Wednesday was literally "breathtaking"! We started the day with a 3-hour train ride to the start of the trail that leads up to Mt. Parashka. At the train station leaving L'viv, Kade befriended a German shepherd dog which then followed him onto the train!


Nathan and the guys hike near Parashka.

All went quite well. The dog managed to board without a ticket (which by the looks of him he couldn't afford one anyway) until one of the attendants came along and wasn't at all enthusiastic about the idea of having a stray dog on board. So it seemed that the dog must have got booted off at the next station as by the time we arrived at Parashka he was nowhere to be seen.

But soon after leaving the train and starting the hike another stray dog took a liking to us and joined in on the hike! The dog followed us all the way to the top (which was an exhausting 5.75 miles and a height of 2731 feet). The dog didn't seem the least bit phased by the climb and I must say strapping my pack to the dog's back was a thought that crossed my mind.

Each of us had a pack weighing from 20 to 30 pounds, so the hike was no small challenge!

On our way down we met up with a group of 11 teenage girls who had all but run out of water. They still had a good bit of hiking ahead of them so we were able to share some of our water with them which they were very thankful for.

After coming off the top we set up camp and started a fire to make us some supper on, then afterwards we sat around the fire and had a good time of fellowship. By the time we got in our tents the sleeping bag felt like a bed of feathers.


Campfire on the mountain! Cornelius has been dubbed this year's "Lord of the Flame" - our official fire starter. Tip 'o the hat to Sid from Ice Age. 😉

The following morning we packed up our tents and started the agonizing descent off the mountain. Ben, Nathan, Corny, and Ralph took their time coming off the mountain (which was a smart idea) and made it in 2.5 hours.

Kade and I, on the other hand, had a little competition going on and on the final stretch it turned into a race (I paid for it with a blister on my foot). Kade won the race and our finish time was 1 hour 43 minutes!

On the following day (Friday 28th) Ben brought a devotion on being all in for God. Afterwards we did book reports. Each of us had read a book and shared what we had learned. That was very interesting.

In the afternoon all of us went down to Center and did Bible surveys. After each survey we would gave participants a copy of Good and Evil. After we finished the surveys we set up the chalkboard. Then Joshua and Abigail sang their duet followed by Ralph, Ben, and Kade presenting the Gospel! The crowd was attentive and the messages were great!


Serhii Chepara and Nelson Shirk conduct Bible surveys in central L'viv.


New for this year's street outreach, Abby and Joshua have been singing an English/Ukrainian rendition of "In Christ Alone". Abby's solo on her recorder turns a lot of heads! 🙂


Ralph Villeneuve preaches the Gospel in central L'viv.


Kade Bloom preached the second message.

In the evening Joshua and Kelsie had everyone over for dinner as Ben was leaving for the States in the morning.


The night before Ben left, we had a team dinner at the Steele's house. It was a great time of fellowship, storytelling, and laughs.


At the conclusion of the evening, we all laid hands on Ben and prayed for a safe trip. We are so blessed to have this man and his wife ministering with us!

The next morning Nathan had devotion with the topic of being a good steward with our finances and with the time and talents God has given us to serve Him.


Nathan gives his famous devo on the correlation between financial investing and investing in the Kingdom of God. Good stuff!

That afternoon we went to Zhovkva and did more Bible surveys. Then we came back to L'viv in hopes of doing street preaching, but we weren't able to obtain a permit on that day so we ended up doing more surveys. This turned out to be pretty amazing because as Joshua and Ralph were doing surveys a man called over to them saying he would like to take the survey! He was a Catholic who for the past 5 months has been reading the Bible and had some questions for them! So Joshua talked with him for a while and gave him a Good and Evil book and a Bible First correspondence course. It's amazing to see the hand of God at work!

On Sunday we went to the village of Yavora and did a film showing. We had 26 folks turn out for the film then afterwards Joshua presented the Gospel so that was awesome!


With 26 people in attendance, the showing in Yavora was our largest so far this year. What an encouragement!

We camped overnight. Then in the morning Ralph had devotion with the topic of faith. Afterwards we packed up the gear in the van. But when we started it, we realized we had absolutely no brakes! What had happened was a seal in the brake cylinder had blown and drained all the fluid. After working on it for a while, we were able to disconnect the brake line from the cylinder and "Jerry rig" it shut with a screw and some electrical tape.

We limped to the village of Yasenytsya-Zamkova with hardly any braking power and handed out invitations for the film showing next week.

After we finished with the invites we crawled on to another town where we found an auto parts store and found the exact cylinder we needed! So right there in the parking lot we jacked up the van and thanks to the skill of Cornelius and the whole team working together we were able to put the new one on and hit the road again!


Cornelius and the guys work to install the new brake cylinder.

Over and over again it has been amazing to see the hand of God at work while we have been over here in Ukraine! For me it has been an great experience to work with a team alongside Joshua and Nathan and be able to learn about missions. I've especially enjoyed learning how they use the correspondence course to reach people and how they are incorporating the use of the internet to preach the Gospel! Onwards for Christ!

May God bless y'all.

— Nelson

How you can pray

  • Praise the Lord for those who heard the Gospel last Sunday in Yavora!
  • Pray for a successful showing next weekend in Yasenytsya-Zamkova.
  • Pray for Oleg — a man that Joshua spoke to at length after a Bible survey. He's been reading the Scriptures on his own and is searching. He seemed quite open to the Gospel, and gladly took a Bible First starter packet along with a copy of Good and Evil.
  • Pray for our two-day literature outreach in Lutsk. The team departs for Lutsk Wednesday morning, returning Thursday evening.
  • Pray for a successful open-air outreach this Friday in L'viv.
  • Pray for health for the team.


Ladies and gentlemen, your 2019 CMO team! 🎉 From the left: Kade Bloom, Nelson Shirk, Anatoliy "Tolik" Zhylavy, Nathan Day, Ralph Villeneuve, Joshua Steele, Ben Sargent, and Cornelius Wiebe.

View the full Week 3 photo album on our Facebook page!

Week 3 Photo Album