# 136 September 2013 Paetkau News & Notes
It’s been an interesting month…
On Sept 17 Lanae and I took the trip that she has been looking forward to for quite some time. She and I boarded a plane bound for Munich, and from there caught a bus to the Bavarian city of Friedrichshafen (try saying that five times fast). Lanae and I enjoyed our time together that week as we explored (mostly on foot), getting orientated to the area and life there. One lesson I learned – when they tell you something is only about 500 meters away, they really mean it’s about 3-5 kms, they just don’t want to discourage you. At least that is what I told Lanae as we wandered along trying to find whatever was “supposed to be near by”. She is attending a TorchBearers bible school this coming year (www.bodenseehof.de). It was a special time that we will cherish, as we were able to just spend time talking and bridging into this new stage of life. I quickly realized that my grasp of German was extremely limited, and Lanae’s was light years ahead of me. I guess the classes she took on Saturdays this past year in Sumy paid off. But I must say I really enjoyed embarrassing Lanae by my attempts to communicate. It was also encouraging to me as a Dad to watch my child confidently step forward into this new endeavor. On the last day after we had lunch together, she left me standing where I needed to catch a bus back into the city – she is smiling and hurrying off to get back to school, and I am there crying trying not to call her back for one last hug.
Once I left her at the school, I had to resort to my survival skills – using alternate means to communicate when the individual did not speak English or Russian – ie gestures, facial expressions and terrible attempts at reading out the name of the item I was trying to order. It was painful (so many memories of our early years in Ukraine), and I was thankful to get back on familiar territory when I returned to Ukraine.
A new group began studying this fall at Sumy Regional Bible College. It is exciting to see the new faces who are coming to study God’s Word and to develop different ministry skills. There are seven different churches represented from around the region in this new group. I (John) spent the weekend out in Sumy, teaching a portion of a course on Saturday and helping with some of the administrative tasks that were needed. The group will be meeting every 4-6 weeks for two very full days of studies (Friday/Saturday), 6-7 times a year. This format facilitates students getting time off of work to study. On Sunday a.m. I spoke at Grace Church and then back to Kiev on the afternoon bus.
School has begun
Daniel’s classes began in earnest at the beginning of September. Getting up early and off to the bus by 7:20 a.m. has been a challenge for our night owl, but he has been adapting. He also had the opportunity to join the school soccer team, which has been a great learning experience for him. We have been watching his skills grow from week to week.
Alicia is back at the books also, taking her gr 11 classes online and pursuing a heavy load of piano instruction. One prayer item we had this spring/summer was about Alicia’s piano teacher and how that would all work out. God works all things out in His good time. We found out that a former teacher from Sumy was attending the church that is near our apartment (and which we also now attend). We were able to contact her, and she has taken on the challenge of helping Alicia prepare through the next two years. She is an excellent teacher, and very qualified.
Birthdays, root canals and other joys…
Since Lanae was leaving we decided to celebrate her birthday early. What we wanted do was have a shashleek (bbq/shishkabob). To do that we would have preferred a nice sunny day, but that was not to be. Thankfully, God gave us a break in the weather for a few hours – only a light drizzle. We went across the street to a nearby park and set up, and enjoyed our shashleek, made the more memorable by the circumstances. A very fitting way to celebrate Lanae’s 19th birthday, as she always enjoys things when they are a bit extreme.
When you need to be in Kiev for an early meeting, it is nice to know someone that you can stay with overnight. Well, we are now the “someone you know” for our Sumy relationships, and it has opened a new door for ministry to them. We have already enjoyed hosting 3 different individuals, and had a few others over for a meal on the spur of the moment. It was a surprise to them and to us, as we walked up to church one Sunday morning and there they were. They knew people from our church and decided to attend, not knowing that this was where we were also. Definitely keeps life interesting.
Prior to Lanae’s departure, she needed to go to the dentist to have a teeth cleaning. Of course, one of my teeth had to give me a bit of trouble too, so we began to search for a dentist. We knew of some over an hour commute away, but decided to try something closer to home. Leanne had noticed a sign on one building, so we checked them out online and they seemed fairly well qualified. So off go the guinea pigs. Lanae’s cleaning went fine, but me, that is another story. I needed a root canal and crown, and for that reason alone it was worth going local because of the multiple trips involved. First my dentist and her assistant had to discuss the variety of work that I had in my mouth as they had never seen teeth like mine before. That is what happens when you have dental work from 3 different countries over a period of 20 years. Second, they couldn’t understand why I was tense during the various procedures, such a big “brave” guy like me, especially once the nerves etc had all been dismantled and discarded. My question is: How can I not be tense when you jam a hammer drill the size of a small vehicle into my mouth and pound away at various portions of my porcelain? Ah well, such is life.
Have a great day,
4 the 5 of us
Drop by the 2013 Fall Photo Album for more photos of these events and others.