So this semester will be a little different for me. Last semester I taught some English courses. After some long discussions we decided that this wasn't the best use of my time. While I think that my English courses were very good, and I feel that the students really learned a lot - teaching English simply isn't my passion; and it's not that effective at bringing new people in the door.
This semester my English courses will be replaced by a weekly English language small group. [I will still lead a weekly English Club - open to people of all ages and English levels. We have 11 year olds who speak quite well and 45 years olds who don't speak at all!] We will be studying "Experiment in Practical Christianity." It's a wonderful resource written by two Candler professors from the 70s/80s. During this semester we will look at Christianity as though we had never been introduced to it before. We will experiment with the acts of Christian discipline - like we're trying on new outfits to see which ones fit best.
Nastiya (on the left) spent a year in St. Mary's Pennsylvania and attended the United Methodist church there. I think we met once in Bradford at a Methodist youth retreat ... but when I tried to speak Russian to her she told me that she spoke Ukrainian! Nataly (on the right) came to my English course last semester and is a student at the Ukrainian Catholic University.
I really love blurry pictures! I'm on the left. Dale is another American young adult who lives in L'viv. His girlfriend is part of "Youth to Jesus" and it's great having another American in the group. Michael Maiko comes to a lot of English language events - and I'm glad that he's joining us for this small group.
So, in case you didn't notice - these pictures are all taken in my bedroom! The small group meets in my room at my apartment. I only rent one room - and I couldn't ask my many Ukrainian roommates to vacate the living room every week for a few hours ... so we all squeeze into my bedroom. Luckily, They don't make single-serving furniture in Ukraine. Every bed also folds into a couch. So fitting seven people is not problem and it's actually quite comfortable. The Ukrainians don't think anything is strange about the arrangement ... but could you imagine inviting seven people into YOUR bedroom once a week???? It feels super bizarre to me as an American.
So far things are going really well. I just hope that we can get a consistent group that is willing to make it every week.
(I borrowed these pictures from Facebook. Mariya Zelman was willing to document our first meeting - and I really enjoy these photos.)