March 2022

We continue to pray for peace in Ukraine, and for the safety of all Ukrainians, especially civilians, in areas under attack by the Russian army. The photo is of the bell tower of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, taken by Kristin in 1995. Kristin spent a month in Minsk, Belarus that summer as part of a cultural and linguistic exchange between InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of Canada and the Minsk State Linguistic University (aka a short-term mission trip, depending on who's asking). Before and after the Canadian group's time in Minsk, they spent a total of about three weeks in and near Kyiv.

This isn't Kristin's only connection to Ukraine and the surrounding nations. Her paternal grandfather was born in a village somewhere between Kyiv and the Black Sea, in 1913, though his family were neither Ukrainian nor Russian, but German-speaking Mennonites. They immigrated to Canada in the early 1920s. Kristin's brother lives in Latvia. His wife was born there ten years before the end of the USSR and speaks Russian as her first language. Kristin has visited Latvia three times (once with Donald), traveled around Lithuania and Estonia, and taken the train from Hong Kong to St. Petersburg, spending time along the way in Irkutsk and Moscow. Kristin's sister has also visited Russia on multiple occasions, including a summer on an archaeological excavation in Siberia, while a university student, with Russian as well as Canadian and American students.

We're horrified and saddened by the invasion, afraid for the future (but trying not to be), and heartsick for the people who didn't want to be at war but weren't given a choice.

If you're looking to contribute financial support to Christian organizations that are assisting people who have been affected by the invasion (including both those who remain in Ukraine, and those who've fled to neighboring countries), here are some that we would recommend:

United World Mission (works to make advanced theological training more accessible to ministers around the world; currently sheltering and providing for displaced Ukrainians at seminary campuses within and near Ukraine)

International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (worldwide network of university student ministry organizations, including InterVarsity in the US and Canada; providing emergency support to local staff in Ukraine and neighboring countries who are assisting those who've been impacted)

World Relief (provides support to local churches so they can assist those in need; although helping Ukrainian refugees is one of the many initiatives they're focused on right now, they don't have a Ukraine-specific fund but continue to address the ongoing humanitarian crises around the world--including Afghan refugee resettlement--that don't stop just because there's a new war)

Mysterion Update

We're editing the stories that will be published in May and June, and reading submissions from January to choose what we'll be publishing between July and December.

While our sophisticated data analytics (i.e., looking at the number of views in the Blogger dashboard) tells us that more of you are reading the stories than these columns (as it should be!), here's a list of what we've published recently, with links. Just in case.

"Moral Panic 1986" by Marshall J. Moore (horror). What if the urban legends were true? (If you liked this and want to read more of Marshall's work, we also have "Kirishitan" from last fall.)

"The Remnant" by Cathy Smith (science fiction). Most people dispose of their original bodies after migrating to a more durable android form, but neither Virginia nor her android "daughter" Ginny were ever inclined to let others make decisions for them. 

"The Gift of Tongues" by Annaliese Lemmon (contemporary fantasy). A young Mormon missionary is tempted by the offer to exchange her unusual gift for something more practical.

Later this month, you'll be able to read O.Z.A. Lee's "Help", a dark historical fantasy set in the American South, where the supernatural horror is no match for the evil that the characters encounter every day. In April, we'll be bringing you "On Charis Station", a far-future science fiction tale by D.G.P. Rector, in which Mors's solitude as the station caretaker is shattered by the arrival of three spacers fleeing a relentless bounty hunter.

Patreon Update

We currently have 24 active Patrons, contributing $219/month. Our next funding goal is $275/month, which will allow us to publish two additional stories each year.

If we reach this milestone before we're ready to make our final selections from the January submission window, we'll be able to choose eight stories instead of only seven. So now is a great time to pledge

We have different support tiers available, from $1/month to $25/month (though you can always choose to contribute more than the minimum at each level). Even $1/month is a big help to us! Our most popular level is $3/month, which gets you early access to all the stories we publish, but we should also point out that $10/month gets you subscriber-exclusive e-books every two months, in your choice of PDF, .mobi (Kindle) and .epub (other e-readers). At some point, we will probably start selling these on Amazon and Kobo, but currently they're only for Patreon subscribers and short fiction reviewers. (If you have a fiction review column and would like to be added to our distribution list for these, please do contact us at

Cat Update

They're getting better about not hopping up on the kitchen counter while we're standing right there, though Kristin did find Maxwell's current favorite toy up there one morning when she went downstairs. They still enjoy their cat tent. Sometimes they like to sleep in it:

And sometimes they just like to drag it around the house:

We usually don't see them when they're dragging the tent around, but we were impressed to find that they'd dragged it all the way up the stairs to the guest bedroom the other day.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you'll stop by again on March 28th to read this month's story!

Support Mysterion on Patreon!