Sunday, July 17, 2011

Where has the month gone?!

What we had thought would be a casual few weeks of not traveling turned into a flurry of non-stop activity! We have traveled from NY to CT to FL and back, and then to Ukraine and back, and Dan has gone to NYC and back! WHEW! I am filled with things I want to try to digest and put into posts, but it all  is so compressed in my head!

We are leaving (aGaiN!) tomorrow at 6am to head to Tennessee - an "all female trip" except for Dan! The boys will be at Mt Lou San for a week at teen camp, and the rest of the J's (including the elusive O!) and Grandma Jane will be going to Johnson City, TN, for the week.

As a start to the "fill in" of the past month, I am embedding a video I made of our time in Ukraine with the Ireland family. What a wonderful (nearly) 2 weeks we had! We journeyed with them to each of the churches they have established, and Dan taught and preached several times. They organized a church picnic that had to be held indoors because of the rain. Ukraine did it's very best to make us feel right at home and it rained nearly every day we were there! We weren't too upset though. Any Rochestarian worth their salt can handle a few days of rain! 

Cyrillic Alphabet
The thing I found the most unexpected was the absolute lack of gleaning passive information. Ukraine is a dominantly Russian speaking culture, although many do speak the Ukrainian language as well. I had absolutely no knowledge of Russian, I couldn't even say "Yes", "no", or "excuse me"... which really was no big deal turns out. They seldom use that phrase! :) Not that they are rude people in any way. They are very hospitable, and very friendly. There is just so little room for "personal space" if one had to say "excuse me" every time there was a bump, nudge, or accidental push, nothing else would ever be said! 

Money symbol
I also had absolutely no knowledge of their alphabet. Some of the letters are the same, but they say a different sound. Like "KNIb" is "Kiev"!! (only the N has to be backwards!) I went to the store with Robin, and every jar, bottle and squeeze pack was a mystery purchase to me! Dan asked Kayla (16) to accompany him to the candy aisle to interpret for him! MUST get the right chocolate! Who cares if we have horseradish sauce instead of mayo... chocolate must be understood! 

equal to about $175 USD
Also they use hryvna (gre-vna) as currency. It is 8 to $1. 00 and they sell everything in metric. I was a little out of my element at the local store to say the least! I was thankful this was not a solo venture as I would have learned the hard way on alot of purchases!  It made me very conscious of the fact that when I get to Zambia I will be making these adjustments as well, and I will need to be very prayed up and prepared! I was overwhelmed just trying to figure things out, and I knew I could always ask Robin, and worst case scenario I was leaving in a few days! In Zambia, it will be many, many months of learning through trial and error I am sure! Perhaps now I know a few things I will learn much better before going! Like metric weights and their relation to how much I will need to buy! 

Probably the most impactful thing I learned is an absolute need for us (and ANY foreign field missionary!!) to LEARN THE LANGUAGE of the people we will be ministering to. We have planned all along to learn ChiChewa, a tribal language of the Eastern Province in Zambia, but after being in a foreign land where I knew absolutely nothing of the language, I felt all the more persuaded of the unquestionable necessity of it. I remember Robin asking over and over for prayer for her language skills and knowledge. She has been on the field for 16 years, and she still studies it for hours nearly every day. WOO!  She converses with them wonderfully, (in my opinion! We always ended up with what we were needing at the store, and none of the church members looked at her strangely so...!) but it does not minimize the fact that she is still working on mastering the language. Why? To REACH THE PEOPLE for JESUS CHRIST!!! 

I was blessed, humbled, encouraged, and compelled after our time with the Irelands! I hope you enjoy the video, and will get a glimpse of our time with the Irelands and in Ukraine. The song you hear in the beginning is played and sung by Edic, a member of a church in Belio Tsercov. I just LoVeD the song, and hopefully will have an English version of it someday. It sounds like such a beautiful love song of praise to the Lord and for the Word of God- who knows... perhaps one day we will sing it in ChiChewa in Zambia!

Ukraine with the Irelands from Janice Jalowiec on Vimeo.
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1 comment:

Savannah Pestke said...

SO glad you posted about your trip! Although, I would like a phone call with even more details. :) I loved reading that you went to the grocery store and learned so much! It is so true that it probably prepared you for Zambia... or at least I think so! However, I will say this. It doesn't take long for a girl to find her way through the grocery store or how to spend money. No worries. :) The language on the other hand... pray, pray, pray! It's very challenging but soooo worth it. I long to be able to communicate like Robin does. To read that she studies hours a day inspired me. Thank you Jan and Thank you Robin. :) Love you guys! So glad you took this trip. I just know it was beneficial to your missionary experience. Not to mention encouragment to the Irelands!