Lance & Megan's Blog

Portraits of Formation: Sasha Borysov

“People who knew me before as a chaplain, they still had the same attitude toward me as a chaplain and I always had that respect… Sometimes I really talked to the guys as a chaplain. But my role changed completely because I changed completely.”

“Shit happens” ~Forrest Gump

“I saw God not as a pacifist who is standing aside and just terrified at what is going on in this world that I created, especially when war raged. No, no, he is always there, involved, still involved in the lives of soldiers.”
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Verses for this Time


Since this has been a crazy season for most of the world and the future seems uncertain, we thought it important to be memorizing some of God’s Word, especially on hope.

We challenged our staff to memorize these verses, see if you can get them down in a week.

  1. Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
  2. Isaiah 40:31- but those you hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
  3. Philippians 1:6- being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
  4. Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  5. Romans 8:24-25- For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
  6. Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
  7. Psalm 3:2-6- Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
  8. Colossians 3:1-2- Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set you minds on things above, not on earthly things.
  9. Isaiah 43:1-2- But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
  10. Psalm 147:11- the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
  11. Deuteronomy 31:8- The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
  12. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18- Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs then all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
  13. James 1:2-4- Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
  14. Jeremiah 17:7- “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
  15. Lamentations 3:22-25- Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

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Portraits of Formation: John Washington


“A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit”

~Ancient Greek Proverb

From his shirt, tattoos, and wall hangings, I felt this portrait really spoke of John’s personality.

-John Oliver Washington 

-Part time stay at home dad, Part time tattoo artist

I met John quite a few years ago while he lived in Ukraine with his family.  At the time he had just finished his (second) Discipleship Training School (DTS), an introductory school to Youth With a Mission. I instantly loved this guy. His desire to serve others and care for orphans was evident and infectious. At the time of this interview, he and his family were back living in England, where they are from. Here is a chat that we did over social media:

Where have you lived from when you were born till now?

England, America/Bosnia (only 6 months, DTS ? ), England, Switzerland/Egypt (another DTS), England, Ukraine , England 

So mainly England and Ukraine?

Have you always been artistic? Or was it something that you learned?

I have always liked drawing but never felt like I was good enough or a natural at it. 

But it was the subject that I did the best in at school.

As an adult, only since I started getting into tattooing, have I found a style of art and painting that I’m passionate about. It’s important that art has a purpose (so for me my paintings to be tattoos for people makes it worth spending the time creating them.) 

As to whether my art is learned or a gifting I feel like it’s a mix of both. ?

I asked John to take me to the place where he thinks. He sat in this chair.

What purpose do you think your art serves?


It provides an income for me and my family. It brings joy to me as the creator and also in a different way to the receiver.  

I think with tattoos for the wearer it can bring increased self esteem and even to some degree identity.

What kinds of conversations happen when you tattoo someone?

Mostly it’s kinda small talk, chatting about the customer’s job or life. The pain of getting tattooed is talked about a lot! 

I have returning customers who I get to know better and they become similar to friends. We chat about life and all sorts of things from politics to faith and everything else pretty much. 

I like to take the opportunity when it comes up to talk about Jesus but I don’t ever force it into conversation.

If you could say something to Christians who struggle with the morality of tattooing, what would you say?


Probably just “oh well, different strokes for different folks”

Something like that.

If they wanted a discussion about it I would tell them to look online, there are plenty of people spouting their opinions there.


I feel it’s a hard one because it’s like a lots of things in life. I feel like it comes under the personal convictions banner. Great for one, shambles for another. 

I would also say that in my experience as I have traveled this journey with God, talking to him about tattooing. My understanding is this. 

Tattoos are skin deep. Just flesh and blood. These things will soon all perish just as our bodies will. Our tattoos are no more eternal than the clothes we wear or the hair on our heads.

In the context of you living out your Christianity, how has your work impacted your Christian walk? Have you learned anything about who God is and who you are?

