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As I was thinking about writing this update, and was reflecting on the things that had been accomplished, I was struck by the thought that a sizable portion of the work had been done by people who are not ETO staff. And so, I would like to introduce you to some people that you may not have heard about, who are nonetheless contributing to our ministry.
In past months, Anatoli Zhylavy has been revising the Ukrainian translation of Bible First to reflect the updated English text. Recently, however, he has been translating the latest edition of Good and Evil.
Catherine Leavitt is translating Bible First into French.
Maria Sanchez is translating Bible First into Spanish, and has also been helping to improve the English version by finding typos and such.
Pat LaBarbera is heading up the Russian translation of Bible First.
Sasha Moskalenko is the printer that will produce Good and Evil once it is ready, but in the meantime, he has offered to do the layout work free of charge. Josh and I recently spent the better part of a day proofing the first two chapters, and Sasha is doing great work!
Trevor Brown and Andy Buck are a couple of programmers that have been helping Josh to build a web application that will allow people to take the Bible First course online. In addition, Andy recently added a page to our website that displays the progress of the aforementioned translation projects.
Raphael Villeneuve will be joining us for two months this summer as an intern, focusing primarily on various computer-related tasks. However, despite the fact that he hasn't arrived yet, he has already been a big help in helping us to convert the text of Bible First into a web-friendly format so that it can be displayed online. This new format will also allow us to store the Bible First text in such a way that it will be much easier to update it when necessary, as well as reduce the chances that text will be inadvertently changed or deleted.
Raphael (Ralph) will be arriving in Ukraine on June 21st, and I'm sure he would appreciate your prayers for a good trip.
Our residency permits have been renewed, and we are good to go for another year!
Three little monkeys!
It hasn't been such a good month for us in terms of health. We had another bug go through the family after last month's bug, and no sooner did we all get better, but Briana and I got sick again. I'd say we are on the mend, but we are hoping that we can all stay healthy for a while this time.
We've had a fair amount of translation activity in the last month, with progress being made in four languages! Bible First is being translated into Spanish, French, and now Russian. The Spanish translation is now past the half-way mark, while the French and Russian translations are not as far along. In addition, Good and Evil is being re-translated into Ukrainian.
In case you hadn't noticed, you are reading this update on a brand-new website, built by yours truly! In addition to being much faster, this site is also less susceptible to being hacked. (I've been hacked before. Not sure why someone would go to the trouble to hack a missionary's blog???) While the site (hopefully) looks good on your desktop computer, I still need to optimize it for mobile and make some behind-the-scenes tweaks that will be good stepping stones for future projects.
Our residency permit renewal is going well. By this time next month, hopefully everything will be all finished.
We had a nasty cold/cough bug that went through the family recently. First it took down Melissa and Lydia, then Briana, then Katelin. I thought for sure that I had escaped, but now I've come down with it.
Taking the girls to the park on a Saturday morning.
Briana starting to talk a lot more these days. Melissa and Lydia recently participated in a "talent show" organized by Abby Steele, and they got good reviews for the doll-sized patchwork quilt and pillow that they sewed for the occasion. Katelin just had her birthday, and we all had a good time celebrating that. Melissa's balcony garden is growing nicely, and I'm thinking that there will be enough spinach for a mini-salad soon!
The big event of the month was a talk that Kelsie Steele did. One of the local churches here in L’viv asked her to give a talk to mothers on how to take care of your children, and still get everything else done around the house. Kelsie asked Katelin to help her out, and the the two of them worked hard on what to say, how to say it, and of course, then they had to figure out how to say it in Ukrainian! Kelsie did most of the talking, but Katelin did some too. It was Katelin’s first time to do any public speaking in Ukrainian, so it was a big first step for her! The talk was well-attended and well-received, and the ladies have since started a Facebook group where they can continue to offer advice and encouragement to other moms.
Kelsie and Katelin had quite the turnout for their talk!
More and more, we find ourselves using the internet in ministry. For a while now, I’ve been feeling the need to learn some web development skills. I’m currently working on a new version of our blog, and I’m hopeful that I will be able to post next month’s update on it! Once I’ve finished with this project, it will be time to move on to bigger things.
I’m currently working on gathering the documents for our renewing our residency permits. The first round of documents should be submitted within the next week, so you can pray that they would be approved.
The snowsuits have been put away, and all of L’viv is in bloom, so I think it’s safe to say that spring is here to stay! We are all enjoying the warmer weather, as well as the fresh spring veggies that are starting to appear at the market.