Meet the Newest Member of the Steele Family!

baby-steele-2016-crpToday we are excited to announce that we are expecting a new addition to our family! This week, we had our first ultrasound, and came home with our first photo. Kelsie is about eleven weeks along, and so far everything is looking great. Based on the ultrasound data, our projected due date is January 4, 2017.

Kelsie has struggled with the typical morning sickness and fatigue, and is grateful to be nearing the end of the first trimester. Already she is starting to feel better.

We are grateful to God for entrusting us with another of His little ones!

Parenting Seminar

The January–March issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. You can read the text of this issue in its entirety here in this post, or download the PDF version by clicking the link below.

OFR-Jan-Mar-2016Download the PDF here » January - March, 2016 (1.95 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

 


Parenting Seminar

Kelsie and I recently had the privilege of teaching our very first parenting seminar! Organized by a local church here in L’viv, the event was well attended, and we were excited for the opportunity to address Ukrainian couples on the topic of child training.

Kelsie and I recently had the privilege of teaching our very first parenting seminar! Organized by a local church here in L’viv, the event was well attended, and we were excited for the opportunity to address Ukrainian couples on the topic of child training.

Over the past few months, I’ve often found myself pondering that well-known phrase in Psalm 23… “…my cup runneth over.” It seems God has lately thrown open the flood gates of ministry opportunity for our family. While at times exhausting and even overwhelming, it’s a great problem to have!

One such opportunity presented itself earlier this year when a young lady named Lindsay Blessing contacted us about speaking at a parenting seminar organized by her church. Lindsay’s father Mark is a missionary here and pastor of the church. We’ve been friends with their family for many years and I’ve preached at the church several times in the past.

After praying about the invitation for a few days, we decided to accept. We’d never done an event quite like this before, and we knew it would take a lot of effort to pull it off. But we were also well aware of the potential, and as we prayed, we became increasingly convinced that this was God’s direction.

And so the preparation began. Parenting is a huge topic, and despite being given six 45-minute sessions, we found it challenging to fit in everything we wanted to say.

Kelsie and I are very blessed to have had wise parents of our own, not to mention mentors like Mike and Debi Pearl. Now, after more than ten years of practice as parents, it was exciting indeed to be able to share with others what God has taught our family.

We called our seminar “Joyful Parenting” and structured our material around five “pillars” of successful parenting. These pillars are, in our experience, the areas that have made the biggest difference both in our family and in those we have learned from over the years. If you get these right, your family – and your children in particular – have a good chance of succeeding. The pillars are 1) Strong Marriage, 2) Atmosphere of Joy,
3) Tying Strings (proactively building trust with your children), 4) The Reflection Paradigm (your children tend to be a reflection of you), and
5) Train for Adulthood.

Kelsie and I spent many hours on the couch, huddled around the laptop, typing out our notes. We chatted about our experiences, what we’d learned or read, and what we felt was most important to communicate to new parents.

Finally the day came. Speaking tag-team, in Ukrainian, for nearly seven hours turned about to be both exhausting and very rewarding. I believe God used the seminar to bless these families, and we pray that as a result, many Ukrainian children we will grow up to walk with Jesus.

It’s a great encouragement to see young families train up their children to follow the Lord.

It’s a great encouragement to see young families train up their children to follow the Lord.

Kelsie and I took turns speaking as we progressed through six sessions of material.

Kelsie and I took turns speaking as we progressed through six sessions of material.

The seminar lasted for the better part of a Saturday. It was exhausting but fun!

The seminar lasted for the better part of a Saturday. It was exhausting but fun!

CMO 2016

Summer is approaching once again, and with it our annual project: Carpathian Mountain Outreach. This year it looks like five young men will be joining us from the States as we spread the Gospel here in western Ukraine.

As always, there is much preparation to be done. In particular, we will be printing tens of thousands of tracts. There is housing to arrange, and there are film showings to schedule. Please pray that God would open doors before us as we labor, and that as a result of our efforts, multitudes would come to repentance in Christ.

