Sparks Family Newsletter
Sparks in Ukraine Ministry Update
Sparks Ministry Blog 

Join Our Mailing List
Mom and Daughter
Praise and Prayer Requests


Please pray for continued adjustments to Ukraine as a family of 4 and our role here in Ukraine in many ministries.   


Pray for the health of our parents and any transitions they may face over the next months.  


Praise for the completion of our registration process as well as prayer for other team members throughout Ukraine who are in this process and at times struggling and doubting the process will ever be complete.  


Please pray for Dawn to have new opportunities to share with other Moms at the Preschool where she and Stevie attend each week.  


Thank you for prayers for the medical transitions as well as continued prayers for the continued expense and dealings with doctors and others involved in the billing and payment process.  


Pray for Stevie as he does miss his grandparents. He asked about going to his Mema's house and misses the time where they all could visit often.  


Praise for our new car and our deep thanks to everyone involved in making the process possible.   


Pray for our finances in both personal and ministry support. We still have medical expenses we will be paying for over the next many months   


 Pray for all the transition with our churches' leaders as well as budgets for next year.   


Pray for the Commission overseeing our new church plant in Kiev, that they would have wisdom in planning.  


Pray for Steve's continued language study.   


Please take a moment and pray for the other Teams in Ukraine.  


Our Support Report


We got a bit more stable in our giving during October and November. A couple of larger donations recurred and that was a blessing. We have applied for some annual funding and would appreciate your prayers that this will be approved this year.


If you need more information about giving to our ministry please don't hesitate to ask. We would love to talk to you about how you can help. 


If you have any difficulty , 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.  

How to Set Up Support
We get asked at times how you go about supporting our ministry.  
While we have pledges at 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 


Dear Friends!


We are savoring the fall weather as we move toward the expectation of a cold winter. Today we are reminded of many blessings as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and the fall that surrounds us as we are in Kiev. Below are some of the young women from our church who were part of the pumpkin carving contest at the fall festival.  


Church of the Big City Fall Festivial 


This newsletter includes: 

     1. Ministry Opportunity Spotlight 

     2. Family Update: Many Blessings 

     3. Registration Complete - Until Next Year  

     4. Ukraine Ministry Roundup 

 - Prayer Requests on left

 - Blog Address on left

 - Pledge Card at the bottom 


Our Mailing Address in Ukraine is:

Steve and Dawn Sparks

Prospect Pobedy 105, Kb. 55

Kiev 03115
We can receive packages and letters at our home address in Kiev. Stevie especially loves to receive cards in the mail. We are always encouraged by the drawings and notes we get from some classes. They mean so much to our family!

Please feel free to email us. You can reach both of us at: 

Looking for an old newsletter? Check our Archive 
Ministry Spotlight: Presbytery and Church Plants

New Elders of Church of the Big City

Church of the Big City Particularized!

This fall the church plant (formerly known as Salomensky Presbyterian Reformed Church) where Dawn spent much of her time as a single missionary and where we met working at a summer camp was particularized as they completed the process of electing and ordaining elders. I was honored to be part of the ordination and, as a family who participates in the church, it was thrilling to see many years of hard work celebrated in this event. The Kiev team will continue to support and work with the new elders of the church as they work hard to support and lead the congregation.

Max Tixhonoff was called as the interim pastor and the church continues to look for additional leadership over the next few years as Max looks forward to planting another church.

Church Plant Approval and Commission
During the recent Presbytery meeting of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ukraine, a plan for a new church plant was presented to the church planting committee and approved by the presbytery. This plant, just in the beginning stages, will be overseen by a Commission of the presbytery.  Jon and I and two Ukrainian Elders were elected as members of this 4 person Commission. During the next months and years we will be working to move this project forward. There is much to plan and much to consider including both spiritual oversight in a strong pastoral leader as well as looking for needed financing and clarity in how the Lord is calling us to move forward.

Family Update
Many Blessings!
We made it back to Kiev this summer and have been super busy in transition back into ministry and daily life as well as getting all the legal work for the registration process complete. It could be easy to ignore the many blessings we continue to receive, except even at the busy times the blessings slap us in the face and let us know just how fortunate we are to be involved in ministry and how wonderful it is being a missionary here in Ukraine.  

We started the summer with the birth of our daughter, Anabella, and during even the most stressful time of the process we had tremendous support from churches, friends and family. That support allowed us to return to Kiev and enter back into missionary life
Sparks Family in our Ukrainian Shirts
with fewer burdens and great excitement.  When we arrived we did have adjustments for both Dawn and me as we needed to figure out life and ministry here with 2 kids.
Dawn needed to learn what changes were needed for taking care of a family of 4 as well as continue in her ministry of caring for the financial issues of the team in Ukraine with various transitions there as well. She continues to participate with Stevie in the preschool that they attend 2 days a week, now bringing Anabella as well! There have been and continue to be challenges, especially as we enter the colder winter months.

