Monday, November 5, 2007


This is a church we visited on Harvest Day, Ukraine's
version of Thanksgiving. The dress is traditional

Below is a monument to all the children
who died in a terrible famine induced by the communist
government in the 1930's.

This is Josh's BoyScouts of AMERICA troop, only
at this meeting he was the only American. These
boys are French, Russian and Korean. Their families are not Christian so it is a great oppurtunity to share the gospel with the international community of Kiev.

Downtown Kiev with Daddy

The boys in Mark's study and fun in a downtown Kiev park, Seth is always my helper with Evan!

Kiev's spectacular River the Dnieper, home of the very ancient Settlement Kiev-Rus, the Scandanavian ancestors of Eastern Europe. This civilization was settled in 500 AD by Vikings and was a major trade route in the world at that time. Later these people mixed with the Slavic people to become the modern day Russian and Ukrainian people.

Babykins, our Joy!!!
This is Katherine's Ukrainian friend, Marina and the dog we love and are dogsitting, Gracie

Russian classes have begun, Super fun but extremely time consuming!!! In the Russian alphabet H says 'n', Y says 'oo', P says 'r', there is a backwards N that says 'ee', an upside down h that says 'ch', and a 3 that says 'z' !!! So this is rather challenging, especially when Jill has been teaching English phonics for 15 years!!
DahsVahdahneeyah!!!!! (Goodbye!!!!)

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Our first marriage conference here in Kyiv went great. There were 3 Ukrainian couples speaking on God's Plan for the family, a gospel presentation, and Intimacy in the marriage. They did such a great job!

We praise God for the attentiveness of all the couples, it was so neat seeing these men really listening and engaging their wives in conversation during the projects and when they went to write love letters to their wives, priceless!

The husbands were given roses to give to their wives at the end of the conference as they had a romantic dessert. It was astonishing how excited they were to find their wives to give them the rose. Giving these men a practical example of how to show love and appreciation for their wives and to see them as God's precious gift to them was an important part of the conference. It was an exciting sight to see these couples leaving holding hands. Pray this ministry will deter the Ukrainian divorce rate of over 70% and will multiply godly families in Ukraine!

We were convinced more than ever when we saw these people and thought about the impact they could have on their children, their churches, their parents, their friends and their communites for Christ, that this ministry is a powerful way to share the gospel and begin deeply discipling Ukrainians. Soon we will begin calling people to offer them to become part of a Bible study and to encourage them to become apart of a local church if they are not already. Mark has also had alot of great conversations with pastors in Kyiv to have conferences and Marriage studies in their churches. Many pastors from other areas of Ukraine traveled far to attend the conference and Mark is excited to work with them to get conferences and Marriage studies in other areas of Ukraine. The Family is in deed a powerful vehicle for the Gospel. Pray those who attended these conferences would continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Well we finally figured out how to do pics!!!!!

The Kiev Airport

our house

our street

the castle across the street, weird the boys new room andOur new River, The Dneiper

Kiev architecture

Not so


Well, now the earthshattering news. WE WENT TO THE GROCERY STORE BY OURSELVES FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Lord's Day in Ukraine

Yesterday was our first Sunday service in Ukraine. Since we don't have a car yet we attended services at a Ukrainian Baptist church here in Bucha. The church was beautiful, very simple with pretty new wood benches, all wood floors and alot of glass. The only decoration was a big cross on the wall behind the pulpit. I was thinking how nice a small wedding would be there because it is such a small area to decorate. One pastor preached who was a seminary student, the Senior pastor jokingly said that the student's wife was armenian and he was ukrainian, they both spoke french but he was going to preach in Russian. That's Kiev for you, very international. Anyway he preached on the Prodigal son and a young girl sat behind us and whispered the English translation in our ear.

Next the Senior pastor dedicated the newly finished basement for the use of Sunday School. They called all the teachers and children forward (the children had sat through the first worship time and sermon) and prayed for them. The Sunday School teachers were beaming with joy and looked at the children so lovingly, Just like in America many of them were young mothers and teenaged girls. I could tell that they were all so excited to be having a Sunday School and took the job very seriously. The pastor gave them a charge much like our church in America charges parents at a baby dedication. It was clear that these women felt a huge burden for the future of their church in their teaching on Sunday morning, as well they should!

