2013 in Review

2013 has flown by and there has been ministry around the world that we have been involved with.  We look back on this year with great thankfulness for all that God has done.

January –

Bria was invited to sing as part of a Christmas concert at the Lviv Philharmonic

Bria was invited to sing as part of a Christmas concert at the Lviv Philharmonic

Krista returned for a final year of studying at Gateways Training School in Cyprus (pictured with her class)

Krista returned for a final year of studying at Gateways Training School in Cyprus (pictured with her class)

February –

We had a Valentine's celebration at English club, which is held every Wednesday evening

We had a Valentine’s celebration at English club, which is held every Wednesday evening

We asked for donations of Bibles for English club.  Your response was overwhelming!  They are getting a lot of use at English club, and will also be gifted to some during the early part of next year.

We asked for donations of Bibles for English club. Your response was overwhelming! They are getting a lot of use at English club, and we will also begin gifting them to people during the early part of next year.

Krista continued her studies in Cyprus

Krista continued her studies in Cyprus

March –

Bria left Ukraine for a 7 month trip to the States to work on recording music

Bria left Ukraine for a 7 month trip to the States to work on recording music

Our family celebrated the 20th anniversary of our move to Ukraine

Our family celebrated the 20th anniversary of our move to Ukraine

Krista spent a month, serving in Israel with her school

Krista spent a month, serving in Israel with her school

April –

Bria began working in the studio, finishing up her 5-song EP.

Bria began working in the studio, finishing up her 5-song EP.

Lindsay began organizing our church's first nursery - buying supplies, recruiting and training volunteers, etc.

Lindsay began organizing our church’s first nursery – buying supplies, recruiting and training volunteers, etc.

Krista continued studying...and serving...in Cyprus

Krista continued studying…and serving…in Cyprus

May –

Lindsay helped host our first World Race team of 2013.

Lindsay helped host our first World Race team of 2013.

Lindsay helped organize, and participated in, a human trafficking awareness project with Lviv Abolitionists, the group Bria started.

Lindsay helped organize, and participated in, a human trafficking awareness project with Lviv Abolitionists, the group Bria started.

Krista's school went on outreach to Ireland and Scotland, where she got to minister in many different ways

Krista’s school went on outreach to Italy, Ireland and Scotland, where she got to minister in many different ways

We began ministering weekly in an orphanage for children newborn - 3 years old.

We began ministering weekly in an orphanage for children newborn – 3 years old.

June –

Krista graduated from Gateways Training School!  Dad & Mom surprised her by going to Cyprus for her graduation.

Krista graduated from Gateways Training School! Dad & Mom surprised her by going to Cyprus for her graduation.

Upon returning to Ukraine, Krista joined the team to help host our second World Race team.

Upon returning to Ukraine, Krista jumped in, helping to host our second World Race team.

Bria got her first album printed - a 5-song EP.

Bria completed & printed her first album – a 5-song EP.

July –

Harvesting the garden started and lasted 3 months.

Harvesting the garden started, and continued for 3 months.

Canning and freezing also started, and continued for 4 months.

Canning and freezing also started, and continued for 4 months.

We welcomed Daniel & Becky (front left, pictured here at English club)

We welcomed our friends, Daniel & Becky (front left, pictured here at English club)

August –

IMG_2920

Krista stepped into the role of Sunday School director (ages 5-12) at Living Word Church

Lindsay worked with A21 Ukraine for 2 days, spreading awareness of human trafficking at a rock music festival

Lindsay worked with A21 Ukraine for 2 days, spreading awareness of human trafficking at a rock music festival

Bria was invited to help lead worship at a prayer gathering in Tennessee

Bria was invited to help lead worship at a prayer gathering in Tennessee

September –

Lindsay began studying for her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Liberty University Online

Krista traveled to Switzerland, serving as a volunteer at a conference, and also traveling to London for a 1-day outreach

Krista traveled to Switzerland, serving as a volunteer at a conference, and also traveling to London for a 1-day outreach

Bria gave a concert at a coffeeshop in Tennessee

Bria gave a concert in Nashville, Tennessee

October –

We welcomed our dear friend, Emily (far right)

We welcomed our dear friend, Emily (far right)

Living Word Church celebrated its 10 year anniversary

Living Word Church celebrated its 10 year anniversary

Bria released her first full-length album

Bria released her first full-length album

November –

Krista ministered in India for 2 weeks with Gateways Beyond.

Krista ministered in India for 2 weeks with Gateways Beyond.

