Thursday, December 20, 2007



I'm home!! After a crazy day I arrived in Houston. It is so hot and I love it! Long story, but we missed our connecting flight in London and but put on one 3 hours later. So we got home just in time for dinner at Marios!! It was some of the best Mexican food I think I have ever had in my life!! So I apologize now if I dont' write much in the next two weeks but I will be little preoccupied by being home!

I do want to post a few pics from the weekend before I left!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Checked Out

I'm kind of glad that all my classes are canceled b/c I hate to say it but I can officially say that I have checked out. My mind is already at home! Yesterday all my classes were canceled. The only thing I did was hand 3rd grade a test and give a private lesson. So I decided to inquire about todays classes yesterday. I found out that all were canceled but one. So I take the 1 pm bus out to Zaitsevo to make it in time for class at 2. Oh wait, it was canceled!! So I do have a private lesson. Monday and Tuesday all my classes are cancelled except for my one native student that I will see on both days. And of course preschool has not decided if they will have class so I will come early, as that is my first class of the day, and more than likely it will be canceled. So I'm trying to find things to waste my time since I am stuck in the countryside. Oh by the way, classes are canceled for repition. That is the word they use for rehearsal. Their Christmas program is on Wednesday so they are all rehearsing for it. I will miss it as I will be in the US of A on Wednesday!! I can't wait!!

Tonight will be a wonderful evening of Christmas caroling at the Brinks home! And tomorrow will be an afternoon at Red Square in the snow! Then us girls will have our own small little Christmas party together. And Sunday, as part of worship, Kathryn will play the piano while Jamie paints the nativity scene. Some teacher friends are gonna come watch too! It should be a fun weekend!

Monday, December 10, 2007

9 days and counting...

Yea, you could say I'm pretty excited. I tried not to count down the days. But I can't help it. It is too close not to. I will be home in 9 days! I can't wait!

Exciting news. The girls from the other campus had a coworker ask if she could come to church with us. She came this past Sunday with us and it was great. It was my first time to meet her but we quickly became friends. She is full of questions and just comes right out and askes them. Its so wonderful. She asked what kind of rules that I live my life by. So I got to explain to her what the Bible was and how I use it. Then there was a bunch of free literature that the church was giving away. One of the books was about questions people have about the Bible and whats in it. So she took one. Then she asked me if I believe in paradise and hell and how to get to paradise. So I got to explain that too. the whole afternoon was filled with her asking us questions and us getting the chance to answer. I don't think I have ever had someone come seeking the truth as much as she is. It is a wonderful place to be in when I get to share Christs love with her! So pray for her please. Her name is Masha.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Still Alive

So its been a while since I've updated. Well thats becuase my body decided to shut down and be sick for a week. But things are looking better. Today is my first day with no fever! The doctor said I had viral plurisy. Well thats a first. It could have been worse. But things are looking better. Now I'm just counting down the days till I go home!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Students and Teachers: Russia vs. USA

So I could go on forever about the differences in schools, students and teachers in Russia compared to the US. But there is one I would like to focus on. One that I like better in Russia than at home. Here it is okay to talk about religious things in school.

Well I don't know what came over me yesterday but I ended up sharing the complete salvation message with one of my students. He is in 2nd grade and is what we call a native speaker. He has Russian parents but has had a British nanny his whole life, so his English is great. We work mainly on grammar. Well yesterday was an abnormal lesson for us. He was upset because he had just gotten in trouble for fighting. So after we discussed this I asked him some questions. He had told me several times that he goes to church on Sunday's. I assumed it was probably a Russian Orthodox church. So I decided to ask him what he learns about in church. He told me that all they do is learn how to pray. I explained how at my church there is a class for children where they learn stories from the Bible and learn about Jesus. Well he had no idea what the Bible or Jesus was. Now he may know these words in Russian and just not in English. So we went on to have a lengthy discussion about the Bible, Jesus, God, the reason for Christmas, pretty much everything.

I don't really know where that came from. Its not like me to just blurt that stuff out all the time. But it was one of those moments and I didn't think I should pass it up. Some of the other girls on the team have some stuff on salvation that is easy for kids to understand and has pictures. So maybe on Monday we will read that for our reading part of the lesson. Who knows. But at least some seeds were planted.

