Heading Home

Welp, today/yesterday Is the day I leave Ukraine for Oklahoma. In all honesty, a part of me is happy to go home, and lay in my own bed. The other part of me however, has it’s heart firmly planted in Ukraine. I was able to meet so many cool people on this trip, I literally can’t list them all. But to everyone who tolerated my shenanigans, I extend a hearty thank you! The next few days are going to be tough, as I have a very limited time to recover, debrief, and get back to both Vo-Tech and work. But I know that the Lord will see me through it.

There may be a few more updates here and there, but my primary journey has come to an end.

To those ask if I will go again next year, I will try, but it is ultimately up to God on if the trip happens or not.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my story.

-Serving the Prince of Peace,

-L

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So…….I May Have Forgotten to Upload this Post…..

(Note, meant to post this three days ago, accidently saved it as a draft instead. Oops. Oh well, it’s updated now.)

Alrighty, so a lot has happened in the last ten days. I got the chance to have a rest for a few days after the third camp, and then Caleb told me. “Hey, I’m gonna send you to Nikoliv for a week. Do followup meetings with the campers if they want, help Liza with youth group, and for heaven’s sake don’t get married or something. Oh, also have fun.”

So that’s where I have been for the last few days. I was able to meet with a variety of campers for followup meetings, just to see how they are doing, and try to answer any spiritual questions they might have had. We had a total of twelve kids from camp show up to church Sunday, which was really encouraging.

Here’s some pictures from the week!

There should be more to come in my last few days here.

-Serving the Prince of Peace,

-L

Camp 3 Comes to a Close.

Well, it was a wild and hard week here at camp. I ended up wearing more hats than I am used to, which is a good thing I think. I suppose the theme of the week would be “Yes, you may not be enough, but I can use you anyway.” I think that before this trip, I knew this in my head, but now I realize it more fully, and know it in my heart.

Here are just a few pictures of the week. I will update with a couple slideshows of the week I made a little later, once I have better internet, and am less sleep deprived.

There should be some interesting events in the coming two weeks that I have left, so don’t go anywhere yet.

-Serving the Prince of Peace,

-L

Camp 3

Greetings, once again, it’s been a few days. The previous camp ended well, we had a lot of fun, and myself and a few others from the team were able to hang out with some of the campers after the fact in Odessa.

I got a few days if break, the team for the next English Camp arrived, and then logically, we went out for pizza.

This camp is going to be interesting as we have almost as many campers as the previous camp, but half the English staff.

Thanks for bearing with me, will update again soon.

-L

Updates and Apologies

First off, yes I am alive, and I am incredibly sorry for not having posted an update in about a week. The last several days in particular have been both spiritually and physically taxing. For the last three days, I have had rather obnoxious flu like symtoms They were nothing worth complaining about here, but they did put me out of commission for a bit. For all those that have been and continue to lift me up in prayer, thank you. I am feeling much more like myself as of this afternoon. Praise the Lord.

I am once again teaching the advanced students, and they apparently have decided that my lessons are easy. Thus, I have opted to focus to vocabulary rather than grammar.

As you can see (minus my co-teacher Jamie who opted to not be in the selfie) we have a rather large class. We are having fun, and I hope that they are learning.

We had the opportunity to have a baptism for three young men early this morning. I am excited to see where God leads them.

(Above Left to Right: Eugene, David, and Daniel)

Thank you all again for bearing with me.

Serving the Prince of Peace,

-L

Camp 1 Day 5

Alrighty, the first camp is done, we had a lot of fun, and a few heard the good news. Now I am going to be heading back to Odessa for a few days before the next camp. This is going to be a shorter post, but I hope the pictures will help make up for it.

Friday:

Above: Worship from Friday Night

Below: The campfire and fellowship afterword.

I found a hedgehog and he was adorable (yes we let him go).

Saturday:

Saturday is graduation day, we have a final conversation time, English class, then after lunch, w have an awards ceremony.

Above: Our English class, 6 students.

Below: Waiting for the bus.

Welp, the bus is here, so I have to wrap this up. But if you have questions, feel free to ask.

