Friday, June 1, 2012

June Update #1: Ministry in Ukraine

Hello, my long-neglected supporters!

I apologize for the length of time between updates, but the past month and half have been packed full for me.  Rather than bore you to tears with paragraphs upon paragraphs, I will just share stories via photographs, as a summary.

KCA Junior-Senior Trip to Prague, Czech Republic
In this beautiful city, I had a wonderful time with 11th and 12th graders on their class trip.  It was a relaxed time, outside of the classroom, and I got to see more of their hearts and interests.  We went sightseeing, had great conversations, and just enjoyed our times together.  I also enjoyed one-on-one conversations, or late night talks, with some of the girls -- I'm so glad God gave this opportunity to hear their stories!

Nate and Alexia convinced me to try Bubble Tea -- yum!
One afternoon, these lovely ladies (Grace, Jung, Victoria, & Yoon Na) and I wandered around the city
"Czech" out more photos on my Facebook page.

 Tobias, 5th grade miracle
While in Prague, we received word that Jop's (pronounced "Yopp") younger brother had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and his family was flying home to the Netherlands for more testing.  A few days later, Tobias had surgery to remove what was eventually identified as a benign tumor.  Approximately one month later, he, his mom, and youngest sister returned home to Kiev.

Sadly, he missed the ceremony on the last day of school, but because he was out of the hospital, he was able to attend his 5th grade "step up" graduation via Skype!

There's Tobias on the screen, with his friend Julian holding the computer.
Our headmaster is presenting him with his certificate.
The KCA community, plus friends of the family around the world, prayed for this little boy and his family.  Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of KCA.  What's more, we had a new teacher arrive this year who had ALSO survived a brain tumor!  God's timing this year has been amazing, and the other day, I saw Tobias at school catching up on his assignments.

Last English Lesson at Obolon

The class presented me with a card on which each of them had written an English phrase, many choosing to write, "I love Jessica."  I hope that now and in the future, these kids will have many more opportunities to grow, but more importantly, ways in which they can grow closer to Christ.

Track Meets, 2012
This year, we had 3 different track meets, and I'm so glad I was part of the coaching staff again this year.  Here are some photos:

Middle/high school teams plus coaches
Bogdan, 8th grade, running in one of the relay races
The Middle School team!
Upcoming Events:
June 5: New volunteer missionary couple, the Sumis, arrive.
July 12: Depart Ukraine one last time.  :(

Sneak preview of the next update (since it was too long for one):
*KCA Graduates of the class of 2012
*Saying farewell to many friends who have become like family
*Summer plans

*My NTS course is finished!  I got an A!  Hooray!
*An amazing 3 years of work/ministry/life at KCA
*Time to enjoy a few weeks of summer here in Ukraine and spend time with friends

Prayer Requests:
*Smooth transitions for all entering and leaving Ukraine during these summer months
*That God would continue to shape my heart so that I can love Him more
*My friend Masha's uncle's deteriorating health and family members caring for him

Thank you for all your support -- I'm so thankful for your prayers and encouragement during this time in Ukraine!

In Christ,

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