Classes/Camp/Reunion in Khust
Trip Start Jun 28, 2009
24Trip End Jul 16, 2009
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Breakfast was blini with strawberry jam and sour cream. Of course, Cherie’s coffee. We really enjoy being all together – it’s just a great spirit with Mission, Purpose, GREAT OUTCOMES. This is a great project and as we talk about it more people want to become part of it.
Off to the center with the kids who are staying here. There are about 38 children total for this camp. Ten stay overnight….and it’s here at Siloam. Nine are the orphans from Siloam. Ten children come from Rokosova every day and then go home in the evening and the rest come from Vinogradov, Khust and other towns around.
As we got into the car little Vasyl got some crayfish out of the stream outside Siloam. He wanted to show them to us…and to terrorize the girls a little….who I wasn’t sure whether they liked it or not.
At the Center this was day two of education. I spent half the time at Ken and Cherie’s and half the time at Dan and Cindy’s. I absolutely marvel as to how well the Genki program works. It reinforces with fun graphics and music very basic English. All the practical things that people will say throughout the day: How are you? My name is _____, the days of the week, the numbers. I feel _______ etc. etc. Again, I’m amazed as to how quickly these kids pick up on the English pronunciation.
After class the kids play outside a bit. Then we have the Bible class.
Yesterday, I noted (and our team told me also) about some of the unacceptable behavior that we have seen. Kids calling each other names, hitting each other. Boys pulling girls hair and the sort. Our team really feels that we need to include some instruction about behavior in the Bible Class. The Polichko’s are more than happy for me to cover some of these points and we decide to introduce the ZONE in Ukraine.
So after Vasyl Polichko’s lesson about the second day of creation, I spoke about conduct. Since we spoke about Light being created on the first day of creation and the Mission here called the Love of Light, we decided to call the two week camp period as the Zone of Light. We were going to create an environment of light and brightness.
In this lesson I spoke about retaliation. I came up to a little girl and asked her what she would do to if I came and hit her. She immediately replied, "I’d hit you back." Others chimed in with the same answer. I went on to explain that all that did was escalate the conflict and cause the first hitter to become more violent. We then talked about taking a hit, walking away and not give cause for escalation.
Then the staff asked what we could do about violations at camp. It was decided to report unsocial behavior and talk to the offenders….and have them sit separately from the group at mealtime. It was so interesting to see this process in a country whose culture is so different from what we would see in the United States. Some of things we saw would not be tolerated at all in our country.
Then lunch. It’s always tasty with a bean soup, bread, a kind of noodle—quite tasty and tofu cutlets. All meals are vegetarian.
After lunch our group wanted to go to the new coffee shop and the Internet Café. The coffee shop was really neat. Vinogradov has all kinds of neat new places, and this one was like a Starbucks. We asked for coffee with cream…..what we got was coffee with whipped fresh cream.
Then we walked over to the Internet Café where our group sent out messages. I stopped by a bank to change some cash. I wanted to get rid of Hungarian Forint.After all it's the next door country....just a few miles away. The cashier with a smirk told me: "We don't take that that money." I was hoping to get rid of excess Hungarian money. Well, then I came up with three twenty dollar bills. A smile came across her face. I felt good that the US dollar still has respect in the world.
We walked back about a mile….or almost a mile back to the Center partially in the rain.
For the evening Ivan Yurishko invited us to a cafeteria he built for his cement plant workers. As usual, Ivan does things with class and style. He calls the cafeteria “Yum Yum.” In Ukrainian it’s “Nyam Nyam.” We decided to have a get-together with a lot of the people that we had known over the years from our first September 1992 meeting. Present were Ivan and Anya Pavliy from Rokosovo. Then Vasyl Mondich, the pastor of the Khust Church. Then Victor Pavliy, director of the Nazareth Mission. It was like a family reunion. The cafeteria staff prepared a nice meal. Ivan first showed us around. He will also have a sausage-making facility attached. Ivan can put so many things put together….cement, sausage, cafeteria and who knows what else in just this facility.
After the meal Ivan Pavliy and I talked intensely about all kinds of things….mostly about doctrine. We talked about two of the differences in our understanding of Passover and Pentecost. We are printing the United Church of God’s booklet God’s Holy Days here on this trip. While I was talking to Ivan, Vasyl and Victor, Ivan took our four Americans around town to show them curbing and sidewalk work he’s been doing. He has put in Class A sidewalks with patterns and colors of all sorts.
We really had a chance to catch up on a lot of things that go back almost two decades now. There is a real brotherly bond between us.
We left for home, but not before taking photos of one another. Then we drove to Vinogradov. Back at the home Vasya and Maria Tomaschuk came up to our section of the building and we talked for a while. The Harper’s gave them some nice candle holders. Off to bed again at midnight.