Under Pressure

Feeling overwhelmed by the weight of my responsibilities and things to do before we head to the States for the next three months.

To our dear supporters,

Graduation is next Saturday. We are a week away from the end of my first year as director of the Ukrainian Bible Institute. It’s been a good year, a blessed year. But it’s also been a very challenging year.

I knew taking on the role of director would be difficult. Nothing about the job offer sounded easy to me. But knowing something with your head and feeling it with your heart are always two different things. Lately, I’ve been feeling the weight of my job like never before. So many responsibilities, so many decisions to make, so many goals. So little time.

We leave for the States in two weeks. My very long list of things to do won’t stop staring at me from the corner of my desk. It’s literally impossible to get it all done before we leave, but almost all of it literally has to be. And the list grows longer every day. This was supposed to be the week I started making real progress chipping away at those lingering tasks, but this week was also the week that one of our students received some very difficult news which required my involvement to help sort out. I guess what’s new to me about this role is not that there’s always something else that can be done, but that there’s always something else that must be done. It’s a heavy weight I’m still developing the muscles for, I guess.

Celebrating Marriage

Katie has been—as she has always been—my secret weapon during this time. She has been encouraging me and tackling emails and plane tickets and keeping me organized.

We celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary last week. Despite the tornado of responsibilities, we took a whole evening off to mark the occasion. After sixteen years, she is still my favorite person in the world. Her love and encouragement are what help me believe that I have any business trying to do what I’m doing. I couldn’t do this without her. I wouldn’t even want to try.


Over the next three months we will be making the rounds to all our supporters, something we haven’t been able to do to in quite some time. We’ll be quarantining in North Carolina, then visiting Texas, Oklahoma, Idaho, California, Nevada, and Tennessee.

Justus and Katie won’t be joining me on all the stops this year, which will be the first time we’ve done that. In addition to our regular visits, I will be making several trips on my own to meet UBI sponsors. Knowing we won’t put Justus through so much travel brings some peace of mind, but it will be strange to be without them.


So we look forward to seeing many of you soon. Thank you all so much for your constant love and consistent support, especially during this very inconsistent year we’ve all been through.

Please remember me in your prayers over these next few weeks. At times I feel almost paralyzed by the number of things I have to do. I’m praying for wisdom in how I use my time, including making sure I’m getting some rest. I’m praying for a peace that passes understanding, and I’m praying for God to be glorified in my very obvious weaknesses.

In a few weeks, I’ll share more with you more about how UBI is doing and include pictures from our upcoming graduation. As always, thank you.

We love you, and we’ll see you soon.


In other news…

Twenty Years Later

We celebrated sixteen years of marriage last week, but as of this year Katie and I have known each other for twenty. Here’s the story about when we first met.

Also, we moved. It wasn’t just any move, however. We’re now homeowners. Read about that unexpected journey here.

For the last three weeks I’ve been teaching a class on ministering to youth. On our final day, I invited Sasha to come and share from his experience.

Justus: “Hand me that empty box.”
Me: “This box is full of stuff.”
Justus: “It used to be empty, that’s why I call it my empty box.”

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