Hello! We are Mitch and Emily Long. If you’ve just met us or are reconnecting, you might have some questions about our story. We have moved around a lot, it’s understandable. But that’s what this page is for! An abbreviated saga, as it were. Introducing us!
Emily was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Mitch grew up in Washington state and spent several years in Montana. In January 2017, we participated in a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), which is where we met. We spent three months in Ukraine learning about God and ourselves, worked in orphanages, which has always been Emily’s passion, hence the reason she chose this DTS. Then, we traveled Poland and Paris for two months as an extended mission trip, leading worship and speaking at churches, ministering to kids, and evangelizing. This sparked Mitch’s passion for serving in that part of the world.
After DTS, Emily returned to the United States to start her degree in Special Education at Trevecca Nazarene University. Mitch worked over the summer and then went back to Ukraine to do another YWAM school on worldview for three months. We started dating that fall and remained long distance for several months. FaceTime and a few short visits were our saving grace. At the end of Emily’s freshman year we got engaged! Mitch moved to Nashville that fall and we started looking for a place to live. Finally we found a small apartment that wasn’t great but it worked for a short period of time. In May of 2019 we got married!
The adventure continued when Emily realised the special education degree at Austin Peay would be better suited to our goals. So in January of 2020 we moved to Kentucky, right by the Tennessee border, transferred schools, and promptly got locked down barely two months later. Ah, good memories! At the same time, family events made it clear that we needed to move to Idaho to be closer to Mitch’s family. So 8 months after moving into our cute little country house, we moved across the country, in the middle of a pandemic, an economic upheaval, and a housing crisis. Yeah, that went about as well as you could expect! We were able to help Mitch’s sister, although not as much as we wanted. Things did not work out like we thought. There were some bright spots, but overall it was not fun. Hard but necessary lessons were learned. I wrote a blogpost about it. After 6 months, we had a good opportunity for Mitch’s job, and we jumped on it. We moved again, this time to Montana.
We have now been in Montana for nearly a year. It has been so good for us, we truly love it here. We healed physically, mentally, relationally, and spiritually. This is where we first got involved in Orthodoxy, and what a beautiful journey it’s been! But our hearts have always been with Ukraine. Mitch longs for the youth group he helped with last time he was there, that serves children displaced by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Emily’s dream is to work with families who have kids with special needs, giving them the resources and support they need to keep kids at home instead of being forced to give them to the orphanage. Since Emily had graduated and the family drama has settled down, we started praying about moving back to Ukraine full time. It was a very clear yes from God! It happened very quickly. We arrived in Kyiv on January 26th and jumped right back into ministry and language lessons. Exactly four weeks later, Russia began bombing Ukraine in a full scale invasion. We were able to help people in our village leave safely and evacuate the country. Now we are in Romania serving with YWAM and helping Ukrainian refugees. It isn’t what we expected but looking back God had it all planned out.
Please visit our donation page to learn more about how you can support us. And if you can’t support us financially right now, welcome anyway! You can keep up with all our adventures on this blog and all our socials.
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