Saturday, May 21, 2011

April/May 2011 Update

Hello all,

This will be the last email posting from Ukraine for this school year.  I will try to post once during the summer, and then continue again in the fall when I return to Ukraine.

Quick points about the past two months:

*April 24 was Easter Sunday here in Ukraine.  I observed some Orthodox Easter celebrations at a nearby Orthodox church, which you can read about here (at this link I also wrote some about the Nazarene sunrise service).  At this link, you can read about the traditions of Holy Week and watch some videos demonstrating how to make Ukrainian Easter Eggs.

Nazarene sunrise service overlooking the Dnieper River
*On May 7, I finished my Cultural Anthropology course through NTS!  I was so relieved to finish my term paper (due on April 30), and also relieved when I got an A on the paper I wrote about children and families in Ukraine!  I'm still waiting for my final grade, though.

*May 9 is Victory Day, which commemorates the surrender of the Nazis to the Soviet Army.  Click here to read some of the history and see some video footage from 1945 (thanks to Youtube).

*A team from Northwest Nazarene University has been here since the 11th, and will stay until the 26th.  They are helping various churches around the city, and also came to KCA on Wednesday.  As one of the track coaches, it was wonderful to have them teaching some of our kids more skills that we are not necessarily knowledgeable about (shotput and triple jump).

They held Kids' Club activities on the other side of the city, and I was able to join them last weekend.  Click here to read about the first Kids' Club I went to, and NNU's assistance to Andriy and Marina in the church plant.

Relay games
*On Thursday, the 6th grade Bible class and I led chapel for the elementary students.  We talked about trusting God -- that it means we fully rely on God (FROG).  The kids did a puppet skit and acted out the story of Peter walking on the water, then asked the elementary students questions based on the story.  Upon reflection after the chapel time, I realized that although we told stories of trusting God, we didn't give the kids concrete ways to apply this lesson to their own lives -- to obey God when He asks us to trust Him.  In this, I have to simply trust God (ha!) that seeds were planted or watered, and that God will be the one to make their faith grow despite times of difficulty.  I even found that I needed to listen to my own chapel message, and allow God to shape my own thinking -- to trust that God will fulfill his purposes in our lives.

Discussion time
*Friday was the Senior Send-off chapel at school, complete with photo slideshows of each senior.  I will miss these students, most of whom I have taught for two years, and the rest of whom I have gotten to know otherwise.

Summer Plans
Many churches have asked invited me to speak in their churches while I am in America, and my schedule is filling up!  Click here to see if I will be at a church near you.  I'm looking forward to seeing many of you, and attempting to also have a vacation at some point! :)  If you are interested in helping sponsor me monthly, please visit

The district coordinator for the MK district at Nazarene Youth Conference has been emailing us more info, and I've learned a little bit about many of the participants.  They will be coming from all around the world, and they are sure to be a fun bunch!  Some of my fellow sponsors are folks I've known from my time with Youth in Mission, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again.

*My online course is finished!
*God's provision of churches for me to speak during Sunday services
*How God has been working in my life, and revealing the ways in which I need to continue to grow

Prayer Requests:
*Transitions these seniors make as they move to college or begin work in the fall.
*Many of my students are returning to their passport countries for the summer.  Pray for smooth adjustments.  One student I know is going to the US for the first time in 3 years.
*For the MKs as they prepare for the youth conference -- pray that they will be open to what God has to say to them

Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement.  I couldn't have made it through year #2 without your support!

In Christ,

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