Sunday, March 28, 2010

My New Room

A few weeks ago, I decided to redecorate my room, so the next day, I went to Ace and got the paint. That has been my project for the past month or so. I had to do it all in steps because I have too much stuff to do it all at once. I didn't really know what to expect it to turn out like, but I do like the results. It is very happy-looking now. Before I show you the "after" pictures, here are the "befores." My room has been "patriotic" for about 7 years now. It was time for a change.
And the work begins.
Of course I had to move most of my stuff at least once, and I think it invaded just about every other room in the house. These are some of my stacks under my bed.
I did the east and south walls first, and then I had to move my bed.
I couldn't sleep in my bed because it is not sturdy enough when it is not anchored in the wall, so I slept on the floor for about a week.
Priming and painting my bed was the most time consuming because of all the angles and having to paint above my head for a lot of it, but I had some help from my wonderful friend Elena. Thanks! And the finished product:
And there you have it. I actually had everything in the room done about a week ago, but then I had to repaint the shelves and get everything put back, which I got done last night. Just in time - tomorrow I leave for Arizona!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Picture Answers

I give you permission in advance to roll your eyes at these :-). The students are very creative! Test question #1 was "Actions speak louder than words." Piotr wasn't too fond of the duct tape idea after the picture when he had to take it off! Test question #2 was "A blessing in disguise." The guy behind the curtain is blessing Veronika, and he's in disguise, get it? Test question #3: "A chip on your shoulder."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Poland Part 6

On Wednesday, for our large group game time, we had an idiom photo scavenger hunt. What that means is that every group is given a list of English idioms (the same ones for every group), and they have to figure out some way to represent that idiom in a picture. For this, our groups are the same as for Bible Study time. Here are some of our results. The students are very creative...
This idiom was "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush." That's Veronika Snyder trying to look like she doesn't want the birds in the bush.
Jola (pronounced Yo-lah) acting out "Against the clock."
Ok, you see how it works. I want to see how good you are at deciphering some of these. Leave a comment with your guesses, and I'll post the answers in a couple days. This is your test question #1 (yes, there are more). The "To be or not to be" on the board has nothing to do with it.
Test question #2. I'll give you this one, even though I thought this one was one of the most creative. It's "A chip off the old block." The two taller people are the parents, and the short one is their kid. The child is taking after her parents by reading the magazine upside down. No, Polish people don't subscribe to "Nebraska Life;" Tim brought them to show the students.
Last one. This is #3.
On Friday, instead of playing games, we had a banquet for the students and gave them all certificates saying they had completed this English Workshop. We didn't have a meal, just snacks. We also gave everyone the chance to stand up and say what this workshop meant to them, and to say thank you to anyone they wanted to. Some of the students would stand up and say a quick "Thank you to all of you who came to teach us." Some of them would go into more detail about how God had changed them that week. One girl said that this week studying the Bible had given her hope. Not too long into it, I was teary eyed. It was very touching. In such a short time, God had brought about amazing changes in some of those students. Anyway, back to the pictures, above is Bob's English class, level 1.
Vera taught level 2.
Lee had level 3. Linda and Hannah had level 4.
Laura taught level 5.
Greg and I had level 6.
Tim and Andrew had level 7.
Everyone at the banquet.
Singing together was always special. The students tried so hard to learn all the English songs. Their favorite was "Mighty to Save." Whenever Marek asked which song they wanted to sing, they would all say "Savior, Savior!"
Saturday was Hannah's 19th birthday. It was also our day of debriefing as a team at the Snyder's. We went and bought panczkes for everyone. Hannah's goal was to eat 6, and she did!
We took a little break during our meeting, and Andrew and Lee decided to catch a few winks.
Some of the girls from the church surprised Hannah with birthday cakes that evening after our meeting. They were good cakes!
Vera and Bob Hageman. They were part of the team the first time I went to Poland in 2004. At that point, they had been to like 15 or 20 camps, and they moved to Radom about a year and a half ago.
The Snyder family. L-R: Steve, Veronika, Daniel, Bernatka. On Sunday, the church put held a potluck for us.
Marek was holding his daughter and Lee was sitting next to him making her laugh so hard.
On Monday morning, we left Bob and Vera's apartment at 3:30 (yes, a.m.!) and drove in a rented van to the Snyder's to pick up the rest of the team and Veronika. We said goodbye to the rest of the Snyder family then and drove to Warsaw. Veronika took this picture. L-R:Vera, Bob, me, Lee, Greg, Tim, Hannah, and Andrew. Linda had taken the train the night before to go visit some other missionaries in Poland, and Laura was going to stay in Radom for a couple more days.
We were too early to check our baggage so we had to wait about half an hour. When they opened up the counter, we checked our bags and said goodbye to Bob, Vera, and Veronika.
Our flight was delayed 30 minutes, which was why I missed my flight from Munich to Brussels like I mentioned before. We went and got some breakfast, and then we passed time listening to Andrew reading us random facts from some book about useless information that Greg had brought. Tim is laying down on the floor by the window because I think the guys stayed up most of the night before playing cards. And this brings me to the end of the pictures from my trip. Thank you for all your interest and prayers. I still look back at that trip and am absolutely in awe of all that happened. I am so thankful God let me be a part of it!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Poland Part 5

