nearly done!

17 08 2012

Many of you are praying, many are giving: thanks!

God’s provided nearly 99% of my Ukraine support.

On my way back to Chattanooga from pre-field training in New York City, I was able to spend some time with my nephews.  We went to the beach to visit their “great-grandma”:

One evening while at my brother and sister-in-laws, my brother and I took the boys exploring in the woods up behind their house:

Then my mom and I drove south for a two day visit with my grandmother.  We had an overnight stay with my sister and her new husband during our drive back to Chattanooga.  God gave me good, challenging, helpful training in NYC, and then time with family I won’t see often over the next two years.

While in New Jersey, I thanked my brother’s church for their support, and this Sunday I have an opportunity to thank my home church here in Chattanooga.

Stay posted for additional updates: I’m heading to Kiev soon!

God is good!


margin? nah

27 07 2011

Hi folks, just a quick update. A few of you recently visited my website for the first time, one or two of who even subscribed to my RSS feed to stay up to date. Thanks!

Very late Monday night I flew into Atlanta airport from a quick weekend in Chicago for support raising, and in Milwaukee to visit my Grandma and a few cousins. My aunt and uncle gave me a ride between the cities. I’m thankful for the time with friends and family, for the generosity of all who gave toward my Ukraine support, and for safe travels – even though when I arrived at work Tuesday morning it was with only 3 hours of sleep due to severe weather delays Monday night. I’ll post pictures from my trip soon.

However, I’ve got thank you notes and an update letter to write tonight. Thanks for your prayers and support!  Keep praying as I travel out of town sometimes, and schedule meetings here in Chattanooga.

pledges through prayer

14 04 2011

No sooner had I posted my 24% monthly support level than it was outdated.  By Tuesday morning, a pledge via email and another pledge from a co-worker at my engineering firm raised my monthly support to 26%.  Tuesday evening I received a generous one-time gift and a monthly pledge after presenting the Ukraine ministry at another small group.

Wednesday after work I drove to Atlanta to share God’s call in my life and his kingdom-building work in Kiev with the church I attended during my Georgia Tech days.  I was encouraged to hear these brothers and sisters praying, to hear how they’re growing in their love for each other and for Jesus–in a sense, to overhear the gospel percolating in their lives.  After a late-night drive back to Chattanooga (including singing along with music I love and listening to a L’Abri lecture Carrie Adams gave on Vocation and Calling), I discovered a friend and two relatives had pledged monthly and quarterly support, bringing my monthly support up to 29%.

So my monthly support has increased 9% in the first three days of this week.  Thanks to those who’ve pledged, and thanks to those who’ve prayed.  Praise the Lord for his provision!

two full weekends

10 07 2010

I’m thankful for a weekend here in Chattanooga. The past two weekends were good, weekends full of travel, meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends and family. Thank you for your prayers for me.

Friday, June 25th, I drove through two heavy thunderstorms on my way to a Ukraine ministry presentation in Birmingham. A friend graciously organized a dessert and coffee evening, giving me the opportunity to tell ten adults and two children some of how God is building his kingdom in Kiev. I showed my team’s Kiev ministry video, shared a few stories of Ukrainians I’d met the three times I was there, and invited my friend’s friends to consider supporting me with finances and prayer. Saturday morning, after managing to get stuck an hour in an unusual traffic jam, I swung by my friend’s church’s farmers market, picked up some fresh produce, and trekked back up to Chattanooga in time for the second half of the USA v. Ghana world cup match.

Last weekend I drove to Pennsylvania for an Independence Day family reunion with my mom’s extended family, and my parents rode with me. On our way north, we stopped at a Starbucks in Roanoke, VA, so I could meet with a supporting church’s missions committee. I shared the Kiev team video and my calling and vision for how I may join in building up the church in Kiev. I enjoyed meeting these six sisters and brothers who gave me an hour or so of their time on a Friday evening. One of the men, who had been to Ukraine a number of times, brought a small Ukrainian flag for our table, and told me stories of his wearing his Scottish kilt and taking his bodhrán to play music with Odessa street musicians… it was a joy to meet these people.

My maternal grandfather was the oldest of eight siblings. Much of his extended family gathers to celebrate Independence Day and the Saturday after Christmas each year. Over the years I’ve realized that its increasingly rare for extended family to maintain these ties, but its been something I value. Perhaps this is because most of our extended family are believers, followers of Jesus, and that makes us not just distant kin by blood but brothers and sisters with a common Father. This year I showed my Kiev team’s video to interested relatives, enjoyed seeing my cousin Audra and her Ukrainian husband, Oleg, and was gratefully surprised when a great-uncle and great-aunt (Is that the proper term? they’re my mom’s uncle and aunt) told me they plan to give monthly to support me.

After our July 4th celebration with the family, my mom and I detoured to see friends David and Eowyn, who’ve just moved from Berlin to Philadelphia. Over the years, we’ve prayed for David and Eowyn’s family in Berlin-Pankow, and mom was part of team that went to Pankow in 2008 to help with the English Camp. I’m particularly thankful that we were able to fit our brief visit into this trip.

Sunday we spent with my grandmother in Wilmington, and my brother and his fiance came down from northern New Jersey for dinner and the afternoon. It was good seeing Aaron and Susanna, but altogether too brief a visit: perhaps we were trying to squeeze too much into the weekend.

Monday during our drive back to Chattanooga, we stopped for some lunch, and a large, bright-orange moth landed on dad. I came out of the Subway, and dad was leaning against the wall with his hat covering the moth, waiting for mom to come out so he could show it to her.

the moth on Dad

The moth on Dad

close-up of big orange moth

Close-up of the moth

Wow–writing about the past two weekends makes me tired. This weekend, I think I’ll stay put here in Chattanooga. I’ve got support-raising work to do, a bit of cleaning and reading, a run to the bank, and perhaps I’ll catch a performance of “The Crucible” with friends tonight. I’m looking forward to worshiping with my home church tomorrow!

recent pictures

27 03 2010

Here are some recent snapshots from the night before my sister left Chattanooga for two years in Berlin, Germany. I had my family over for ice cream and tea after dinner. We played “Ticket to Ride: Europe,” sang a hymn my sister requested (“God, My King, Thy Might Confessing”), and prayed.

my family playing Ticket to Ride

playing a game together

Larissa's smiling face

my sister at my apartment

Mom and my sister smiling

having fun

looking down at Ticket to Ride Europe board game

Larissa makes her move

Dad and Larissa with his two cards

Dad had two long route cards!

das Haus

wishing Larissa güte Reise at home

The next day my friend Mark and I stopped at my parents’ house so I could say goodbye to Larissa before she flew to Germany via New Jersey. Mark took some family photos for us.

Dad | Larissa | Mom | me

... and from a bit further away

zooming in again ...

here we are again!

Click on any of the pictures above to zoom in