God be praised! The teaching of English through the LCMS mission to Ukraine has exploded! We have been blessed with 15 adults and children in our community beginner class. Kipps’s private lessons have gained students. I have started teaching in a local school for four hours a day, teaching the elementary students English. We both have English classes for the clergy and staff of the cathedral. We are team teaching a beginner’s level English class on Zoom for the children in Kherson, Ukraine. On November 15, 2020 we will be starting a conversation and group discussion class for the children of Odessa, Ukraine/
This new group will be made up of children from 12-18 years of age, who need to practice their discussion and conversation skills in English. This teen group will meet after church for fellowship and conversations. Kipp and I will team teach this class after Sunday school English lessons. We were invited into a local school to see what school is like in Odessa, Ukraine. This is a small private school that keeps their class sizes small and children are given personal attention to their educational needs. The school asked Kipp and I to come in and do a presentation for each grade level. After our presentations we were offered a position to teach four days a week. I took this on since I have such fun with teaching elementary students. It was challenging at first, but now is something both the students and I look forward to each day. The community classes have spread by word of mouth and signs out in front of the cathedral. Even during this challenging time of Covid-19, the class is packed. I will be splitting the class into two groups as restrictions grow tighter. The students range from 10 years old to 83 years old. The intergenerational part is fantastic! The students help each other out and are not afraid to contribute. This was a huge hurtle to overcome. The school system has exceptional literacy rates and knowledge retention but, from the student’s perspective is a harsh learning environment. My students were not willing to make mistakes. I rewarded and praised those who would contribute and take risks. We played many games and combined lessons with food. Between this, God’s help, and my teaching style, the students are eger to help each other, and freely respond to class. The Sunday school class has just gotten off of the ground. After two lessons the children, their teacher, and I are getting to know each other. They have a wide range of skills and are at that age where they don’t like to contribute to class. With time,patience, and God’s direction we will progress nicely! I keep inventing games and other ways to draw them out. Kipp is now leading morning prayer for Bishop and his staff every Friday in English. They use the blue hymnals and follow the prayer liturgy. We are very fortunate to have the ability to attend morning and noon prayer services everyday. There is a Saturday service for confession and a Sunday service with communion. Pastor Cortright, out of Riga,Latvia, holds a service in English for Eurasia missionary members every week. This provides us with fellowship, a chance to hear English, and bond with the other missionaries in our area. Pastor Cortright and his wife Connie have also been providing pastoral care for Kipp and I. I don’t know how we would have made it without them and another missionary, Ben Helge. They are there to pick us up, urge us forward and quiet the noise with God’s Word. We want to thank them for their care for us as well as Bishop Maschewski and his wonderful staff here. When you are far from home it’s the thoughtfulness, and care that help you get through difficulties.
THANK YOU ! May God Bless and Care for you all!