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And He [the LORD] said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." Then he [Moses] said to Him, "If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. - Exodus 33:14-15

What's new in our lives...

February 2012 - Tomasz, our JV country leader Ben Williams and three Ukrainian guys take part in JV Advance conference for people looking to birth new, healthy churches in Eastern Europe. Finally we travel back home to Lviv!!!

January 2012 - We work on documents and Kristina's passport so that we can go back home to Lviv. In Trinec (Czech Republic) Kristina is baptized in the same church where Tomasz grew up.

December 2011 - Kristina Grace is born in Krakow (Poland) on December 9, 2011. We celebrate Christmas in Poland.

November 2011 - Together with our friend, missionary Andy Coyle, Tomasz took part in a DELKU (German Lutheran) conference for Children and Youth ministry workers from Western Ukraine. Travel to Poland to deliver our second daughter.

October 2011 - A new school year in full swing. A new addition to the local youth ministry are a Guys Bible Study group and a Girls Bible Study Group.

September 2011 - Josiah Venture Fall Conference in Malenovice, Czech Republic.

August 2011 - Last summer camp in the Carpathian Mountains and then a two-week family vacation in the mountains in Slovakia.

July 2011 - More camps and summer ministries...

June 2011 - Summer interns and first camp teams arrive. English camps start in Ukraine.

May 2011 - Josiah Venture Spring Conference (for JV Missionaries and their families). Hannah celebrates her second birthday :)

April 2011 - Back in Ukraine! Celebrating Easter with our church in Lviv. Together with our Josiah Venture teammates we organized a Spring training conference for youth pastors and youth leaders from many different congregations in Western Ukraine. This year we talked about a set of powerful tools referred to as CANS (Community, Adoration, Nurture and Serving)

March 2011 - Visiting couple more churches in the States, traveling back to Europe.

February 2011 - Traveling visiting churches and individuals in the States... (We were in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, North Dakota, Montana and California)

January 2011 - Celebrating New Year and Ukrainian Christmas with our church in Lviv. Travel from Ukraine to Czech and then from Czech to Minnesota.

December 2010 - Celebrating our fourth Christmas in Ukraine. Preparing for our US trip.

November 2010 - DELKU (German Lutheran) retreat for Children and Youth ministry workers from DELKU congregations in Western Ukraine.

October 2010 - Tomasz is helping with a two-week outreach among college students here in Lviv.

September 2010 - Josiah Venture Fall Conference in Malenovice, Czech Republic.

August 2010 - Preparing for our ministry transition from EEMN to Josiah Venture.

July 2010 - Having the AFLC Student Missions team with us in Lviv, helping us with an English Christian Day Camp.

June 2010 - Travel to Crimea (a peninsula in the Black Sea) for a German Lutheran "Pastor and Family" Conference.

May 2010 - Tomasz took part in a Ukrainian youth ministry conference for people actively involved in youth ministry in their congregations (different denominations). Teaching was based on Sonlife Classic Strategy materials. Hannah celebrated her first birthday in May!

April 2010 - Experiencing joy in watching some of the new (or recommitted) believers grow in Christ. Preparing for our summer English Day Camp.

March 2010 - Regular ministry in Lviv. Tomasz travels to Odesa for a Pastors' Conference.

February 2010 - Tomasz travels to Odesa for a Pastors' Conference. Ukraine has a new president -- Viktor Yanukovych. We organize a "Family Night" at our house for people from our Lviv congregation.

January 2010 - Pastor Gross and his family come to Lviv to spend some time with us, to work on some 2010 youth ministry planning and to celebrate Ukrainian Christmas (January 6th). Christmas ministry at a Boarding school for the blind in Lviv.

December 2009 - Tomasz travels to Odesa for a Pastors' Conference. Typical Christmas responsibilities at church (preparing Christmas program with the children and youth). Hannah's first Christmas :)

November 2009 - Youth camp ends but there is quarantine in Ukraine (schools are closed, public gatherings canceled) so we wait in the Czech Republic until the quarantine is over. We get our Ukrainian religious visa at a Ukrainian consulate in Krakow. Praise God for answered prayers!