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Bible First

God continues to bless the impact of our Bible First course both here in Ukraine and elsewhere. Enrollment for our Ukrainian course is now over 700 students, and with CMO approaching, that number is likely to increase significantly.

In the US we are seeing growth as well. Bible First is being implemented in prison ministries, and even as I write this a large order of books has been sent to press.

Additionally, the Lord has provided some extra assistance with the Bible First web app. While there’s still much to do, the development of the software is moving forward rapidly. This software will help churches and individuals manage their own Bible First courses. Lord willing, we’ll see a limited release by year’s end.

UPDATE: Bible First is now available for purchase online from No Greater Joy Ministries. Click the link below for details.

Purchase Bible First

How You Can Pray

  • Pray that much fruit would come as a result of the parenting seminar. Pray that God would open doors for us to do more seminars in the future.
  • Pray that God would bless CMO 2 016, and that as a result many would hear the Gospel.
  • Pray for strength, wisdom, and efficiency as we write code for the Bible First web app.
  • Pray for safety for the Day family as they prepare to return to Ukraine.
  • Pray for strength and wisdom for Kelsie and me as we homeschool our children here in Ukraine.
  • Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.

To God be the Glory!

Meet Oleg

The November/December issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. You can read the text of this issue in its entirety here in this post, or download the PDF version by clicking the link below.

OFR-Nov-Dec-2015Download the PDF here » November/December 2015 (1.69 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

 


Meet Oleg

Oleg Demedyuk is a believer from L’viv. At his request, we recently started a Friday-night Bible study. Currently, we are studying the book of Romans.

Oleg Demedyuk is a believer from L’viv. At his request, we recently started a Friday-night Bible study. Currently, we are studying the book of Romans.

Recently, I received an email from a young man named Serhii whom I discipled several years ago. A friend from Serhii’s church had inquired about finding someone who could disciple him. Serhii suggested that he contact me, and he did.

The first time we met, Oleg shared his testimony, and we spent some time getting to know one another. I explained a bit about what we do here as missionaries, and also suggested some ideas on how we might best spend our time during future meetings.

Normally, when a person expresses interest in studying the Bible, I like to start in Genesis. But since Oleg already had a solid foundation (he’s been saved for several years and faithful in his church) we decided to begin in Romans.

Each Friday evening, we read through a portion of Romans, look up key cross references, and discuss Paul’s teaching.

Oleg has also begun some limited involvement in our Bible First ministry. For example, we recently received a letter from one of our newer students who raised some objections to the doctrine of the deity of Christ. The student offered several verses in defense of her ideas, even going so far as to suggest that Jesus is merely an angel. I showed Oleg the letter, and he did some study on his own, researching the various points in the letter. This of course led to some great discussion on the deity of Christ. We’ve reached out to the student and suggested a Skype call to address her letter, and we’re waiting for a response.

I’m excited about this new discipleship relationship with Oleg, and I would appreciate your prayers for us as we move forward. In particular, pray that God would open clear doors for Oleg and others like him to become involved in the Bible First ministry.

Family Update
Here at the Steele household – which some of our Ukrainian friends warmly refer to as “Joshua’s Kingdom of Ladies” – there’s never a dull moment. Our little girls are steadily growing into little ladies, with Abigail in particular taking on more and more responsibility in the home.

From the left: Rebekah, Kathryn, Abigail, Hosanna. It’s hard to believe that Kathryn is nearly a year old!

From the left: Rebekah, Kathryn, Abigail, Hosanna. It’s hard to believe that Kathryn is nearly a year old!

Kelsie has crafted an excellent school program, and each morning finds the children happily (most of the time) seated at their desks, working through their assignments. In the afternoon, Abby and Rebekah have a few add-on subjects, such as typing lessons and a Bible class with Dad on Fridays.

It’s hard to believe that Kathryn is nearly a year old! As I write this newsletter, she is just beginning to walk on her own. Her smiles bring no end of joy and laughter to our family!

On Thanksgiving, we all had a “ball” at the bowling alley!

On Thanksgiving, we all had a “ball” at the bowling alley!

