Thursday, October 29, 2009

Back for another year

I visited the difficult orphanage.

I know I should come up with a new code name that isn't so negative. After all, it is where Nastia and Masha spent a portion of their childhood.

Every school year, I pray about whether or not God would have me go there. Relationships haven't "gelled" as much as in other areas of ministry. At this orphanage I used to see some kids that I had originally met at camp, but many of those kids have already graduated. Each year there is always at least one person that remembers me, and the cycle continues. full post/-

I normally just show up when the school year begins, but I was nervous about doing that this year. Some orphanages have become pretty restricted, especially with the flu going around. So I was kind of procrastinating and wondering if this was the year that I didn't go back.

I tried to call and got no answer on one phone. Finally I called the other counselor in the group, and found that she no longer works there, and that the kids had been redistributed among various groups. But she told me where to find the counselor that does still work there.

Since next week is school vacation week, I decided that I really should try and make it this week, so I met up with Mary and we hopped on the train, not knowing how we would be greeted. When we entered the orphanage, we asked for the particular counselor. The security granny merely nodded and told us what floor to go to. No questions asked.

That counselor was just the person we needed to see. She opened her arms to hug us both simultaneously! We were ushered into the girls' bedroom and given apples.

Now, this group is one of the youngest. They are 8 years old and haven't studied English before. I had taken along a lesson that would work for a few different age groups. As the children gathered and began to write their names as instructed, I realized that we were beginning at the beginning.

I quickly consulted with Mary: "Worksheet or colors?" "Colors," she suggested. I dug out the markers, my all-purpose prop, and began a demonstration.

We didn't get much further than that. Pretty soon, the kids were drawing all over themselves before we could stop them, throwing their slippers around the room, and rolling around on the floor wrestling.

I guess I will have to do some strategic lesson-planning for next time. ;)

So one prayer request is answered: we made contact. But how the rest of the year will go is another question entirely!


  1. Hm.... Maybe play instead of English? Or English through games. Yipes!

  2. Annie, we hardly do anything BUT play games! The hard part is to find games where no one will get injured, physically or emotionally.


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