October 2009 - We all travel to Odesa for a youth ministry conference (12 hours on a night train).Preparing a Thanksgiving program with the youth. Gathering documents to renew our Ukrainian visa. Taking some of our youth for a weeklong youth camp in the Czech Republic.

September 2009 - Regular school year ministries. Grandparents (Miriam's parents) come to visit us in Lviv. We all travel to Odesa (southern Ukraine) for a Pastors' Conference.

August 2009 - Summer youth meetings continue. Getting ready for the new school year. Grandparents (Tomasz's parents) come to visit us in Lviv.

July 2009 - Back in Ukraine. Summer ministries in Lviv.

June 2009 - In Poland and the Czech Republic. Gathering all the needed documents for Hannah, getting Hannah's passport, etc.

May 2009 - Hannah Joy joins our family on May 18th! You can see her page here.

April 2009 - We are going to Poland for the delivery of our Baby Girl.

March 2009 - This month we talked about the Holy Spirit and His work in the lives of Christians. We pray that we and our students all give more room to the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us. We also talked about the "four pillars" of Christian life as we find them in Acts 2:42 - "They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." You can pray that our youth group and our church here in Lviv grow in these four areas.

February 2009 - We are starting to see results of our Thursday Youth Bible Study. It is a joy to see our students growing in getting to know the Lord. It seems like God is so much more personal for some of them now. We also moved the meetings from the church (it was cold there) to our home. This gives us a more comfortable place to meet for both our Bible Study and some games afterwards.

January 2009 - We started also meeting with the youth on Thursdays (besides our regular Sunday meetings). Not everyone can come on Thursdays so we usually only have couple of students for this Thursday Bible Study. But we are very thankful for this opportunity because it seems like we are able to go much deeper with a smaller group.

December 2008 - Our second Christmas in Lviv.

November 2008 - Celebrated Thanksgiving with the Hinrichs (fellow EEMN missionaries). You can click HERE for pictures.

October 2008 - We are still taking Ukrainian lessons but at the same time, we are already doing all the youth ministry we came to do in Lviv. It is a challenge to do everything in Ukrainian but it is also exciting to be able to communicate with our students in their language.

September 2008 - Starting our first year of "real ministry" in Ukraine. The big news in our family is that we should be welcoming a new member into our family in May 2009. What a blessing!

August 2008 - We are back in Ukraine!!! Praising the Lord for that.

July 2008 - Miriam was not able to have any treatment for the cysts because they found out that she has a blood clotting disorder and hormonal treatment could cause more clotting problems. But God helped the cysts get smaller even without any medication. Praise the Lord! We should be leaving Minnesota July 29th! In the mean time we are working on all our youth ministry preparations for this coming school year.

June 2008 - Still in Minnesota... But we are taking Ukrainian lessons so that is a wonderful way to use our time in the States. We are also waiting for some test results that will tell us what kind of treatment Miriam could get so that she stops having those cysts.

May 2008 -
Still in Minnesota... We are praying that we could go back to Ukraine soon. But God must have a reason for keeping us in Minnesota for all this time...

April 2008 - Still in Minnesota. Miriam has new cysts :( and our doctor does not think it is safe for us to travel back to Ukraine. She wrote to us, "The ovarian torsion is impossible to predict and could mean life or death, so I don't know how else to play it safe for you"

March 2008 - Back in Minnesota. We came back for a month to get things checked out for Miriam and also to get some rest after all that had happened...

February 2008 - Miriam has a blood clot! :( Feels like we go from trouble to trouble...

January 2008 -
At the beginning of the month we were enjoying our time with Tomasz's parents (http://www.chmiels.com/gallery/january2007/) but on the 23rd we ended up in a Ukrainian hospital again... ;( Miriam even had to undergo an emergency surgery in which her left ovary was removed (http://www.chmiels.com/gallery/hospital2/).