Our little girls are quickly becoming little ladies. :)

Our little girls are quickly becoming little ladies. :)

Bible First
We are excited to report that God is continuing to bless the impact of Bible First in Ukraine! In particular, our prison ministry is growing. In fact, since CMO ended this past summer, we’ve been enrolling an average of one new student almost every day!

Trevor Brown and I are also continuing our programming efforts, working diligently to bring Bible First to the web. We feel that making the course available in electronic format will open many new doors to reaching the lost for Christ.

Next Summer…
Registration for next year’s Carpathian Mountain Outreach project is now open! CMO 2016 will begin on June 20, and the deadline for submitting applications is April 1. We’ve also put together a brand new CMO web site! Check out all the latest details at www.cmoproject.org. As always, we appreciate your prayers for this ministry, and for the young men who are even now making preparations to come.

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How You Can Pray

  • Praise the Lord for Ukrainians who are hearing the Gospel as they study the Scriptures with Bible First!
  • Pray for a strong team for CMO 2016.
  • Pray for Oleg and I as we continue our discipleship meetings.
  • Pray for strength and wisdom for Kelsie and I as we homeschool our children here in Ukraine.
  • Pray that God would continue to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ through the Bible First outreach.
  • Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Gaining New Ground

The September/October issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. You can read the text of this issue in its entirety here in this post, or download the PDF version by clicking the link below.

OFR-Sep-Oct-2015Download the PDF here » September/October (2.1 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

 


Gaining New Ground

Several of the CMO 2015 team hike towards a new set of buildings during a literature campaign.

Several of the CMO 2015 team hike towards a new set of buildings during a literature campaign.

This summer marked our 9th CMO project! When we first embarked down this path back in 2006, I had no idea how far the Lord would take it. Each year, He continues to bless this outreach, bringing new laborers into the field and new fruit for His glory.

One of the things I look forward to most during CMO is visiting new cities. While our team always spends a fair amount of time ministering in our home town of L’viv, we are focusing more and more on branching out to establish beachheads in other towns.

Before CMO began this year, we had our eye on a mid-size city called Khmelnytskiy. This city, with its population of nearly 300,000 people, is an oblast center located about four hours west of L’viv, and one that we’ve not previously visited. When I checked our database at the beginning of the summer, we had one student in Khmelnytskiy. Now, after conducting a three-day literature campaign there in mid-July, we have five.

But what are five people among 300,000? Maybe not much in terms of numbers, but they are a start. Over the years we’ve learned that we don’t necessarily need to reach everyone up front. We just need a foot in the door, so to speak. Once we establish a presence in a city or village, there is significant potential for our student base to grow.

Year after year, our stats continue to demonstrate that around 40% of all our Bible students enroll via word-of-mouth recommendations. These are people with whom we never had any direct contact who are now reaching out to us with a desire to study the Word of God. And as Paul reminds us in Romans 10:17, “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

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New Fronts
In addition to the growth we are seeing in Ukraine, there is another type of multiplication that we are equally excited about. The men who come to CMO each summer are going on to establish their own ministries in the US and even in other countries.

For example, James Slice, who served with us last year, has just returned from several months of Gospel ministry in Egypt. In addition, he and his brother are operating their own Bible First! course in their home state of Georgia.

Men from the CMO 2015 team are also moving forward in ministry. Emanuel Schrock has already conducted literature campaigns of his own since returning from Ukraine, and he is currently studying linguistics in preparation for mission work overseas. Adam Hall is getting ready to spend a year in northern Africa with a mission work that’s previously been established there. The Henderson family continues to build their Bible First! course in Minnesota, and they’ve been involving other believers in outreaches in their community.

The CMO 2015 team. From the left: Isaiah, Emanuel, Caleb, Ben, Nathan, Joshua, Joe, and Adam.

The CMO 2015 team. From the left: Isaiah, Emanuel, Caleb, Ben, Nathan, Joshua, Joe, and Adam.

As always, your prayer support is greatly needed! Pray not only for our team here in Ukraine, but for these who are entering new fields, proclaiming the Lord to men and women who do not yet know Him.

