It was time. All of our belongings were loaded into the vans that would transport us from Hungary to Ukraine. The European Initiative Budapest staff — a team I am so privileged to know and have served alongside — were already waiting downstairs to say goodbye. Tears blurred my vision as I closed the door to the place we’d called home for over three years. As I paused in effort to regain composure, the first line of the 19th century English hymn sprang to the forefront of my mind: “Onward Christian Soldier…” In a moment, God graciously renewed my strength as I heard the voice of the Shepherd encouraging my little family onward. After saying goodbye to our friends, we – my seven year old daughter, our frantically panting 9 month old Golden Retriever, our Ukrainian friend, plus the driver – piled into the van and the journey began. 

The word “onward” is defined as “a continuing forward motion.” As Christians, I believe we’re not called to live stagnant or stationary lives. We see this in Matthew 9:14 as well when Jesus said, “Come follow Me.” Following also requires movement! I love the combination of God calling us onward and yet to follow, for it means we are not asked to navigate the journey alone. He is Emmanuel “God with us” — every step of the way. 

As we have been settling into life here in Ukraine, in so many ways I see evidence of His kindness to go before us to prepare the way. For example, we were able to move directly into a home that could not be in a more perfect location. The primary school my daughter attends is beautifully suited to meet her needs. We are surrounded by people who are so willing to serve and help us as we transition and adjust. We have seen God’s provision through the support of our family and friends. Yes, I’m a single, working mom of a child with a disability — but the reality is I feel anything but alone. I feel surrounded. I feel surrounded by Him and by the people He has brought alongside us to share the journey. 

The journey to love Him by loving the ones He loves. The journey to see every child have a family and a home. The journey to see every child reach their full potential through inclusive education and rehabilitation. The journey to ultimately see the gospel reach and transform a people’s heart….but it starts with one heart, one life at a time. The goal is quality, not quantity — to see the gospel go deep within a person, and leave the wide up to the One who gives the increase. 

We covet your prayers in the days ahead – especially as we delve deeper into ministry and take on the daunting task of learning the language. Thank you to all those who support us already both financially and in prayer. We are so very thankful.


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