September Update

Web Development

Just last night, Josh and I were testing a new feature of Bible First Online that makes it easier to sign someone up for Bible First wherever you happen to be, using just a smartphone! Our goal is to finish up a few last features, then recruit some friends to be beta testers while we tie up some more loose ends.

Mobile screenshots

Just tap the Invite Now button, and you get a QR code, or a signup key and web address!

Bible First

While we work on Bible First Online, it is nice to see a steady stream of people finishing the Bible First course. So far this year, about 3-4 people have been graduating each month. We also occasionally get notes and testimonials which remind us that others are using Bible First as well!


New Coronavirus cases in Ukraine continue to rise, averaging about 3,000 per day now. The good news is that new cases in our corner of Ukraine have remained stable.


Cooler weather is returning to Ukraine. It will be nice to have a break from the heat, but that also means that a long, cold winter is coming. This morning, Katelin and the kids were trading out their sandals for shoes and digging out their jackets! Yesterday, Katelin spent the day canning tomatoes. Fall is in the air!

Triple swing

This swing is just right for three sisters!

August Update

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

CMO 2020 went great! At least, as far as I can tell! For the first time ever, thanks to COVID-19, I was not a part of CMO at all. Instead, CMO took place in Colorado and was organized by CMO alumni. To see pictures and read reports, you can visit the Onward for Christ Facebook page.

Bible First Reprint

The reprint of the English Bible First lessons is still in progress. Our graphic designer recently came back on the radar and mocked up some initial designs, so that's a step in the right direction.

Web Development

Web development is also going well. One of the things I recently learned was how to use a new CSS framework called Tailwind that we plan to use in the future. CSS is what makes a website look nice and puts the content of a webpage where it's supposed to go. (If you'd like to see what websites like Amazon or Wikipedia look like without CSS, click here.) In the here and now, however, the CSS framework I was using for this blog was going obsolete. And so I was able to put my newfound skills to good use by replacing the old CSS framework for our blog with Tailwind.


This is what our blog looks like without CSS.


On the one hand, over the last month, new Coronavirus cases in Ukraine have roughly doubled from about 1,000 per day to 2,000. On the other hand, cases in our area of Ukraine have remained fairly stable. We will see what the future holds.


While on the subject of sickness, our family got hit by a nasty virus a couple weeks ago. That's one of the reasons this update is later than usual. But we are thankful to be healthy again.

Aside from the time we were sick, it's been nice for us to start getting back together with friends and attending church in person. School has started again, so that's keeping Katelin and the girls busy. Jonathan recently had his second birthday, and Lydia's birthday is right around the corner!


Soaking up that summer weather!

July Update

Bible First Online

Last month, I mentioned my "continuing education" in the area of web development. That has been going quite well, and I'm looking forward to jumping in to some "real" web development soon!

Bible First Reprints

The reprint of the Ukrainian lessons went great! The lessons themselves look good and so far, we haven't found any typos, so that's always good. I now need to go back and incorporate some suggestions from the translator, but that's a job for another day.

The reprint of the English lessons is in a holding pattern right now. We are waiting on the graphic designer, and he is finishing up a big project, and then hopefully we are next!

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

As you may recall, we had to cancel CMO 2020 because of the coronavirus situation. But in its place, a couple CMO alumni decided to organize their own CMO! It will be taking place next week, so be praying that all would go well.


I mentioned last month that we are living in one of Ukraine's coronavirus hotspots. Gratefully, while our area has remained one of the hotspots, the number of new cases has leveled off, instead of spiking upward, at least for now. Some of the restricitons have been loosened, so we are excited about the pospect of returning to some of the things that have been off-limits for a while now.

Breakfast time

Wake up and smell the oatmeal!


The girls are enjoying their summer vacation! Of course, sometimes they can get a bit bored with all the free time, so Katelin found a online cooking class to do with them, and I got them set up with a typing program. I think there are also plans to learn some sewing skills. So while school may officially be out, the learning continues!

June Update

Bible First

I have several things relating to Bible First to report on, so let's get to it!

Bible First Reprint — English

I mentioned this last month, but we are in the process of combining the Bible First lessons into a single book. That project is moving along, slowly but surely.

Bible First Reprint — Ukrainian

My biggest project for the last month was preparing the updated Ukrainian Bible First files for printing. We hired a designer to do most of the heavy lifting, but that last little bit was still quite a chore! It's kind of like packing your house for a move. At first, things go quickly, but trying to get that last 10% of the stuff in the boxes seems to take forever! Regardless, the job is done, and the printer is doing his thing. Sometime in the next week, we should be taking delivery of our updated Ukrainian lessons!

Bible First Online

We are currently using Bible First Online in our ministry, but before we can open it up for others to use, it needs some work. Josh Steele is currently working on that, and while I could jump in and help, I feel taking a step backwards would be more beneficial in the long run. It's been two years since I've done any serious web development, so I've decided to take some time for a little "continuing education" to freshen up my skills before stepping into the fray.


In general, the coronavirus situation in Ukraine has improved, and the government has relaxed the quarantine. However, some areas of Ukraine have stricter quarantines than others. Our area of Ukraine is one of the areas where the quarantine has remained more strict, and despite that, we have seen quite the uptick in cases in the last week. And while the situation is far from critical, we definitely don't want it to get out of hand.

Time to swing

So nice to be able to play at the park again!


After a cool spring, summer weather has finally arrived, and with it, summer vacation! The girls are almost done with their last few schoolbooks, and then it's time to relax and enjoy the summer!