Sparks Family in Kiev, Ukraine!
Merry Christmas! 
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David" (Luke 1:68-69 ESV)
Sparks Family Christmas Update
December 2011
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Praise and Prayer Requests Steve, Dawn and Stevie

Praise that the recent Doctor's visit for Dawn and our new Baby went well. We continue to ask your prayers for strength and continued good health for them both.

 

Please pray that Steve would continue to learn language and we all can continue to adjust to culture and face the challenges of living here with our family as well as all the new things that seem to come up everyday. 

 

Praise that we have gotten some packages from friends and family that greatly encourage us through the holidays being so far from family and close friends. 

 

Pray for continued opportunities for Steve as he listens and learns how his ministry here in Ukraine grows and shapes. 

 

Stevie and Grandpa Steve

Praise that we had a great visit with my father and he was able to spend a lot of time visiting Stevie. 

 

Pray for wisdom as we pray about specific needs such as the need for a vehicle. 

 

Pray for continued success and encouragement for Dawn's medical care and our growing family.

 

Pray for good heath as we continue to suffer from colds off and on and can grow in frustration at being "sick" all the time. 

 

Pray for Steve as he continues his language study. He has been working on country level items now but will soon be looking for a language helper and a language tutor and would pray that the perfect person would be made available to fill these roles. 

 

Dawn continues to learn how to be a mother and wife as well as balance the country financial responsibilities. Please pray for her continued adjustments.

 

Pray for safe travel as Steve and others are traveling much even during the holiday season.

 

Pray for Steve for continued clarity concerning how he can work well with national staff and how he can best present his ideas and recommendations to the leadership over the months ahead. 

 

Pray for our unborn child and its health and well being and that Dawn's pregnancy will continue to go well. 

 

Pray for our finances as we look forward to a new child, adjust for medical and related travel expenses.

 

Pray for the protection of the Ukraine national team and churches as we know and feel that much is challenging them these days. Pray for strength and courage and for Holy Spirit inspired wisdom as they work hard to maintain and protect the church.

Vehicle Purchase Update
We continue to work on the logistics of purchasing a vehicle. Your continued prayers would be appreciated. The details about our thoughts are below. We appreciate the encouragement we have received in the past month concerning this issue. 
 
We had thought about a vehicle need when we first moved here but until I experienced the transportation requirements that I will need for ministry as well as for family we weren't sure whether it was necessary or not. Now that we've lived here for a few months, we see the need is pretty strong.  We ask for your prayer for us as we move through this process. This is a big decision for us and our ministry.  If you would like to know more please contact me directly. 
Support Report

 

We celebrate the news of some additional support over the last month! It was of great relief to us as always that the Lord in His way financially provides for our ministry. We can't say we are at the full level we would like but feel encouraged and delighted at everyone's continued faith in our ministry. We would ask if you have any questions or changes to please contact us and work with us to adjust. 

 

If you have any difficulty with making support payments or need more information on our prayer needs at anytime, please feel free to email us. If you need help getting a checking or credit card set up you can also call MTW at 1-866-373-6133.  

 

The donations address is:

Mission to the World (#10572), P.O. Box 116284, Atlanta, GA 30368-6284 The #10572 is our account number and needs to be included on the check.  

 

Dear Friends!

 

Merry Christmas! 

 

We are joyful as we celebrate this season of great hope and joy here in Ukraine for the first time as a family. We celebrate the continuation of our ministry but also the continued excitement we have on the growth of our family. 

 

This newsletter includes: 

Baby and Family News

 Ukraine Ministry Update

Christmas in Ukraine

Prayer Requests on left

Blog Address on left

Support Report on left

Pledge Card at the bottom 

  

 

Our Mailing Address in Ukraine is:

Steve and Dawn Sparks

Prospect Pobedy 105, Kb. 55

Kiev 03115
Ukraine

Our Skype Contact
Skype # - 512-879-9900
Skype ID - stevenssparks
Email: SteveandDawn@sparksministry.org
 
P.S. I promise to return to the original colors next month! :)
 
The images don't always go exactly with the information, but I always like to include some of the sights we have experienced. I hope you enjoy them. 
Baby and Family News
 Last newsletter I (Steve) was scolded by many of my faithful readers and partners for not putting the news of our expected child at the top of our letter. So, to keep me on the "nice" list for this most important month, I wanted to provide the most recent baby news at the top.
 

(Above: Dawn and Stevie going on a recent tour of Kiev.)

 

Dawn and baby continue to be under the prenatal care of a doctor here and it is going well and she is comfortable with her (the doctor). It is still a bit perplexing for me at times, considering the language and style differences between the somewhat western styles this clinic has adopted combined with what would be expected here in Ukraine. We arrived via taxi for our last appointment at the clinic where we go for care.  We checked in with the front desk and were instructed to go to a room down the hall for a sonogram. When we entered the room, there was a man in there who is not the tech who runs the system but a technician who was repairing the system. This means we had to investigate where we need to go now. It turns out that we needed to wait and go to the room across the hall, which currently had another patient in the room. 

