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!

Medical

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!

Family

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.

Family

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…

Swinging

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!

Family

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!

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!