When last we departed America, Kathryn was only a few weeks old. She recently turned 3! Meanwhile, David has cleared the one-year mark, and he's never been out of L'viv! Yep β€” it's been a while, and we're ready to see some friends and family face-to-face.

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The kids are pumped!

As you might expect, traveling internationally with a family of seven is no small undertaking. More than any previous visit, this trip will demand some careful planning, detailed logistics, and a dash of courage.

As we begin our preparations for this epic family voyage, we'd like to fill you in on a few of the particulars.


Be sure to read to the end where you'll find our latest collection of family photos!


Timeframe

We don't yet have our tickets, but our target departure window is early September of this year. We plan to stay in the US until around the second week of December, traveling back to L'viv in between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The Big East Road Trip

In addition to our usual visits with family in Texas, we're hoping to take a road trip through the eastern United States. For some time, we've wanted to take our kids to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter by Answers in Genesis. They are getting to the age where they could really appreciate those learning experiences!

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The Ark Encounter in Kentucky

While we're out there, we would also like to drive through Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and maybe even Florida or others. Over the years, God has given us friends in all those places (you know who you are!) and we'd like to stop by and see you if possible. We don't have an exact route or dates planned yet, but if you'd like to see us, give us a shout out and we'll get in touch with you.

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Definitely still in the planning phase with this… πŸ˜‰

A Van and a House πŸš™ 🏑

During past trips, our parents have been very gracious to host us in their homes. They've also loaned us vehicles when we needed them! While I'm sure they're no less willing this time around, our crew has gotten big. There are 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 of us now, and on some days Kathryn counts as two. πŸ˜‰

The simple fact is that we will need to acquire our own housing and vehicle for the three months we'll be in the US. We're exploring some different options such as leasing a minivan, and maybe some kind of short-term rental for housing. But we don't have a lot of experience in these areas, and we're open to suggestions. If you have any ideas, contacts, or other input for us, we'd love to hear from you!

How You Can Pray

As you can see, this trip will be quite the complex enterprise, and we would really appreciate your prayers! Here are few of the main points to keep in mind as you pray:

  • Pray that God would provide affordable housing while we're in the States.
  • Pray that God would provide a reliable vehicle we can use while there. (And that we can take on our Big East Road Trip!)
  • Pray for wisdom as we plan the logistics.
  • Pray that we would not have any difficulties with immigration or travel documents.
  • Pray for health and safety as we travel.
  • Pray that God would continue to guide and bless our ministry here in Ukraine over the next few months.

Conclusion

We're really excited to be coming back for a visit. We're looking forward to reconnecting with lots of folks, traveling to new places, and practicing our English! And of course, we're excited to talk to you face-to-face about what God is doing in our ministry.


Keep scrolling to see our latest collection of family photos!


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The oldest three girls are continuing their piano lessons. I snapped this photo after a recent recital. We're so grateful for our teacher, Gabriella!

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David recently turned one, and our landlady made him a cake!

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If there's one thing Abigail loves, it's art. This is one of her latest creations β€” definitely worthy of a place on the wall!

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When you first wake up, it's good to get some snuggle time with Mom.

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Next we dump out the toys on the kitchen floor!

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This year, Kathryn got her first chance to go out Christmas shopping with Daddy!

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This year we were invited to spend Ukrainian Christmas Eve (January 6th) with our friends Serhii and Natallia Chepara. In this shot, we see the Steele kids getting reacquainted with Francishka (center), the Chepara's daughter.

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"Look Mom, a new car!"

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We always enjoy having the Day family over for dinner. In this photo, we have Lydia (left) and her older sister Melissa (center) sharing the table with Hosanna. The grown-ups are in the other room at the boring table. πŸ˜‰

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Recently we took the kids to an attraction here in L'viv called Kids Planet. One of their favorite activities was the rope course!

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One of our favorite Christmas gifts this year was a set of handmade song books that my mom compiled and sent to us. We love to gather in the living room after dinner and sing together as a family! Thanks, Mom! 😁


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