It was a great lesson.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Perception of Cold

So I think living here has completely changed my perception of cold. Of course when it first started to get into the 40's and 50's I was freezing. I also didn't have my coat yet either. Then I got my coat. Its all good. It was between 10-20 for about 2 weeks. Then the last few days has been above or at freezing. All the sudden I find myself saying how warm it is. Then I think well its just above freezing, I can wear a skirt today! I'm not sure what is happening to me but I think I'm becoming acclamated. But there is rumor it will be a -40 kind of winter. So we'll see what kind of song I'm singing then!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A lot of food

So Thanksgiving ended up great. Thursday we worked all day unfortunately and then went to the Kerns house for a wonderful, traditional feast. There were about a dozen kids running around and wonderful fellowship. We got home around midnight so it was quite a long day.

Friday we had the day off of work! We got up fairly early to begin cooking. Dacey and I had to make one more quick run to the store and then we cooked for about 8 hours! A Thanksgiving meal can take a long time when you are preparing the whole thing. So here is what we had: I made the ham, a honey/ brown sugar glaze for the ham, mashed potatoes, broccli/ rice casserol, and death by chocolate. Dacey made the turkey, green bean casserole, cranberry relish, cornbread salad, and yeast rolls. Kathryn made pumpkin pie, fruit salad, and cookies. Jamie made banana bread, apple pie, and a veggie tray. So we had more than enough food. It was all a hit. They especialy loved the death by chocolate. I now have to make a small recipe booklet to give to all the teachers because they want to learn how to make these dishes themselves. So it was wonderful!

It was quite and experience though. Making death by chocolate was fun to do in Russia. Thankfully we had some chocolate pudding mix at the apartment already. But it was the cook and serve kind. I made 4 boxes worth. I stirred a huge pot of pudding for nearly an hour until it boiled and was finished! I had never gone through so much trouble for pudding in all my life. Then we had a box of whipped topping mix. the directions said to use the beater for 2-3 minutes or until it peaks. Well, it took 35 minutes of beating until it turned into whipped cream! They definatley do not have Heath bars here. But I found this crunchy chocolate cluster with carmel in the middle. I cut it up into chuncks and it worked. Unfortunately there was no chocolate syrup to be found in all of Moscow. I did find a box of Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix at Stockmanns and I only paid about $6.50 for it. Oh fun times of cooking in Moscow. You should have seen our kitchen. There was food piled everywhere. As soon as I find a computer to let me upload pictures I will put some up of the festivities!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving!! Its a white Thanksgiving over here. Yea in case you're wondering, I'm at work. It's not exactly a Russian holiday so I get to work. But they are nice and give us one day off. We just choose to have Friday off instead of Thursday. On Friday we will cook all day and a few of our teacher friends will come over and see how we celebrate Thanksgiving. Tonight I will fill my tummy with turkey goodness at a friends apartment. I hope everyone has a wonderful time spending Thanksgiving with your family!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A New Day

Well ya'll must have got to praying early because it turned out to be a pretty good day. My kids were all great yesterday so that is of course a blessing. Plus a wonderful family from church has invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. There will be a bunch of kids running around and lot of food. So it will remind me of the Thanksgiving I know and love! Also Bible study was great too. One of my friends from church travels to and from the States often for business. I asked him if he could bring me a bottle of detangling spray because I can't find it anywhere here and I seem to not be able to brush my hair without it. Well yesterday to bible study he brought me 3 bottles!! Its really the little things like that that make my so excited! It was so wonderful. So thank you for the prayers because it got better, it was just a rough start to the day.

Your right dad. Some days I could use your phone call in the morning to get me moving! Oh my goodness I will never forget Nic because I would have missed my plane if it wasn't for you!

I love you all!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rough Starts

So I think I'm getting a rough start to the week. I stayed home from work not feeling well yesterday. (My roomate has had bronchitis for about 2 weeks now). I felt a little better today so I decided to go to work. Today is my early day and I need to leave my apartment by 7.40 to be on the bus by 7.55-8. I woke up at 7.20 because my alarm was set for pm! Thankfully I had taken a shower before I went to bed last night so that wasn't too bad. But then it was up to 32*F because things were melting and instead of it snowing it was drizzling. So that was fun to walk in. And of course I didnt' tuck my pants into my boots. So when I got to school the whole back of my pants was splattered in muddy water spots. So that is fun to walk around in all day. Plus when I got on the bus my teamate was like, "Dana, I have bad news." A lady at church let me borrow some Christmas CD's (4 of them) for me to use in school. My friend was carrying them in her bag b/c hers was bigger than mine. She left the bag on the bus on Sunday! So now I don't have Christmas music for my kids and I have to tell the lady at church that someone else lost her cd's. I haven't had any classes yet but if my kids are like they were on Friday then Lord help me, it will be quite the day.

