Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Visit from NZ and New Beginnings!

Our Visit with David's Mom
We were very blessed to have Mary, David's Mom, visit us from New Zealand these last two weeks! We had a wonderful time with her while she was here, catching up and being able to personally show her a little bit of our lives here in Ukraine. While she was here, we were able to worship with her, introduce her to some of our friends, take her to our market, our grocery store, some of our favorite restaurants, etc.

We also did two new things with her: we went to our first Russian Ballet, Swan Lake, and she and David visited the memorial for the Kharkovians who lost their lives in WW2. For Ukrainians, it's normal to grow up going to ballets and operas. Our language teacher was very surprised to know that we hadn't been to an opera and this was Mary and David's first ballet. So this was a great cultural experience for us all, not to mention great entertainment!! The picture to the right is at the ballet and the one below is one David took at the memorial.

Mary also took time to do a mini-workshop on children's Bible class teaching for us ladies while she was here. She and another lady, Melinda Miller, worked hard for years to arrange a great children's curriculum in NZ. Their curriculum goes through all the major stories in the Bible, and is filled with teacher information, activity ideas, and many other resources for each story. They've taken it and helped train teachers all over the South Pacific and she was kind enough to bring us a part of the goods! Baggage restrictions made it impossible for her to bring it all with her, but she brought enough resources to last us quite a while! Thank you, Mary, for all your help!

New Beginnings
This last Sunday, our team had our very first all Russian service together. All the men on the team took turns leading the service and did a great job! We all have so much to learn, especially in our Christian vocabulary. We've all been reading the Bible more in Russian, struggling with the difficult words, but learning a great deal as well. A couple of us on the team have also started reading the Bible with friends here in the city. It has been a great encouragement to all of us! Keep us in your prayers as especially David and I struggle with the language barrier. We are thankful for how much we've learned this last year, but it will continue to be a slow progress for some time yet. Pray we don't get discouraged, but continue to trust that God's greatness is coming through, especially in our weakness.


Nancy said...

Livia! I love your closing comment on God's greatness coming through in spite of our weakness. Sometimes we forget our weakness simply makes us more malleable to God.
Praying for you both!

Chadd said...

Good to read your update. You are in our thoughts and prayers today. Chadd and Nancy

Deanna said...

Olivia, you are doing amazing work for God! You are teaching people about Christ in the Ukraine and your comment on my blog (about being so busy) has given me quite a lot to think about over the past few days. Thanks for the encouragement!

Jeanette said...

I am very proud of your hard work!
Also, it is going to be so cool when you master the language and you are in Lubbock say, at the grocery store and you talk with David in Russian and its pretty much guaranteed that no one will understand you, I've always dreamt of doing that!