Ukraine played a huge role in this last decade of my life. In fact I spent more of the decade in Ukraine than anywhere else! I have been so blessed to be a part of the ministry of God’s Hidden Treasures, I wanted to share my favorite Ukrainian photo from each year of this decade!
In 2010, I made my second trip to Ukraine. I was serving my vicarage at Ascenscion Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Iowa. Here I’m having some fun with Yaroslav Kulagin. I’ve been blessed to see Yarik grow up to become a strong Christian and awesome soccer player! After volunteering at this summer camp, I knew I wanted to see these children again!
In this photo I’m kneeling with Alina, Masha and Anya. Three awesome girls who bring so much joy to our camps. They would become my Ukrainian family!
Roma has been a blessing in my life. He has an amazing smile, and is a very patriotic Ukrainian. He asks that we pray for the Ukrainian president every evening at camp!
This photo is priceless. Andrei has been to every one of our camps. The whole decade he has dominated me at arm wrestling. Maybe I’ll have more success in the next decade.
This was a special year of camp. This was my first camp as a full time missionary in Ukraine, the first camp after the war in Ukraine began, we had no American teams this summer, but God worked powerfully through a team of Ukrainian camp counselors! This photo was taken on my 30th birthday!
Marta is the sweetest! I’m so glad she has come to our camp, I wish Marta and her family lived closer, so I could see them more, but I’m always happy to see her at camp! She has so much talent, I love hearing her sing and read poems.
One of my favorite years of camp. Having my Iowa family come and meet my Ukrainian family, oh and by the way, first camp with my future wife Lena!
Only one thing can top a camp photo, and that is a wedding photo! I’m so lucky to have Lena as my amazing wife. I didn’t think anything could top our parties at camp, but a Ukrainian wedding took it to a new level. Endless food, dancing, games, gypsies kidnapping my bride, all kinds of craziness, and having my family come to Ukraine made it even better, could any party top this?
In terms of energy, I don’t know if I’ll ever feel a party top Night to Shine, the prom for children with special needs we did with the Tim Tebow Foundation in 2018. It was an amazing night, where each guest received the VIP treatment and named the King or Queen of the ball.
What an amazing way to finish off the decade, this was the first year we were able to invite children from the deaf community. Another new way God’s Hidden Treasures has grown as I now get to visit these kids at the school for the deaf every week.
God has blessed me beyond measure this decade. So many camps, VBS at the Boy’s orphanage, a new wife and a wonderful new Ukrainian family. I can’t wait to see what God will bring in 2020 and beyond! Thanks for reading. If you would like to support my ministry in Ukraine in the decade to come you can visit this link.
Thank you and God bless,