One of the things I have been praying for is an additional ministry. I was really asking for God’s direction on what to add to my schedule, because there are so many things that could be done and should be done, and I know I can’t do them all. (This is the part where I pause to mention that more volunteers and career missionaries are needed in Ukraine.) As I was asking God what I should add, I made a couple of personal requests. First, I would prefer it be a children’s ministry and second I wanted to partner with a church member so that the ministry could continue even after I am gone.
So, the other day, as we were driving back from the orphanage, Sveta, who doesn’t speak English, asked Sasha to translate for her. She told Sarah and me about the outreach English/Bible Kid’s Club that Jen Olson, one of the American volunteers this summer offered to children in the Smith’s neighborhood. Sveta shared with us that many of the children wanted to continue to come and learn more English and learn more about God. Further, Sveta shared that if one of us wanted to commit to teaching the English for the Kid’s Club she would come and teach the Bible Story in Russian. I was really excited and so I immediately told her I was interested, so we decided to meet and talk about it.
First we had to find a location, I confirmed Ernie and Anna were willing to have Sveta and I and an undetermined number of children take over their house every Saturday between now and Christmas. Once that was determined, Sveta, Sasha and I decided to meet and start to plan the lessons. I would start to talk and ramble on for a little bit and then Sasha would translate. Then, Sveta would talk and ramble on for a bit and then Sasha would translate. Then Sasha and I would talk and then Sasha and Sveta would talk. Then suddenly meeting ended and I had to ask Sasha what happened, I didn’t realize we had reached any decisions.
Last week Tanya and I went out and canvassed the neighborhood with flyers about Kid’s Club and Saturday was our first lesson. Our theme is “happiness and joy” and we are learning that both come from God and are not based on the things happening in our day to day lives.
We had sixteen kids and four parents, many of whom already know some English from school. We sang some songs with actions and reviewed the alphabet and I asked the children to tell me words that start with each letter. It was really fun to hear some of the words they know. For “G”, Anna offered the phrase “give me” and for “I”, Katya offered “I like”, for “O”, I heard the word “obey”, it was fun to see a little of what they already know and I am excited to help them build on those things.
Sveta shared the gospel with them. I didn’t understand her words, but I understood the visual aid. She had a circle that represented God and circles that represented the children and she laid a cross between the circles to explain the only way to God is Jesus. I was so excited about the lesson she shared and all the kids that came. I am hoping for even more next week. Please continue to pray for this ministry and all of the children who come.