Bria returned to Ukraine, and all 3 of us received the documents needed to continue living in Ukraine for another year

Bria returned to Ukraine, and all 3 of us received the documents needed to continue living in Ukraine for another year

Massive protests began in Ukraine against the government (and continue today, so please continue praying)

Massive protests against the government began in Ukraine (and continue today, so please continue praying)

December –

We delivered Christmas gifts & treats to the orphanage during our weekly visit

We delivered Christmas gifts & treats to the orphanage during our weekly visit

Bria gave her first solo concert in Lviv in 6 years, and Lindsay & Krista provided some background vocals

Bria gave her first solo concert in Lviv in 6 years, and Lindsay & Krista provided some background vocals

Krista translated, and Lindsay did some behind-the-scenes serving, enabling Dad & Mom to host a couples' retreat at Bethel House

Krista translated, and Lindsay did some behind-the-scenes serving, enabling Dad & Mom to host a couples’ retreat at Bethel House

We are so thankful for the callings God has placed on our lives, and the amazing people He uses to enable us to fulfill those callings.  Your prayers, financial support, and encouragement are deeply appreciated, and we pray God’s abundant blessings on each of you.  We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for 2014, and our greatest prayer is that He will be glorified in our lives, and we will see people touched by His love and finding salvation in Him.  The things God has already revealed for the coming year indicate it will be unforgettable!  Some things we already have planned:
*Bria was accepted to participate in the TV show, The Voice Ukraine.  This will give her incredible exposure and has the potential to open huge doors for ministry through her music throughout Ukraine.  The show begins taping in late January.
*Lindsay will be making a 6-week trip to the States, leaving Ukraine on January 14. (See the previous blog for details.)
*We will be transitioning the English club into an English Bible study.
*Construction of Bethel House will be completed, God willing, and dedicated sometime around the middle of the year.

Our greatest need remains regular, monthly financial support.  If you would prayerfully consider partnering with us in 2014, we would greatly appreciate it.  If you would like to make an end-of-year donation, that would also be a great help and blessing.  All donations are tax-deductible, and details on how to give can be found on the Support page.

We pray you all have a blessed 2014.  May you grow in the faith, and be used by God to further His kingdom for His glory! “Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in the triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere.” -2 Corinthians 2:14

12-december3

The Time Has (Finally!) Come -from Lindsay

It is with great joy that I let you know I will be in the States early next year!  After 3+ years, it has been in my heart for quite some time to get back and see so many people that I dearly love and appreciate.  God has finally released me to do that and I am greatly looking forward to the trip!

From January 15-February 12, I will be in Houston, TX.
From February 12-February 27, I will be in Nashville, TN.

Traveling home as a missionary is always a bit stressful, as “home” costs a lot more than the “mission field” where God has me.  If you would like to help alleviate some of the costs, I would appreciate it so much.  You can find out how to make a tax-deductible donation on the “Support” page.  These are some of the costs I am looking at:
$1100 – total air travel costs
$100 – other travel-related expenses (such as an overnight layover in Europe)
$400 – vehicle costs in States
$400 – stocking up on personal items that are better quality, better value, and/or only available in the States
$200 – personal funds needed to supplement monthly support

One of the purposes for this trip is to fundraise.  We are looking at dedicating Bethel House around the first of July, hoping it will be completed at that time.  I will be fundraising towards that end, as well as fundraising for my personal support.  Another way you can be a part of this trip is by helping me book speaking dates.  Ways that you might do that:
*Talk with your church leaders, prayer group leaders, Sunday School leaders, home group leaders, etc., about having me come share about what God is doing in Ukraine while I’m in your area.
*Have a missions night at your home.  Invite friends over and have me share about Ukraine and the ministry God has called me to.
*Coordinate a missions night at your church.  Put out a few snacks, spread the word, and I will share about Bethel House and the different ministries I’m involved in.

Thank you for considering how you might help and be a part of this trip.

Mark your calendars!  I hope to have a lot of personal time with as many of you as possible; we’ve got A LOT of catching up to do! 🙂  Looking forward to it!

Lindsay

map

Breaking the Silence (from Lindsay)

Wow!  Where does the time go?!  2013 has been flying by, and it’s hard to believe it will be over in 2 short months.  The biggest news in my life is that I am once again a student.  After years of praying and weighing the question of furthering my education, God led me this summer to enroll at Liberty University Online to get my associate’s degree in early childhood education.  I am 7 weeks into the 2-year program, and 2 weeks into a crazy 3-week period of taking 4 classes, instead of the normal 2.  Two is busy, but still manageable on top of everything else I have going on in ministry and life.  Four is a little insane!  Due to my late enrollment, though, it was necessary to have a little overlap of classes, in order to squeeze everything in before the end of the semester.  God is faithful, though, and He is sustaining me.  I appreciate your prayers so much as I go through this journey.  I am enjoying my classes, excited about how God is growing me, and looking forward to seeing how His plans unfold in using this education, and using me, for His glory.

My first day of school at Liberty University Online!

My first day of school at Liberty University Online!

Ministry continues, and I am excited about all that God is doing.  I am most excited about our plans to start the English Bible study in a few weeks.  Please pray for us as we prepare, and most of all, pray that God would awaken people’s interest so they will come, and that His Word will bear fruit and He will draw people to salvation through faith in His Son.

Be looking for more updates from us in the coming weeks!  Thank you for reading, keeping up with our lives and ministry, encouraging us, and supporting us in so many ways.  God bless!

Lindsay

4:30 a.m Wake-Up Call (Krista)

After a wonderful week-long visit with Becky & Daniel, friends from the States, it was time to take them to the train station as they continued on their journey. I volunteered for the early morning job of leaving the house at 4:30 a.m. Little did I know, God had more in store for me that morning.

