Saturday, February 7, 2015

English Classes Begin!

It has been a great week here!  School has been on a break between fall and spring terms, so we weren't exactly on our routines this week, but we had so many great opportunities to catch up on some other ministry work that we don't always have time for!  Over the Christmas holidays, our ministry was inundated with donations from Hungary, Holland and England.  Paul and I missed the official shoebox distribution just before Christmas, but there are still many donations to sort and distribute.  This week, we tackled several large boxes of hand-knit winter hats, sweaters, scarves, and leg warmers that we received in a shipment from England.  It was a joy to be able to sort through them and to distribute them to the children's ministry leaders in each of our 6 children's ministries.  Paul and I got to distribute them ourselves to the Hungarian-speaking kids in Apalina.  We're so grateful for those people who made it possible for the kids to take home some new winter gear just in time for a fresh snow last night.

Speaking of the children in Apalina, we're back in the swing of things with our weekly children's meeting there! Paul is walking the kids through stories of the Old Testament.  Things got a little behind with the holidays and such, so in order to try to catch up to our curriculum plan, he told the whole story of Joseph yesterday!  The kids were great and they listened intently.  I love watching Paul with the kids.  We have one little boy, Denis, who prefers not to stay sitting in his chair, and he proves to be quite a distraction to the other kids.  Well, Paul found a great solution for Denis yesterday!  Paul just hoisted him up on his shoulders!  That child stayed put and you better believe the kids were glued to Paul for the rest of the lesson!  For our craft, we made patchwork colored coats to represent the gift Joseph's father gave to him.

Classroom management

I've gotten a little out of order, because the most exciting part of our week was back on Wednesday!  After 6 months of planning and waiting and after several weeks of trying to secure a nice location, we finally held our first English classes on Wednesday night at a cultural hall in the center of town in Reghin.  Not only did we see most of the prospective students we met back in November, we also were surprised and happy to receive several new students as well!  Our first class at 5 p.m., the beginner class, was a packed house!  I loved every minute of getting to know our new students - mostly women and a few couples in their 40s-50s - and I can't wait for our next class this coming week.  Our advanced class at 6:30 is a little smaller, but I'm excited for the opportunities we will have to grow their knowledge and conversation skills in a more intimate environment.  We're hoping to start having our students into our home for dinner and coffee soon, too!

Some of the beginner group

They weren't too shy to answer aloud on the first night!  I love it!

Some of the advanced class

Another big part of Paul's and my week has been a 7-day Paleo diet challenge!  We weren't doing it to lose weight, but we really to see if we were able to make it a week without sugar, dairy or grains!  It has been a huge challenge!  I have more of an appreciation now for all of the alternative ingredients available in the U.S., like almond flour or coconut milk.  We had a hard time figuring out what was ok to eat!  However, Paul helped out by planning a date for us on Thursday night to a restaurant where they serve beef steak!!  We practically licked our plates clean :) We have been impressed by how good we've felt, although it's been a struggle to stay satiated.  Anyway, we've learned some fun things and we hope to incorporate some of what we've learned back into our regular diet (that will definitely include CHEESE! :) ).

This was our grocery cart on Monday morning: so many fruits and vegetables!  And our first experience with leeks!

This weekend is another installment of the Winter Leadership Training in Gornesti and Apalina. This coming week, we'll have evangelistic meetings every night in Apalina.  So many people in our area are hungry to hear the gospel, and we expect a packed house every night.  Please pray for these meetings, that many will hear the gospel, that their hearts will be opened, and that we will be faithful in discipleship to any new believers that God raises this week.

Thank you for following along with us!  We love hearing from you!


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