Well, Sarah and I have completed our first week of English classes and so far, things are great. Our plan was to offer a youth and adult beginner class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and then an advanced conversation class on Friday nights. Tuesday night, we had seven youth and one adult and then on Thursday night, we had nine youth and ten adults. Friday night we had 11 people that stayed for the whole class, we also had a couple of people leave early and one that came late. I am so excited about all three classes and I have been so encouraged by the student’s participation and eagerness to learn.
I really enjoy teaching the classes. I get to use a pointer; it is helpful when we are reading the alphabet or other things together. When I am just holding it and not actually using it, I tend to start waving it around, I am sure that I will probably poke my own eye with it at some point, but until then, I think it is fun.
I know everyone I have ever spoken with noticed that I speak quickly. So quickly in fact, people at home tell me to slow down. Needless to say, that is a problem here. Usually, I speak about a 100 miles an hour. I have toned it down to about 80 miles an hour, but I need to be at about 40. Which really is very difficult, I find when I speak slowly, I think so much about my rate of speech that I forget what I am talking about – that is a bit of a problem.
We plan to leave the classes open for people to join until the end of next week, please pray for us and all of the Ukrainians who decide to take part in classes.
Sarah and I had worked out the lesson plans for the first four weeks of class. The youth class knows a lot more than we thought they would. Basically, we covered two weeks of material the first week. The adult class knows a little less than we thought they would, we only finished about half of what we thought we would. So, our plan to offer two classes with the same material is pretty much out the window. Pray that we will continue to be flexible and that God will help us meet the needs of each of the students who are coming to class.
Our Friday night conversation group was a blast. We played some word games – yes, you know how I love games. I was so excited that the group seemed to love them too. I do think they were fun and everyone had to talk. We broke up into conversation groups and spent some time getting to know all of the students. Sarah and I had thought that we wanted to keep the group small to promote conversation and we thought we would divide the group into two based on ability, but in our first class, we really saw the benefit of having different conversation levels together. If someone was speaking in English and wasn’t sure of a word, they could turn to the person next to them and ask it in Russian. It was so great to have everyone working together.
Thanks so much for praying for these classes. Please continue to pray for Sarah and I as we work together and make plans. Pray that we will be flexible and allow our plans to change. Pray that we will teach what the students need and want to learn. Most of all, pray that God will multiply our efforts and these classes will be an opening to share the gospel with the people in our classes.