This week we had an unusual family reunion in Kiev with our missionary kids. Earlier in the week we worked hard doing repairs on Mike and Rachel’s home. I also preached in their church Sunday and we met with the pastor’s family. Tuesday I spoke on resurrection evidences at the Kiev Theological Seminary chapel.
It was a blessing to interact with young adults preparing for ministry where my son-in-law Mike Gustafson teaches. I related God’s blessing on Discovery through expository preaching and how the Lord led us to do ministry in Ukraine in 1994 and has even led a refugee family to our home.
The mission field is often a very busy and difficult place for missionaries. It is easy to be idealistic about missions; but that quickly fades when you arrive on the field. A century ago going to the mission field meant leaving home for decades and having little support when you arrived in a hostile culture.
Today jet travel and technology help a lot, but it still can be difficult. The reality is that many missionaries drop out after the first term on the field. That is why it is important for there to be genuine support, prayer and interest from the family and church back home. Even Jesus went away with His disciples to “come apart and rest awhile.” The Jerusalem church also provided that support after Paul’s first missionary journey too if you look closely at Acts 13 and 14.
Part of our reason for visiting Ukraine this time was to provide that support. So this week we had kind of family reunion in Kiev. Caleb’s family came from Odessa by overnight train and joined us in Kiev for just plain fun, food, talking and cousins playing with each other in the yard for a day. Then Nancy and I and Caleb’s family took an express train west to spend R & R time with them in Lviv.
Check out the pictures and Caleb’s video to see a bit of what this was like as we made some memories. Then consider some R & R for your family. Let me know what you think.