Amazing Belarus – 2013 (Part 2)

[To see the beginning of my trip to Belarus see Amazing Belarus – 2013 (Part 1) by clicking here.]

After taking a riding tour of Minsk, Belarus, we arrived at the seminary, unloaded our suitcases, and began to “settle” in our rooms.  I shared a room with three other ladies.  Since I have trouble sleeping with ANY light in the room, I picked a bottom bunk away from the windows.  Little did I know how God was already working to insure that I would be totally dependent upon Him to supply all my needs.  I’m a “planner” and I tried to plan for everything on this trip.  However, the good Lord knew my needs better than I did.

I know some of these things will seem minor and so “picky,”  however, these things can some times develop into real problems for me.  I cannot sleep where there is any light or noise in the room.  There were no curtains on the windows, and light definitely came in at night.  However, the area where my bunk was seemed to be quite dark.  My roommates did not snore, or at least I didn’t hear them if they did.  I have a lot of allergies and have to sleep propped up every night.  I wasn’t able to bring my usual collection of pillows to prop myself up, so I was somewhat concerned.  All of these things concerned me because without adequate sleep and rest I knew I wouldn’t be able to function well and remain healthy throughout the week’s hectic schedule.  As I enlisted family and friends to be prayer warriors and pray for me as I made this journey, one of my main requests was for my allergies and to be able to sleep well each night (along with remaining healthy throughout the week).  There is no doubt that God provided for adequate darkness and a quiet atmosphere to help me sleep.  I did bring one pillow with me and used it with the pillow provided by the seminary along with a special roll pillow to prop myself up.  God provided for that need in a most unique way, too.  There was a strategically placed board on the end of the bed that I was able to use with my pillows to help prop me up!  I was adequately propped up and slept quite well each night.

We spent all day Saturday interviewing students in order to place them in the correct level class.  It was an exhausting day but quite rewarding.  It was very interesting to meet so many people from this country in such a short time.

Sunday we attended a local Christian church and had translators behind us translating everything the preacher said.  We also spent a few hours shopping.  This would be our only opportunity to purchase any souvenirs.  I bought a beautiful linen table runner for my dining room table.  Our missionary contacts knew a local craftsman who carved traditional wooden boxes.  I bought several of these amazing boxes to give as gifts to family and friends.  We also ate lunch at a cafeteria-type restaurant which had SO many different and new (at least to us!) foods, and it was absolutely delicious.

Here is the table runner on my dining room table.

Here is the table runner on my dining room table.

The ends of the runner are beautiful.

The ends of the runner are beautiful.

Look at the fine details!

Look at the fine details!

I purchased these wooden boxes from a local craftsman.

I purchased these wooden boxes from a local craftsman.

I think the large one will be mine.  :)

I think the large one will be mine. 🙂

Look at the intricate details!

Look at the intricate details!

The small ones are quite pretty, too.

The small ones are quite pretty, too.

Sunday evening we worked on grouping the students and setting up our classrooms.  Students’ ages ranged from 16 and 17 year olds to a few in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70‘s.  I’d say the average age of the students was between 22 – 35 years old.  I was to teach one of the Advanced classes.  I was excited about that!  After getting my classroom ready, looking over the curriculum, and studying my lesson plans for the first day, it was very late, but we were all excited about meeting our students the next day for the first time!

Here are some pictures of the church, seminary and surrounding area.  All classes and group meetings, along with all our meals Monday through Friday, took place in this one location.

IMG_1986

IMG_1987

IMG_1985

Here I am with Susan Hill standing out in the freezing cold just outside of the seminary.

Here I am with Susan Hill standing out in the freezing cold just outside of the seminary.

View outside my classroom window.

View outside my classroom window.

This is a picture of the seminary's/church's business card.  If you are in Minsk and are interested in the free English courses, you can contact them.

This is a picture of the seminary’s/church’s business card. If you are in Minsk and are interested in the free English courses, you can contact them.

COMING SOON:  Part 3 of my Belarus trip!  I hope you’ll join me.

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