I returned to a cold and snowy Ukraine. One particular Sunday, the walk to and from church was absolutely gorgeous walk as every tree branch had been coated by hundreds of tiny snowflakes and ice crystals in the night. As I walked, I was in awe of our amazing Creator!
Rehab continues and we now have a emphasis on further training for our therapists. Since Ira and Vanya are both on-the-job trained, they need to learn more in order to be independently functioning therapists. And I need to see the quality and clarity of the material that we are developing for the PT training center. While I was in the US, Ira and Vanya had the task of learning some foundational information like anatomy and basic terminology and, upon my return, they took a test before continuing on in our studies. It really is a win-win situation. I have the opportunity to see mistakes in the material or my presentation of it and they have the opportunity to learn. Starting in February, we have set aside one Wednesday afternoon each month for an extended teaching session. I am already learning that the lectures I have prepared take longer to get through than I anticipated, so these sessions will be quite helpful as we try to establish a schedule for the PT training center. In addition to the teaching that I am doing, our therapists are teaching one another throughout the year on various topics that they select. It's our internal version of continuing education courses! So far in 2016 we have had part one of Vadim's topic of joint mobilizations.
Ira and Vanya are both growing in their skills as therapists and they are really beneficial to our center. This time a year ago, as we prepared for Sveta's 3-month absence from our clinic, Ira agreed to try working with children. She had many reservations and questions, but recently I mentioned to her how proud I am of her independence now. We have so many children inquiring about services at our center and Ira is really helping to carry the load with Sveta. She is actually even helping Sveta with Vanya's training by incorporating him into pediatric sessions.
|What kid wouldn't love a gigantic sling shot?!|
At the end of January, the team serving in the ministry for people with disabilities (both the full-time staff and the volunteers) went to the Fimiam Retreat Center for a weekend seminar. There were extensive times of Bible study as well as time for fellowship and relaxation together. We are planning to hold our summer camps at this new facility this year, so it was also an opportunity for us to analyze how that can be possible and note any modifications that need to be made to the facility and territory for people in wheelchairs.
Mariana and her son, Ilya, repented at camp last year. They were in my group and I was particularly encouraged to see the changes in Ilya's heart. He listened attentively and took notes each day during the 1.5 hour sessions that occurred 3-5 times a day. He expressed gratitude when various ladies cared for his mother's personal needs. And he tenderly cared for his mother throughout the day. I'm thankful for the evident work God is doing in Ilya's life!
Despite the above-freezing temps and the visible melting of the top layer that day, the nearby lake was still quite frozen.
|The indoor bonfire|
Roma and Lena recently joined our ministry. Just before my return from the US, the team learned that our driver for rehab was taking another job. God provided a quick answer to prayer and blessed our leaders with finding Roma that same week. He is a relative of Vadim's wife and eagerly joined our ministry. At the seminar, we also learned that he can play the guitar and lead music with his wife, so they were quickly able to use those talents to lead our singing each day. Also Lena is a pharmacist, which we anticipate will be a wonderful resource for our center and our patients.
|The seminar attendees|
I'll finish with a quick update on the Agape House. Progress continues and I was able to see the facility last week - the ceilings and walls are painted and almost all the floors have tile. The exact date for the official opening seems to be shifting a little, but it is projected for the last week of June or first week of July. Because our camps occur in July and then everyone on our team has vacation after camps, actual work at the Agape House will begin for our team in mid to late August. We are discussing holding the first 2-week session of the PT training center for the first class around that time.
- For completion of the Agape House construction and all the decisions that further need to be made in that sphere.
- For our team that continues to work at the rehab center: for wisdom, compassion, and love and for them to have opportunities to share about Christ.
- For the preparation of the PT training center. We are considering conducting four 2-week sessions over the course of a year for 2 overlapping classes. Please pray that we can prepare and translate all of the material and also for the possibility of someone besides Sveta who will be translate help during the teaching (so that all of Sveta's patients do not have to be cancelled).
Thank you for all of you who stand with us in prayer!!!