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January Update

Bible First

Meeting Our Students

For a long time, we have felt it would be a good idea to reach out to some of the Bible First students and try to meet them face-to-face. One such meeting finally happened, thanks to Serhii Chepara, who has been helping us run the Bible First course. He picked a city, Lutsk, set a time and place, and invited our students to meet with us.

We weren't really sure what to expect, but three of our students showed up, and we had a good time getting to know each other. They gave us some feedback on the course, what they liked, what could be improved, and we shared some of our plans for upcoming changes to the course.

Nothing earth-shattering happened at our meeting, but it was nice to put a name with a face, and we went home encouraged. We'd like to do the same thing with our students in other cities, perhaps starting with Rivne in the next month or two.

Friends in Lutsk

Left to right: Abby, Josh, Nathan, Serhii, Oleksander, Oksana, Lyuda, and one of Oksana and Lyuda's daughters.

Ukrainian Bible First

One of my main projects continues to be preparing the refreshed Ukrainian lessons for print. Fourteen lessons down, six more to go!

Bible First Online

Unfortunately, we didn't make our self-imposed December 31 deadline to begin using Bible First Online, but we're getting close! We haven't given ourselves a new deadline yet, but hopefully soon!

A New Team Member

Allow me to introduce the newest member of the team, Kade Bloom! Kade attended CMO 2019, and decided he wanted to come back and work with us full-time. His current plan is to stay for one year and see how things go, and his main goal for now is to learn the language.

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

It's the middle of January, and that means that CMO is just five months away! We haven't made the official announcement yet, but the info for CMO 2020 is up on the CMO website, and registration is open. I know of a lot of people that are interested, so apply ASAP before we run out of room!

Family

I'm happy to report that Lydia's eyes continue to improve, and it is looking very unlikely at this point that she will need a second surgery!

Now that Christmas is over, our family has finished our "month of celebrations", with Melissa and Briana's birthdays, and Christmas, of course. Now it's time to hunker down and hit the school books! We are still enjoying a warmer winter, which is nice for Jonathan, who plays outside almost every day. I'm sure the girls would like some more snow, however. At least we've had one good sledding snow so far, and I'm sure there are more to come!

Party time!

Melissa opens one of her gifts.

November Update

There isn't a whole lot to report on in this update, but what we have been working on has kept us busy!

Bible First

Bible First Online

Josh and I are continuing to work hard on web development. We are cautiously optimistic that by the end of the year, our students will have the option of doing their lessons online. Still a lot of work to do, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Ukrainian Bible First

Bible First Online is going to be new and cool and shiny, but we don't want to forget our roots! I'm still in the process of checking over the second edition of Lessons 6-20, and making sure they are ready to print.

Family

On October 9th, our family moved to a new apartment. It was a lot of work to pack up, move, and then unpack, but we are really happy to have made the switch. The extra space and improved layout have made everyday life much more pleasant!

One of the highlights of the move (and also our saving grace!) was that my mom came for the three weeks around the move. Now that my youngest sister has her driver's license, Mom has more freedom to travel around, and she managed to work up the courage to attempt her first intercontinental trip. Thankfully, things went smoothly, and she was a huge help!

In the steeple

Mom, the girls, and I in the steeple of a church near our home.

In other family news, Jonathan is finally walking! Our girls all walked at about a year, but Jonathan took his sweet time and waited until he was 15 months. Unfortunately, no sooner did he learn to walk, he had to start wearing his snowsuit. Our warmer-than-average fall came to an abrupt halt recently, and hats, mittens, etc., are standard fare these days. But that's okay, as I'm sure Briana would tell you, because her birthday is in the winter!

September Update

Bible First

There are several Bible-First-related things to report on, so I'll break this up into a couple groups:

Ukrainian Bible First

Lessons 1-5 of the second edition of Bible First in Ukrainian are currently at the printers. We were promised they would be ready last week, so hopefully in the next couple days…? The next step will be to check over Lessons 6-20, make sure they are ready to print, and get them off to the printer.

Spanish Bible First

We finished going through the Spanish Bible First files, and made notes of everything that needs to be fixed, but we are currently in a holding pattern with printing prep. Our main Spanish guy, Ralph Villeneuve, is busy with school, but hopes to work on the issues we found in a few months during his holiday break.

Bible First Online

Now that we have recovered from CMO, Josh and I are dusting off our web-development hats and getting ready for the next push on Bible First Online. Hopefully by the end of the year, our students will have the option of studying online!

Family

Some of you may remember that two years ago, Katelin broke her foot. Well, almost a month ago, she rolled her foot just like last time, it popped just like last time, and started to swell just like last time. We went in for an X-ray, but the doctors didn't feel like it was a complete break, likely just a crack. We were told Katelin didn't need a cast, just to stay off of it for a while and rest.

Sure enough, the recovery from this foot injury has been much faster. Last time, at the three-week mark, Katelin was just getting her cast off. This time, she was pretty much operational, albeit with some discomfort, and still taking it a bit slower. For which, we are very thankful!

Birthdays!

Both Lydia and Jonathan had birthdays recently!

One other big project we have coming down the pipe is a move to a new apartment. We have found a new apartment that is a bit bigger, but more importantly, the space is broken up in such a way as to be more usable. We will be making the final arrangements this week, and hope to be moving in about a month. So if next month's update is late, or gets skipped altogether, you'll know why!

August Update

Carpathian Mountain Outreach

CMO 2019 has been over for a little over a month now, but requests are still coming in! Over the past month, we've received a little over 40 requests for Good and Evil and Bible First. Pray for the literature going out, that it would be read and understood.

Bible First

Now that we are (mostly) recovered from CMO, we are pushing forward on new fronts! We are preparing to print Bible First in not one, but two languages.

The first printing is a reprinting of Bible First in Ukrainian. The new edition will feature a more modern design, more in line with the design of Bible First in English. Some of the earlier lessons have also been revised, and those revisions will finally make it into print. We have been wanting to do this for a long time, but have never gotten around to making it happen.

The second printing will be in Spanish, which will be the first time the whole Bible First course will be available in Spanish! Ralph Villeneuve recently finished laying out the files for printing, and we are working through the files, fixing bugs and working out all the things that will need to be in place before we go to press.

Team News

Joshua and Kelsie had their baby almost month ago, and she is a cutie! Her name is Mia, and our girls are looking forward to meeting her for the first time! (For a while, we were dealing with a stomach flu bug, and had to keep our distance. We are finally over it, though!)

Family

I've heard a lot about record heat this summer, but we have actually had a cooler summer, and we've been enjoying it! That said, with the end of summer comes school, and Katelin and the girls are back at it. Even Briana is getting in on the action, with a bit of beginner's math! (It's mostly just for fun, as she is only 3 1/2.)

Briana

Briana enjoys one of the pretty summer days!

We recently celebrated Jonathan's first birthday. He is a big, happy boy who loves to go and do, and he keeps us on our toes. Lydia's birthday will be soon, it's hard to believe that she will be seven! These kids are growing up on us!