Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 2010 Update

Greetings from Kyiv, Ukraine!

Yesterday marked the one-month mark of my return to Ukraine, and what a busy month it has been. The following update will give a brief overview of the new school year and other ministry activities. Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and even your financial support! I appreciate your participation in the opportunities that God has given me to serve Him here in Kyiv.

Teaching at KCA:
I continue to teach geometry (9-10 grade) and 6th grade math, and I am teaching pre-calc/advanced math (11-12 grade) and 6th grade Bible for the first time. As compared to last year, I have more rapport built with the students, even those whom I have never taught. The sixth graders ask some great questions in Bible class! Some of those questions include: “How could Judas’s intestines spill out if he was hanged?”, “What do cults, like Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons, believe?”, and “Why weren’t Lazarus and the sick girl considered as part of the firstfruits of resurrection?” We are studying Acts through Revelation this year, and they enjoy the “Faith Comes By Hearing” dramatized audio New Testament.

Chernivtsi Kids’ Club
Last weekend I traveled to Chernivtsi with 4 Ukrainians (Irina, Luba, Sveta, Alla) and Colleen to help with the first Kids’ Club of the season. We met in a local school’s dining hall, where the families gathered. Sveta (who is 32 and has Down Syndrome) and her mom were there again, and I recognized some of the other kids like Ira, the twins, and Sasha. The kids are just so happy to interact with each other, and the ladies enjoy each other’s company. Vera’s Aquila ministry here is such a blessing to these families and to the community, and I enjoy being a part of this group.

Teaching English at Obolon
Today (the 19th) I taught English at Obolon to 7 kids—our lesson was on “family” words. (My roommate Amy is teaching the younger kids—with the help of Masha from Kyiv First Church.) These kids already seemed to know these words, especially a new little boy named Dima, but we were able to practice speaking and writing. Each student drew their family tree on paper, and we asked each other, “Do you have a brother or a sister?” Next month we will probably be writing letters in English to send to their sponsors.

Cultural Snapshots:
A few weeks ago, I wanted to buy ground beef, but didn’t see any prepackaged. I had to go to the deli counter and ask for a certain weight, which they would give me in a bag. The catch, however, was that I needed to ask for the weight in kilograms and not pounds—and I couldn’t remember the conversion factor! At first, I asked for 4 kg, and the lady said, “Oh, that’s a lot,” so I decided on 2 kg. Two kilos is still FOUR pounds, and I only needed one!

Upcoming Events:
KCA Fall Retreat--October 1-3
Chernivtsi Kids' Club--October 9 (I think)
Teaching English at Obolon--October 17 (I think)

*When Colleen and I traveled back from Chernivtsi on the train by ourselves, God provided us with 2 young women as compartment-mates. When traveling with fewer than 4 people in a compartment, one can only hope for nice, non-smoking, non-drinking traveling companions that will either generally leave you alone or be friendly.
*I feel more comfortable with the Russian language, and have been learning new words.

Prayer Requests
*KCA students: for their relationships with Christ to develop and deepen, especially at the upcoming Fall Retreat
*Vitalik, one of the boys from the Vapnyarka children’s center, who is now in university in Kyiv
*Obolon kids: that they will come to know Christ
*That I would be Christ’s hands and feet here, and see everything from His perspective

In Christ,

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