Monday, April 30, 2007
We wanted to tell everyone what we are doing here in Ukraine. We are teaching English. A lot.
Monday night – one young man who needs tutoring
Tuesday and Thursday night – a class in the new church plant (about seven students)
Friday and Saturday – a couple who are moving to Minnesota in the fall
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we help Steph with her classes of children
It should be easy, but we are teaching English to Romanian speakers in a country that doesn’t generally speak either language, so there are no resources available except the internet. We spend time searching the internet for tools and information and then Brandy, who is a great teacher, shares her expertise with us and we do it. I think we could do it better if we had some sort of resources available, but what might be here is in Russian. That won’t help us!
We are having a good time and working hard. In some cases the purpose of teaching English is to better prepare pastors who will be working with more and more English speaking pastors, in others the purpose is to draw non-believers to the churches. In the villages the purpose is to help grow the local church. And with our couple we work with, it's to help them be prepared to move to the United States.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
We don't know if you have kept up with the world news, but here in Ukraine is a bit of a fuss over the government issues. The president has fired the entire parliment and they are protesting, so we were encouraged to avoid the downtown part of Kiev. Ron, Brandy and Steph were exploring the city and stopped by to see the riot sights. It was relatively calm because of the coming holiday, but the tents were up and people had signs communicating something in Russian/Ukranian that was important to them!
As these three wandered the city, they traveled the Metro and, like moles, occassionally came to the surface to see where they were. In this way, they saw the upside and the downside of Kiev. They enjoyed the Metro system - Ron says, "it was a blast!" Not that they knew where they were, but they learned to use the Metro and found their way home without problem.
I stayed with Valari and the kids. We had a quiet day of visiting and playing with the kids! Easter was a good time in Kiev.
We have to confess to our excess issues in Kiev. There are 23 McDonalds in Kiev, TGI Fridays and Baskin and Robins! Don't misunderstand we tried to visit all of them while we were there. It was good to see American food (especially with lettuce) and the confession continues. We did visit five McDonalds while we were in Kiev. There are none in Cernauti. But the ice cream was a major treat!
Jonathan and Emma were sweet children and it was a joy to visit with Slavic and Valari and compare information about living in Eastern Europe. The top center picture is the view outside Valari's apartment window. After the ten hour bus ride to Kiev, we had a day of rest then we were off to the city to explore! The last five pictures were taken in the city near the WWII memorial. Note that we are sitting on these fancy soviet tanks, it sure seems strange to me! Kiev is a beautiful city and is growing and changing rapidly. It's amazing that when we were first in Kiev it was so different, now it looks like any major city in Europe.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
This is our team leader here in Ukraine, Silas. He is leading by example, he is ironing his own shirt for church the next day because it is appropriate to look as if you ironed your clothing in Eastern Europe and no one volunteered to do it for him!
Good job Silas!
Interesting. In the United States we travel from state to state without thinking much about the border. If you are on vacation, you might take a picture of the sign that welcomes you to the new state, but that all there is to it. In Europe, the borders are different. Although the countries are smaller than many states they have firm, uncrossable borders. The border between Ukraine and Romania is electrified, barbed wired, and about ten feet high. And every several kilometers there is a little border station, where there is a little border guard with a big gun.
Like all of Eastern Europe, if you get sick you go to the local pharmacy and buy the antibiotic the internet recommends for a specific illness, which you have diagnosed yourself. Well, Steph was sick with a very, very sore throat and was positive it was Strep, so we looked up the correct antibiotic and she went out to buy it. After two tries, she did get Penicillian, but the only available form is in the injection. I got to show her and Brandy how to give injections. This was the most fun you could imagine. I never knew that my opportunity to stab a needle into another person would come on the mission field. God is so good! This is us in our tiny kitchen experimenting on other human beings.