Upon arrival at the train station, I noticed an elderly lady we passed, but thought nothing of it since we pass older women in Lviv every day. After helping Becky & Daniel get settled in their ‘room’, I headed back to the car. Again, I passed the same woman at the bottom of some steps and noticed she had 4 bags. Thinking she might need help getting them up the stairs, I stopped and offered to help. After introductions, Maria told me she had actually arrived earlier that morning, heading home from burying her daughter, and was now waiting for someone who was supposed to pick her up. This person was late though, and Maria didn’t want to call her because it was so early. Maria was just passing through and asked if I would check the schedule for the next train she needed in case the woman never showed up to get her. I found out her next train wasn’t for another two-and-a-half hours, to which she replied she would just wait there. She didn’t want to go sit somewhere, because it would be too far then for her to carry her bags to the train. I told her I had a car and offered to take her somewhere to meet this woman if that would help. She said the only place I could possibly take her to was on the other side of town where she could catch a bus home instead and it would leave earlier than the train. I finally convinced her to call the woman who was supposed to meet her so that if she wasn’t coming I could take her to the bus station. She did, and found out this woman’s plans had changed, and would be unable to come. Maria was visibly confused and didn’t know what to do. She said she would just stand there and wait for the train. Even I have a hard time standing for 2 1/2 hours! Finally I convinced her it was no trouble for me to take her to the bus station.

As I put her bags in the car, she began to thank God for sending me and began saying, “I’m not worthy, Lord!” During our 20 minute drive, she shared a little about her life; she had once served in the Russian Orthodox church singing the liturgy each week, but had left due to some ‘bad’ priests that disappointed her. I could tell by things she said, she felt she had messed up really bad and was hoping that God would forgive her.

After buying her bus ticket, our conversation continued and I stayed another hour with her, talking about God, forgiveness, & faith. Continuing to hear the turmoil inside over her past ‘sin’, I finally asked her if she knew that Jesus was the only way to be saved – all she had to do was repent of her sin, believe in Him, and God would accept her. Her response blew me away. Typically the response here would be something along the lines of, “yes! Mary, the Mother of God, is so wonderful. I pray to her every day.” with no mention of Jesus. Maria’s response though was, “Yes! Jesus is wonderful! He is my rock, my strength, my hope. I love Him so much!” She then showed me a beautiful prayer that she prays to Jesus from her prayer book. I almost asked her if she knew she could also pray to Him the same way as talking to a friend, but something held me back – I would soon find out why. She said I should go, so I hugged her and prayed for her. As soon as I said, ‘amen’, she began to pray for me – I had my answer, she knew how to talk with Jesus as a friend, because she already has a relationship with Him! As she prayed, tears began to roll down my cheeks as she basically rededicated her life to God!!! “God, thank you for bringing us together. Thank you that there are still people who love you and serve you. I want to join them! I want to sing with them again.” And then she began to sing softly in my ear as she hugged me. She sang two beautiful songs about Jesus, while I cried, and people looked at us, wondering who on earth this young woman and old woman were. But we just kept on hugging and worshiping our Jesus! As I said goodbye, she pulled me close again and said, “I’ve been water baptized. I’ve never told my sister, even my daughter didn’t know. But in September, 1992, I had repented and received water baptism.” Again, I was blown away! That is not something you expect to hear from an 86 year old Orthodox woman in Ukraine, as they believe in christening as babies. This woman knew who Jesus was, had followed Him in baptism, but due to religious tradition, she still had a hard time resting in the assurance of His forgiveness, love & mercy. I reminded her that she had repented, believed in Jesus, & God would certainly accept her. With that, we said our goodbyes and I headed home to catch up on sleep.

Two days later I called her to make sure she’d gotten home ok. She thanked me again, and said that morning was truly a miracle from God and He had used me to restore her joy and hope. Wow! How God can use me, a simple 25 year old girl, to bless an 86 year old woman, is beyond me! But He does. He simply needs willing and available people. This is my goal, to live everyday available for Him, and aware of the people He puts in my path, because sometimes they are a beautiful old woman – an everyday sight, but a hidden treasure and blessing.

Image

Me & Maria. Please pray as I continue to build a relationship with her and try to go visit her (about 1 1/2 hr. away) soon. Pray that she will find rest and security in Jesus.

Bibles in Abundance!

When we asked for Bibles to be donated for English club, we never could have imagined such a response!  Your generosity has truly overwhelmed us.  Through you, God has done more than we could ask or imagine.

THANK YOU for your incredible support in this project.  Our start-up goal was 30 Bibles, and you have far exceeded that, as our shelves are overflowing with 49 Bibles!!!  You quickly enabled us to be able to use Bibles in our English club, and went beyond that, meeting our hopes of having enough on hand to be able to start giving them out as gifts when we begin our English Bible study (which we are planning to do in the fall).

You have blessed us beyond words and we are truly grateful, praying that God blesses you abundantly in return.  Please join us in praying that His Word will bear much fruit and bring a great harvest.

July 2013