Sorry today's post is not so cheerful but I guess we just have those days sometimes. Plus I want to be home for Thanksgiving! This is my first one to ever miss in my whole life and I don't think I'm taking it so well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I'm not sure but I think I've moved to Antartica!! Either that or its Christmas! I really can't decide which is the better option. It hasn't stopped pouring snow in about 40 hours or so. This means we have gotten near a foot of snow in just over a day! It is supposed to be like this for the next 3-4 days. Right now is it really beautiful unitl you have to walk to work in it! Thankfully I thought ahead and tucked my dress pants into my handy dandy boots. Looking out my window it is beautiful and every thing is white. Then you begin walking on the side walk and have to cross the street (that hasn't been plowed in at least 12 hours). All of the sudden I feel like I'm walking through sand and not snow!! It is that thick and that brown and dirty. Thank goodness for black so it doesn't get as dirty. I can definately handle this kind of weather but you throw in some ice, -30* and make it last for like 6 months!! and you have Russia!! Oh my goodness! I just wish all of you Texans could come experience this for a few days!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Parents and Teachers and Kids

So yesterday I was teaching my 4th graders about Thanksgiving. We did an activity about what we are thankful for. Their answers literally cracked me up. Here are few examples: I'm thankful for: my money, my parents, my brain, that my parents don't spoil me, my house, my friends, my pets, my car, etc. My favorites were that my parents don't spoil me and money.

I was reading from my wonderful book that my parents sent me and I thought I would share one of my favorite quotes about teachers.

The teacher is engaged, not simply in the training of the individual, but in the formation of the proper social life. I believe that every teacher should realize the dignity of his calling, that he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of proper social order and the securing of the right social growth. I believe that in this way the teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usherer in of the true kingom of God. -John Dewey

Monday, November 12, 2007


So after a not so good and very long week I decided I think the Lord would like for me to grow in my patience. I remember as a teen I would pray for patience and every time I did, God would give me a day full of situations were my patience was tested. Well I sure have not been praying for patience but I am giving a handful of situations were I get to practice it! But praise the Lord, my students have been wonderful! They are improving so much and we are having a great time together. For a little while I was beginning to wonder if I had taught them anything. Their behavior has also improved tremendously which is wonderful! We will be learning all about Thanksgiving and then The Christmas Story. What an exciting time!

Now completly turning the conversation. I had a Russian friend over this weekend and we had an interesting converstaion. She was telling me how Russia is trying to make abortion illegal. I though this was wonderful! She did not. She is a believer but also Russian. She tried to explain to me that the only reason they were passing this new law is because they want Russia to be more popluated. But since there is no kind of welfare, or any programs whatsoever to help anyone of any age, more people is not always a good thing. So these children will just go striaght to the orphanage. She said she thought it was better for these children to never be born than to live in the orphanage and then do the same that their parents did. I of course did not agree. And we ended up having a long conversation about this topic. I found this to be an interesting point of view coming from a believer. It was a first, thats for sure.

Mike, I think that was my first country to travel to without you in years!! Sorry, but is was so beautiful!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Back in the Motherland

I'm back in the Motherland after spending a wonderful break in Istanbul, Turkey. It was exactly what I needed. We saw some wonderful sites, relaxed a little and spent time together as a team. It was refreshing. But I have to admitt that I didn't want to come back to work just yet. It was so beautiful with temperatures in the 60's. I step off the plane and the temp is -6C and the ground is covered in ice. I was not so excited about this. It hasn't snowed today but the temp is still -4C. Praise the Lord for heat indoors!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The first snow day! (me, Polina, Kat, and Jamie)
It was so windy and cold I thought I might turn into an icicle and blow away!

Me and Poina in the orphanage pretending to be in class.

Me and Elena the runt of the orphanage. I wanted to take her home with me!

We spent all day Saturday at the orphanage! It was great. We brought them care packages and birthday presents. Then we had a huge birthday celebration. The kids loved it. I think there was enough sweets there to make them all sick to their tummy. I spent the afternoon playing games and getting to know the kids. It was great to see how the Lord can work through language barriers. My very little Russian got me a long way. Plus everyone understands smiles and hugs. I can't wait to go again in a few weeks!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


This is one of my favorite pics that I have taken here. This is at the 860 year anniversary concert we went to at Victory park.