I have a better understanding that God is a provider in all things. In missions it was easy to see we relied on him for money and money came (and other stuff of course). But with tattooing God provides cool customers who want the sort of tattoos that I like doing. He provides through giving me the ability to do the job, be creative and skillful.

He is in the every detail when we seek him and often his grace covers the times when we forget to ask. 

My work has given me a better understanding of God’s Grace. 

50 or so years ago the church in the West could not have conceived that God would bless and provide for tattooing but here I am and I see his provision. It’s undeniable. I pray for specific things and he enables me or brings those things to pass. It shows me a side to God that he is outside our boxes of cultural confinement. He blesses us in the details but I’m not sure the details matter to him so much. His pursuit is me. And I see that and my great fullness increases.

I am in a better place with God and spend more time with him daily than I have in years.

That’s a lot but doesn’t even begin to explain any of it really. 


Do you have any more comments or anything you would like someone reading this to know?

God loves us. Jesus is very important. Faith in him is everything. Thank you. For reading ? Over and out, Bye bye, Paka paka, Done Fini!

Awesome! Thanks for your openness. I really love what you are doing. It has been a huge honor for me to do this. Blessings on you and your family.

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Portraits of Formation: An Introduction

Self Portrait: An experiment with negative space

“I don’t believe we were meant to see ourselves,” said Jane. “He said something about being mirrors enough to see another.”

~Lewis, C. S., That Hideous Strength

We are all being formed. From the very start of our existence, we can’t help but be formed.  Some things we choose to form us and some things form us without us even knowing. What we watch or read, trauma and affirmation, what I think of myself and what others desire for me. What even defines me? My vocation? My relationships? I think these questions create a deep tension that is innate in all of us and is a fundamental struggle in our being human because it touches on identity. This tension produces in us not only some of our greatest sorrows and pains, but also greatest joys. Identity is a huge and difficult topic but we are only focusing on the beginnings of identity. It is fascinating that our will-powered choices are only a tiny fragment of what we form into, yet, with or without intention, we are being formed. 

Portraits of Formation is a pretty straight forward project. It is an attempt, alongside their photo portrait, to take a snapshot of someone’s formation process and see what people are desiring to be formed into, what they are actually being formed into and what is doing the forming. These portraits are my reflection of what I am seeing through the picture I take and the questions I ask. There is nothing new in what I am doing here and it has been done many times before, but it is my small attempt at “being a mirror enough to see another.”  

A year in review


Everyone jokes that a baby changes everything but until you have a baby you really don’t quite understand what that means. For us, that has meant, slowed down communication and sadly our blog has been low on the priority list. Since it has been over a year since we posted anything. We will simply give some pictures to recap what we have been doing.

April 2018- We moved into our apartment.
April 2018- We were able to make a trip to Finland to meet with other DTS leaders and staff.
May 2018- We participated in and helped with Marriage Week.
May 2018- We had an all staff training time that ended in May.
June 2018- We hosted a TESOL outreach team and offered TESOL classes for those that wanted to be TESOL certified.
July 2018- We hosted a six week Leadership Development Course
August 2018- We helped teach in a DTS staff training in Kyiv.
September 2018- City-wide Thanksgiving brought us out to advertise and run a marriage dialogue cafe.
October 2018- Staff retreat to the Carpathian Mountains!
October 2018- We started our Discipleship Training School
November 2018- Lance’s parents came for a visit
December 2018- Benaiah turned one!!
December 2018- Megan spoke at our annual Women’s Christmas Tea
January 2019- we had to move out of our apartment since our landlady wanted to sell it. Benaiah is packing up his books.
January 2019- Lance started his Discipleship and Christian Formations course in England.
February 2019- Discipleship Training School graduated!
March 2019- We started a large remodel project in the YWAM building.
April 2019- Lance and fellow staff, Ryan started a project to tell the story of a work started by our church planting ministry.
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