 

After about 20 minutes of waiting, (all the while my brain is in overload considering my comprehension of everything is in overload, as I need to not only use the basic language ability I have but also interpret the alternate culture in this western looking but obviously Ukrainian medical environment), I can't help but be a bit anxious. Once we enter the room for the exam everyone gets set up and, always to my relief, we quickly start to see pictures of baby and see a heartbeat and all the parts one expects to see. The tech of course does this about 50 times a day or more, so she was doing just fine. I, on the other hand, despite all the good news I am seeing on the screen, am trying to read in Cyrillic the details on the screen. (During Stevie's sonograms, that was always something I could do.. read all the technical details during these exams.) I am stretching to understand what is going on from the speech of the tech to a second nurse, to Dawn and all the action on the screen, both numerical and written (in Ukrainian). 

 

 Steve Spending time with his Mom

 (Above: Stevie spending some time with his Mom) 

 

Then of course I hear, Вы хотите знать, мальчик или девочка? which is the tech asking if we want to know the gender. Dawn asks me if I understand and I say yes. Then what hits me as I learn we are "likely" going to have a girl is that I learn this not in English but in Russian. It was surreal to learn this news in part of my brain and at my anxious state in a language I can only speak in a very limited manner and very slowly. So there I go again, putting all the real important details at the end of this report. At least this is the first thing you are reading in the newsletter right?

Sparks Ministry Blog

www.sparksministry.org

 

Need more? Keep in touch with our progress and other news tidbits posted on our blog.

 

Ukraine Ministry Update 
 (Above: Christmas lights in downtown Kiev)
 
Ministry continues to move forward as I learn the structure of the Ukraine Seminary and Country ministry. It has been a productive month in both analysis and understanding. I continue to study the environment that is well established here throughout Ukraine. It was exciting for us to entertain a family recently who is considering moving to Kiev to expand their ministry. We enjoyed a great visit and had a great chance to talk about lots of ministry opportunities. If you wonder why I an not giving specific details, it is on purpose as I need to maintain a level of discretion as the process moves forward with excitement, anticipation and with an abundance of prayer for clarity for the mission and how the Lord would desire us to serve Him. 
 
 (Above: Sunset across the Dnieper River)
 
We continue to be excited about the growth of churches and Bible studies here in Ukraine. We at times are also alarmed and concerned at the spiritual attacks we have witnessed and ask for your prayers for protection for both missionaries as well as Ukrainians who at times are under great stress from the enemy. 
 
I spend a lot of time working with Jonathan Eide these days and we will be traveling to visit churches that, while they are somewhat established, like many here are just learning about covenantal theology and reformed education. We look forward to our fellowship and appreciate your prayers for our travel, meeting and Jon's preaching to this church. We will drive 5 hours this week across Ukraine, something that will be new for me. 
 
It is such an honor and surreal experience every day I as participate in the ministry that is MTW Ukraine. I still at times, and will likely repeat this often, don't quite know how I got here... Now if I can just learn to speak Russian! 
If you received this email because someone forwarded it to you, you can join our email list by clicking the link "Join our Mailing List" in the left sidebar of this email.
Sincerely in Christ,

Steve, Dawn and Steven

How to Set Up Support
 
We get asked at times how you go about supporting our ministry.
 
While we recently reached the needed level to move to Ukraine, we will always need additional support team members through the months and years! 

The first decision is on a means of support. This can be:

1. Financial Support

2. Prayer Support

3. Both 1 & 2

 

The next step would be to notify us or Mission to the World (MTW) that you would like to be a ministry partner.

This can be accomplished by  

 

1. Emailing us with how you would like to partner and, if the partnership involves financial support, include the amount and frequency. (You can simply reply to this newsletter.)

 

2. You can also print and mail the form at the end of this newsletter to MTW. You then specify the details as outlined on the form.  

 

3. If you have one of our prayer cards then detach the bottom part and mail that card to Mission to the World.

 

When you begin financial support you can pay by check, bank draft or credit card.

 

Checks and Automated payments can be mailed to:

 Mission to the World (#10572), P.O. Box 116284, Atlanta, GA 30368-6284 

The #10572 is our account number and needs to be included on the check.

 

Credit Cards can be set up on the MTW Website or by calling  1-866-373-6133 

Additional details about donations can be found

here at this link 

 

Please
Join
Our
Team

I would like to record my commitment to MTW/Short Term and Steve and Dawn Sparks (#10572) by:

(  ) Receiving Prayer Letter             (   ) My intent to contribute $_________
(  ) Praying faithfully for them                 to their support:
       (  ) Daily    (  ) Weekly            (  )  Monthly  (  ) Annually  (  ) Quarterly

                       (   )  Enclosed is my one-time Gift $_____________

Name:___________________________________________________________

Address:_________________________________________________________

City:_____________________________________ State: _____ Zip:________
 
Church:__________________________________________________________

Please make check payable to:
Mission to the World (#10572), P.O. Box 116284, Atlanta, GA 30368-6284