As a child I enjoyed reading the Chronicles of Narnia. Being from the southern hemisphere I never fully understood the terrible feeling the children felt knowing that the White Witch of Narnia made it always winter but never Christmas. We grow up with the expectation that certain things should always go hand in hand. Here people expect snow with winter. But we are yet to see snow this winter which is very unusual. We all have expectations for Christmas holidays. We have expectations for New Year. We have our own expectations in friendships, work situations, service in shops and restaurants. And we feel grieved when our expectations are not met. This is natural. Sometimes it is helpful. I have expectations of my workers and if they constantly fall short it is my job to draw their attention to their responsibilities. But often our expectations are unrealistic, selfish or both. We focus on what we expect from life and those around us rather than what we can give to others.

May I grow to give more and expect less. Ouch – that can be a hard lesson.


I was very happy to see the end of November. Quarantine is now a thing of the past, and the deadline of having an educational licence or be shut down has come and gone with no word from the Head of Education. I wrote her a letter outlining our position – but have heard nothing in return. So for now we keep teaching students. Two new students signed up last week. It seems that people like learning English.

One of my teachers meets another adult for a one on one class one evening a week. They speak English for the duration of the lesson and then regularly sit around and chat for another hour in Ukrainian. It is good to be able to share life this way.

We had a good time as an entire staff together last week. We looked at where UTSIM has come from, where are we going and how are we going to get there. This included a financial report and looking at what we need to do to make UTSIM financially viable.


This is not something I want to make a habit of – but yep I’m looking for sponsors. We have started a program for underprivileged families where we offer 100% or 50% sponsorship for them to study English with us. We are currently sponsoring 4 students and would like to increase this. I’m looking for people who would like to commit to sponsoring a student for a year of English. Our year is 9 months from September to May. You can sponsor a student for Aus$30 a month for 9 months. We can provide some details of your student. For more details about this program and how to send us money – please email me on jono@jonomiller.com



On Thursday I did my back! Whatever that means – all I know is that Thursday night was extremely painful and the following morning also. It is still not right and I had to pull out of squash last night (it is serious for me not to play sport). I am thankful for a tube of extra strength dencorub that I have from Aus.


The Devil is another short story by Leo Tolstoy. This is about temptation. I haven’t quite finished the book, but am reminded of the importance of praying “Lead me not into temptation”.

I haven’t had a lot of time for reading lately. I hope to read a couple of books when we get a couple of weeks off during Christmas and New Year.


To Deb Crowe for the awesome soups she turns out every week!

Love Jono

Keep Looking Up