Then the children dismissed to Sunday School, Josh was the only one brave enough to go to Sunday School that day, (surprise, surprise) and he had his very own translator. He loved it and was excited to find out that next week there would be a Bible quiz on the books of the Bible which he feels sure that he will win. (Lord help this cocky child even language barriers do not stop his desire to conquer the world) After the children left we had our second sermon given by the Senior pastor, his text was the entire book of Esther. The translator was exhausted when that was over! The biggest miracle was that Evan our 3 year old sat through both sermons, I guess the Russian speaking and singing was a little intimidating for him and he wasn't his normal rambunctious self. The preaching was simple but true and we really enjoyed being with these Ukrainian believers. They listened so intently to the sermons and so many seemed as if they were hearing these common Biblical stories for the first time. They looked amazed at the audacity of Haman and very excited when Mordecai was honored!

One thing is for sure being with the Lord's people made us grateful to be here in this country full of new believers, but it made us miss the comfort of our home Church where everything is challenging but is in English!!! Oh well, Language school begins in 2 weeks so we will at least begin understanding a little more every week. Spencer is actually learning alot in school so he is teaching us informally. He still loves school, last friday he and some friends hung out together after school all day, running around the city then attending a youth group which meets on friday night. So Missionary Kids have fun too!

Mark has been working on his first conference in October, so he has been on the Metro alot going to meetings in downtown Kiev. The Metro is always an adventure, one of our friends got his billfold stolen with $300 in it last week, so pray for Mark as he travels. It seems safe but you can't get your guard down too much. Mark has also met many pastors through the people who own this house we are living in, so pray he can cultivate those relationships.

Continue to pray for us as we visit churches that we would discern where God wants to plant our family with the local church here in Ukraine. We love and miss you all. God bless your ministries at home! We love you !!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Life in Ukraine

Well I have held off writing this because I wanted to have pictures, please read the previous post about this, but I guess words will have to do for now. We are blessed to be staying in a beautiful big home with a fully gated front and backyard. The owner has colorful flowers everywhere and we are keeping their sweet dog so the kids are having a blast with that. A neighborhood boy comes over often and speaks russian to us 90 miles an hour even though we tell him constantly we don't understand him. About every other sentence he says hello, which is the only word he knows in English. After a couple of hours of playing I tell him goodbye in Russian but he just says hello to me, he knows exactly what I am saying. I have to walk him out the gate to get him to go home! He is only 6 and I have never even seen his mother. Our next door neighbors who are christians and one of whom speaks English say his family are not believers so we are praying to have some opportunites with them in the future as we learn Russian.

Spencer is really enjoying school. The other missionary kids from all different ministries around Kiev have been so friendly and fun to be with. He attended youth group last friday night and really enjoyed that. The classes will be challenging so pray he continues to be diligent particularly in Algebra 2 and Russian.

We have been to several different grocery stores which aren't too hard because half the brands are American and our friend has always been there to interpret, but once we get a car that will not always be the case. People seem to be understanding. What is hard about it is that we want to talk to people! We feel rude, especially on the train; people always talk to the children and they aren't able to respond. The kids are so confident though they are not the least bit afraid and are constantly asking how to say things in Russian then saying them to the people they meet. The Stemples, the American family we work with, just adopted a 9 year old Ukrainian girl who only speaks Russian, Marina. She and Katherine are really learning from each other to speak the others language. They play for hours!

Carra is really loving this semester at Moody and such a surprising praise, she is on the same floor with a new girl whose parents are missionaries in Kiev. Spencer is in the same grade with and has gotten to know her brother here at school in Kiev. We hope to meet their parents soon.
So Carra will have someone she enjoys to fly to Ukraine with for Christmas!!! God is so good to us! Well we will write more later.

In His Care,

The Claxtons

Technical Difficulties

We would like to post pictures on here but are unable to do so, Spencer is also having trouble on facebook and we can't email pictures either. We have vonage phone set up here and are wondering if that has anything to do with this problem. If you know what we might try email us at .

Saturday, September 1, 2007

We're Here!!!!!!!

The Plane ride was long but the kids slept the whole time, so praise the Lord our plan of exhausting the kids in the swimming pool and staying up all night previous to our 3:30 am trek to the airport worked! The 6 hour layover in Germany was pretty rough but it made us actually glad to get on the plane again to Kiev. The airport was pretty funny, when they saw us get off the plane they assigned this young guy to help because we had so many carry-ons, when he saw our 14 huge red duffle bags come out in baggage claim his jaw dropped to the floor, he left for a long time to secure 3 carts to carry them on. By the time that was over as usual he was great friends with Mark. We were very happy to see our friend and coworker Scott Stemple he drove us to our beautiful home. The Stemple family has been such a blessing to us.