These are some of my third grade boys on
field trip to the park. Pasha is the blonde,
Robert is laughing, and Ivan is looking
confused as usual

This is what we call a Russian can opener.
It was invented by Dana Hollis when she really
wanted to eat some pineapples and discovered
there was no can opener

I just learned how to add pics. So I will work on perfecting it later. I have hundreds more but I can only put a few at a time on here.

So my students never cease to amaze me and make me laugh. I thought I would share a few stories:

I was having a private lesson with Leo yesterday and we were talking about horses for some reason. (Leo is in 4th grade) Then he told me that his grandfather has horses. So I asked him if he has ever ridden one and he said no. I asked him where his grandfather lived and how long it took to get there. He said "Well, I don't know in car but in plane, about 3 hours." I went on to ask him does he live in Siberia or something. Leo says, "Yes, he does! He is the president of Siberia." Um I don't think that he used this word correctly because Siberia is technically part of Russia but I still understood what he meant. He meant that his grandfather pretty much runs Siberia. I was amazed to say the least.

Then there is Nastya. She is in the 8th grade and yesterday was our first private lesson together. I found out that her father sells airplanes. Thats all she knew about his business. And she went to the Beyonce concert last week that I really wanted to go to but couldn't find out how to get tickets. I am going to really enjoy her because I can talk to her normally! Yea!

The kids are all great this week. Its been wonderful. Even my normally bad ones have been pretty good. But I think we are all ready for fall break.

Thanks for all the encouraging comments. I really love them and love you guys!! I'll be home in less than 2 months so get ready!!

(Mel, my email has changed to I need to give you updated flight info.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Can we talk about how much I love receiving mail! I got a card from the Thomspons gang yesterday!! Thank you so much! It definately made my day. I loved the drawings and all the sweet messages, even the one in Russian! And I noticed it only took 12 days to get it. Thats not too bad! So if you want you can all send me cards!! They are very exciting.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Running Away

So this weekend was mostly calm and quite. It was cold and I had an extremely long week so we spent the evenings indoors enjoying the fellowship of friends and good food of course. Since the sun rises around 9 am and sets around 5 pm, it leaves limited time during the day to do anything as we try to stay indoors as much as possible when it is dark outside.

Dacey and I went looking all over Moscow for these boots she wanted on Saturday afternoon. While we were out we noticed this man began to follow us. Thankfully we are always aware of our surroundings and noticed him. So we link arms and begin to walk as fast as we possibly can. He catches up to us still. So I decide we are going to go into this grocery store and maybe we can loose him. But he follows us in. Usually there are security officers in every store so I thought this would be a good idea. No security officer. So the guy is like 3 feet behind us and we bolt out of the store, pushing through some ladies, and run all the way to the mall about 300 yards away. He ran after us! But by the time we got to the mall he was gone. I had already passed several security officers earlier in the mall so I knew this would be a good place. So nothing happened but he sure did freak us out. I think maybe I should by some mase (sp?). But don't worry, this kind of thing doesn't happen everyday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

White Christmas

Everything outside is white!! I feel like it should be Christmas but it is only mid-October! I just don't know what to do with myself and this weather! It was so windy and snowy yesterday that my umbrella kept turning inside out even when I held it with 2 hands. I am looking out the window right now and everything is covered in snow. How crazy! It should snow most of the week and then warm back up to the mid 30's. Then come November it will snow till March or April. Oh my goodness!!!

Polina came over on Saturday and we had a wonderful meal and my first Russian lesson. It went wonderfully and I am so excited about spending time with Polina. She is a wonderful girl.

I began dance lessons last week. (Don't laugh) I know this sounds funny because we all know I can't dance very well. Hence the reasoning in beginning classes. The dance teacher at Presnya is offering a class for teachers. Today we will have class again. I am so excited!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I know it has been a while since I have written but it seems like life has been pretty busy lately. Sometimes I feel like I hardly have time to breathe much less get on the computer.

  • My observation went wonderful on Tuesday. My supervisors and other teachers watched me teach fourth grade. They had wonderful things to say and thought that I did a great job. They actually wanted to know how I did some things. So that is very exciting for me.
  • I have a Russian tutor! Her name is Polina. We will meet on Saturdays and I will feed her in exchange for her helping me with my Russian. This is a huge answer to prayer as I could not afford to pay a tutor but need to learn Russian badly. Yea!!
Other than that I am just trying to keep warm and dry as it is nearing freezing temperatures and raining all the time!

