This morning as we were driving to church Vitali asked Preston “How was your weekend?’ Preston responded, “It’s been good. I’ve gotten a lot of work done.” Vitali laughed and said “we measure how good our weekend is by how much rest we got and Preston talked about how much work he got done.” Gives you something to think about!
We were discussing churches with Oleg and Vitali and they asked about the church we attend. We described some things about Lake Shore to them and said that we are considered a liberal Baptist church. They said if someone from a Moldovian church came to our church they would think it is conservative because our ministers wear robes, we have a choir, we sing old hymns and not praise choruses.
We went to church with Alex and Lucia again today and had some different impressions this week. We found out that the time they had to speak to people is not greeting each other but they have a specific topic they are to discuss with one another. Today the topic was “What does faith mean to you.” So we are wondering if the first sermon they have could be equated to Sunday School in which they have a lesson and then a 5 minutes break to discuss a topic. Then they come back together and start the worship service. The second sermon was again one hour! During the sermon on several occasions the pastor asks a question and gets responses from the congregation. Wonder if Dorisanne would be willing to do that or would she wonder what kind of answers she might get. We hold our breath even when Rachel asks the children questions during their sermon!
Both Sundays after church Genie has asked what was the sermon about and neither time has anyone offered to tell us. When you can’t understand the songs and sermons you watch the people around you. Preston says he does that even when he can understand the service. There is always a lot of moving around and children coming in and out. One lady didn’t like it this morning because she couldn’t see the screen for the words to the songs. She asked someone to move and then there was much discussion all around her. Would like to know what all they were saying. But the lady did finally move to another part of the auditorium.
We had cabbage rolls for lunch today and they were really good. Lucia and her girls really do prepare good meals. Yesterday morning we had pumpkin pancakes and as the students who stay here came to breakfast they all exclaimed “Oh, good. Pumpkin pancakes!”
Many times we feel like we are in the middle of a youth group. With the six children from the family, some of their friends, and the 4 students that are staying here it would make a good size youth group! Sometimes Alex, Lucia, Preston, and Genie just sit and watch all the activity!
The students we keep referring to are not really students; they just appear that way to us. They are in their mid-twenties and all college graduates. They work for Children’s Relief International which is affiliated with Texas Baptist Children’s Services. They are working at orphanages teaching English, working with youth groups in churches and doing other activities. They all have year long commitments. They seem to work hard and are committed to their work.
Tomorrow starts another week of teaching. We have really been working hard on figuring out the best way to teach social work practice to this group. We spent lots of time with Krist-Ashaman and Shulman (SSW folks will understand this) and hope we are prepared to teach them the theory behind the helping process and skills they need to apply it out. Where are you Ray? We need you.