Team.710- Mission and Values

About a month ago, our team met together to pray and revisit our mission and values. We wanted to really think about what we do, and how we do it, especially because our teaching team has grown to 16 people, and we have many new people this year.

Here are the results of that day.

Kai and Jay (along with Cassie) – Little Business Men

A few years ago the kids decided to start their own business (along with some urging from mom) selling things like cards and keychains with a Ukraine theme to people that come through YWAM Kyiv. It is pretty low maintenance because they just put out all of their stock on a window sill near the dorms with a jar for money. When they start running out of stock or are walking by they grab the little bit of money in the jar and we input it into the spreadsheet. Hopefully everyone is learning a little about how to run a business.

13 – Mastering Online School

Cassie turned 13 this year (don’t let the candles fool you). She has also embarked on a new adventure. Due to covid this year, students have been going back and forth between online and in person school depending on the quarantine rules of the Kyiv government. After experiencing a big challenge with having online zoom classes, and also with the tiring schedule of leaving for school at 7am (when in person) and returning at 5:00 (with several hours of school work to do when coming home), she made a big move. Starting in January 2021 we decided to try an online school platform through a school in Alberta. This school specializes in online classes. This meant that Cassie is self paced and working through her different subjects on her own timeline. This has been a great change so far. While making a significant effort to maintain social friendships from school, some additions we have been able to make is having a Russian tutor so the learning is happening at her own pace and skill level, having a gym membership so that we are ensuring she stays in shape, and Mom leads the health class 🙂 I (Angela) have been really loving and treasuring all of the extra time I have had with Cassie this year. She will do this again for grade 8 and then she will likely return to KCA for highschool, but we will evaluate again at that point.

A Short Update Video

We recently made this short update video for our home church and we thought others may like to see what we have been up to here in Kyiv.

Titus Project in Europe! 2010-2020

We wrote to all of the graduates from our Titus Projects throughout the last 10 years here in Europe and asked them what they are up to now? Do they still teach? Are they thankful they did Titus Project? We couldn’t share all of their stories, but here are a few so that you can be encouraged – there has been a lot of fruit over the past ten years – with more to come! We are grateful for all of the people who have given, helped, taught, sent, prayed and been there through the journey of pioneering to strengthening the work of Bible teaching in Europe! Click on the photo below to go to our online magazine. If you would prefer to download a copy of the pdf- here is the file for your enjoyment: PDF Version of the Magazine

 

 

What is faith?

Our family is studying faith at our dinner table. 5 different aspects of what it means to have faith in God. 


Faith is Christ-centered, cross-centered belief. Two weeks ago we focused on it isn’t ‘believing’ in Jesus that is important- it is what we believe about Jesus. Do we agree with the claims he made about himself? Do we agree that He is the son of God and that he was raised from the dead? This is a crucial aspect of being a person of faith.


Faith is trusting God for the future. This last week we talked about how faith is trusting God for our tomorrows. In every circumstance, we can trust him. When we feel afraid of what is to come, or we are unsure, or we know a difficult time might be around the corner, being a person of faith means trusting in God to see us through.


Faith is assurance in the present. This coming week we will look at faith as having assurance in the present, no matter if it is a good experience in our lives, or a difficult one, we can be assured that God will use every circumstance for the good of those who love him.

Winter

It is really interesting the feelings that winter brought this year. Every year we spend January training new teachers and then we send them out to teach usually after the first week of January. This year we was no different. In spite of Covid we still sent out 4 teams who are busy with teaching both over zoom as well as in person to small groups.

However, every mid-february we have a ‘lull’ in our calendar where we are preparing for the next SBS which will start in month. There is still a lot to do, and yet there are less people around. The weather is also cold and snowy (at least this year) and so it is easier to stay inside and ‘hunker down’ doing most of the preparation work for SBS alone. This can be a difficult month for our family and our team as we look forward to more sunshine and spring. We appreciate your prayers during the ‘bleak mid-winter.’

Something fun we did as a staff team was celebrate ‘National Carrot Cake Day’ just for a bit of silliness. We made it a competition to see who could make the best cake! Yum!!

The past few months in pictures

Sometimes I get the urge to write a post that describes something that happened, or a conversation that was had. Today, though, I think it would be nice to have some new pictures to help lend some colour to the black and white conversation of type.

Lviv Chocolate Factory
The Nutcracker in Lviv
World Juniors Hockey- Canada came in 2nd
New Years at our friends house- Sparkler fun!
New Years Fondue Tradition
Bedtime Reading – No shortage of Stuffies!
Jay’s friends over for a school break bonfire
Walks in the park
Fun Christmas packages from home
Egan home again and the boys love to play!

And now… 2021 begins! It is going to be a year filled with ups and downs – like any year! But we are surrounded by loving family and friends, and God gives us purpose and love- so we are ready to embrace this year. I asked the Lord for a word for the year as many of my friends do, and I felt like he gave me three- Faith, Hope and Love. So my prayers is that I will approach life with faith, continue to have hope, and pray for a motivation of love for all that I do. Happy New Year!