Thank you all for sticking with me as I keep posting these! We are now on the second week of our ministry in Radom: the English Workshop. It started on Monday morning with a placement test to determine which students should be in which class. I was one of the test administrators, and it was amazing to me to see how open and happy the students were right from the beginning. After that we got into our normal schedule for the workshop day, which is as follows. The team would get there between 8 and 8:15, and then we would have a prayer/devotional and planning time. The students would start arriving at 9:30. At 9:45, we started with a welcome and, three of the days, a short message from the pastor. Then it was off to English Reading Time, aka Bible Study. I led a group with Tim for this time, and this was the same group of students we were with later for Conversation Time. Everyday we would read a passage and then we had discussion questions about the passage. After this was English Class, and I taught a class with Greg. We taught level 6 out of 7, so our students were quite advanced. Conversation Time came next, and then we had large group time, where we played ice breaker games and such. Singing some worship songs ended out the day, and the students were dismissed at 2:30. The team collected our stuff, then walked to a restaurant about 15 minutes away for lunch. Our final destination of the night was the church. We invited the students there every night to play games and hang out. The following pictures are of all of that stuff and more, but it was just easier to explain most of it at the beginning. Rewind with me for just a minute here. Sunday before the workshop we ordered pizza for our team lunch and planning meeting. After some people were finished eating, they started getting out their computers to plan for the workshop, and Tim said, "Here's my laptop." It made me laugh.
Those of us staying at Bob and Vera's had a half hour bus ride into town everyday. Lee was such a fun guy.Once again, we took a picture of the empty bus so people wouldn't look at the funny Minnesotans who never ride buses.
This is the elementary school we rented for the workshop.
This is the coat hall. We had to change our shoes so that we weren't tracking in mud and slush, and our indoor shoes had to have light-colored soles so we wouldn't scuff up the floor.
The team room where we had our meetings and kept all our teaching materials. Our English Class Our plan of attack as teachers of such an advanced class was to teach them lots of hard words and have them write and speak using those words. At the end of the week, one girl in our class counted the new words we had taught them...147!L-R: Greg, Karolina, Agus, Paulina, Patrycja, Olga, Julie, Sara, Gosia, and Biska. Bartek was gone that day, but he's the guy in the other picture of our class at the far end of the table.Large group games we played.
Marek, the youth pastor from the church, leading us in singing. Playing Uno at the church in the evenings. Ping-pong was also popular at the church. There were a couple reasons we invited the students to the church. A few nights, we had someone share a testimony (there were also some testimonies at the workshop before we sang) or we would show a short video clip with a gospel message. We also wanted the students to be familiar with the church, so that they were more likely to come after the workshop was over. The biggest reason though, was so they could be in a place that was filled with the Holy Spirit, and have fun with other people in a clean, light environment, while they can witness Jesus being real in our lives. It was so cool to see the students open up and know that they were accepted, that they were welcome, and that they were loved.