L'viv is beautiful in the fall. For a large city, it's quite rich in plant life. Even the downtown area boasts rows of large trees which are now displaying all kinds of vibrant colors. In a way, all these shifting colors remind me of the current state of affairs here in Ukraine. Many things are changing, and as always we are in need of your prayers as we move forward.
If you've been following our ministry for any length of time, then you've heard us speak about the difficulties of obtaining visas and other documents necessary for us to live in Ukraine on a continual basis. One of the biggest problems in this area is the frequency with which Ukraine changes its immigration policies. Guess what? They did it again.
In August of this year, the Ukrainian government passed Resolution 602 which completely revamps the standards for long-term residency in Ukraine. Without getting into all the boring details, I'll simply say that after the new year, we will again be facing some challenges with regards to our position in the country. We've enlisted professional legal help, and at this point we're optimistic that things will turn out well. However, we're not out of the woods by any means, and we would appreciate your continued prayers for us and the many other missionaries whose ministries, homes, and families are in jeopardy.
All things considered, our family is doing well. Despite a recent round of stomach bugs, we've been pretty healthy. Life with three small children is always busy and full of adventures, and our family is no exception. Here's a quick overview of what we've all been up to.
Abby is growing into quite the young lady. She's reached the point that she can now make real contributions to the family by helping Mommy with cooking, cleaning, and watching Hosanna. She's also making good progress in learning Ukrainian. In fact, both girls surprise me from time to time as they pipe up with words and phrases I didn't realize they knew. Abby attends a little pre-school class three times a week at our church, and has made several friends among the Ukrainian children there.
Most of all, we are thrilled to see Abby developing a tender heart towards us and towards her siblings. She consistently exhibits a joyful, obedient spirit and is always looking for ways to please us.
To see a recent video of Abby quoting a poem in Ukrainian, check out Kelsie's new blog, Be of Good Courage.
Our little second-born is not so little anymore. Of late, she's developed a particular interest in cleaning the house. Recently, while I was home alone with the kids, she marched up to me and announced, "Daddy, I'm going to clean the whole house!" And with a little help, she undertook to do just that.
Cutie #3 in our family is crawling! She found her mobility a few weeks ago and is quite the happy explorer. There are few things I enjoy more than to hear her little hands and feet padding along down the hallway, followed by her joyful face turning the corner with big eyes that say, "Play with me, Daddy!"
Mom and Dad
Kelsie and I are of course kept very busy with our kiddos and a growing ministry. But most importantly, we are more in love now than ever before. We recently celebrated seven years of marriage, and had the fun opportunity to spend a few days in Austria together. We both agree that these are the best years of our lives so far. God's blessing is tremendous and we count ourselves quite privileged to have the stewardship of three beautiful children.
As you may have guessed, our big focus in the ministry right now is still Bible First. The Ukrainian course continues to grow, with new students signing up every month. As we announced in our last post, we have now completed our new series of training videos, and we'll be releasing new videos every week leading up to the launch of Bible First in English. Just yesterday, we added a new video to our ministry web site, and we encourage you to take a look!
We're also gearing up for Carpathian Mountain Outreach 2012. While it's still several months away, preparations are already underway, and we have several young men who are serious about coming over for the project. If you'd like to learn more about CMO, please visit our web site and download the Application and Info Pack. If you or someone you know is interested in coming, now's the time to apply!