How You Can Pray

  • Praise the Lord for new ground gained this summer in the advancement of the Gospel!
  • Pray for the CMO men as they continue their ministries in the US and around the world.
  • Pray for the Day family as they prepare to travel to the US for the birth of their third child.
  • Pray our staff here as we deal with the large quantities of mail we are receiving from our Bible students.
Nathan Day and Adam (a young man from the east of Ukraine) distribute Good and Evil books in a gypsy village in the Carpathians.

Nathan Day and Adam (a young man from the east of Ukraine) distribute Good and Evil books in a gypsy village in the Carpathians.

One of our larger film showings this year in the mountains

One of our larger film showings this year in the mountains

Preaching the Gospel after the showing

Preaching the Gospel after the showing

Happy to have a Good and Evil book!

Happy to have a Good and Evil book!

When God Provides

The March/April issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. You can read the text of this issue in its entirety here in this post, or download the PDF version by clicking the link below.

OFR-Mar-Apr-2015Download the PDF here » March/April 2015 (2.29 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

 


When God Provides

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After nearly seven years living in a 775 square foot apartment, God has graciously provided the Steeles with more living space! We’d like to share with you the story of how God recently led our growing family to a new home in L’viv.

When we arrived back in L’viv on February 20, we had one item on our to-do list that overshadowed all the others: find a bigger place to live. Our little apartment on Tychyny St. had been a wonderful home, and was itself a God-send back in 2008 when we found it. But after Kathryn was born late last year, Kelsie and I knew that it was time for a change of address.

For those of you who’ve never lived in L’viv, the idea of moving to a flat with a bit more space might seem straightforward. Sadly, it’s not. While one and two bedroom apartments are relatively easy to find (assuming you’re not picky about their condition) larger apartments are much rarer. Finding a home for an American family of six that was in decent shape, located near the city, and reasonably priced, threatened to be a daunting task indeed, and one that could stretch out for weeks or even months.

Yet nothing is impossible with God. As we have experienced time and again, God loves to lead His children to green pastures, providing for their needs at just the right time in ways that often astound.

So without further ado, here’s the blow-by-blow of how God blessed us with a new home that fits our needs better than we could have hoped.

Monday, February 23 – We’d been in Ukraine all of three days. That morning I had a meeting with our attorney to discuss the upcoming renewal of our residency permits. As we were finishing up, I mentioned to him that we would like to begin searching for a new apartment. His daughter, Victoria, is a realtor and he promised to pass along my request. As I returned home to continue unpacking from our trip, I had no idea how quickly things were about to move.

That very afternoon, I received a call from Victoria. She had gotten the message from her father, and now she wanted to know more details about what we were looking for. Location? Number of rooms? Cost? I gave her some general criteria, but emphasized that we were willing to be flexible. We haven’t been apartment hunting for ourselves in several years, and I wasn’t sure what we’d find on the market.

Tuesday, February 24 – To my surprise, Victoria called and said she had found a large apartment right in our region that was for rent. When could we come and see it?

The building where our new apartment is located.

The building where our new apartment is located.

Wednesday, February 25 – At the agreed upon time, Kelsie and I went to the address Victoria had provided us. It was only about a five-minute drive from Tychyny, and almost across the street from the apartment that ETO rents as our “Ministry Center”!

The wooden staircase leading up to the second floor of our apartment.

The wooden staircase leading up to the second floor of our apartment.

Victoria was waiting on the street with the owner, and together we went inside. To say that we were surprised by what we saw would be an understatement. We had been told that it was large. Victoria thought it had four rooms? But when we entered, we found that there were five rooms, plus a dining room, and TWO BATHROOMS! (In my fourteen years in Ukraine, I’ve never lived anywhere that had two bathrooms.) Also surprising was that this apartment was actually two stories!

The price was significantly more than what we had been paying, but it was still in the range we could afford. We tried not to look too shocked, and after taking some measurements, we told Victoria we would call her back later that day.

