“Daddy’s home!” As something of a finale to our otherwise quiet spring season, I got to attend the wedding of a good friend in the US. After a week away from my family, and a joyful reunion upon my return, it’s time to buckle up. CMO 2019 is only days away!

Calm Before the Storm

Joshua Steele · June 7, 2019

Daniel Courter first visited us in Ukraine in 2007 along with his father Anthony and younger brother Aaron. He later went on to participate in both CMO 2009 and CMO 2010. This spring, on May 25th, I had the privilege of attending his wedding to Genesis Laubenthal. It was a beautiful ceremony, and Kelsie and I are excited to see how God will use Daniel and Genesis for His glory!

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The wedding was held out doors at a beautiful wooded venue in southern Tennessee.
We’re so happy for what God has done in bringing Daniel and Genesis together!

During the week that I was in Tennessee for the wedding, I stayed with Michael and Debi Pearl. It was great to catch up, and we even did some brainstorming about future ministry collaboration. Few people have impacted my life like Mike and Debi, and I cannot thank them enough for what they have taught me, and how they have blessed our family!

The morning I left, I got a quick selfie with Mike and Debi. What a blessing these folks are to me and so many others!

Now I’m back in Ukraine, and as we prepare to take yet another CMO plunge, I’d like to share how God has led us over the past couple of months.

Heavenly Parenting Book

Due in large part to the diligence and fund-raising efforts of our friend Serhii Chepara, Kelsie and I now have our own published book on parenting. It’s called Nebesne Batkivstvo (Heavenly Parenting) and as long as your Ukrainian is not too rusty, we’d love for you to read it!

A small sample of Heavenly Parenting books from our first print run!

The book came about as the result of a parenting seminar that Kelsie and I presented in early 2018. We taught the sessions in Ukrainian and everything was recorded on video. Serhii paid to have each session transcribed into text, cleaned up the errors, and got everything laid out into chapters. Various people contributed finances to the project, and the book was finally printed this spring.

Left cover: “As much as you can, be like Christ…”
Right cover: “…and as much as you can, be with your children.”

Good and Evil Ministry

The distribution of Good and Evil continues to move forward. We’re sending out books regularly to ministries, libraries, and individuals. And as always, we expect Good and Evil to play a major role in our upcoming CMO project this summer!

Bible First Online Update

Our Bible First correspondence course remains a core part of our ministry, and God continues to bless its impact here in Ukraine. For quite some time, we’ve been working on a web application called Bible First Online, which will allow coaches and students to interact via the web without the need for paper-based lessons.

The sign-in screen for Bible First Online.

Over the past few months we’ve made significant progress on the app, and we finally deployed an early version to production on April 24. We’ve migrated all our existing students to this new system, and I’m happy to report that everything is running smoothly! There is still more work to do, but once we get through CMO, our development pace should pick up again. Lord willing, we’ll have a public beta ready by year’s end. We appreciate your prayers and patience as we push this app towards completion!

CMO 2019 is Upon Us!

This year we have four young men joining our team for CMO. Please pray for Kade, Ralph, Cornelius, and Nelson as they travel to Ukraine for the summer. Also pray for Ben and Karen Sargent (ETO staff) who will be flying in from North Carolina. The Sargents arrive on June 8, the guys on June 11-12, and our first trip to the Carpathians is on June 13. Pray for God’s blessing and protection!

The CMO 2019 “ammo dump”. In a matter of weeks, these tracts will be distributed to tens of thousands of people in Ukrainian cities!
During our scouting trip in May, we found a couple of great camp sites!

How You Can Pray

  • Praise the Lord for the publication of our first Ukrainian book, Heavenly Parenting!
  • Pray for God’s blessing and protection on CMO 2019. Pray that the Gospel would go forth unhindered, and that many would turn to salvation!
  • Pray for health and safety for the CMO team as they travel to and from Ukraine this summer.
  • Pray for a safe delivery for Kelsie and the baby. Due date is in late July.
  • Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.

Keep scrolling for more photos from our family and ministry!

Celebrating Momma’s birthday! 🥰
I recently took my kids class from church for ice cream at a nearby mall.
Nastia completed her first Scripture memory project! Romans 15:1-4
Last year during CMO, we met so many English speakers in L’viv, that we decided to do a small run of English tracts for this year’s project. This is a tract I wrote several years ago.
Side A…
…and side B.
Here it is folks: the Church at Cane Creek! Always love hearing Mike preach. Other men spoke also (even me!) and we had a great time of fellowship, food, and swimming in the creek.
No stay in Cane Creek would be complete without visiting Shoshanna and James. Good times!
What a fun time taking this little lady on a Daddy date! Kathryn is 4 years old now, and full of smiles and energy.
Matviy is one of the young men in our teen group.
Last week we did our final teen meeting before CMO starts. We’ve had some good talks with these kids!
Cakes are fun, but better still is licking the icing spoons!
Celebrating the big 4-0!
Several of the family pooled their money and got me this awesome Saturn V Lego kit!
When traveling abroad without the fam, it’s good to send them a selfie from the airport.
Also a viking selfie for the kids. 😆
Upon my return, I was greeted by a big, hand-made welcome-home banner!
While in the States, I got some small gifts for the kids. Hosanna seemed pretty happy with this bow and arrow!
David got a new truck. That boy loves anything with wheels!
Rebekah and Abby both got t-shirts. Rebekah’s shirt says “No-prob-llama!” 😆
Kathryn now has a “big girl” water bottle.
🎶 “And my daddy comes back! He always comes back…” 🎶
To God be the Glory

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