Dear Friends and Family in Christ Jesus,
Greetings in our Lord’s precious Name from Ukraine! Spring is already in the air, leaving the long, hard winter behind us. This winter was especially severe with lots of snow, making driving very difficult since snow is not plowed in this country (at least not where we live). We are looking forward to the time when we can drive on asphalt instead of rutted ice, several inches thick.
For those who do not yet know, we finally found a suitable house not far from Kyiv and our church. On the 15th of January, we signed a rental agreement and the next day four men from our church, one of whom had a large truck, helped us move. During our move, Yurko’s forehead was accidently gashed and the wound needed to be stitched. Fortunately, my friend was able to take Wendy and Yurko to the hospital as I needed to drive my car to take the movers and lead the way to our new place. Right now he is doing fine. After living in the house just one day, we discovered that the gas furnace had problems and could not be legally operated for safety reasons. The landlady would not replace it since she believed the furnace was just fine, so we ended up replacing it at our cost, spending $920. Replacing the furnace was a nightmare since the guys did pretty sloppy job, plus ruined our sink, toilet and a lot of tile with the welding. We are still waiting for them to replace those items. At present we are basically settled in. The reason it is taking a while is because no matter what we touch in this house, it needs to be fixed, so I’ve been remounting curtain rods, repairing furniture, installing a shower, changing out old electric outlets that do not fit modern appliances, and a million other little things.
In spite of that, Bible translation work is going full steam ahead! Having missed it for almost ten months, I am now fully absorbed in translating the book of Romans, which is to be published later this year, Lord willing, together with the gospel of John. So far, I have been able to translate, by God’s grace, ten and a half chapters of the first draft! Besides that, I have had great opportunities to work on building my translation team. In December, I met with Anya, who agreed to join me as a translator (formerly, she was only a consultant). We discussed plans for and principles of translation work. As soon as Anya finishes writing her doctoral dissertation in Greek, she is going to start working on the book of Mark. She has very little to finish, so please pray she can do this soon and start translating the Bible. In January, I met with Bro. Nesteruk, the president of the Ukrainian Baptist Fellowship which adopted my translation. We talked about plans for translation work and the team of three consultants that the Fellowship supplied. I already had a chance to talk to Bro. Romanyuk, who is going to head up the team, and discuss the practical side of how we are going to work together (all three men live in different parts of Ukraine). In February, I met Bro. Melnychuk, the president of a Christian university in Ukraine. He is very excited about my translation work and since he knows many Christians with biblical training, he offered to look for those with knowledge of biblical languages who can assist me in my work. He already mentioned two professors at his university, one of whom knows Greek and the other Hebrew. Bro. Melnychuk invited me to come down to Donetsk (a city in Ukraine where the university is located) some day to meet them. Finally, on February 24nd, I met Taras Dyatlyk, a potential translator and/or consultant. Taras has studied in Europe and is doing his doctoral dissertation in New Testament Greek right now. Taras has agreed to join me as a consultant but at this time is not sure his time would allow him to start translation work. It is great to have him on my translation team, at least as a consultant.
When our pastor was hospitalized with a very serious case of pneumonia in January, I was asked to continue his study of the book of Philippians on Sunday nights. I picked up at chapter four and have taught for the past month using my translation of this book. Praise the Lord, the pastor is doing much better and is back in church again. I will continue teaching Philippians while he regains his strength.
Sashko celebrated his 8th birthday just two days after we moved into our house. He had been praying for a yard to play in for 2 or 3 years and God answered! What a birthday present it was for him! Living in a house means more work and Sashko has jumped right in, shoveling snow and working along side his Daddy. With all the snow this year we gave him another present he has been wanting for a long time: skis. Sashko is doing well in school and making progress on the piano. The boys have been healthy lately, for which we praise the Lord, and an allergy breakout on Sashko’s face has been diagnosed and is being treated successfully.
We have a special prayer request regarding our youngest son. Andriy, who is now 18 months old, was diagnosed last week with “hip dysplasia”, which is the deformation or misalignment of the hip joint. Although this is usually diagnosed by the age of three months, somehow our previous orthopedist missed it. Corrective treatment is only possible up to the age of eight months. After that (unless Andriy grows out of this problem) hip surgery is the only alterative. To make matters worse, the hip-joint angles are not the same (162 degrees and 150 degrees…. 135-140 is normal), therefore, if uncorrected, Andriy could end up with one leg being longer than the other, which would in turn affect his pelvis and spinal development significantly. Further, as a result of (or in addition to) his hip dysplasia, Andriy’s feet are turned inward. We hope to complete all the required tests this week and then we’ll be taking him to the Institute of Orthopedics here in Kyiv for a consultation. Please pray for us and the doctors to have wisdom in dealing with this.
1. Pray for me to have wisdom and protection from the devil’s attacks, as I translate the book of Romans.
2. Pray for Anya to finish writing her doctoral dissertation soon and start working on the book of Mark.
3. Pray for Taras being able to do translation work.
4. Pray for productive cooperation from the new members of my team as we develop our work relationship.
5. Pray for my health (I am currently experiencing some health issues).
6. Pray for the doctor’s visit concerning Andriy’s hip problem and that he would not need surgery.
7. Pray for the general health and protection of our family.
8. Continue to pray for the health of our friend William who has cancer. He is still not feeling well even though his tests are apparently fine. In April, he is going to have more tests to see why he feels so poorly.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers and financial support. May God bless your families, churches and ministries as we each labor in our corner of the harvest field.
Your fellow-servants for Jesus’ sake,
Yura, Wendy, Sashko, Yurko and Andriy