Since the Ministry Center was just a couple of blocks away, Kelsie and I walked over there to discuss our options. We went through our list of criteria and, scarcely able to believe it, found this apartment met almost every single one: great location, lots of space, interior in overall good condition, good plumbing and electrical (good-bye aluminum wiring!), attic area for storage, access to internet, close proximity to parks/play areas for the kids, water tank to ensure all-day water access, etc, etc, etc.

Needless to say, we called Victoria back with a positive answer.

Thursday, February 26 – At 2pm, we sat down and signed a one-year lease for an apartment well over twice the size of our previous one. We had been in Ukraine for six days.

Let the “Remont” Begin!
The Ukrainian language has a wonderful little word that translates “remodeling job”: remont. Even the Americans here use the word remont in everyday speech, partly because it’s short and easy to say, and partly because it seems everyone is either doing a remont or needs to do one.

Nana helped with everything from painting to dishes to homeschooling kids!

Nana helped with everything from painting to dishes to homeschooling kids!

Our new place didn’t actually need much repair, but it did need paint. So for the next week and a half, I worked with my mom and several members of the ETO team to repaint the house.

This brings up another amazing (at least to us) part of this story: all of this happened while my mom was still with us in Ukraine. We had tried to plan her trip such that *maybe* we could find an apartment and fix it up and move during her stay. For that we allowed six weeks, although at the time, it seemed like quite a long shot. As it turns out, had we known exactly what would transpire in advance, we could not have picked better dates for her trip.

As the painting progressed, we began slowly ferrying our belongings over in Jessie’s van, which he graciously allowed us to use throughout this time.

Moving Day
Finally, the remont was finished and it was time to move. We packed everything in advance, wrapped all our furniture in plastic film, and steeled ourselves (no pun intended) for what promised to be a whopper of a work day.

Moving day. The guys we hired said that in all their years in the moving business, ours was the biggest job they’d ever had!

Moving day. The guys we hired said that in all their years in the moving business, ours was the biggest job they’d ever had!

At Tychyny, we lived on the tenth floor. And the elevator is barely large enough for four people. And we have a piano. 🙂

Our last move happened right in the middle of CMO, and thus we had lots of help. This time around, I wasn’t too excited about carrying everything I own down 22 flights of stairs on my back. So we hired a moving service.

A few days before the move, two young guys came over, glanced briefly around the apartment, and told us they could do it for 200 grevenas ($8) an hour.

On the day of the move, they arrived at 8am sharp. They worked all day long, helped by me and two other guys from our team. When they finally carried the last of our belongings into the new house, it was past midnight. Exhausted, they told us that it was by far the largest job they’d ever had.

Taste and See
2015-02-26 15.20.14For our family, stories like the one I’ve just told are highlights in our walk with the Lord. They are our own little Red-Sea-crossings, miracles that remind us that we follow a God who is both powerful and kind. He is a Father who loves to do good things for His children.

In the weeks leading up to our move, our family had been memorizing Psalm 34. The first time we went to see our new apartment, Kelsie noticed that it was number 34, a not-so-coincidental reminder to us of the many times we have tasted the goodness of our God. “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8)

This is the first house we’ve ever had that has a dining room. Great place for family meals... or for homeschooling kiddos!

This is the first house we’ve ever had that has a dining room. Great place for family meals… or for homeschooling kiddos!

Plenty of room in the kitchen.

Plenty of room in the kitchen.

Now the kids actually have a place to put away their toys. :)

Now the kids actually have a place to put away their toys. :)

Space for dad to have his office at home!

Space for dad to have his office at home!

An 8-man CMO Team
The roster for CMO this year is filling up quickly! As of this writing, we have six men confirmed to come for the project. Adam, Isaiah, Ben, Joe, Caleb and Emmanuel will be joining Nathan and I in mid-June for six weeks of literature campaigns, film showings, mountain travel and hands-on missionary training.

This will be our 9th CMO project, and while we’ve covered lots of ground in years past, there is so much yet to do! As Christ admonished His disciples in Matthew 9:37-38, “…The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” God is calling new laborers to the fields of Ukraine this summer, and we ask you to pray for them, for our staff, and for those we will reach.

