From Soviet Persecution to America

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Ray and I were in St. Louis this past week to visit our son John and his family and to present workshops and to share our curriculum with homeschooling families at the St. Louis homeschool convention. We had a wonderful week.

Here we are on free sandwich day at Chik-fil-A . . .


. . . and here I am at The Magic House science museum.

Magic House

I thrive in the fellowship of homeschooling conventions. As I have said before, I love to meet you readers. I also love to meet parents and especially children who have used our curriculum. This past weekend I had a wonderful visit with a mother and daughter, both of whom glowed with a beauty from within.

Our visit began when the smiling mother brought her graceful daughter over to me. With her loving hand resting on her daughter, she introduced her to me, saying she wanted her to meet the author of her history curriculum, America the Beautiful. Listening to the beautiful accents of both of them, I asked if they were from Ukraine. That’s when I began to learn their wonderful story. I’ll call the mama Ionna.

Ionna’s father was persecuted in the Soviet Union because he was a Protestant Christian. Because her grandfather was a Baptist preacher, her father was not allowed to go to college. While President Reagan was serving as president of the United States, he opened up immigration for Christians wanting to leave the Soviet Union. Ionna’s parents applied. Just weeks after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the family was granted their request. Ionna’s parents then moved to America with their eight children, six daughters and two sons.

The whole family has remained in the United States. The two sons are still single, one daughter has married an American, and the other five daughters, including Ionna, have married Ukrainians living in the U.S.

Ionna told me that she loves the history of America. I told her about hearing of other Ukrainians interested in homeschooling and of meeting a Ukrainian homeschooling family in North Carolina. I asked her why Ukrainians are drawn to homeschooling. She said it is because Ukrainian parents are concerned about their children’s hearts.

When Solomon instructed his son in Proverbs 4, he told him:

My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:20-23


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