Phil & Denise



Serving in Ukraine, Eurasia

We were called into missions, and to Ukraine specifically, when we were both in our 40s, after Phil went on a short-term missions trip to Ukraine in 2006. Phil left a career as a computer programmer (after 20+ years), and we left a comfortable life in Minnesota, to say yes to God's leading.

We have NO regrets!  We have lived in Ukraine more than 5 of the last 7 years.  God has given us a deep love for the people of Ukraine. We love serving God here and are excited to see how God is changing hearts and lives here!

In Krivoy Rog, where we live, we partner with our friends in the Churches of Praise, encouraging and helping them in two main areas: 1) church planting and 2) youth ministry. Our main purpose here matches the purpose of our area (Eurasia Northwest) - to plant the church where it is not. There are many communities in Ukraine without a church and we want to help them change that! God has not forgotten about Ukraine!

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On July 1 and 2, Phil went with a translator and a young friend to the Cherkassy oblast (state) in Ukraine for ministry. We spent the most time in the town of Chigirin, which is about 4 hours from Krivoy Rog, and did some fun things there as well. A few of the young people met us and spent time with us Saturday evening and then two young men went with us Sunday morning to the museum.

Chigirin is located close to the Dnieper River and about 4 hours north of Krivoy Rog

Chigirin is an important historic site because in the mid 1600's, it became the capital of the Cossack leader. This area later became known as Ukraine. The Cossack leader and hero of the day was General Bogdan Khmelnytsky. After the end of the Russo-Turkish War in 1681, the town gradually diminished in significance.

A statue honoring their hero stands on a hill overlooking the town.

It was a climb to reach the statue, but what a view waited for us there!

We even saw a fire in the distance

Closer shots of the statue...

Some things we saw as we walked around the park that evening...

And some shots of us...

Guess who the tourist is? I forgot they put Vitya's hat on my head for a bit.

Here we are by the shores of the Dnieper River. We drove here for a swim, but that did not last long, as the weather changed drastically and quickly. We watched lightning and listened to thunder in the distance for a while. The temperature went from about 85 degrees to 68 degrees in less than an hour and it started to rain. They devoured this pan of chocolate chip cookie bars that Denise made in less time than that.

On Sunday morning we went to the museum that displays many artifacts from Cossack history and information about General Bogdan and his family.

While ministry is always the first priority (preached 3 times that weekend), it is always fun to see more of and to learn more about the places that we visit.
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We traveled to Spain for our Area Conference this year.

The conference included organizational meetings, services (with two great couples from America that ministered to us), time visiting with colleagues, and relaxation away from ministry!

A summary of our travels there:
Taxi to Krivoy Rog train station
Train to Kiev train station
Bus to Kiev (Boryspil) International Airport
Plane to Paris (CDG) International Airport
Plane to Madrid International Airport
Shuttle bus to different terminal
Train to Madrid's Atocha train station
Taxi to hotel
Taxi to Madrid's Atocha train station
Train to Malaga
Shuttle van to Marabella and our hotel

Reverse the process and that is how we traveled home, except we had colleagues pick us up from the airport in Kiev, we spent the night and part of the day with them, and then they took us to the train station in Kiev for the last leg of our journey.

We hope you enjoy these pictures of our travels!

After we arrived at our hotel in Marabella (on the Mediterranean Sea), we walked to a nearby restaurant and took a few pictures on the way.

Denise enjoyed time shopping with the ladies...

She did buy several things, but had to take a picture with one of the sellers and his tiny chihuahua

While Denise was doing that, Phil went fishing and enjoyed this view from the boat!

The rock (land) on the left is the Rock of Gibraltar (part of Great Britain), while the land on the right is southwest coast of Spain

Phil was in the Mediterranean Sea looking towards the Atlantic Ocean. It is hard to make out in the distance, but...the land on the left is Morocco, North Africa, the rock in the center is the Rock of Gibraltar, the water in between is the Strait of Gibraltar (which is only 8 miles wide), and again the land on the right is Spain

Denise and Phil walked on the beach one afternoon. The water was still cold and the weather was cool most days we were there.

Hope was usually with the youth, but the last evening in Marabella, we ate supper together.

Denise wanted a selfie with the mermaid statue

Great view on the way back to Malaga from Marabella.

What good roads they have in western Europe (unlike in Ukraine)

We took the train between Madrid and Malaga, which traveled at speeds of 250-300 kilometers per hour.

In Madrid, we walked around and took a bus tour. Many buildings are very old and the architecture is so interesting!

Football (Soccer) Stadium for the Real Madrid team

We found a bull in the Madrid airport...

Kissing the bull?  Maybe he wanted flowers like Ferdinand?

And we had time to kill in the Paris airport on the way back home

And we made it back home - safe and sound!

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Today pray for Phil as he preaches at a pastor's conference June 20-21 in Krivoy Rog #TheReedReport #AGMD

Today pray for God's help as we prepare physically (packing) to leave Ukraine and return to the US for itineration #TheReedReport #AGMD

Today pray for your church (Pastor, church staff, people) and another missionary as God directs #TheReedReport #AGMD

Today pray for lost people in Ukraine to hear the good news of the Gospel - about Jesus and His great love #TheReedReport #AGMD