Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Making plans

It's fuzzy.  I know.  Sorry 'bout that!

This stunning sunflower patch that stretches for miles is something we get to see every time we leave our house since we drive past it to get into the city.  We have even seen wedding parties out here getting their pictures done.  After all, the majestic sunflower is Ukraine's national flower.  The scene is breathtaking with the rich blue sky and fluffy clouds overhead, but you'll just have to come visit us to see it in all of its glory for yourself.

Mom is going to.

Since the title of this post is "Making plans," I thought I would share with you a little itinerary of what the rest of the year looks like for us.  Many of you have written to ask about our visa status in Ukraine, so I thought it would be appropriate to let everyone know what we are planning.  Of course, all of our plans lie in God's hands and He fills in the dates with a pen.  We just use a pencil equipped with a large eraser. {wink}

We returned to Ukraine on a tourist visa.  Three months is all that we are allowed to be here as tourists.  Feels rather odd to be a tourist in my own home, I must admit.

After our 90 days allowance to be here, we are heading back to the states for a 5-month furlough.  It seems like we were there not long ago, but our 1 1/2 year old Micah is proof that time has elapsed since his birth in Texas.   When he was just weeks old, we whisked him away to Ukraine where we have been ever since, excluding our 3-month "detour" to Israel.

We are already working on the big document process of trying to return to Ukraine more permanently early next year.  Please pray that God would have His will in this situation, would you?  Our hearts and home are here and we have already had to leave once, soon to be twice.  The nesting instinct in me doesn't really love the shuffling, but we are always willing to do what our Father asks of us.  He knows so much better than we do anyway!  He proves that over and over again to us regularly.

In the 7 {or so} weeks that we have left here, we have three major events going on... First, the VBS that David is running in another city this week; secondly, Teen Camp; and third, Mom's visit to Ukraine!

Teen Camp is our personal biggest week of the year here and this summer we are especially excited about having Pastor Cecil Ballard from Marion, Iowa, come to stay in our home and preach to the teens.  He is a great preacher with a hilarious personality, and we are sure that they are going to love him!

Then, David's mother will be making her third trip to Ukraine and staying with us during our last 2 1/2 weeks {or so} here.  We are working out the details to try to fly back together, even if it is just part of the way.  She has been invited to speak for a ladies' conference here, and we are feeling rather accommodating at wanting to host her. {wink}

Our schedule for the fall is quickly filling up, and we look forward to seeing what adventures lay ahead for our family.  The kids and I have been working {mostly} six days a week on school, even through the summer months.  We started the new school year at the end of April and are on Day 59 of the new school year already.  {If you use the A Beka school program, you know what I mean.}  Our goal is to reach Day 85 - the halfway point - before we leave since we will be leaving all of our school books behind.  Who wants to travel with a van load of school books anyway, especially when your van is already going to be full of kids and luggage?  After a year and half of working through school straight, we are certainly going to need the upcoming break!

Thank you to everyone who has written with concern about our future.  You have a way of making us feel loved and hugged when we need it most.


  1. Jolene,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I just had to come and revisit your blog (I've been here quite a few times)..and see what's going on with you and your precious family.

    God is so good! You've been so blessed...I'll be praying that all goes well with your traveling and your visa situation.

  2. Praying for you all as you make plans to return to the States. I am very excited for you and your family to have this blessing. Also, I will pray that God will provide the more permanent visas that you need. He is able!

    Thanks for keeping us updated!

  3. I cannot wait to see you! Even though you have to leave your beloved Ukraine. . Busy busy it's going to fly by. And the kids will love having Mrs. Sloan there! Y'all have a wonderful 7 weeks! See you soon. Love you Stephanie Way
    P. S. Could you get me a picture of the sunflower field and an upclose picture too? That's my favorite flower.

  4. Joel and I struggle with the visa situation as well in Russia. We are praying it improves this next year. Praying you get the visas needed! :)

  5. We will look forward to seeing you soon. You are a blessing to all.
    Dave and Kathy Kelly
    CCBC Austin TX

  6. Praying for you all. I know that moving around is not fun and that as a mother, it is hard not to feel settled.

  7. Thank you for the update. We are still praying for the visa situation.

  8. Thanks for the update, Will be praying for you and your family!

  9. Thinking and praying for you ll sweet Jolene ...what an adventure life is when we work for the Lord !

  10. Sorry that you guys have to leave again - any chance you'll be back through this part of the world?

    1. We'll definitely be in Texas, but mostly out West. I'm just not sure which cities and which churches. David sets the meetings; I change the diapers. LOL!

  11. Praying for your family and all these adventures! I know it is hard to pick up AGAIN and leave your home even though you are returning to the US. There are so many times when us Mommas would just rather stay put! We definitely will be praying about your paperwork that you may be able to stay in Ukraine more permanently. God bless you guys! Good job on keeping up with the school so you don't have to lug those books back and forth! I totally agree with you on that one!

  12. Thanks for the update Jolene! Praying about your new visa situation. Tinyla

  13. Thanks for the update--would love to see you this time around since I missed you last time! :)

  14. The picture is truly beautiful (: it's ok that it is fuzzy (;
    I will definitely be praying for you guys -- I know this is gonna be a large transition for ya'll!!! But I'm sure it'll be fun in a lot of ways :D <3
    I know Bro. Cecil Ballard!!!! :D How eXciting!!! I've heard him preach at a youth conference one year a couple years back -- he was awesome -- the Lord was good! :D I know your teens will LOVE him :D <3 That's so awesome that he gets to be there. If I could, I'd want to come with him!!!! Hope you guys all have a great time together -- and how wonderful to have your mother come join you!!!! (: <3

  15. Praying for you as you transition yet again. God has been teaching me much aboutwaiting and resting in Himthis summer. Not easy lessons to learn--but so very important! Praying for strength and health and patience and thankful hearts through the next few weeks and months.Patty

  16. Mrs.Sloan,
    I enjoy reading your blog every chance I get!It is an amazing encouragement! I hope you will get to come to Clays Mill Road Baptist Church in Lexington,Ky while you are in the states! I remember you being there twice.
    I will be praying for you and your family in your travels!
    ~Bibiann Avelar :)


Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25