Saturday, June 27, 2009


World Gospel Mission has really been trying to help us get to the field. There are six other couples like us who are struggling to get their support, and WGM has been coaching us and giving us new ideas to follow and new methods to approach people. We were encouraged to start a page on, so we have done that and it is marvelous to see old friends we haven't heard from for ages and ages suddenly popping up and visiting with us. I have posted links to our video and to this blog on Facebook, so they can see and learn more about us. At the bottom of this page also there are links you can follow for Facebook and our video, as well as the field website for Ukraine.

We will probably be heading out from home to the Northwest right after July 4th. We are scheduled to be in two campmeetings, one near Vancouver, Washington, and the other way out in the boonies in southeast Montana. Frank got the directions to the Ridge, Montana, camp today and it sounds as if we are really going to be very rustic for the week we are there. I should note that I (Chris) am not a rustic type of person. I love the beautiful outdoors and the scenery, which will probably be wonderful, but I don't particularly like roughing it. However, I can handle it for a week, and I'll even try to keep smiling all the time as long as it doesn't rain too much or be too cold or require lots of physical endurance. I can do this.

Actually, I'm looking forward to this trip. Memories of vacations with my family when I was a child keep coming to my mind as I think about Montana and Wyoming. My folks took us to Yellowstone, to Glacier National Park, to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore, among other places. Frank hasn't been to any of those places, and we probably won't be able to see them all, but I'm hoping we will have a chance to see some of the beautiful mountains and forests of the north-central and northwest U.S. The last time I was in the Northwest was in 1975. Evan was only three months old and Laura was being potty-trained all the way across the northern states from Iowa to Oregon. Frank has been back there a couple of times since, but not me. This could be a great adventure for us.


Well, Frank and I are in pretty good health for the most part. Frank did have to have a colonoscopy in early May. He had been having some internal issues that just didn't seem to get better, so the doctor sent him to a specialist to be checked out. The colonoscopy wasn't too bad (getting prepared for it the previous day is the worst part!), and the doctor didn't see anything that was abnormal, for which we are thankful. The doctor thinks it's probably related to irritable bowel syndrome or colitis. Frank is taking medication for a while which is supposed to help it.

I'm scheduled to have a colonscopy also in late August. My mother had colon cancer, although after surgery it was gone and, to my knowledge, did not recur. I believe the Lord has been putting it in my mind for the last three or four months that I need to have this done since there is a history of it in the family. I would have it done sooner, but we are heading out on the road in a week and I don't want to use my last week at home for a while getting ready for, having, and recovering from a colonoscopy! My irritable bowel/post-gall bladder problems have really improved during the past eight months. I went from November till early February with no pain attacks at all, then had a rough March which eased into April. Right now it's been two months again since I had any trouble. I am hoping that the Lord is healing me a bit at a time and that eventually it will go away for good. However, for now I still carry my medication along with me everywhere I go. I am walking more than 3 miles everyday on the treadmill, trying to burn off calories to lose my winter weight gain. Slowly, slowly it is coming down. More to follow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Frank's mom, Edna Dewey, had her 102nd birthday on Feb. 8. She is incredible. Her mind is still fairly good, but her body is weakening. She is frustrated because she wants to walk fast and steady like she did even thirty years ago, but her knees have osteoarthritis and she is bent over and moves very slowly with the help of a walker. About four months ago the assisted living center insisted that she get a motorized chair because it was taking her so long to get from her room to the dining room. She really didn't want it because she felt that it was taking away from her exercise, and she was a little afraid of it. But she has learned to use it and gets around the center much faster and better now. She has been having some physical therapy on her knees twice a week, but basically there's not a lot that can be done to help except surgery, and she's too old to be able to handle that now. She is getting more forgetful and gets some things mixed up once in a while, but I (Chris) do that too sometimes! Frank is wonderful about going to her apartment and fixing things and doing her shopping. I think she doesn't want to ask the people at the center to do things for her, so she calls Frank often and he always goes without hesitation.

Since we had a big celebration for her 100th birthday we haven't had big birthday parties since. But she came to our house, and Laura and her family came, and we had a nice meal and a birthday cake and some presents for her.
Is this why God is keeping us in the U.S. longer that we expected? So Frank can continue to help his mother? If so, what will happen when we finally do get to Ukraine? Lots of questions that need some answers.
Whatever the answers, we are thankful for Mom Dewey and that the Lord has let us have her for so long.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Okay, I admit it----I haven't written anything on the blog since November 12, 2008. (I have to admit it, it's right there in front of my face!) I'm going to get it started again. This past winter was a very slow time for us. It seemed that there wasn't anything new and interesting to write about. We didn't have many meetings to talk about Ukraine, and actually we were wondering if we would make it there. Our new support has trickled to a standstill, we were a long way from what we needed financially to get to Ukraine. We were really down a lot. But we kept asking God, that if it wasn't His will for us to go to Ukraine, then He would have to show us what He had in store for us instead. And He did not show us anything different.

However, we did keep up our preparations to go. We started Russian lessons in November and continued with them. In fact, although our tutor, Olga, has gone back to Russia now for her summer vacation, Frank in particular is continuing to study and study and study Russian. He is getting a good grasp of the vocabulary and grammar and works on pronounciation now (without Olga) with the help of two computer programs that we have to help us. I haven't done as much----I can always find lots of things to fill my time and I don't have the drive to study any language, it's just a big struggle for me. I tell myself that when we get there, I'll have to learn it, immerse myself in it. We'll see.

Another thing we did was to continue attending our small group sessions with in a church near to us. This is training for becoming facilitators of Living Free, an organization which has developed materials to use with people who have life-controlling issues that keep them from being all that God wants them to be. Issues such as addictions, relationship problems, acceptance of self, and so on. The wonderful thing about this program is that all the materials are already translated into Russian and are available free online to qualified facilitators. Our field leader in Ukraine is very anxious for us to get there so we can get the program started in the churches that have been planted by World Gospel Mission. I have written a little about this in some of my last entries that I made in November. Well, we haven't given up on it. In fact, we're in a group now called The 12 Step Recovery Program which is really good. The material is excellent. We have learned so much from the prisoners in the groups. Some are stumbling along, but some have made definite decisions to change their lives and with Christ's help to be released from their life-controlling issue even if they aren't released from prison. One of the women in our group now, Jean Ann, spent 10 years in prison for dealing drugs; it took two more arrests for her to finally face the fact that she needed the Lord and needed His help to change her life. Her problems aren't all gone, but she is serving the Lord and trusting Him for each day's needs.

Finally, I have gotten a little involved in the work in Ukraine in another way. The Bible school was closed and the library was moved to Berydansk (where we will be) to begin pastors' training and lay development. It is being organized and set up on the computer there, and I have having the opportunity to give suggestions as to how to do it correctly. I have even bought some library materials that every library needs, and am working through that to send information and help to Bill and Betsy Tarr as they direct the setting-up of the library. WE NEED TO GET THERE!!!!

Okay, that's all I'll write on this posting. Tomorrow I will write more about how things are slowly coming together for us, and we are encouraged, feeling that we will finally reach Ukraine in the fall.