December 2007 - We got to do something we were not planning to ever do here in Ukraine! Yes, we spent a week in a Ukrainian hospital! Click HERE for details. We had Tomasz’s parents and a girl from our church with us for Christmas. What we like about Ukrainian Christmas is that to say “Merry Christmas” you say “Happy Holidays of the Birth of Christ!” or Веселих Свят Різдва Христового!

November 2007 - We had to travel to the Ukrainian embassy in Czech Republic to receive our one-year Ukrainian work visa. It is hard to believe that to travel those 560 miles takes almost 30 hours! The very sad event of November for us was that for a short time we were expecting a baby. We were very much looking forward to his/her arrival next summer. But God’s plan was different and God took this baby to be with Him at the end of the month. It is hard for us but we are learning to trust the Lord even when we do not understand His plans.

October 2007 - Bishop Güntsch came to L'viv to officially “bless us” into the ministry here in Ukraine. You can see pictures from his stay in L'viv here: http://www.chmiels.com/gallery/bishop/

September 2007 - We are back to our Ukrainian lessons. There are also tons of other things that somehow come up each day so we are learning to prioritize. We are getting to know more and more Ukrainian people and we are enjoying life in Ukraine more every day.

August 2007 - We are in our new home. And our furniture is here too!!! To read a story of God's faithfulness, click here.

July 2007 - We found an apartment but because there is a lot of work that needs to be done there so we are not living there yet. We are continuing with our language lessons.

June 2007 - We are in Ukraine!! We are living in a temporary apartment where we only have cold water for three hours in the morning and three hours at night.  :) But we are looking for a different and more permanent apartment. We are praying that we find one that would be a good home for our family and a good place for ministry needs.

May 2007 -
In May we did couple of different presentations in the Czech Republic and got ready to permanently move to Ukraine.

April 2007 - We are in the Czech Republic for about two months to take care of some paperwork, doctor appointments etc. We are also using this time to re-connect with our families and friends.

To see how we did with out fundraising click here.

March 2007 - We left for Ukraine on March 6th! We flew to Odesa where the headquarters of the German Lutheran Church is. We met with the bishop and our mission director, Pastor Bill Moberly, signed an official agreement about our work in Ukraine. After that we traveled to L'viv (our future home) where we spent some time with the Pastor and other people from the L'viv congregation. We were also able to meet some other missionaries living in L'viv.

February 2007 - This month is full of packing and saying good-byes. Not an easy thing to do... But at the same time we are really excited to be in Ukraine soon! We should be leaving on March 6th so pray for us that we are able to get everything done before then. If you would like to see us packing click here :)

January 2007 - The whole month of January we are at a mission training in Colorado Springs, CO. The first part of the training (2 weeks) was focusing on preparing us for learning a new language. The second part (3 weeks) is called SPLICE and is supposed to prepare us for our future mission work by working on these six areas in our life: Spiritual, Personal, Lifestyle, Interpersonal, Cultural, and Endure.

December 2006 - We are almost there! It's hard to believe that it is already December, the month in which we hope to reach 100% in our fundraising. Looking back we see how much we have to be thankful for. God's really been faithful during these deputation months.

November 2006 - We continue traveling and sharing our Ukraine presentation. We have done over 60 presentations so far. We were blessed to spend Thanksgiving with friends in California. We also reached 80% this month so we are very thankful for that!

October 2006 - We reached 70% this month! We were also able to share about Ukraine in our own home church and many others (North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska...). It is encouraging to be able to share with so many brothers and sisters in so many different states.

September 2006 - We are still traveling a lot, visiting churches and people sharing our vision for the ministry in Ukraine (see our calendar). We are also excited to tell you that our mission organization found a great language acquisition and cross-cultural training for us. We will be going to this intense five-week training in January 2007. After that we hope to move to Europe.

