Today, the real work began. After another wonderful 8 AM breakfast at Churchill, a restaurant named for the great British Prime Minister, we separated into our assigned groups.
Our group, consisting of Andrew “Simba” Gifford, Scott, Ainsley and Alex Lockwood, Chris Mulkey, Karen and myself, was accompanied by our interpreters; Natalie, Volodymry and his wife, Julia.
We travelled to the town of Starry-Lesets where we visited several classes to tell them about life in America. It was wonderful!
The children were shy, at first, but then began to open up. They had been learning some English and were proud to say “hello” as we we would greet them. The older kids could ask questions about Hollywood and other interesting topics of our lives. We brought posters that showed different aspects of life in Alabama.
The school provided lunch of borscht soup, mashed potatoes, salmon patties and pickles. With the exception of the salmon, this is a common meal here. It was delicious! After a brief rest back at the hotel, we were ready for the nightly Bible classes that held in Lesets, another town away.
Volodymry and Julia had been promoting our arrival and, from what Scott told us, the turnout was great! We had seven adults, 12 teenagers and six younger people.
All classes told the story of Moses. Chris commented that the adults would quickly ask questions that took them off topic but where appreciated because it gave Chris and Scott opportunities to have private studies with them. Chris brought them back on course and the adults were the last group to leave the building. Karen and Ainsley worked with the little kids and, after covering the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments, had the children working on a craft the group had brought. Simba and I thought the teenagers, a tough group to crack, but by the end were making real connections.
This has been a full and rewarding day. We just had our end-of-day meeting and were further encouraged by all the good work that was accomplished by our teams. It’s 10:30 PM, Karen is fast asleep and I’m pretty tired also but we are anxious to get to work in the morning. A special thanks to all those who contributed to help make this trip possible. Your contribution will pay dividends long after we have left Ukraine.