Thursday, April 21, 2016

Seven quick takes in Spring

:: 1 ::

I had almost forgotten how beautiful spring is! This year winter ended very early, but then there was just kind of nothing. It was a long coldish season that wasn't winter and wasn't spring, and I just got used to it. And then spring came! On Monday I rode out to Kakhovka to take Oksana back to the place where she lives. The ride was so incredibly beautiful! The colors, especially the greens, were almost overwhelming. I found this photo on a local news site, and I love it, but in real life it's even more lovely than this:

:: 2 ::

Speaking of Oksana: she's back in Ukraine, doing well. We enjoyed spending a little bit of time with her, including an early birthday celebration for her. This time she wanted to go back to the home for the elderly for the summer, so like I said, we just took her back there. Please be praying with us for her as she spends the summer there, before going back for one last trip to America in the fall to finish up her treatment.

:: 3 ::

Jaan's bike was stolen. He really loved it, and used it almost every day to get back and forth to music school and more. It was his birthday present last year. (That's the photo below.) While he was at the music school last Thursday for a piano lesson, his bike was locked up outside as usual. Someone took it from there. The New Police came and spent most of the afternoon with Jaan and Will, but they haven't found it.

:: 4 ::

There's a happy continuation of that story, though. On Saturday we got together with our wonderful American/Canadian friends, one last time before they all scatter for the summer. When we were talking about the bike, one of the men offered Jaan a long-term loan of his. They'll be gone quite a while for furlough and the birth of a new baby, so Jaan will get lots of use out of it.

:: 5 ::

Jaan's been busy with something new, too. After the Christmas play at church, he said that he wanted to be in the next one. I would never have guessed that he would be interested in acting. But, he's really enjoying practices for the upcoming Easter performance. We are looking forward to seeing the result soon.

:: 6 ::

The peach tree is done blooming, and it's not doing well this year, but I loved its flowers.

:: 7 ::

I have a lot going on these days, too. My last session of Agape school is coming up soon: May 9-13. I'll graduate from that, and fly out to Texas for AmblesideOnline's retreat, where I'll be helping and speaking. (This is not going to be a yearly habit. Last year was like a practice run. This year is a bigger deal, and then we're not planning any conferences for a while.) I am so excited about all that I have coming up, and I'm quite overwhelmed, too. I need to prepare a Bible lesson to teach as my "final exam" for Agape, plus two sessions for AO and other conference responsibilities. Prayers appreciated.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Agape school, session 4 of 5

I just got back from another session of Agape school. Again, I have to say that I am so glad I can study there this year. This time first three days were with one teacher, and then we had two days with another. The first part was about psychology and child development. Honestly, I didn't like that part. The information wasn't anything new to me, and the style and viewpoint were... not for me. But then the second teacher came. I already knew that I like his message, because I've heard him before and read most of his book; in my mind at least, he's the Karyn Purvis of Europe. I thoroughly enjoyed his workshops and lectures and came away encouraged.

We also had a little more free time than usual, and even less sleep, too. The first evening I went out with fellow students, then left them and went to visit an American mom and daughter who are here to adopt. Wednesday evening (I think?) we walked through the center again and saw the main landmarks. And Friday I even got out while it was still light to walk around with a big group, before getting on a train that night to head home.

While I was gone, spring came to Kherson! Will posted a few lovely photos for me while I was away, and so I'll share those with you now. It's very wonderful to be home now.