It is hard to put into the right words 
Alexander and Steve at car picks
 how thankful we are to have gotten a car. The process was complex and at times I had doubts it was even going to happen. I could write a book on the learning process of both banking and car insurance that had to be understood in three languages during the process. When it finally did happen we felt great joy. All it took was a complex set of banking transactions and a very patient sales guy to get the car purchased. It is a blessing both in how we as a family can move about the city and how we are able to conduct our ministry. I made my first trip to the seminary session with one passenger on the way out and then had 5 passengers on the return trip.

Stevie turns 3
It is hard for Dawn and I to comprehend where the time has gone when we think about Steven Ronald Sparks turning 3 years old.
Marta, Stevie and Saphira

It seems like yesterday we were leaving the hospital or maybe we were going to the playground for the first time and he was afraid of the slide. It seems like yesterday that we applied for his passport or we were planning and then taking him on his first trans-Atlantic flight. Stevie has been growing as fast as we have been changing homes, moving and visiting other cities in other countries but he never misses a beat! He has his moments as any child does, but his presence is a continued reminder of our blessing in being a family and his blessing to us as our son. He had a birthday party that was catered with all train shaped foods carefully crafted by Dawn and cheerfully consumed by a daughter of a teammate and one of the girls from his kindergarten class. (more details and pictures will be on the blog soon) Stevie loves to make friends, always wanting to spend time with other kids. Even with a language barrier he is always trying to make friends. The kids at the school love him when he is in class and miss him when he can't make it.

Preparing for Thanksgiving
Today we are preparing for our Team Thanksgiving meal and celebration. This is an annual tradition and one that is highly anticipated by our team each
Story time at bedtime with Mommy
year. Dawn and I were talking about how much it is our tradition also in that we have had our Thanksgiving together in Kiev at our Team Leader's home 4 out of the last 6 years. The two that were not in Kiev were at our home in Leander, Texas (hard to believe

we only had one thanksgiving in our first home together), and one at my Mom's home in Austin, Texas.  The last few months in Ukraine have, as you can see, not gone without a challenge or three but as we enter into a time of considering our blessings we can't help but think about how much we love our family. We thank our extended family for their continued prayers and many other ways they su
This is how Daddy watches me!
pport us personally and work to help us with our ministry. We especially thank Jesus for the blessing of a new member of our family this year and as we sit down to a family meal tomorrow she will be there with us making us smile and enjoy the day just that much more.  You can see Anabella Dawn Sparks is growing and really developing a personality of her own. She scoots along the floor and can grab the trash can and turn it over to later be blamed on her brother. We continue to adjust, continue to celebrate and we continue to enjoy so many blessings. Thanks for being a part of our blessed family.

Registration is Complete - Good for 1 year!


Here you see Dawn and I holding up our Temporary Residency permits after having received the final stamps at the Ukraine housing authority. 

Registration Complete! 


I thought I would briefly outline the process for you in case you might wonder what it takes to complete the process for a 1 year stay in Ukraine. The VISA process is not required each year as long as you don't let your registration expire.  


1. Obtain a VISA from a consulate outside of Ukraine

Requires a letter of invitation and a certified letter from the Ukrainian Government that the letter is in fact allowed.  

2. When you arrive in Ukraine you have 45 days to register and get the permit. We had an attorney work on this for us.  The process costs about $250 per person and requires 

Copies of above letters  

Ukraine police background checks for each person

Application in Ukrainian

Certified translated copies of all passports from English to Ukrainian

Notarized copies or Originals of inviting organization government permits 

Authorization for the Attorney to process your paperwork

4 Ukraine size passport photos.

3. Register with the housing authority

1 set of photos,  

1 special form that costs $0.50 and needs to be typed on a special standard typewriter 

Pay the fee down the street and return with the receipt 


The attorney submits the paper work and if any mistakes are made the process is stopped and you can try again the next working day. The agency works 2-3 days a week and takes submissions 2-3 hours per day 2 of the 3 days.  


After the papers are accepted you get a time when you can pick up your cards and then you have 10 days to register with the housing authority. The housing authority allows submission about 2 days a week and requires that each person fill out their own paper work in Ukrainian (cursive preferred). 


Our biggest hurdle was getting our landlords to agree to allow us to register at our apartment. This is very controversial since it requires lots of paperwork and specific registrations for them as landlords. It also means the landlords have to pay taxes on the rent. All this almost caused us to have to move. We ended up with a higher rent but did not have to move.  


After we made our 4th trip to the housing authority to submit the papers once everyone agreed to the rent and registrations rules we got the stamped Residency cards returned and we were LEGAL Temporary Residents of Ukraine.   


The process is done for this year. We will experience the registration renewal process next year.    


This is quite a cross cultural experience and really not that unique to our personal process. This is typical of anyone, including Ukrainians who need to get special permits.  

Our Thanks
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. We know it can be much but we hope you see how as part of our ministry you are encouraging us to work for Him with your help!

Sincerely in Christ,

Steve, Dawn, Stevie and Anabella Sparks 


I would like to record my commitment to  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 $_____________



City:_____________________________________ State: _____ Zip:________

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