Friday, March 07, 2008

Another English Lesson, Another Friday

Oleh and Edna
Oleh and Edna

Fridays are when Edna teaches English to Oleh and Kristina. It's been a blessing to be able to serve God's children in this way. Edna does most of the lesson planning and teaching, but I sometimes help her out by coming up with interesting ways to challenge Kristina. Kristina already has a good knowledge of English so we are focusing on Biblical terms and getting her used to interpreting. She usually goes to English Club with us on Saturdays and is a huge help when it comes time for Children's Ministry on Sundays. Kristina's mother and grandmother also attend church with us.

Kristina modeling her new coat
Kristina modeling her new coat after church

Oleh didn't know any English before Edna started teaching him, so he was more of a challenge. Oleh is our landlord's son and he lived in our apartment before they built a new house across the river. His parents aren't believers so it has always been our goal to show them Christ by how we live. It's a slow process, but we've seen a big difference in how they look at us. They were convinced when they first met us that we would skip out on the rent and leave them with a huge phone bill and a dirty apartment. Now, they regularly invite Joshua over to spend the night with Oleh and have been really good about helping us out whenever we've had any problems. We realize that it might be awhile before Oleh goes to church with us, but we intend to keep investing our time in him knowing that all things are possible in Christ Jesus. Please keep Oleh, his mother Olena, and his father Vitali in your prayers.

As soon as Oleh left after his lesson, Maxime and Dominic were in the kitchen waiting on dinner. We gave Maxime a special treat and fixed Hamburgers Americanski with fries. Maxime ate until he was about to pop, but he loved every bite. We know that God has placed this little boy in our lives for a reason. Our hearts break when we think about the conditions in Maxime's home so we do our best to open our home and our lives to him. We know that Maxime's life is in God's hands and we take great comfort in knowing that he reads the Ukrainian Bible we got him every night before he goes to bed. Seeing Maxime's zeal for learning about Jesus has been our greatest encouragement since coming to Bila Tserkva. Please pray for his continued growth in the Lord and that his mother and father might someday come to know the hope that is in Christ.

Maxime helping Edna eat a few fries before dinner
Maxime helping Edna eat some fries

We thought our day was finally winding down as Maxime went home for the night, but before our door could close, Oksana from downstairs was coming in. She asked Edna to help her with her English homework while I helped her print up some business cards. Oksana sells Oriflame Swedish cosmetics, so we helped her out by giving her the professional edge you need in competitive cosmetic sales. Oksana is also a regular at our Saturday night English Club. Keep her in your prayers also as she has just recently considered going to church with us.

Edna and Oksana
Edna and Oksana

This has to have been one of our busiest Fridays yet, but it has all been to our joy.

7 comments:

Conor & Koren said...

Hey guys! Its Conor.
That is awesome that your home is so open! That can be really hard, but is so important! One day I want to get down there and meet Maxime. We are praying for you guys and will be praying for the people the Lord has brought into your lives.

I have to go. I have this urge to go get some fries!

Greg & Edna Silva said...

Thanks Conor and Koren for all your prayers. It means a lot to us to have people praying for us and encouraging us. We couldn't do anything without that kind of support. You guys are always welcome to drop in. We'll try and make it up your way soon.

-Greg

Anonymous said...

Greng & Edna, thank you for sending your monthly news to me. It means so much to know what y'll are doing & to see the people and places in Bela Tserkva which is beautiful beyond my words with the snow. Please continue to pass along news of your ministry. My prayers are with you.
Roland Spano

Ira said...

Yeah, that is really awesome, and I know how hard it may be being open to all with your help and encouragement. But Conor is right, it is utterly important. I love this quote: "Preach the Gospel. If necessary, use words."
We love you guys!

Ira said...

Oh by the way, I recognised the english book in the picture! It's the same book I use to teach at school my 6th graders! I even taught on the topic about shopping and money!! =))

Greg & Edna Silva said...

The hardest part about opening up our home is knowing that if we don’t let Maxime in some times, he’ll have no where else to go. His parents some times lock him out for the day when they’re drinking and on Saturday they left to go somewhere for the day without telling him they were leaving or where they were going.

We often have a lot of “Ukrish” floating around our place. Phrases like “My скарб” and “Я want” are pretty common. Суржик doesn’t sound so bad anymore does it?

-Greg

Ira said...

Yeah I hear you there! Especially when it comes from my husband, it's too hilarious to bear. Once we were talking about obviously something spiritual, and he, wanting to show off his Russian, said : "Мы есть хлам Духа Святого..." which translates as " We are the trash of the Holy Spirit"...(Words "trash" and "temple" are ironically very similar in Rus) To his bad luck, there were other Russian speaking people present... =)