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Showing posts from September, 2011

Wonderful or tragic?

Intentional immersion...

A few friends called my attention to the NY Times piece about American children "thrown" into a Moscow elementary school. I found the video fascinating and poignant and even showed it to my English students. They liked it too, although they emphasized that it was NOT a typical Russian school!

Although I'm interested in bilingualism, the piece was about more than simply working hard to learn a language.

I found myself weeping a little bit over the contents, and I was musing about why. Obviously the whole experience of living in a place temporarily and making friends and then leaving would be emotional for anyone. But more than that, I think that the piece did a good job of portraying the language barrier in action. The frustration of not understanding the directions; the confused looks when you're making a mess of explaining yourself; the humility of being the only one who doesn't know what's going on, even if everyone around is kind …

Quick update

I miss writing! There are times when I'm catching up on blogging and email, thinking, this is excess socializing. If I write that person or comment on that blog, I'm going to get responses, and then I'll have to reply, and it will just keep going and going and take up precious time. Is it just egotism that makes me want to write about myself so others will read it?

But. Here I am.

Andrei and I are both teaching. He has several subjects that he teaches at the university, as well as one at the seminary. I teach Conversational/Business English at the local branch of an American company. We teach during the day, then come home and have to prepare for the next day.  I actually teach 3 days, then have one day for the orphanage. We've still got our Bible study and all that. We're working on gradually having all of our friends over to see our little nest. I suppose that is the thing to do after you're married.

I want to do some posts on teaching ESL and Sunday school,…

Speaking of youth...

And while I'm on the topic of teenagers...this little girl was about 8 years old when I met her. Now she is 13 (going on 20). I don't visit her orphanage anymore, but I recently heard of a local church doing outreach there, which makes me VERY happy. Oh Lord, bring salvation to these teens!







The youth at my Russian church

When I moved to St. Petersburg I was focused on children’s ministry since I had just been ministering in the summer camps. But my church that I settled into had just a few kids on Sunday mornings, and no teenagers. I didn’t really have anywhere to bring the teenagers I’d met. We did a few McDonald’s outings and such. One girl and I went to the zoo. But really, what teenager wants to hang out with a random 20-something American lady? And furthermore, what Russian parent wants his or her children hanging out with a stranger from the U.S.? At least, that was what I worried about. The good news is that now a lot of those teenagers are grown-up now and it’s not as awkward to go out for coffee. But I remember one boy who took his own life. You only have so much time…

Doing ministry in a big city is different in that local churches don’t necessarily gain a reputation in the neighborhood. “Oh, I know that church, we went to a Christmas program there.” Nothing like that. Parents can’t ask aroun…