Thursday, June 19, 2008

We made it!!!

Spencer and I did our sermons today and it went very well!

For Spencer it was his first time speaking in public, his first time doing a sermon and he had to do it in front of our classmates who have all graduated from seminary and he just finished high school last month! Tom and I are so proud of him!

I am grateful to be at the end of this phase of language learning. Two weeks ago I was ready to quit school... I was the oldest person in my class and I was feeling it. I felt like my memory was not as good as my classmates and that I was never going to remember which cases went with which verbs and what ending to use for nouns or adjectives even after studying for two years!

I am grateful to Tom, for not letting me give up, to Joyce, Stephanie and Sveta who prayed me through this year of school, and above all to God for bringing me to a place of acceptance about my capabilities. Our teacher told us today that since she has been at the school we are the second class to make it all the way to lesson 125!! I am so glad to have stuck it out to the very end!

I am grateful for the lessons I have learned along the way... not just about the language and the culture but also about myself. One lesson that I can share is that I had been shying away from talking to certain women here out of fear. Last fall I invited this person over and we talked about the fact that she had not been in my house the entire time we have lived here. I realised that my fear was affecting our ability to bond with the very people we came here to help. After that I made it a point to speak to her every week at church, and then we attended a 5 week Bible study together and even a concert! I found out later that she thought I didn't talk to her because I couldn't speak Russian. Not true! I was just afraid to make a mistake or look stupid!

Our church family is so patient and loving with us... I don't even understand why I was afraid in the first place!

Anyway, Spencer and I are done with the first level of our Russian language learning. I am chilling here in the apartment with my wonderful, supportive, incredible husband, and Spencer is out painting the town with his friend Vlad!


  1. Congratulations! Time for a party.

    the music ministers wife

  2. Yeah, Spencer and Alida! You are a huge encouragement to all of us first year learners!!!!

  3. Alida, I am so, so, proud of you!! Congratulations. It's so hard to learn a language when you are older, and look how you are doing it!! Woo hoo!!

  4. AussieMaz4:07 AM

    Congratulations Alida!

  5. Thanks everyone! I really am pleased and relieved to be finished... it was a lot of hard work but it is so worth it!

  6. Congratulations!
    All of your work in Russia is amazing to me. I can't imagine doing what you are doing. You are a blessing to people like me who stay close to home.