Well, I think it's high time for an update! The past few weeks have been amazing, but I'm a little tired. I can't believe it's been almost two months since I've been here! I haven't really even said anything about the school yet. We've had so many amazing guest speakers! After Sergey left, Oleg came to teach about evangelism. He only spoke Russian, so it was an interesting experience for me to listen to him through a translator all week long. Still, I learned a lot.
We went to Plyskiv again! This time, our visit was shorter. I learned the name of the girl I met before, Svita. It's a pretty common name in the Slavic world, so it's safe to use it here, but no pictures. We also handed out snacks to all 100 residents. They are divided into four houses, based on sponsors and mental state. Last time, we were not allowed to enter the fourth house because of "quarantine." But typically it houses the more violent people with behavioral problems, so it was not unusual to be denied entrance. This time, though, we were allowed to enter for a few minutes to pass out the food. It was heartbreaking to watch as the two or three attendants tried to control the excited, rambunctious crowd. Most of them sat calmly. One grabbed my arm and hugged it, he was so desperate to be touched lovingly. The whole experience was very intense but I'm glad I got to see it.
This past week we also had a light ministry week due to the nature of our classes. The title of our week was Taste the Story, and boy we did. Angela and Thelma came from the YWAM base in Kiev, where they teach the School of Biblical Studies. We went over the entire Bible in one week. Well, the story part at least. We read aloud from most of Genesis, parts of Exodus, Leviticus, Micah and Haggai, the entire gospel of Mark, parts of the epistles, and the end of Revelation. There were skits, quick overviews covering vast amounts of time, two models of the Tabernacle, and a study on the book of Philemon. Usually, we only have two classes in the morning and ministry in the afternoons. This week we've had that plus some afternoon classes, and an evening session. It was quite a lot, but I really enjoyed it.
I can't believe we just finished week seven of our Lecture Phase! If you remember, DTS is divided into two parts: three months of Lecture and two of Outreach. Our time in Ukraine is rapidly drawing to a close. Our last week of lectures we move west to the city of Ternopil. Then, at the beginning of April, we'll load up the van again and drive to Poland. We'll spend a week at a new church planted by Tetyana's (one of the DTS leaders) sister and her husband. And after that...
That's right, we're going to Paris! We'll be there for three weeks, ministering to a Russian church, gypsies, homeless, and most likely some refugees. We'll actually be there on my birthday! I'm very excited to be returning. I was definitely not expecting to go that far west in Europe! After three weeks, we'll be returning to Poland to a city called Lublin, and we'll stay there for all of May. There's a small church that we'll be serving, mostly by cleaning and helping their youth group, I think.
I am beyond excited for outreach and can't wait to get started! Please keep praying for us as we still have four more weeks of teaching and we're all a little tired. Spring is coming and most of the snow has melted, which also means allergy season. I've been a little stopped up the past few days and really hoping it doesn't progress into an actual virus or sinus infection. As always, thank you for your support!