Monday, May 24, 2010

Training in Uzhgorod...a taste of heaven in the west

Castles, rolling green hills, winding cobble stone streets, delicious cheap food! Yes, I fell in love with western Ukraine this past week! We held a 3 day life skills training in Uzhgorod, which is in the Zacarpati region of Ukraine, very near the Slovakia border. Talk about a breath of fresh air! The lush green hillsides and the European style architecture were a nice change to what I am used to seeing in Kiev.

I traveled to Uzhgorod with 2 dear friends and training partners, Mina and Galina- who have both been a part of the Life Skills training for graduating orphans project from the very beginning. We held this training at the Nehemiah ministry center which is a hub for hosting a variety of practical trainings throughout the year in this region. About 30 people went through our 3 day training, the majority of who have ongoing ministries to orphans and gypsy people in the trans-carpathian region. There was even a couple attending from Finland who are doing mission work in Kosovo and have a great need for teaching life skills to the youth they work with! It still amazes me to see the great demand there is for this life skills curriculum and how God is continuing to open up doors for us to spread it beyond the borders of Ukraine.

our group trained

Typically at the training Galina and Mina cover the more theoretical topics involving child development, behavior, and issues pertaining to children who have grown up in institutions- and then I teach example lessons from the curriculum itself so they can see it being demoed and understand the format of the lessons. It's always an adventure getting up and teaching- something I don't really feel naturally gifted in, so it does stretch me...and intimidate me! But I have a great team to support me and fill in the gaps!

In the down time during the week we were able to explore the city a bit and see the castle that overlooks the beautiful city. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to explore other parts of Ukraine and see how much it differs from city to city.

Galina and I at the castle wall
On our train ride home I fell in love with the Western Ukrainian country side! My friends got great joy out of watching me ooo and aww at all that I saw and take a ton of photos- trying to capture the moment from my moving train window. I was tempted to hop off the train and settle into one of those little house for a few days and walk up the green hill singing "The Hills are Alive." Perhaps another day....


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! I wish I was more articulate. All I can say is, "Wow!" You are amazing!


Name: Adam and Kris said...

I love your blog; your writing, the style, photos, and layout. I need to be trained on how to make mine look cool like yours! It's awesome! Sounds like we need to make a trip to Western Ukraine soon!

Natasha said...

Now, sis - I don't believe you for a minute - you sure looked and acted totally natural when you did your presentation at NSB this winter!!! :) Seriously, you delivered SUCH a great presentation!
And I love the photos...I'd be there with you, taking those pictures of the scenery - it seems sooo peaceful... And I'd love to go live there with you for a few days and walk up those mountains, singing with you! :)

Anonymous said...

Wayne and I minister at Nehemiah two times a year doing marriage and family seminars. You are right about falling in love with the people and the place, We feel like Uzghorod is our second home and no one can beat the hospitality of the Nehemiah Guest house. Blessings on your ministry.
Sherry Sanders