So that you can be more informed as you pray, we would like to encourage you to visit our web site (www.euroteamoutreach.org) and subscribe to our email newsletter. During the off-season, we send emails infrequently, but during the summer there will be updates nearly every week, written by various team members.

How You Can Pray

  • Praise the Lord for His provision of a larger apartment for our family!
  • Pray for Adam, Isaiah, Ben, Joe, Caleb and Emmanuel as they travel to Ukraine in June.
  • Pray that God would open the hearts of Ukrainians this summer as they hear the Gospel preached.
  • Pray that God would continue to bless and expand the impact of Bible First! in Ukraine, the U.S. and other countries.

To God be the Glory!

 

Welcome, Kathryn Grace!

The January/February issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. You can read the text of this issue in its entirety here in this post, or download the PDF version by clicking the link below.

OFR-Jan-Feb-2015Download the PDF here » January/February 2015 (1.92 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

 


Welcome, Kathryn Grace!

Kathryn Grace Steele

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of our fourth daughter, Kathryn Grace Steele! Kathryn was born on December 30, 2014 at 12:00am. She was 20 and 3/4 inches long and weighed 8 lbs., 12 oz.

Last spring, when Kelsie and I learned that we were expecting a baby, our first task was to decide where to have the birth. Given the complications we experienced during Hosanna’s birth, we felt that this time it would be wisest to come home to the U.S. We’ve been here for nearly five months now, and God has blessed tremendously. Kathryn was born at my parent’s home in Texas, and both mother and baby are recovering quite well. Our midwife, Judith Hynds, and her assistant Jenee Ohrvall, did an outstanding job, and we highly recommend them both!

Kelsie did have some trouble delivering the placenta, but we were able to transport her to a local hospital and in a few hours everything was taken care of. While this was definitely one of Kelsie’s hardest births from a labor and delivery standpoint, we are grateful that God led and protected us as He always does.

In just a few days, our family will be flying back to Ukraine to continue our ministry. Although the political situation there remains tenuous, we’re grateful that L’viv is far removed from the violence. We’re also excited to report that over the past few months, we’ve seen a significant increase in requests for our Bible materials! My inbox fills up daily with emails from people enrolling in our Bible First! course or requesting copies of the book Good and Evil. We are optimistic that God will use this time of turmoil in Ukraine to turn many to Himself. Please continue to pray with us as we communicate the message of Christ to these precious people!

(HINT: More baby photos at the end of this post!)

CMO 2015
This year’s CMO project is on track to begin June 15th. As I mentioned above, the military conflict in Ukraine has caused many to give greater consideration to the things of eternity, and we believe that we are facing a special door of opportunity to sow the seed of the Gospel on fertile ground. We’re praying that God will raise up a strong team of young men to help us preach Christ in Ukraine this summer!

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The deadline to register for CMO 2015 is May 1, so if you or someone you know is interested in coming, please contact us right away! And of course, please continue to lift up our team in prayer as we make preparations for the summer.

Bible First! Update
Our list of Bible First! graduates in Ukraine continues to grow, with the majority professing faith in Christ and expressing interest in receiving more of our materials in the future. One of our next major objectives is to make Bible First! available online, and to this end we’ve begun developing a web-based application that will allow anyone world-wide to begin and manage their own Bible First! course. This application will open the door to allowing our Ukrainian graduates to begin their own indigenous ministries, reaching their fellow Ukrainians using the same materials that brought them to Christ.

Trevor Brown and I spent a week getting the Bible First! online project started.

Trevor Brown and I spent a week getting the Bible First! online project started.

In late January, we were very blessed to have Trevor Brown, a software developer from Florida, visit us in Texas for an entire week. Trevor and I spent many hours writing code to get the Bible First! app on its feet, and while there is still much to do, we made a great start! Trevor will continue to work with us remotely as we develop this software.

How You Can Pray

  • Pray for our family as we depart for Ukraine on February 16th.
  • Praise the Lord for His protection and provision surrounding Kathryn’s birth!
  • Pray for this summer’s outreach, CMO 2015.
  • Pray for the development of the Bible First! web app.
  • Pray that God would continue to bless and expand the impact of Bible First! in Ukraine, the U.S. and other countries.