Serving the Prince of Peace,

-L

Camp 1 Day 3

Alrighty friends, time for another update. Camp is going well so far, the day is packed full of English classes, bible reading time, conversation practice, and a litany of other events. As a staff member, I have two different groups to which I am assigned. The first is my conversation group, which has people of varying degrees of skill. The second is my English class, which has similar skill level. The English class focuses on learning the specifics of the English language, while the conversation group focuses more so on interaction.

My conversation group, from right to left: Sergei, Sasha, Serge, Bogdon, Arina, Alla, Carlos, Tayna, and Nikki. (Nikki and Carlos are my fellow teachers)

Camp is going well so far, with the staffers being able to make connections with the students and each other.

Please keep me, the other staffers, and the students in your prayers. Just asking for opportunities for relationships and discussion. Thanks a million.

Serving the Prince of Peace,

-L

Camp 1 Day 0

Early Saturday morning, Ron and myself got up, and hopped in a cab across town, heading to meet the Living Hope church for the first of my three camps. Once there I met most of the team,(five had delayed flights) and we proceeded onward to the camp, using the bus (plus Rob) pictured below.

Above: My room for the next few days, minus my roomates. 😣

Once we got to camp, unloaded, and put up our stuff in out rooms, we started a meal, then a few meetings. Afterwords we took some time to get organized, had our evening meal, and then had a time of prayer for the camp, campers, and staff.

I am heading to bed early, so as to get a head start on tomorrow. I am excited, and filled with anticipation for the next week.

Serving the Prince of Peace,

-L

Paintball and Pizza

It’s been an interesting week so far, I don’t go to the first English Camp till Saturday morning, so I have been spending the majority of my time studying the English teaching materials I was given as well as attempting to learn some Russian. A few old friends (Gleb and Herman) invited me to come play paintball with them and several others from church Monday evening. My, oh my, we had a good time. I was the only one who had played paintball before, so I had a petty good idea of what to expect. The rental place offered full jumpsuits plus padded armor, so everyone thought I was crazy when I turned everything but the pants down. We all had a good time and went to get food afterword.

Prayer and Pizza Night

Wednesdays at Ron’s are fun, he invites over a multitude of young people to his home. They then join together in time of prayer, first for Ukraine as a group, and then split into small groups to pray for one another. After that, two of the boys (in this case, myself and and a guy named Daniel) are sent to retrieve the pizza from a nearby establishment. Once they return, a time of fellowship, laughter and jokes at the interns attempts at Russian commence. I mentioned that I wanted to improve my Russian, and from that point on, whenever I would ask a question in English, the person (usually Daniel) would respond, and then say “Now in Ruuski(the Russian word for Russian)”. Then they would walk me through the phrasing and phonetics, and make sure I got it. It was a phenomenal expiriance, and I felt as though I was learning as much from them as they were from me.

Top: Group picture minus Ron

Bottom: Epic photo of the intern inhaling pizza.

Thank you all for bearing with me this week. I leave Saturday morning for the first camp. Excited to see what the Lord has planned!

-Serving the Prince of Peace,

-L

Adjusting…….slowly.

Ok, so a quick run down of the last few days. My flight out of Prague was delayed from 10:30pm till 2:30 a.m. Which meant I didn’t get to Odessa till 7am. I got some sleep on the flight, so I wasn’t feeling to bad, and was able to join his summer breakfast club.

I am glad I flew in early for the camps though, it will give me a chance to adjust to the new time schedule, as well as hopefully get any sickness out of my system right away. Ron has been a very gracious host and given me what I consider to be a very comfortable couch to call my bed(aside from prayer and pizza night).

To everyone who donated supplies, a special thanks to you. You all made three grown men very happy (also Mrs. Litvak)

Apologies if this post seems a bit more disjointed than others, I am primarily just trying to get my thoughts onto “paper”.

As I have a habit of thinking more so with my hands and heart than with my head, I find myself restless, wanting to be out doing something. I keep having to remind myself to be at peace, i.e. Colossians 3:15.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Thanks for tolerating my rambling for the duration of your read, more to come in the next few days.

Serving the Prince of Peace

-L