Monday, October 1, 2007


So its a beautiful Monday in Moscow as was this weekend. Too bad the temperature and pressure changes have made my head feel like it is going to explode! But I tried to enjoy it the best I can.

Sorry the last blog was a little crazy. I was just letting out my current frustrations. You know, some days are like that. And some things just really drive me crazy. I think I got so frustrated becuase this man has told me before that he is a believer. So to say those things is just a little ridiculous to me.

Oh, and sorry for the spelling errrors I tend to always have. I type kinda fast and have very little time on the computer. So I am trying to check all my stuff and write so I don't usually read over what I have written. Sorry.

And I have had a request to write about what I am doing here. Well, I am teaching conversational English to pre school through 4th grade at Moscow Economic School. I attend Internation Christian Fellowship and have enjoyed getting involved there. I attend a small group and will be helping lead a youth small group soon. We are also going to be volunteering in an orphanage this month. So I am attempting to follow God's call and this is where He has lead me. I am having a great time too! Let me know if you would like to know more!

I'll be back soon....

Friday, September 28, 2007

Wishing I didn't speak English....

I know this sounds like a weird title. But sometimes I wish I didn't speak English. There is one teacher here who is foreign, speaks English but is not from America. He is a single,older man and very difficult. He is constantly complaining about everything here. Sometimes I want to say,"If you hate it so much just leave!" But today he said to the wrong things. As many of you know I do not make a lot of money over here. I make about 1/3 of what a teacher in Oklahoma makes. But the Lord always provides. So its all good. Well aparently our wages, good accomidations, holiday time, etc. is not good enough for this man. He is ranting and raving in my office about how we don't get paid enough, don't get enough holiday time, etc. He goes on to tell me that at the British International and Anglo American school they pay their teachers much more and give them all this time off during holidays. Well I continued to tell him that this is no those schools. I guess he didn't like that I wasn't agreeing with his anger. But then he stepped over the line. He said, " That's the problem with all you fundamentalist baptists! You just accept whatever people give you and don't complain. You make it too hard for the rest of use who are trying to make a living. You say that you don't care how much you make as long as you survive and that is so childish!" Yes I use ! becuase he was shouting. Well as you can guess this was not a good thing to say to me. So I said something like, "First of all, do not call me a fundamentalist baptist becuase I'm not sure you or I would use that term correctly. Senond, never slander my faith like that. Do not use my faith against me. Yes, you are correct, I am a believer. And I do believe that as long as I make enough to make it and take care of my responsibilites then I am just fine. And yes, I teach not for the money. If I expected a lot of money, I would not be a teacher. So do not criticize me for teaching for a deeper meaning. Maybe you need to think about why you teach. I do not think we teach for the same reasons." He went on to say that that was a childish way of thinking. And that if I had real responsibilities then I would understand. Again, not a good thing to say to me. I went on to tell him that I do have responsibilities and I take care of them just fine. And just becuase I have faith does not mean I am childish. I was pretty fuming at this point but keeping my composure quite well.

If there are two things I am most passionate about it is my faith and teaching. Do not ever tell me that I am childish for not teaching for the money. And do not ever tell me that its you fundamentalist baptist who make it harder for the rest of us. Leave!!! Is what I wanted to say to him. Obviously this is not the place for you! And I think the worst part is, the drama teacher shares an office with us, and he understands English very well.

Oiy Vey (sp)!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Broken Shower

So I guess things just like breaking around here. As soon as we get one thing fixed something else breaks. Last night it was our shower. I decided that since I was freezing (becuase of no heat in our apt.) I would take a hot shower last night before bed. Well I was in there like a whole one minute before water started spewing everywhere! The ancient cord had split. So I thought well I will just take a bath instead. That will still be nice. But as soon as I begin filling the tub, the water is kinda a dark grey color. This completely freaks me out. (but is better than when Kat tried it and it was yellow) So I wash off and get out. Hopefully today the school will send someone to fix it. It was quite the experience.

But on another note. I was invited to go with 2nd and 3rd grade on their field trip yesterday. We went to a park that has one of Cathrine the Great's palaces in it. I visited this park last weekend and we spent 6 hours walking it and still didn't see it all. This time I got to go inside the palace. I asked one of the teachers if I needed to pay for my ticket into the palace. she said "no, our parents pay a lot of money so we can do these things" It was just great. I laughed. This museum/palace reminded me of a small version of the Hermitage, her winter palace/art museum in St. Petersburg. There was even a gold ballroom. It was beautiful.

