Things are quite well with me here. I have settled in to my teaching schedule. I have more teaching hours this year, and that is good because I see my work at the school as mainly ministry.

I am reminded of this clearly these days as it has been quite difficult time since the beginning of a new school year. The main thing which makes it so difficult is the atmosphere itself. It is the atmosphere where an individual is not respected, not even valued, and quite often humiliated. And what makes it really miserable is that the “issues” that cause so much trouble are not about how well we do our teaching job, but about something quite odd – like having to check if all the pupils’ families have enough fire wood for the winter… and more importantly to make sure if the chimneys of their homes work properly (village life reality) because in case of a fire the teachers are held responsible.

I must admit there had been moments when I even thought it was time to find something less stressful to do.  And then I am so clearly reminded again why God “put me to school” here. I am to learn His ways. And to reveal His truth and light in the midst of all the darkness. First – to myself, and then to others..

Jesus says these precious words about how His burden is easy if you come and learn from Him, learn to be humble and gentle at heart.

6He gives everything we need in His good time. Like last Saturday I visited a conference organized by ACET –it is an organization founded by Christians who do antismoking/alcohol/drugs programs among the youth, promoting Christian values and life style.  They are ready to do lectures and workshops at our school and our school administration is willing to accept it. Praise God! We need more truth and light at our school!

Everything makes sense when Jesus is there and His Love is present. Everything makes sense then.


The same is so true with Semkovo girls ministry.  Now when the weather is cold we spend most of our time inside, in the kitchen mainly. Every Friday there is a cooking lesson. Oh, what a blessing these cooking lessons have been! We really do some serious cooking and learn how to make dinner (like chicken and pasta and salad, potatoes and meat..), Some really big size pans and pots had to be purchased for that and we have fun using them! It is a great time of fellowship and also the time when you really have to work hard and do your part and not to be lazy)). Especially when it comes to doing a lot of dishes and cleaning the kitchen.

I am deeply thankful for the church and Sunday school for the kids. This is where we get spiritual food.  Our little church unites us as a family in Christ where we get encouragement and support day by day.

We especially need it for Nadya and Serozha  right now whose grandmother tragically died of a stroke last week (she was only 49). And our girl Lera is in hospital now for three weeks because of the problem with her eyes.