Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 2011 Ministry Update

Hello, friends, family, and other supporters!

This update is chock-full of stories and information.  Read on to see how God has been at work in Ukraine!

Hope House visit
In the middle of September, my roommate and I traveled to a village outside Odesa, Ukraine, to spend some times with the girls of Hope House.  Click here to read my blog post from shortly after our visit (there is also a link to my roommate's blog post).

My roommate and I with most of the girls of Hope House
As an update to my blog post, I found out last week that two more of the girls, Katya and Tanya, gave their hearts to Christ!  Yay! Praise God!  Now only two of the girls are "holdouts" -- pray for Nadia and Lena, that they would be open to Christ's love, hope, and work in their lives.

Please pray that our time with these girls will reflect Christ's love, and point them toward His hope.

KCA Teaching
There are some unique caveats about teaching at KCA, like the time we had "Left Bank School" due to the swine flu quarantine in 2009.  One of my geometry students, Rebecca, is still in America, and should be returning any day now.  Her family is still in the process of raising support, so she has been independently keeping up with her assignments.  I have sent her homework assignments and answer keys, and have emailed her explanations to other problems.  Last week I Skyped her to see how she was doing -- this may become a more common experience in the next few lessons as needed.
My 6th grade math class has been working on a project about decimals called "Let's Go Out to Eat."  In groups, they created restaurant menus and used the food prices to practice adding, subtracting, and multiplying decimals.  This is the first year I've ever used this as an alternative to the chapter test (I got it from one of my prepracticums in college), and it's been a learning experience in regards to how the students cooperate (or don't), who tends to take charge, and how to keep them on task.

What is Normal?
"Normal" in my life is a whole lot different than "normal" in your life.  For instance, putting our extra juice cartons (we bought 5 cartons of juice when we were at the store on Sunday) on the dryer is perfectly acceptable/logical, because our dryer is between our fridge and cabinet.  Normal is being comfortable when singing worship songs in Russian at my "home church" here in Ukraine.

Click the section title to read what's normal for me in Ukraine, and what was "normal" when I went back to America this summer.  If you have any thoughts on what to add, let me know! :)

Some of the kids from Obolon -- I teach the older group.
Upcoming Dates:
October 7-9 KCA Fall Retreat for middle and high schoolers
October 10-16 Eurasia Regional Conference
November 6: Teaching English in Obolon
No time change for Daylight Savings in Ukraine! (This means we will be 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, rather than just 7.)

*Natasha, the pastor's wife in Obolon, gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Anna on 9/21.  They were both at church on Sunday the 2nd.  :)
*During both of our train rides between Kyiv and Odessa, my teammate and I had 2 women coupe-mates.  This is definitely a blessing from God.
*Pastor Vova of Kyiv First Church (my "home church" in Ukraine) and Sylvia of the US got married on September 24 in San Diego.  They will have a "renewal of vows" ceremony here in Kiev on October 8.

Prayer Requests:
*Rebecca, my geometry student who is still in America (as well as others) -- pray that they will receive the monthly support that they need, and that she will be able to jump right back into the swing of things at KCA
*Patience with my students when they fail to see the gaps in their own knowledge (did you think I was going to leave it as "patience when they fail"??)
*Development of a Christlike character in myself, the people I work with (both Ukrainians and expats), and in my students.

In Christ,

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