20pluscommunitydigestion

There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

see, I told you so

Erika’s response to our prayers…and a look-in to her routine…now which co-worker in the cube next to yours are you gonna pray for today?


Hello Everyone!

Here’s a brief update on how and what I’ve been doing these past couple weeks.

Feeling Better

I sent out an email just the other day asking for prayers due to multiple day stomach issues, and thing are MUCH BETTER!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, thank you, for praying for my stomach. I am no longer weak and hungry from not eating. Praise the Lord! I was able to eat breakfast this morning, but I’ll probably stick to Ukrainian roma-noodles for a few more days, just to be safe. I’m back to smiling and being involved with those around me.

Day to Day

At 8:15am the team (11 people from Minnesota; 2 Australian women; one British guy; and three other Americans) meet for devotionals. The morning teachers teach grammar classes starting at 9am, and I and Paula (fr. Minnesota team) teach beginner conversation classes in the afternoon. We have one 3-6 students, all adults. These students are very eager to learn and they love to laugh, so class times are always enjoyable. After class the afternoon teachers have one-on-on conversations with three different people for 15 minutes each. It’s in these conversations where I’ve had the most opportunity to share who Christ really IS. A couple of my students are members of the orthodox church so they call themselves Christians but it’s by name only, other say they don’t believe in God. In one recent conversation I had, a student said she was a Christian, but that Jesus was not divine. She compared Christ to Budd and Muhammad. We talked a bit and I pray that God will use our conversation to help point her to the Truth.

In the evenings we have other activites with the students who are able to stay.

The City

Donetsk is in the far eastern part of the Ukraine, which is primarily industrial, so it’s not a very pretty town. When I’m outside I’m breathing in smoke from two factories which are right beside the University. I’ve been into town a few times, but most of my time is spent going between the academic building, my dorm room, and (before I got sick) the cafeteria. The people in this part of the Ukraine speak Russian and are more politically aligned with Russia. There is a lot going on in the western Ukraine, which you all have probably heard on the news, but this part of the Ukraine is not really affected by that.

The Food

I really enjoyed eating in the cafeteria, when my stomach could tolerate it. Ukrainians eat a lot of potatoes, bread, soup, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, and barley. For breakfast we have cereal provided in the dorm kitchens, but at lunch we eat soup with some kind of potato dish, and the something similar for dinner, minus the soup. They usually drink tea, because the water is not safe to drink without it being boiled. Bottled water that is offered to you usually has bubbles and is warm, ice is not used in drinks.

Orphanage

The last two days I went two different orphanages with the Minnesota team. The kids were so cute! We did crafts, played games, sang songs, and provided toothbrushes and other items for the children. These two orphanages are run by Christians. There are only three Christian run orphanages in all of Ukraine, the rest are government run. It was great to be there and support our brothers and sisters who run it, and to love on the kids a few days.

Extra

The Minnesota team has been really warm and welcoming to me, they consider me a part of their team, which is nice. They came from a church not a missions organization. There are Americans here that teach at DCU that are with other missions organizations. I’ve also met my “bosses” two career missionaries with WorldVenture who have been her for 12 years.

I’m rooming with a women,Olga, who is about 31-32 years old and she teaches Greek and Hebrew! She is from Russia, but went to seminary in the States, and she speaks about five languages!!! She is VERY, VERY sweet, intelligent and easy to talk to. She invites people to her “house” which is really a room with two twin beds (one bed in sunken in the middle), offers her guests tea and cookies, and they just fellowship. I’ve seen her have at least four different groups of people over (myself included more than once). She’ll even spend the whole evening translating from Russian to English so that everyone can be included in the conversation. It’s such a blessing to be with believers from all over the world and know that the one thing that brings us together is our relationship with Christ.

The End

There’s lots more to share, but I’ll stop here for now. THANK YOU for your prayer!!!! Please continue to pray. I’ll be back Monday afternoon.

Love,

Erika

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