past month, we've received a little over 40 requests for Good and Evil and Bible First. Pray for the literature going out, that it would be read and understood.

Bible First

Now that we are (mostly) recovered from CMO, we are pushing forward on new fronts! We are preparing to print Bible First in not one, but two languages.

The first printing is a reprinting of Bible First in Ukrainian. The new edition will feature a more modern design, more in line with the design of Bible First in English. Some of the earlier lessons have also been revised, and those revisions will finally make it into print. We have been wanting to do this for a long time, but have never gotten around to making it happen.

The second printing will be in Spanish, which will be the first time the whole Bible First course will be available in Spanish! Ralph Villeneuve recently finished laying out the files for printing, and we are working through the files, fixing bugs and working out all the things that will need to be in place before we go to press.

Team News

Joshua and Kelsie had their baby almost month ago, and she is a cutie! Her name is Mia, and our girls are looking forward to meeting her for the first time! (For a while, we were dealing with a stomach flu bug, and had to keep our distance. We are finally over it, though!)


I've heard a lot about record heat this summer, but we have actually had a cooler summer, and we've been enjoying it! That said, with the end of summer comes school, and Katelin and the girls are back at it. Even Briana is getting in on the action, with a bit of beginner's math! (It's mostly just for fun, as she is only 3 1/2.)


Briana enjoys one of the pretty summer days!

We recently celebrated Jonathan's first birthday. He is a big, happy boy who loves to go and do, and he keeps us on our toes. Lydia's birthday will be soon, it's hard to believe that she will be seven! These kids are growing up on us!

July Update

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

It's hard to believe that we are already looking at CMO 2019 in the rearview mirror! Four young men from the US and Canada joined us for our summer outreach, and over the course of four weeks, we hosted film showings in five Carpathian villages, talked to people on the street, hiked the highest mountain in the region, passed out 94,000 tracts in five cities, and preached the Gospel in downtown Lviv. As a result of our efforts, the responses are already rolling in. Since the beginning of CMO, five people have requested enrollment in our correspondence course, Bible First, and around 50 have requested a copy of Good and Evil.

In addition to ministry, we also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the CMO guys and sharing with them some of the things we have learned in our years on the field. All of them are interested in missions work, and some of them may even be joining us in Ukraine in the future!

The CMO Team

The CMO 2019 Team. Left to right: Kade, Nelson, Anatoli, Nathan, Ralph, Josh, Ben, and Cornelius

If you'd like to read more about CMO, I'd encourage you to check out the updates the guys wrote on the ETO blog. For example, here is the report Ralph wrote on the last week of CMO. Also, be sure to check out the photo album for that week.

Team News

Our teammates, Joshua and Kelsie, are expecting a baby about a week from now. I'm sure they would appreciate your prayers for a easy birth and a healthy baby!


Back in March, I reported that Lydia was likely to need a second surgery to fully correct her lazy eye. Well, as of her last checkup, Lydia's eyes have improved to the point that those plans are now on hold. We are now in "wait and see" mode. If things get worse, Lydia may need the surgery after all, but if they continue to improve, we may be in the clear!


After a busy month of summer ministry, we are happy to be a family again! (Daddy was gone a lot more than usual.) That said, now that the girls are getting older, they are able to take part in CMO to a degree. They joined the team a couple times for street ministry, and even went with us to the mountains once to pass out film invitations!

Passing out film invites

Melissa and Lydia pass out film invitations in the village of Lopushanka with Hosanna, Kade, and Ralph

May Update

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

Carpathian Mountain Outreach starts in just under three weeks! Preparations have already begun, but much still remains to be done.

I'm happy to report that our scouting trip went well! We were received well by the village heads we talked with, and we were able to schedule the first four film showings of the summer without a problem.

I won't be posting an update to the blog next month, due to CMO, but if you'd like to keep abreast of the action, be sure to like ETO on Facebook and/or subscribe to ETO's mailing list.

Bible First

As you may remember from last month, we were planning to migrate our existing Bible First students to the new web app we have been developing. I'm pleased to report that the migration was a success, and things are humming along nicely.

There are still a lot of bugs to fix and improvements to build, but at this point, most of them will have to wait until after CMO.

Residency Permits

Just a few days ago, we received our shiny, new residency permits! We still have a tiny bit of paperwork left to do, but at this point, it should be just a formality.


Forget April showers bringing May flowers, this year we seem to be getting our April showers in May! Perhaps "May showers bring June vegetables"? Doesn't quite have the same ring…


Despite all the rain, we have had some nice days!

Jonathan is quickly scooting all over the house these days. Although he's only going to get quicker once he learns how to crawl! The girls recently recited Psalm 23 in front of the whole church. We were especially proud of them, as speaking in front of people is not something that comes naturally for them.

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!


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!