As we neared the end of our transatlantic fight, Abby and I were struck by the beauty of the sunrise. Just a few more hours, and we’d be home in L’viv!

Leaving Home to Go Home

Joshua Steele · April 17, 2021

On March 18, I observed 20 years since boarding a plane at DFW, bound for L’viv and a life of ministry amongst Ukrainians. Another year or two, and I will have lived longer in Ukraine than anywhere else in the world. Which brings up a difficult question faced by many missionaries who serve abroad: “Where’s home?” As a close friend of mine once commented, “We can never be on the same side of the Atlantic with all of our loved ones at the same time.”

Those of you who have been reading our blog know that I’ve now made two trips to the U.S. this year, leaving my home in Ukraine to visit my home in Texas. The purpose of these journeys has been to provide support for my parents during their recent health crises.

Abby and I stayed in Texas for about three weeks, and we’re now back in L’viv. Jet lag has been a killer this time around, and it’s taken me a couple of weeks to get back on my feet. But now that things are stabilizing here, I’d like to give you an update on our family.

Dad’s Health

My dad’s feet are doing much better. At the time I left, his latest report from the doctor was good: one foot was 90% healed, the other 60%. We’ve definitely pulled back from the brink of amputation risk, which is a huge praise in itself! Dad is still mostly bedridden (or in a wheelchair), but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Mom’s Health

Mom’s health is, of course, more of a complicated issue. She’s still battling multiple myeloma, and that means her condition is still very serious. That said, we’ve seen some encouraging signs of late. In particular, a key measurement we follow for her strain of myeloma — called the “M spike” — has been lower. That’s a good thing.

In early April, my brother Josiah drove Mom down for a week-long visit at M.D. Anderson in Houston, where she was able to consult with one of the top myeloma specialists in the nation. The tests they ran were encouraging, and while the fight continues, we are hopeful.

How You Can Help

Many people have sent in generous donations to help support Mom and Dad during this time. These funds go to pay for everything from meals, to grocery deliveries (they still can’t drive), to in-home caretakers and more. The needs are ongoing, so if you feel led to give, we would be very grateful. As before, the best way to send cash is via my sister Jennifer’s PayPal account using the button below:

Our Ministry in Ukraine 🇺🇦

During our final days in Texas, there was, as usual, a flurry of last-minute activity. Packing, weighing bags, shipping boxes, and (surprise!) mandatory PCR tests for reentry to Ukraine. And through it all we felt keenly the mixture of joy and sadness at “leaving home to go home”. But just as I was confident that God led us to Texas for ministry to my family there, so I remain confident that He is leading us to continue our ministry in Ukraine.

Of course, with all the upheaval of the past few months, ministry tasks are a bit behind schedule. But the wheels are turning and we have some exciting developments we’d like to share with you. So keep your eyes open for our next issue of Overseas Field Report, coming (hopefully) very soon!

How You Can Pray

  • Praise the Lord for all the improvements with Mom and Dad’s health!
  • Pray for strength and complete healing for both my parents.
  • Pray for strength, wisdom, courage, and focus for us as we press forward with our work in Ukraine. There is so much yet to do!
  • Pray for continued wisdom and direction regarding Mom’s cancer treatements.
  • Pray for peace and liberty in Ukraine.
To God be the Glory

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