Our family recently returned to Ukraine after a three-month visit to America. While in the US, we got to reconnect with precious friends and family, we reported on our ministry, we took a huge road trip, and we even got to visit the Ark Encounter!
On December 14, 2018, amidst heavy snowfall, our plane finally touched down at the airport in L’viv. We were all exhausted and several of us were suffering from colds, but we were glad to be back home in Ukraine. God blessed our visit to America in many wonderful ways, and in this admittedly overdue report, we’d like to share with you a few of the highlights.
Our God Knows Logistics
Once upon a time we were a missionary couple with a baby. We could be neatly tucked away in the guest bedroom or share a ride to church. Today we are a clan. We can’t ride with you in your minivan. We need the whole minivan!
As Kelsie and I began planning our trip, I remember wondering how we would overcome these logistical hurdles during our stay in the US. But God never wonders. He knows every detail, and He is able to provide real, practical solutions that meet our needs. By the time our family arrived in the States, God had provided a beautiful 2015 Toyota minivan which we leased from the good folks at Missionary TECH Team in Longview, TX.
But what to do about housing? While in Houston, we were able to stay with Kelsie’s parents, since they have several spare bedrooms available. And in Fort Worth, where space was more limited, we were able to stay on my parents’ property thanks to our friends, the Critz’s, who loaned us their travel trailer. This beautiful trailer is 37 feet long, has fully-functional kitchen and bathroom facilities, sleeps up to ten people, and even has a master bedroom with a queen-size bed!
With the Powells in Houston
We spent the first month of our trip in Houston with Kelsie’s family. Baba and Granddad certainly had a house-full, but there were many moments of joy and sweet fellowship. The kids spent their days feeding the chickens, riding bikes, reading stories, and splashing in the puddles caused by the seemingly endless rains.
See more Houston photos in our Facebook album!
The Road Trip
One of the highlights of our stay in the US was our Big East Road Trip. During the first two weeks of October, we logged over 3,000 miles on the minivan as we traveled through Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina. Along the way we visited many old friends and also met some new ones. If you’d like to read more about the trip and see our favorite photos, be sure to keep scrolling!
See more Road Trip photos in our Facebook album!
With the Steeles in Fort Worth
After returning from our road trip, we transitioned from Houston up to Fort Worth to spend time with the Steele side of the family. Even though we slept out in the trailer, we spent a lot of time with Nana and Granddad in the main house. Every Saturday was Family Day, and my siblings and their families would often join us for meals and activities. Mom and Dad’s SteeleCreek Farm has lots of outdoor space — the perfect place for all the cousins to get reacquainted!
See more Fort Worth photos in our Facebook album!
A Big Thank-You!
Traveling internationally is always an exhausting venture, especially for a large family. And yet, as we close this chapter of our lives, we cannot help but marvel at the blessings that were showered upon us. To all of you who housed us, fed us, and gave of yourselves to bless us in many other ways, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks. You were the reason we came, and because of your kindness, we feel refreshed and encouraged as we open a new chapter here on the mission field.
See more Ukraine photos in our Facebook album!
How You Can Pray
- Praise the Lord for His provision and blessing during our trip to the US!
- Pray for a strong team for CMO 2019.
- Pray for health and strength for our family.
- Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.