August 2006 - We are continuing to raise support and get ready for our move to Ukraine. If you would like to read our summer newsletter, click here (might take a little while to load).

July 2006 - Besides visiting churches with our Ukraine presentation, we were also able to spend a week at the AFLC Boot camp (Youth ministry leadership conference). If you would like to see pictures, click here.

June 2006 - We were officially commissioned at the AFLC Annual Conference in Stanwood, WA. Now we are visiting churches and individuals, sharing our vision for ministry in Ukraine and raising prayer and financial support.

May 2006 - Tomasz graduated from seminary on May 20 and was ordained on May 21. May 28 was our last Sunday with the congregation in Mason, WI.

April 2006 - We were accepted and called as AFLC missionaries! We are preparing more and more for our move to Ukraine and our youth ministry work there.

March 2006 - We had our last meeting with the AFLC World Mission Board before they voted whether or not we would be accepted as AFLC missionaries.

February 2006 - The greatest joy in February was welcoming a new Christian into our youth group and church family!

January 2006 - January was a busy month. Tomasz had couple meetings with different AFLC committees, we went to a Youth workers' retreat, Pastors' conference and our church had Special Meetings with Pastor Don Richman (Jan.27-29).

December 2005 - We were accepted as AFLC (Association of Free Lutheran Congregations) missionary candidates. We were also encouraged by a lot of non-believers coming to our Candlelight Service here in Mason, WI.

November 2005 - We are thankful for the ministry God gave us here in Mason, but we also have our moments when we are discouraged and tired. But we were able to spend Thanksgiving with Pastor Jim and his family in Minneapolis so that was a time of rest and encouragement for us.

October 2005 - We are very thankful to God for our Youth Group. We see God working in the students' lives. We were able to take our youth group to Minneapolis for campus days at the AFLC Bible School. Two of our students are seriously considering Bible School now.

September 2005 - We started adult and children Sunday School classes and youth ministry at our church. We also have a Leadership Bible Study group meet at our home every Monday evening and we study the book of Acts. We have another new believer at our church - a guy who now comes to church together with his three children. Praise the Lord!

August 2005 -  We are fully getting involved with our church here in Mason. There is a lady who became a new Christian this month. She started coming to our church together with her sister and her sister's children. During the summer, our church has a "day camp" for neighborhood kids every Thursday.

July 2005 - We are settling in our new home and are going through a tremendous amount of paperwork: to get a Czech marriage certificate based on the one we got here in the States, WI driver's licenses for both Tomasz and Miriam, change of Miriam's visa status, new passport for Miriam (with her new name)... you would not believe how much work and stress all these things are!

June 2005 - We moved to Wisconsin and Tomasz started his yearlong internship there

May 2005 - We got married!

April 2005 - We are getting ready for moving to WI. We visited some friends in Atlanta. And God answered our prayers for a new car!

March 2005 - We learned where Tomasz's internship will be next year... Mason/Drummond (Wisconsin). We are excited!!!!

February 2005 - we are trying to work on our wedding planning... We are also praying for where God wants us for Tomasz's internship next year...

January 2005 - our first interview with the AFLC mission board, we also filled out our applications to become AFLC missionary candidates

December 2004 - we were able to spend our Christmas in Mason, WI. We had a great time celebrating Christmas together with Tomasz's cousin Radek and we were also able to organize a Candlelight service for the Mason church. It was great!

November 2004 - Busy life... School, work, ministry... Tomasz goes to Mason, WI to preach there every other weekend

October 2004 - Our engagement :) (October 19, 2004)

September 2004 - Tomasz starts his third year of seminary, Miriam starts her new job as a librarian at the AFLC Bible School and Seminary

August 2004 - Tomasz comes back to the States and divides his time between his summer painting job and getting to know Miriam again

July 2004 - Tomasz in the Ukraine (working with the Ukrainian German Lutheran church, helping with their Youth and children's summer camps)

June 2004 - Tomasz in Russia (mission trip/language camps)

May 2004 - our first date :)