I am continuing to enjoy the sunshine! I love it. Plus I have to soak it up while I can. I am about to not see the sun shine for like 4 months!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Washing Machines

We have our washing machine back!!! The repairman came yesterday and took a wire out of the pump that did not belong in there. Now we can finally wash clothes again. It has only been broken since Thursday which may not seem long to you. But when your washing machine does about 1/3 of what yours in the states does and you have to hang EVERYTHING to dry, this can be a bad deal. So I am trying to catch up on laundry. There are wet clothes hanging everywhere in our apartment!! Its quite the site. Since it had been so long I had plenty of hangers to hang everything on. We were a little nervous about having a repair man come into our arpartment. But we scheduled the time so that we were both home. And he turned out to be very nice and he even stayed a little while to make sure that it worked properly. So I was very pleased with the service. We did have a Russian friend call and explain to the company what the problem was so that they fully understood when they came out. A wonderful experience!

Other than that life is the same old same old. I did get invited to go on a field trip to the park tomorrow. So I don't have to go to any classess! This should be exciting. It is with the second grade. I feel honored that I was asked to come along. Parents are coming to so maybe I will meet them.

Life here is good. The sun is shining this week! And we are told it will be the last week of sunshine until the spring!! So I am trying to soak in as much as possible.

God is good!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fourth Graders

So I know this is the class I am usually complaining about. But today they were so much fun. And, at the end of the lesson several of them said, "Thank you for the lesson Miss Dana." Now this didn't come from my suck up kids either. I think it was actually for real. I was pretty excited and took it as a compliment. It doesn't happen everyday that a student thanks their teacher for teaching them. Especially coming from students who I continually got onto in class. Actually, I think I began to make a boy cry today. oops. I didn't mean to. He simply could not find his self control so I made him sit in the front row next to the girls who chose to sit there. I think they like to be as far away from the boys as possible. But he chose the option of staying in my class so that is what he had to do. And then he was fine later but his face got all red and his eyes teary. At least he took me seriously! But I did feel kind of bad.

So hopefully I will not be getting sick anymore! I'm about tired of this! But it was a wonderfully blessed day thus far. And tonight is small group at Nathan and Masha's which is always a blessing. Can't wait!

Carpe Diem!

Friday, September 14, 2007


As we all now, I hate being cold. Now this is kinda funny since I might has well have moved to Antartica! I am already so cold and it is only half way through September. Well, let me clarify, I am so cold indoors! Yes, the heat has not been turned one yet. Because I guess we still live in the Soviet times and cannot control our own heat. So we are almost a week into the temperature being in the low forties. One more week and they should turn on the heat. I bundle up to go outside and I am walking so quickly and walking everywhere that I don't seem to be cold outside. I'm only cold inside! So I drink a lot of hot tea, praise the Lord for my water boiler thingy. It boils the water in about 2 minutes. So now not only is the water clean to drink but also warm to make tea. Between the hot tea, my warm socks, fleece, hot showers, and a lot of blankets I am able to stay warm. But I will be so thankful for the heat when it comes on. But don't worry, then I will complain about it being to hot because there is no way to regulate the heat. Oh and its been poring down rain for about a week now too. So staying indoors is key. Oh wait, I have to walk everywhere. haha! Life is great isn't it.

But on another note, work is going very well. I am really enjoying the majority of my students. I am also loving getting to know my new roomie better and making new friends. When this happens it is like a sweet aroma from the Lord. Sometimes I think he does things in my life just to see me smile. Of course then there are the times when He does things so that He can get a good laugh. Either way isn't too bad!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sitting in a chair

So I have been reading lately (because we all know that I don't have any tv to watch) and I just thought I would share with you something I found just great and refreshing.
"...I recently heard a man, while explaining how a person could convert to Christianity, say the experience was not unlike deciding to sit in a chair. He said that while a person can have faith that a chair will hold him, it is not unitl he sits in the chair that he has acted on his faith.
I wondered as I heard this if the chair whas a kind of symbol for Jesus, and how irritated Jesus might be if a lot of people kept trying to sit on Him.
And then I wondered at how Jesus could say He was a Shepherd and we were sheep, and that the Father in heaven was our Father and we were His children, and that He Himself was a Bridegroom and we were His bride, and that He was a King and we were His subjects, and yet we somehow missed His meaning and though becoming a Christian was like sitting in a chair." - Searching For God Knows What, Donald Miller

I wonder how often I could be accused of comparing having a relationship with Christ like sitting on a chair. If that is as deep as my relationship goes then I don't have much of a relationship to speak of. I do understand how people us this comparison when explaining faith but knowing Christ and being His takes a lot more from me that sitting in a chair.

