I just finished reading the book Kyiv Diary by William T. Mohn. It was unlike any other missionary story I’ve read. All too often when we think of reading stories of missionaries we think of them being sent to some third world country and living in huts. We also tend to think that all of these great missionary stories happened a hundred years ago. Ok, maybe that’s just me. The Kyiv Diary however, is about a family who went to Ukraine in 2012 making this a modern day missionary journey.
Unlike most missionaries I’ve encountered throughout my life, William never had intentions of becoming a long term missionary. Most missionaries I’ve ever spoken to have lived most of their adult lives in active ministry in one form or another. Some start as pastors, some go straight to the “mission field” (I put this in quotes because I believe the whole world is a mission field). My point is, William was quite content living a quiet life in rural Minnesota when God called his family to become missionaries. He was simply willing to say “yes” to God.
A Unique Missionary Journey
I’m pretty sure that every other missionary story I’ve ever read was about missionaries serving the lost. The Mohn family on the other hand went to Ukraine to be missionaries teaching at a school (Kyiv Christian Academy) for missionary kids. This means, they were in Ukraine serving missionaries by teaching their kids. This is something I’ve never really thought about. Missionaries serving in foreign countries need more than our financial support and prayers. They need support there on the ground as well.
Perspective From Missionary Kids & Third Culture Kids
Like I said, William was teaching students who were missionary and third culture kids. Third culture kids are kids who are born in one country but spend most of their lives in another, which gives them a very unique perspective of the world. These kids all came from various countries.
One of my favorite parts of this book was interviews of some of these missionary and third culture kids. Their unique perspectives on life, cultures, living for God and America were thought provoking. Again, this was another aspect of a missionary’s life I never really thought much about.
You will also find interviews of the different missionary families throughout the book. They give great examples of how God will provide for your needs when you serve him.
This book addresses the many realities of coming to terms with being called out of your comfort zone to serve God. The struggle of their journey as they put their faith in God is presented in a very real way in this book. I especially appreciated the account of how they helped their son work through his anxiety in regards to the coming move.
This book consists of blog entries William and his wife Kendra wrote while they were in Ukraine. Their blogs were primary used as a way to communicate their life in Ukraine to their friends and family back home. Due to the personal nature of their blogs, the excerpts in this book contain their raw emotions and struggles adjusting to life on the other side of the world.
In my opinion, it was refreshing to read a missionary’s story I could relate to. I don’t mean relate to in the sense of being in a foreign culture serving God for a year. I mean it’s relate-able in the sense that it isn’t an overly spiritual account of a missionary journey. It’s a story of real people with real struggles serving a real God. It was refreshing to get the sense that you don’t need to be this amazing spiritual person. You don’t have to have all the answers to serve God. You simply need to be willing when God says “go”.
Want To Read Kyiv Diary?
If you want to read the book yourself, you can purchase it on Amazon. OR, you can get an autographed copy from William T. Mohn himself! He has graciously offered to send an autographed book, with no additional charge for the autograph. Simply email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order. The book is just $12.90 shipping included (for shipping to USA). A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to Children’s Hope Ukraine, an orphan ministry.
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