Growing Up

These past few weeks, the kids have been home doing their school here. With covid, the kids went back to school in September, however their school stopped for 2 weeks when a few cases popped up in their classes. Even though I have many commitments to work on here in Kyiv, I had to put it all aside because all day long I would be with Kai helping him get through assignments after assignment. Jay would need me to come and just help him focus and not start listening to K-Pop and watching Mr. Beast videos, and Cassie would be pretty much all on her own (but I would miss seeing her so I would pop in there too if I had time).

I have been realizing how precious these times are, though I also have felt a bit overwhelmed because my commitments are getting pushed to the side. This morning they went back to school and I felt sad. I went into each of their rooms and just took a picture of their beds, their tables etc. Each one of them has such a precious personality.

Kai’s Bed Age 8

Kai loves his stuffies! He has dogs, elephants, bears, and everything else you can imagine! He loves them and has ALL of them in his bed at night!

Jay’s bedside table Age 10

Jay fills up the table beside his bed with everything you can imagine. Of course, legos still take a high priority, next to his books, brush, alarm clock, Bible, and let’s not forget his pocket knife. This table represents so much about his energy and love of life!

Cassie’s bedside bookshelf – Age 12

Books, pretty lights, fun stripes, plants and probably a hidden chocolate bar in there, Cassie loves to spend time in this little cozy corner. She is really becoming a young woman that tries so hard to be patient with younger brothers, but definitely needs some alone time!

Reflections on Proverbs – Part 3


So it is important to consider, as a follower of Christ, what does it mean to be the covenant faithful in the world today? Wisdom and covenant faithfulness have to do with individual lives as they relate to the community of faith and our role in the world.

In Deuteronomy 6 Moses challenges the people to keep God’s commandments so that it may go well with them, they are also to teach them to their children and not forget; especially when they come into the Promised Land and there is the temptation of the gods around them they need to be faithful to God. A significant part of the passage of Deut 6 talks about how when their children ask them why they should follow the law, they are to tell about God’s deliverance and power and how he gave them the commandments for their lasting good to keep them alive. Proverbs 1:2-7 also refers to the fact that the proverbs are given so that the people (both simple and wise) will basically learn to live in community in a ‘righteous, just and equitable’ way. Why should they live like that? The same reason that God gave them the covenant, for their good! Deuteronomy 28 contrasts the different results between whether the people stay faithful to the covenant or if they turn away, there will either be life or death. Again there is the dichotomy between the two. Deuteronomy 28 and Proverbs line up so well beside each other because they show that choosing God’s way leads to life, but choosing the way of the foolish leads to death. However, is it just life for the individual or death for the individual? No, it is community-wide. God judges Israel as a whole and blesses them as a whole, in the same way, our actions do not only affect us but they affect the whole.

This leads into the thought that in both Proverbs and the passages of Deuteronomy following God’s covenant will affect every area of their life, from the food they eat to their enemies around them. Likewise, if they are not faithful to God’s covenant with them then they will experience judgement in every area of their lives from their children, to their harvests, to their enemies, and even their reputation.  Being faithful to God’s covenant was much bigger than simply obeying God’s commandments regarding the temple and the sacrifices; being faithful to God’s covenant had to do with their heart. “Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” (Deut 30:19b-20)  It would affect all the areas of their life. Proverbs 1:2-7 also encompasses all areas of life, because they are about learning about wisdom, gaining instruction about wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity, teaching shrewdness, knowledge, prudence, learning and acquiring skill. If I put these in today’s terminology they would say: business, morality, law, economics, common (street) sense, education, rhetoric, trades.

 So what does it mean to be the ‘covenant faithful’ today? It means that I allow God’s wisdom to affect every area of my life. Moreover, I need to look at how my actions affect the bigger picture; not just myself but my community. I need to be faithful to God not only in Spirit but in action and obedience to what He calls me to in His Word.  This is what wisdom really is, letting God’s Spirit and timeless truths in His Word shape how I live, not to only agree in my head but to put feet to my actions. Also, I need to realize that my actions affect my community and that God desires that I have a positive affect on my community. I am responsible for how my community lives in some way.

I have to admit that I am not very good at this, my decisions usually only consider myself and maybe Ben and the kids. If I am tired, I don’t think about how my negative down attitude could affect my coworkers. My pride actually stems from individualism, and not a community mindset, because I am more concerned about building myself up than others. If I was truly more community oriented and kingdom focused, and I saw something that I judged that could be done better, I would find a way to help without having to take credit for the improvement. I am focused on living a life that is pleasing to God by: having integrity, being faithful to my husband, having time set apart with God, prayer, and other ‘disciplines’. I see that these things are all very ‘me’ focused and, though not wrong in themselves, they need to be balanced with actions that build up others and the community that I live in.

Deuteronomy Chapter 6- These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.  Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors,  promised you.  Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build,  houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said. In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.  And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”