Hey, everyone! This is the more in-depth update of how we are doing here in America since we last wrote you guys a while ago. We also wanted to remind everyone about our send-off party that’s coming up soon. Click here if you want the details. This update will be much for detailed than our newsletter that we just sent out, as our newsletters are more brief, and we try to include only the main points and prayer requests in them.
How have we been doing in America?
We’ve been going to Horizon Indy, and we love the support that the church gives. We’ve also gotten the chance to fellowship with a couple of other churches in Chicago and Indianapolis, which have been a big blessing to us. David got to lead worship at a church downtown for Easter, and he was able to play one of his new songs for them.
This next Sunday, David is playing bass at Horizon Indy, and the Sunday after that will be our last Sunday in Indiana. That’s why we really want to make sure everyone gets a chance to see us at the Send Off Party at Horizon.
Things have been financially hard for us. We just recently purchased $700 of medication and had to put it on our credit card. We do have that paid off, but we now need to purchase the plane tickets to get back to Ukraine, which will also go on the credit card.
How is our health?
We have just been approved for Obamacare, even though we started the application process in December, and we aren’t sure if David is going to get to see a doctor before we leave; however, his doctor in Ukraine has been taking very good care of him and has been checking up on him via Facebook. He and she talk often, and she checks to make sure that he’s taking his medicine. We are very happy that God allowed us to find her right before we left for America. His treatment has progressed well, and he’s not taking nearly as much medication as he was in December.
Some of you also know that Katya has been having issues with her thyroid. She is still having issues with that, but the health care plan that they’ve given us for Katya is only good for emergency services, so she will not be able to see a doctor here. We will need to get her to an endocrinologist as soon as we get back to Ukraine.
How is our family doing in Ukraine?
Katya’s mom and sister are doing well. Tanya, Katya’s mom, has lost 20 pounds in preparation for her surgery, which is very good, but she still has some weight to lose. They are supposed to do an x-ray soon to see how much worse her hips are and are still looking for the right doctor and hospital. Please keep praying for her preparation for surgery, that we would find the right doctor, that we could raise the funds to pay for everything, and that we could find the right rehab program.
Katya’s grandma, “Miss Ira”, is still having a very hard time mourning for her son, Oleh (Katya’s dad). The traditional “40th day of mourning” was last week, which was hard for her. She cries a lot, and is still waiting every Sunday for him to come over and visit. The mourning also affects her health, and we are concerned for her. She’s 83. Please pray that God would give her the peace that only He can give her.
What is this “new vision” that we keep talking about?
Here’s the “big reveal”! Haha… We have been praying for a long time about a change that would happen in our ministry, but we haven’t been sure what that would look like. Last fall, David began to pray about getting more into creating short films and evangelistic videos that would touch the hearts of the Ukrainian people. He’s done some video ministry in Ukraine. Here’s an example of a video that he did for the church that was translated into English:
This was a church video that was basically an announcement that there was an opportunity to get baptized that year on July 25th. This is a great and needed ministry, but it’s not what we want to continue to do in Ukraine. We want to produce short films that will reach unbelievers. A good example of this is the “#FallingPlates” video from Campus Crusade:
THAT is powerful. However, there’s a problem with it when you try to use it to minister to Ukrainians. Can you guess what the problem is?
Simple: it’s in English.
It actually goes a little deeper than that. The video is in English with American cultural images. Even if you translated it into Ukrainian, it would still be an American-made short film and won’t be as effective as if it was written in Ukrainian originally. It’s like what Paul said:
“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NKJV
To reach a culture, we must become a part of the culture. We must convey things according to that culture. This doesn’t water down the Gospel, the message of our depravity and need for a Savior, or any of the tried-and-true Gospel truths; no – instead it puts them in a way that the new culture can deeply understand the Gospel. That’s why we want to make original short films for Ukrainians in Ukrainian, so that they can be reached most effectively.
Literally no one else is doing this, because every other ministry that we know of that produces these kinds of resources is producing them in Russian. Russian is fine for Eastern Ukraine and Russia, but in Western Ukraine, it’s almost insulting. It’s like trying to minister in Mexico in English. No one would ever think to go on a missions trip and use only English in Mexico, because, though people may understand you and even respond to your message, many will not understand and some may even be insulted.
What have we been doing to prepare?
We’ve been busy while we’ve been here in America. Katya has been taking photography classes (more about that later), and David has just finished a class on cinematography and screenwriting called “Story in Ministry” by Mission Media University.
He’s also worked on a couple of projects since being here in America. One of those is a testimony video from one of the Bible college students at CCBCi. She has an amazing story that begins with addiction and prison and ends in salvation and completing a two-year Bible school. We haven’t been able to complete the shooting, but here are a couple of pictures from our last shoot:
(The baby giraffe toy is so that the student can look at something other than directly into the “big scary camera lens” :D) We’re very thankful for good friends that are willing to lend us their house, cameras, and other equipment! Please pray that God will provide that equipment, etc. for when we go back to Ukraine.
How does Katya fit into video ministry?
Katya loves photography, and she has been praying for a long time about whether or not it’s time to pursue that more directly. As we wrote earlier, she has been taking classes online to get better at it. Here are some pictures that she’s taken recently:
Photography and video have a lot in common. Both work a lot with composition and lighting, and it’s very useful to have a photographer along when producing a short film. Katya will be able to add a unique perspective to the visual aspect of the films that we make.
Moreover, photography creates a big opportunity for ministry in Ukraine. Ukrainian university students love photography, and the more she gets better at it, the more other people will be drawn to her work and the message in it. Also, if there are American photographers that want to partner with her in Ukraine, she can set up seminars to attract students and show that we can create beautiful art while serving Christ.
What happens next?
Our first priority right now is getting Katya’s mom healthy and making sure that our family is taken care of. There’s a verse in 1 Timothy that talks about how, if you don’t take care of your own family, you’re worse than an unbeliever, so we know for sure that we are called to make sure that she is walking again and can take care of herself.
Our current plans for the next 6 months are as follows:
- Get back to L’viv and take care of Katya’s mom
- While we’re in L’viv, we’ll be going to New Horizons L’viv, our old church there
- Work on lighter video projects and continue getting training
- There is a bigger video project that we may pursue during that season that could give us some experience and make our financial load a little lighter – please pray for wisdom for this
- Build bridges with production companies, actors, and other contacts that would be needed for good-quality short films
Thankfully, God has already blessed us with relationships with a Christian production company in Kyiv, some good actors, and other people that would be essential to the production of high-quality films.
Please make sure you make it to our “send off” party! If you have friends that may be interested in missions or in supporting what God is doing in Ukraine, please bring them along! If you can’t make it and you would like to support us, you can click here for our support info. If you would like to be praying for us and receive our monthly newsletter, please click here.