Thursday, December 2, 2010

November 2010 Update

Hello all!
Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! This past month has been chock-full of church activities and activities with friends over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanksgiving Celebration
About 40-50 Americans, Koreans, and Ukrainians gathered at Pine Branch Camp in Ivankiv to celebrate Thanksgiving together. We enjoyed the traditional US foods, including turkey and pumpkin pie, plus Korean kim-bop and other tasty treats. A few of us stayed overnight and enjoyed a bonfire and s’mores. One spectacular time was when I went outside, past the reaches of the camp lights, and looked up at the sky. There had to be a million stars overhead, and the Milky Way was visible! I stayed outside with the middle/high school students for a little while as we spotted constellations (Big Dipper, Pleiades, Scorpio, Cassiopeia). Other highlights included holding a 5-month-old Korean baby and having her fall asleep in my arms, playing Cranium with a handful of folks, walking through the village, worshipping together, and getting to know the KCA families/parents better.

My Ukraine Family
English Language Youth Group
On November 14, Kiev First Church held an English language youth group for our teens. We had a mixture of Ukrainians and Americans (and even one French kid!) participating! Included in the service were times of prayer, Scripture reading, a couple testimonies, the “Doctor’s Office” skit, a sermon and group discussions, and worship through music.

Worship team preparing
Sergei put me in charge of this – which I accepted as a form of “trial by fire” (similar to my experiences helping with teen quizzing in college) and learning as I went, since I had ZERO idea of what or how to do for the service. As an “innocent bystander”, I enjoyed the service, but as one who was in charge, I coordinated all the people and could see what needs to change for next time. My dissatisfaction as a leader came primarily from miscommunication—next time, there will be more than 2 copies of the order of worship so that I don’t have to directly coordinate each component, and I will verify that people understand exactly what I said.

English Lessons @ Obolon
Svetlana, my co-teacher, and I continue to meet periodically—once a month besides our actual lesson. Last night we met at the mall, and as we walked, we talked about ideas for this next lesson. Our key verses will be Luke 5:31-32 – “Jesus answered, "Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn't come to invite good people to turn to God. I came to invite sinners."” To begin the lesson, Svetlana will pretend to be ill, and send one of the kids into the hall to find the doctor (me). Then we will explain to the students that our sins are like a sickness, and that Jesus is the doctor that can make us whole again. I really enjoyed meeting with Svetlana and planning this lesson, because now we are working together as a team, and can present a more unified lesson to the kids!

Vinnytsia Visit
Click here to read about my weekend trip to the city of Vinnytsia and the village of Selische, where I could see evidence of God's redemption and reconciliation in the lives of Ukrainians.

Cultural Tidbit
On many street corners here, you can find a babushka (grandmother) selling fresh produce, flowers, farm goods, clothes, or just about anything else! I like to stop by our local babushka (if I can call her that) and buy some apples, peppers, or other fruits, since it is more convenient than our grocery store. We’ve never really held a conversation beyond asking/telling prices, but a week or so ago, we said “hello” to each other as I passed!

Nazarene Youth Conference 2011 Opportunity
Next summer, I have the opportunity to travel to Louisville, KY to participate in the Nazarene Youth Conference, where thousands of high school students from USA/Canada will gather from July 5-10. I will be serving as a sponsor for the Missionary Kid District—this “district” comprises all MKs with an American passport, no matter where in the world their parents serve as missionaries. In order to attend this conference, I will need to pay about $800 for my lodging, food, and the conference cost (plus my travel to/from Kentucky) – and unfortunately, this cannot be withdrawn from my general KCA/Ukraine funds. If you are interested in supporting this special project, please send checks to my home address (PO Box 146, zip code 21628)—it will be greatly appreciated!

*God’s continuing redemptive work in the lives of Ukrainians and of people all around the world
*English youth group last month
*KCA students that make me smile :)

Prayer Requests
*My decision for the 2011-2012 school year
*Language study – at times I feel like I’ve hit a wall and cannot learn any more words or grammar rules!
*Traveling safety when my roommate and I (and others) visit the US for Christmas/New Year’s

Thanks again for all your support! Since I probably won’t send another update until after the 25th, Merry Christmas!!

In Christ,


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