Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Language Barrier

It is so weird to teach kids in English, to be able to speak freely, and not have to worry about if they understand what you are saying or not. I was back to teaching Sunday School in the States today, and it was so liberating! To be able to interact with the kids, in real time, not having to process everything through a translator, or spend 5 minutes trying to communicate a simple sentance in English, is for a lack of better words, an anderanline rush. I love it! It also made me realize how massive of a barrier language is in sharing the Word of God. This was by far my biggest struggle in Ukraine. However, It has created a renewed interest in learning foreign languages.

Here are a few more bio's on my kids:


Ivan was Olexiy's best friend. I worried that after Ivan left that Olexiy would stop coming too, but he proved to be faithful. We had one child who had a mental handicap, and he was seated next to him. I was extremely impressed by Olexiy's level of maturity and how he handled the situation, even in the face of some pretty harsh peer pressure. His English wasn’t so hot, and he also struggled with memory work. But he was persistent, and always earned his Chupa Chup, as seen in the picture, that I handed out when they were able to successfully recite the passage from memory. (They loved their Chupa Chups!)


She is a gymnast and consequently has required diets. The first day she came, I was passing out snacks and encouraged her to take more but she refused. After discussing it in Ukrainian with her friends, one of them final came up with the word “diet” in English. After this I always teased her when she took cookies. “No diet?”


Maria’s friend. She didn't know much English, but much like Olexiy, I was impressed by her motivation to learn the memory work. She was a really nice girl and I would of liked to have gotten to know her better. I was really happy to see her show up at the VBS concert on Sunday because she didn’t start attending VBS until the last few days.

"Jesus blood never fails me."

David Knepprath


Melissa Jo said...

:) those kids seem so cool, i can see why you think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I love Chupas(?) they have a chocolate and I think vanilla flavor which is great! Good Nite-melissa jo

David Knepprath said...

In Ukraine they had about 20-25 different flavors. I always wandered around to a different store to stock up on them for my kids. As if being American and not speaking their language wasn't enough, I always felt out of place walking up to the checkout with a handful of 20 Chupa Chups. Which is the other reason I always went to a different store, I didn't want people to think I was crazy (more so then they already did). :) I wanted to explain what a young man like me wanted so many Chupa Chups for, but I COULDN'T! That was frustrating. Haha. One time though, I rubbed my stomach and said "Chupa Chups..MMMMM". I don't know why the lady laughed at me.

Mirranda said...

Taking pictures of apple juice and eating handfuls of Chupa Chups... why would they think you were crazy?

Kristin said...

david! so fun to see your pics and hear about everyone -- i'm looking forward to swapping mission trip stories ... i have to share some chupa chups trivia ... i think they're spanish in origin, since the verb "chupar" means "to suck," and they're suckers. one more reason to love latin america.

David Knepprath said...

Kristin, I can't wait to talk to you and swap stories! I look forward to seeing you soon.