To God be the Glory!

Beka, Abby, and Hosanna greet their new little sister.  No happier group of future mommies was ever seen!

Beka, Abby, and Hosanna greet their new little sister.
No happier group of future mommies was ever seen!

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Kathryn meets her cousins!

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Smoky Mountain Shindig

The September/October issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. You can read the text of this issue in its entirety here in this post, or download the PDF version by clicking the link below.

OFR-Sep-Oct-2014Download the PDF here » September/October 2014 (1.91 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

 


 Smoky Mountain Shindig

 

ofr-shindig-cover

This September, Kelsie and I took part in No Greater Joy’s Smoky Mountain Shindig. Over 2,000 people gathered for an unforgettable conference filled with solid Bible teaching, singing, fellowship, games, and encouragement.

When Michael and Debi Pearl heard we were coming to the US for the birth of our baby, they invited Kelsie and I to speak at their third annual Shindig, scheduled for September 10-14. We agreed to come and were blessed beyond all expectation! While there isn’t room here to give a full report of all that happened during the conference, I’d like to share a few of the highlights.

The Shindig was held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. Nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, it turned out to be the perfect venue for a conference that we believe was used of God to bless and encourage a multitude of families.

Mike presented an outstanding series on addiction and the brain. He shared many intriguing scientific discoveries which vividly demonstrate the terrible physiological effect sinful behavior has on our brains. He also showed that, while science can offer an accurate explanation of the damage sin does, only Christ can offer freedom to those in bondage.

I spoke at two of the main sessions, teaching on forgiveness and how to discern God’s direction. Kelsie spoke to the ladies about her experiences as a wife on the mission field. There were also many other speakers at the Shindig, including Nathan Pearl, Rick Batson (missionary to the Philippines), T.J. Slayman (missionary in SE Asia), Shalom Brand, Debi Pearl, and Mel Cohen.

In addition to the teaching sessions, there were family activities, sporting events, and gatherings for singles. In past years, there have been many new marriages which came about as a result of young people meeting one another for the first time at a Shindig.

NGJ also set up an exhibit hall where vendors could sell various products and services for families. Bible First! had a table there, and we were excited for the opportunity to share our vision with many who were interested in evangelism. One man who stopped by our table has already been using Bible First! materials in a prison here in the US!

If you’d like to learn more about the Shindig, be sure to visit www.nogreaterjoy.org/shindig. All the sessions were recorded on video and I believe they will be made available soon.

Missionary to Egypt
james-sliceThis year, we had just one CMO guy who joined us from the US. His name is James Slice, and he is now preparing to go as a full-time missionary to Egypt. Even before coming to Ukraine, James had his eye on Egypt, and has spent more than a year studying Arabic.

We ministered side-by-side with James for two months in Ukraine, and I can say with conviction that he is one of the most committed and faithful men who has ever served on a CMO team. I speak for the entire board of Euro Team Outreach in saying that we heartily recommend him as man of integrity who is stepping out by faith to obey God’s call on his life.

If you would be interested in supporting James financially or simply want to know more about his work, you can contact him via e-mail at
[email protected].

Family Update
Following a busy month of travel and speaking engagements in September, we’ve been enjoying some rest and fellowship with our extended family. Right now we’re staying with Kelsie’s parents, the Powells, and in early December we’ll be heading back to Fort Worth where we’ll spend some time with my parents and prepare for the birth.

Our fourth daughter is due to be born on December 19th, though past experience suggests that she’s more likely to come in the form of a Christmas gift. Either way, we’re thrilled to be receiving yet another little one from the Lord. Please pray with us for strength, health and safety for Kelsie and the baby.

How You Can Pray

  • Pray for a strong team for CMO 2015. Details are available now at www.CMOproject.org.
  • Praise God for over 50 Ukrainian graduates from our Bible First! program!
  • Pray for health and safety for Kelsie and our new baby.
  • Pray for Nathan Gregson as he serves with our staff team in Ukraine. (Nathan is a former CMO team member who came for the 2013 project.)
  • Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.

To God be the Glory!