#126 Sept 2012 Paetkau News & Notes

# 126 September 2012 Paetkau News & Notes

“Don’t tell Mom.” “But Dad, there’s blood.” replied Daniel.  “Oh, I guess then we will have to tell her.”

That was part of a short holiday we took in southern Ukraine at the beginning of the month.  More on that in a bit, but first a few other stories and items.

Well, we are back in Ukraine and fall has already arrived in all of its glory.  We arrived July 11th and climbed into a van and drove directly out to Grace Camp.  That was our home for the next 20 days and was our place of re-entry into life, ministry and culture here.

Our kids had made it very clear to us that they didn’t want to hang around Kiev or even around our apartment in Sumy once we arrived in Ukraine.  “Better to get out to camp and get into life” was their basic attitude so that is what we did.  Kids camp had just finished and teen camp was going to begin, so our timing was perfect.  Nothing like camp to help you get over jet lag! 85 teenagers arrived the next day, and we all pitched in where we were able.  It was a good experience, and good way to reconnect with many of whom we serve with throughout the year.

Our first English language camp took place immediately following teen camp.  God assembled a team of English speakers

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Grace Camp English Camp small group

from a variety of places.  Ken & Carol Dyck & their two daughters came from Canada.  Eric & Melissa Salyer, Andrea & Alicia came from the US.  SEND missionaries from Kiev and our

missionaries here in Sumy rounded out the team.   For the team it was a challenge, as we didn’t know the level of English that the campers would have, so the first day was a bit interesting as we got the campers into cabin groups with similar language abilities.  There were 45 campers, and we saw God work through the week.  A number of campers had never read a bible or heard the stories.  So the theme of Daniel was completely new to them, and the time in God’s Word had an impact.  You can find photos here on our webpage

Ken has his roots here in Ukraine (like I do because of our Mennonite background) and they wanted to check out the area of our forefathers.  So a day after camp finished, Dycks, Pastor Victor & I climbed into the van at 2:45 a.m. and begin travelling south on a very long 1 day adventure.  The plan was to head south to Zaporoziah early to try and avoid the heat (+38 C and higher), spend the day there and then head northwest to Kiev that evening.  The first two portions worked out pretty well, and the third part was a bit of an adventure.  You can read about it here.

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SEND UA conference attendees

In August we jumped on the train and headed west to Lviv (Lvov) to join our SEND Ukraine teammates for our annual conference.  It was a

good time of reconnection and refreshment – kind of like taking a breath after diving into the deep end of the pool.

A few days into September we decided to head south to the Crimea.  Prices drop dramatically after Sept 1, so we bought tickets and were on

the train 2 days later.  It was quite the interesting trip, including what Daniel

said regarding blood.  For the whole story, go to the story “Crimea – UA’s sunny south” on our website.  You can also find photos of the trip there.

 

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Palm trees in Ukraine?

A few noteworthy items in September:

Sunday Afternoon English Club – a couple kids in the neighbourhood approached Leanne requesting help with their English lessons etc.  So Leanne and Lanae have begun to meet with 5 kids (3 from our neighbourhood and  a couple friends) on Sunday afternoons.

Sumy Regional Bible College:  The college meets for two days every 5-6 weeks in order that students can get time off of work etc and study.  John had the opportunity to teach 12 students for two long days (Friday and Saturday) late this past month.   Along with the teaching time (topic:basic hermeneutics – how to study and interpret Scripture), the students made sure that we discussed a few “hot topic” items.  It made for a lively and interesting two days.

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Come to Crimea where you can…..

We are still enjoying beautiful fall weather, which has been a real blessing.  The fall ministries schedule is also beginning to take shape, with a number of opportunities developing.  We shall see what God is going to do in the coming months – what doors will be opened, closed or changed.

Thanks for standing with us.

Talk to you later,

John

4 the 5 of us

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