November Monthly Update 2008

I had trouble sleeping last night. This is a very rare occurrence for me. Many thoughts were swirling around in my head; obstacles and difficulties loomed before me as insurmountable. Suddenly an image of an elephant came into my mind along with the question “How do you eat an elephant?” I remember Colin Lees teaching this to a grade 5 class at Pacific Hills. The answer being, “One mouthful at a time.”
When I can’t see the way out of the maze, the light at the end of the tunnel or the solution to my problem; then in faith I must take one step at a time holding the hand of Jesus. Oh Jesus will never let me go – may I never let go of Him.

If September was crazy – October just flew by. We now have 22 students, and at the beginning level have had to turn students away. I would dearly like to be able to start more classes in the New Year. This will require two things, extra rooms and extra teachers.

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2008_1018everybodydance0063Stuck in traffic! A rainy late Friday afternoon and I'm stuck in a propka. The name for a cork is the same word for a traffic jam. I see a sign for the metro system so I pull up on the footpath, park the van and head to the underground. 15 minutes later I'm waiting in the rain with some friends. I have a silly hat, a sign that says Lida for president, and I'm wondering why for the second time in a few weeks I forgot to bring a jumper when the weather is below 10 degrees. Eventually we hop on a bus and are transported to some weapons factory that has been converted into a TV studio.

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200810 Monthly Update October 2008

The other day I was dropping off Tashy at her former place of employment. She had a difficult meeting and I attempted to encourage her by saying “May God give you wisdom in your words and peace in your heart.” I only changed one letter but ended up saying “and may your heart be full of cheese”. It was pretty funny.

September has been a crazy month. This month the language school opened. We currently look like this:

  • Natasha Kurilko – Director/Accountant/Bookkeeper
  • Jonathan Miller – Teacher
  • Sveta Hladchenko – Teacher’s Aide
  • Masha Stratiychuk – Secretary/Translator

I think we have 17 students. We started with 8, but the number is changing every day. Currently we are running classes after school using one of the local school’s facilities. This means dragging everything down there – and sometimes waiting for a room to be available. I would dearly love to rent premises in the centre of town – please be praying about this.

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DSCF2914This is the Ukrainian acronym for my business. Yesterday we signed our first contract. Here is a photo of Katya - the first student to join our classes. We signed up four students yesterday and have another sign-up evening today. Classes will start next week, and I expect they will grow by word of mouth.

I'm not normally a nervous person. I have been more nervous at various times this week than I can remember in a long time. I am very much aware of my inabilities. I am thankful for the many people who have helped thus far.

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When I returned home to Rzhyshchiv, the cat which was hanging around last year was still here and pregnant. Mark and Jacqui,2008_0817cat0014 friends from NZ have befriended it and now I have three kittens as well, Kiwi, Smokey, and Chunkey. They are beginning to become used to being fed and loved. I still haven't relented and let them inside yet. But I must admit they look rather adorable - but then they grow up don't they?!?


2008_0717ca0025 Wow, it is well over a month since I got back to Ukraine and feels like I have written hardly any emails at all. Actually sometimes it feels good to not be online much, (other times I wish I was more).

One friend Max came to stay for a couple of days after camp. He is away for the summer but will come here in September. I get on really well with Max and it will be great to have him around.

I have had two separate trips to Crimea – both just relaxing holidays. The first with friends from Kyiv who invited me to go with them, and then with Ruth and Jon and extras – becoming an August tradition for us.

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Monthly Newsletter June 2008

Two weeks today I will be in London!! So I decided it was high time I let you know what’s happening now, what’s been happening, and what I expect to happen in the next few months.

Yes, one year is not yet up, so this is still part of my ‘year off’. But the next few months see me back in Ukraine. I will take part in the summer activities as a participant and willing helper. I will then be working to establish the language teaching business that was registered before I left Ukraine last year.

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