August 30, 2007

Introducing Auntie Chris

We'd like to introduce you to Christine Zurbach, also known as Auntie Chris to Gavin and Emma. Chris is from California and has been a missionary in Ukraine for the past 5 years. We have had the privilege of serving with her in Priluki and now here in Chernigov. She's a great girl! Many of you know her and know what we're talking about! Well, Christine just started a blog and I would encourage you to check it out here. Supposedly there is a picture of Jake and myself posing as characters from one of our favorite movies. But you all know that you can't believe everything you see on the internet!

August 28, 2007

Hostage Situation

The 19 left.

Many of you know that on July 19th Korean Christian aid workers where taken hostage in
Afghanistan. Twenty three hostages, all church volunteers, were seized by Taliban militants. Two were executed and two others were freed. There are still 19 being held. Today they reached a deal with Taliban militants to free the 19 remaining. They are asking Korea to withdraw its 200 troops from Afghanistan and that Seoul would stop all Christian missionary work in Afghanistan. I just wanted to post this so more people would be praying for them. This story is not even top news right now. Two dead and 19 people are being held hostage and Owen Wilson is getting more press. Sad! Check out The story and the time line over the past month.
8/29/07 Update
Today 12 more hostages were released. Click here for the full story.
Continue to pray for the remaining 7.
8/30/07 Update
The last seven South Korean hostages are released. Click here for full story.
And here for :Taliban vows more abductions.

August 27, 2007

Coming This Fall

In just a few weeks five of our sister churches here in Ukraine will be heading up to Chrenigov for our second annual Fall Conference. This years topic will be on the church. We will discuss the need for being a part of the church, what God wants happening in the church, and the mission of the church. Please be praying for our church as we plan and prepare to host this event. We are so excited to fellowship and worship together September 21-23. We'll be sure to take a lot of pictures and post all about our time together.

"This church exists for the glory of God. We set our sights on this awesome end in all that we do together." -Mark Dever

August 24, 2007

Props From DG

I introduced you to my good friend and fellow laborer Jake Knotts a handful of posts ago. For a long time he's been really working hard to get good christian authors translated and printed here in Ukraine. Well, John Piper's ministry desiringGod just mentioned Jake on their blog for his efforts to get Piper's books published here. Pretty cool! Anyway, check out DG'sblog and In Lumine the publishing company Jake as started.


A few days ago Gavin and I went into a kids camp called Sedniv, not far from Chernigov. It is a camp for orphans and kids that come from troubled homes. We got the chance to go in with a few others from our church and some friends from another church. We went and did a Bible study, songs, games and crafts. Gavin and I got to run the game station. It is awesome being able to take him with me to these type of things now that he is getting older. As you can see we had a lot of fun and the competition was fierce! Oh, and Alex thanks again for the pictures!

August 23, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

Well, I am back. I got in late Friday night from Budapest. I wanted to update you on what happened, but just haven't had the time. Thank you for your prayers. It is always hard having to be away from my family and it was really hard this time with all of us being sick. Thank God, everyone is starting to feel better. It was a long train trip down to Budapest. It's a 24 hour ride. I was glad to make the trip with my good friend Paul Fournier. He also needed visa's for him and his son. Once in Budapest we managed to make our way over to the Ukrainian Embassy, where they told us that they would not be granting us any visa's. We were told that they no longer give out religious, cultural, or private visa's to Americans with or without an invitation letter. As Americans we can be in Ukraine without a visa for 90 days. After 90 days we must leave and re-enter Ukraine. So, for now our whole family is required to leave Ukraine every 3 months. This news was quite a shock to us because we were told by the same embassy, only a month before, that coming and obtaining a religious visa would be no problem. It was definitely hard to receive this news after being on a hot train for 24 hours, knowing it was going to be just as long of a trip returning home, empty handed. Praise the Lord this only means we need to leave the country every 90 days. It could be a lot worse! It is going to be a hassle, but a very little thing to be able to still serve the Lord in Ukraine. Please be praying that we would be able to buy a car soon. With this new turn of events and others, the need for our family to have a car for ministry and for our sanity is becoming greater and greater.

Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us and supporting us. It was great to get your comments and emails of encouragement. We love you and are very thankful for you.

August 13, 2007

Visa's, Trains, and Sore Throats

Please keep us in your prayers over the next few days. Conor is on his way to Hungary. Him and Paul Fournier are traveling to the Ukrainian Embassy in Budapest in order to renew our visa's. The Fournier's are also in need of new visa's so the guys were able to make the trek together on the train. After a twenty-four hour trip, they should arrive in Budapest on Tuesday morning. Pray that they will be able to get to the embassy during those morning hours and begin the process of renewing the visa's. Pray that we, and the Fournier's, will all be granted long-term visa's. We are trying for four or five years. Pray that the paperwork will go through quickly and Conor and Paul will be able to return within the next couple of days. Pray for their journey home, that they will be able to find a train or bus back to Kiev as soon as possible. Please pray for healing for our family. We are all sick with head colds. Conor left here this morning with little sleep, a sore throat and a cough. The kids and I are all home with the same symptoms. We are so thankful for all of you. We know that God is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine!

August 9, 2007

How Great

How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders! -Daniel 4:3b

August 2, 2007

Visa Time

So, it's that time again. The whole family needs new visa's for Ukraine. We've been trying to figure out the most inexpensive way to get them this time. We need invitation letters. We have looked into getting religious visa's, but we can only get them for one year. We are hoping for four or five year visa's. If anyone knows of an organization where we can get an invitation please send us the information. Our visa's are expired and we only have a couple of weeks left under the visa-free regime. So, if anyone has any information that would be helpful to us we would really appreciate it. We would also really appreciate your prayers during this time. Pray that the Lord would provide everything we need to get them soon.