Monday, October 20, 2008

The Fall Semester

Getting off the plane again in Kiev was very different this time. There was no feeling of panic, we understood about 40% of what we were hearing as we stepped into the airport and the people looked, well like people rather than foreigners. Most of all we knew we had a home full of our own things to recover from the jetlag! It was stocked full of groceries, toys and starbucks coffee (Thanks to the BCLR youth group)! We were excited to see Kiev friends that we missed and a had new resolve to work hard on the Russian Language. It was actually surprising that we felt so comfortable in what seemed like such a strange place just a year ago.

This year is different in that we are adding 7 conferences to make a total of 13. Our conference cities are Kiev, Lviv, Chigarene, Simferopal, Odessa, Rovno, Zhitomar, Vinnitsa, Donetsk, Ternopil, Novgorod, Cherkassy and Uzhgorod. We are very excited about how hard our Ukrainian volunteers are working to bring their fellow countrymen to the conference and minister to them in the name of the Lord. They are so excited to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to reveal God's plan for marriage and family. Their passion is both inspiring and humbling. The Kiev conference is October 25, we are thankful for a full house of 140 couples, many unbelievers. Pray for our Ukrainian Speakers Alex and Lena Travnikov and Vitaly and Johna Borody. Also pray for our American co-workers Scott and Cymp Stemple who will be presenting the gospel to the conferees. We are so excited to see what God will do this year!

Also we are hoping to become involved in a church that is beginning in Kiev. We are trusting the Lord that we will be able to serve in a Ukrainian church without translation so that we can come alongside another American family to plant a Bible centered, expository preaching church. Serving in and modeling a life built around Christ and His Church is one of the reasons we moved here so we are very excited about this opportunity and may be letting you know how you can help this church to grow and prosper here in Kiev. Pray for us as we take this exciting step!

We had a wonderful time seeing you all in America. We were able to see our families and church family, it was so encouraging! We were able to stock up on medicines, syrup and peanut butter! We feel much better! We were able to go to Chicago and meet Carra's wonderful friends at Moody. We couldn't ask for a more godly group of girls to encourage and help Carra while we are out of the country. We even attended some classes and were very impressed with her professors and Biblical training. God is so good to us! Pray for Carra as she had mono this summer and hopefully is recovering rather than relapsing. Also she is a Junior this year majoring in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and has to do an internship teaching English in a foreign country this summer. Pray the Lord will guide her as she makes these preparations.

Spencer is having a great school year in 11th grade, taking a very tough schedule of honors classes and studying for the SAT and ACT. Pray as he begins to make college decisions. We are grateful God has provided a wonderful group of friends for him who are seeking to grow together in the Lord while having alot of fun! One thing we love about his school is the emphasis on service to Ukrainians, pray he will continue to be servant hearted during these projects and have an attitude pleasing to the Lord.

Finally our homeschool year has started off wonderfully since we haven't had to move this year!!!! Yay!!! Miraculously everyone is on grade level and doing well after the doubling up and summer school we had last year in the midst of chaos. To God be the glory great things he has done! Pray the children will really take off in Russian as they meet with a tutor 1 hour a day, 3 days a week. Pray we will be faithful to speak Russian together as a family and not be afraid to use what we know. We hope to make alot of friends this year both Ukrainian and American so the children will be happier to be here. Some days they love it here and others they miss their friends and family deeply. It is hard to convince them that if they lived in America they would still have to do school and chores! They remember it as a place to swim with friends and go to VBS!

The Lord is good and we see it as a privilege to serve among these wonderful people.
We love and miss you all and are so grateful for how you helped us this summer and continue to be used of the Lord to keep us serving Him here in Ukraine.

The Claxton family


James1twelvesoldier said...

Mark and Jill,

Great to catch up on what has been going on. Yes, God is so good and we are truly blessed. We will be praying for you guys as usual but it is nice to hear what you really need us to pray for. It was good to see everyone and enjoy the snow and cold!! Love you guys, Brett

Dave Baldwin said...

Dear Claxton Family,
What a great encouragement to read about your ministry in Ukraine. I have been to Ukraine many times and coming again in March 09. I work with Keiv Theological Seminary and the Baptist Churches in Vinnitsa. I noticed you were in Vinnitsa doing a marraige conference.
Blessings on you all,
Dave Baldwin

Jill said...

Your desire to serve the Lord in Ukraine is such an encouragement to me. We will pray for your entire family's language studies. God is so good and faithful. He will help you.

It is so good to have those foods we so like...peanut butter, etc.

Thanks for your example and willingness to follow where the Lord has led you. May you feel His peace, pleasure and blessings from day to day.