...just food for thought...

Friday, September 7, 2007


One of my favorite profs used to always say: Thou shalt be flexible and you will never be broken. I have tried to continue remembering that this week as every hour seems to get a little more frustrating. This is becuase I continually show up to class but the teacher is not expecting me, or I show up to class and several teachers are looking for me because I am not in their class. This is because no one grade operates on the same time schedule so they double book me! And they give me classes but don't put it in my schedule so I don't even know why I am being looked for. It is a little crazy. But the best one was yesterday 11.10 am, 3rd grade. I walk into class after being told that I would be assisting the teacher in translating some key words of the lesson into English. The lesson was on communities, what they are, why we have them and how they function. Well when I walk in, I am told that the class is now all mine! I definately made up a 40minute lesson on the spot. And taught two of them back to back. I didn't have any materials, anything prepared. I just winged it, led a discussion, and had them copy down what I put on the board like the teacher asked me to. It was quite unexpected.

So if you think things are crazy in America please come visit me!!

continually suprised, Dana

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Real Teacher!

So I am officially a real teacher! It has been great. I am surprised by how much English my students know but then there are some who don't know any. Today I have taught 2 classess and I have two more to go. Hopefully all goes well.

Things have been wonderful. I believe we had what you call a divine meeting with someone the other day at the Bellini stand. We happened to make friends with an Italian guy who is doing research in Moscow. He heard us speaking English and we began to speak. We invited him to our church picnic at the Embassy country home. He came and brought friends. It was a wonderful beginning to building great friendships with non believers (or so I think they are not). So I am so excited about this. This is not something that happens every day. People do not just walk up on the streets and begin talking to total strangers in Moscow. Usually I would not spend much time talking with a stranger but you could tell he had good intentions. As he put it, he had a headache from trying to speak and understand Russian all day and wanted to let his head rest and speak some English. So this was wonderful.

I love seeing the Lord work. It begins so small but I don't believe in things happenign by chance......

Monday, August 27, 2007

Beautiful day!

Well it is another beautiful day in москва! The weather is lovely. Last week it was 98.7!!Can you believe. Wow all I wanted was a pool and some AC.

God has been so good to me! I just thought I would remind you of His kindness. I love how He takes the time to not only take care of my needs but make me happy. He knows just how to do it too!

Let me know if you are not on my email list and would like to be added!

Humbled, Dana

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Feeling the Love!

I'm here!! It is so wonderful. I have been showered with blessing every moment upon my arrival. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to watch the Lord as He is faithful in always taking care of me. Not only has He provided for all of my need but has gone above and beyond with the hospitality I have been shown. As I am beginning to move in and seeing MES today, it is feeling more like home. I cannot wait to fully begin my journey. I can't lie, I am feeling pretty lucky! My life is just wonderful. I am so thankful that I followed to Lord's calling and came here. I would have been missing out on so much. Soon we should have internet in our apt and I can upload some pics. If not I will just head down to McDonalds! Free Wi Fi!

Thank you so much for you comments and prayers, they are so encouraging!

-My health, not to get to exhausted and get sick while getting over jet lag.
-My fear that I will be a bad teacher. I know it sounds crazy but I just hope they can understand me and I can show them the Love of Christ.
-To get all settled in before school begins!

I love you all!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Sovereignt:y...I love knowing at the end of the day that the Lord is sovereign. Of course it is good that He is good, loving, merciful, full of grace, and so much more. But as I am preparing to leave for Russia in a few days, I cannot express to you how comforting it is to know that the Lord is sovereign!

A few scriptures that I read today and just love...

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...

Romans 10:14-15 How thenwill they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how wil they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unles they are sent? Just as it is written, HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!


Everyday- Not to get to completeing overwhelmed as I am preparing to leave in a few days.
Spiritually- That I will continue to learn what it is to surrender to the Lord everyday and how to live that.
Goals- To make it to Russia and begin making friends, learning the language, and serve the Lord.