Hey, we're on the final stretch of the '08 English classes! We've all had great students! Most of our (Jerry, Tracy, and Rodney's) students stayed with the classes for both weeks and a lot of them came to McPeaks after class to hang out and chat. We also had a lot of fun with the students during the day; going sightseeing, bowling, etc...
Tonight (Friday night) about 17 of us will go to the Ekaterinburg Opera house to see Swan Lake. This will be my first time in the opera house and my first time to see a ballet live. :))
Many of our students signed up to go to the Forrest Fun Party, so I am really looking forward to that. The return trip is going to be kind of rough, but it is well worth it. We will leave the party to return to the hotel for a quick shower and to pick up our bags and then leave for the airport for the long journey back to the good 'ole U.S. of A.
Please pray for us! Please pray that many students will come to our Forrest Fun Party, that they would have fun and connect with the Kompass ministry, that they would listen and be open to the good news of Jesus, and for our endurance of the flight back home.
Thank you and God bless! ... Rodney.
This year we have three English classes of about 30 students; so 90 students have been exposed to 4 stories about Jesus. Next week we will tell 4 more stories about Jesus; then on Saturday we will take the students to the "Forrest Fun Party" retreat. It will be a weekend of fun and games. After the retreat, the students will be asked to join Bible studies from the book of John.
Today the guys and Chris (Kompas staff) went to a Russian banya. We had a great time, talked about future ministry opportunities here and Ekat and in Russia in general. A banya is such a great way to start the second week; you feel clean, invigorated, and energy enough to tackle the second week. :))
- That God would bless the second week of the English classes.
- That God would greatly use the retreat next Saturday to draw students nearer to Jesus Christ.
- That many students would join one of the Bible studies.
- We have to leave at 3am Sunday morning for the airport; but we won't leave the retreat until midnight (it's over an hour back to the hotel). So we will probably will not sleep at all before starting the long trip back! Please pray for our strength on the return trip.
Click here: English Class Students in 2008, to see a class photo.
Back at the Iset
We're back at the Iset hotel. So I have access to the internet again. I've been offline since we moved to the flats 3 days ago. But I've been so busy, I probably would not have posted anyway. :p
The "Talk the Talk" classes are going great! We have 3 classes instead of the anticipated 4, but that actually works better for us and makes each of the classes a little bit larger. We all have a great group of kids and I have really enjoyed hanging out with them. We have been signing students up for "excursion" appointments during the day. And we hang out at a local cafe after class to talk, eat, learn about each other, and (of course) laugh a lot! :)) I enjoy teaching them slang and they like returning the favor.
Oh, let me tell you about our new digs. When we got in on Sunday we found that the hotel had mixed up our reservation. Faithfully, God provided us 2 flats to stay in for 3 nights till the Iset could accomdate us again. So this morning we get our bags packed and loaded into "taxis" (def: taxi == just 1 guy and his car) and get checked into the Iset hotel. I stuff my bags into the lift and go up to my room; I open the door and I find we are staying in a delux suite! Sweet! I guess since the mixup was their fault and they are a reputable hotel, and since we stay here every year; they decided to give us the "delux apartment in the sky" for the price of a normal room. Kruta! I think the rooms we got were well worth the 3 days of inconvenience. Maybe this was in God's greater plan?
Please pray for continued strengh, for 2 of our team members who are leaving for the US on Sunday morning, and for our students to continue with the classes and attend the "Forrest Fun Party".
See you soon .... Paka, Rodney.
P.S. I am getting some good photos, I will upload them when I get back ... stay tuned.
Home away from home ....
Well, 27 hours of traveling and we are back in Ekat! We had an 11 hour layover in Frankfort Germany. So we put our bags in luggage storage and headed out to see the sights. It was a great way to spend the layover and break up the traveling.
So, we leave Frankfort and head out to Ekat. We get here and Irina met us at the airport and had a taxi waiting to take us to our hotel, the Iset. We we check in, NO reservation was on the books. Daring came in last month and met with them face to face and gave a written list of rooms and his contact numbers. But for some reason they expected Darin to call back in and re-state that he wanted those rooms. So guess what? We're not staying at the Iset. At least not for a couple of days. And the city is completely booked, no (ahem) room at the inns!
Luckily there are a couple of flats that we can rent by the day and we will be there for 3 or 4 days and then the Iset can accommodate us for the remainder of the 2 weeks. God is faithful to supply all our needs!
Please pray for those who need sleep, for our students to show up and continue to come, for us having to change housing twice more, the God would be glorified above all!
Finally ready! ... almost
When I packed my 4th shirt tonight, I thought to myself "Am I over packing?!". I guess when you have traveled to Russia 5 times you get used to packing for international trips. Just so you know, if I have 4 shirts; I will probably have more "outfits" than most of my students. Life there is very active, but very simple ... very uncomplicated.
Uncomplicated, simple, genuine. Yes, Russia here I come!