This road is old” “I believe I can fly” “Can I tell you something Uncle Jono?” “I’ve got a plan” “I don’t wanna sleep here, it’s boring” – quotes from Benji.

Today I read The Hungry Caterpillar to a little boy I’d just met and he wanted me to read it again.

I remember taking a bike ride in the western part of Brisbane about 17 years ago. Although I wasn’t exactly sure of where I was going – I had a policy of don’t turn around. There is a way ahead. Don’t put your hand to this plough and look back. Did I get lost? Well I’m here now so I guess I didn’t. It’s a matter of perspective. Sometimes along the path things make as much sense as the ramblings of a child. But when I listen to a child – I can listen to the words, or I can listen to the heart. Dostoyevsky said “The soul is healed by being with children”.

A new child is entering my life. I am engaged to Anastasia Ivanova and she has a son named Mikhyey who is 2 ½. I am on a fast learning curve for fatherhood. It is a good road. There are so many things to learn from children. Nastya and I had planned to get married this month but for a plethora of reasons we have decided to not be so hurried and have changed to a later yet-to-be-announced date. Sometimes I’m like a child myself – crawling, running, walking, dancing, laughing, stumbling, falling, getting up again.

I am ecstatically happy. Even the struggles – real and imagined, conventional or self-inflicted – serve to make deep peace and happiness even greater. We both desire to learn to live and love each other more and more each day and to have as the centre of our family, a strong trust in God who leads and guides through each and every circumstance of life. Thanks for all your well wishes received and for your prayers now and on-going.


I’m still on holidays from UTSIM – however please pray for visas for Shane, Jemimah and Rufus. Especially for Shane and Jemimah as their letters of invitation did not arrive in time to get visas in Canberra so they have to look at other embassies.



I traded in some frequent flyer points and decided to make a quick trip to Australia for Shane and Jemimah’s wedding. They are then heading over here to work with me at UTSIM. I’m really thankful for this opportunity, plus I get to be MC again.


I’ve been playing cricket a little in Kyiv. It’s amazing how passionate some people can be about cricket. We had a very close chase of 175 and fell short by 5 runs. Wayne has done a great job interacting with the existing cricketing community as well as introducing Ukrainians to the game. It’s not really about the cricket. It’s about being with boys. It’s about relationships. Doing one small aspect of life together so we can ‘do’ more important aspects of life together.


Joanna, Frank, Nikki, Melanie and Benji are here with us in Ukraine as I type. We are having a good time meeting friends and looking around where we live. More than that we are having a great time connecting with family.


I’m part way through Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. An interesting discourse about weird people and their thought processes and what is and isn’t important. Almost seems like I fit in there (except everyone is always dragging on a cigarette).


To Ruth and Jon for a great practice hangi last week.

Love Jono

Keep Looking Up


Congrats Jono... sorry i never seem to write... I do read your newsletters and pray and I guess I believe that's not a cop-out. Will be praying now for your new phase in life...wow a family in one hit :) awesome.
love Wendy ( Jo's mum)from loooong ago

1 decade ago