It’s hard to believe that September 1st marked a full year since our family got on a plane bound for the U.S! Since then it seems as if we’ve experienced one continual round of travel and moves. We little imagined some of the difficult things that would happen, but we’ve also seen God’s faithfulness in so many ways.
I haven’t given attention to this blog space in awhile, so I thought it would be fun to revive it with an update on life, family, and our summer activities.
We’ve recently been ministering to Ukrainians via hospitality. Everyone, even the younger ones, has been involved: shopping, cleaning, preparing food and games, or entertaining the guests.
Many Ukrainians have only Sundays off, so after morning church we clean the house and prepare to spend the evening with a new family. It makes for a very full day; we have to mind our P’s and Q’s if things are to go smoothly! So far we have hosted two families from the Donbas region, their homes and cities inaccessible to them now.
Joshua has done a lot of driving for Camp Zilina, helping to move Ukrainians into more permanent living quarters. In some cases he drives them to the train station so they can begin their return journey to Ukraine.
In July our family sang a concert to a group of about 80 Ukrainian kids. We included titles like Baby Shark and Peace like a River, Ukrainian patriotic songs, and also some songs about trust in God and his love for us. The kids were a good audience and eagerly accepted Good and Evil books at the close of the concert.
We are excited that our church now has several Ukrainian families visiting regularly, and it’s a privilege to get to know them and help with translation each week.
A highlight of our summer was having a visitor from the US! My friend, Jennifer, stayed with us for about 2 weeks in August. We took walks, drank coffee, played games, and even made a trip to a nearby castle. Thanks for a great time, Jen!
Kids & Family
Abigail will be 17 in a few short weeks! She stays busy with math & science (she loves her biology course! Is that even possible?), creating pencil drawings, and writing engaging emails to friends. The highlight of her summer was participating in a Christian Camp as a Ukrainian translator.
Rebekah especially loves helping with the younger children. She makes them breakfast each morning, reads to them (they recently finished The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis) and helps Kathryn with her school work. One of her favorite things to do is to play Wingspan. With Rebekah’s brain for details and facts, she has mentally catalogued nearly every bird in North America while playing that game.
Hosanna makes friends everywhere she goes, and has recently befriended a girl next door named Kika. Slovak language doesn’t deter Hosanna a bit, and since it is somewhat similar to Ukrainian, she communicates just fine. Hosanna loves reading and creating. She recently got a whittling knife and began wood carving.
Kathryn’s new love is playing Sorry! She also enjoys practicing piano. We recently got her started with a piano-teaching app, and she fell in love with it from day one. She is reading really well now too!
David recently began kindergarten work and loves having schoolwork to do like Kathryn. He is often outside with Kathryn and Mia creating houses or forts, and also enjoys playing with his robot, Botley.
Mia has been a book-lover from infancy. She simply loves being read to! For her third birthday she received a book of fairy tales which has been well-loved indeed. Mia likes playing outside with her siblings or playing with playmobil.
For myself, I have been studying Philippians, doing workouts from Walk at Home and The Body Project, and growing in courage on practice drives in the blue van. *Ahem* Atomic Habits, by James Clear was an instructive and inspiring read for me in August, and I’ve also really enjoyed Mothering by the Book, by Jennifer Pepito.
I’ll end with a challenging thought that has been with me over the last month: pray about everything and give thanks about everything! (From Philippians 4:6) And it comes with a reward – “the peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.