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The work (and training) continues

Spring seems to have arrived in our part of the world…FINALLY!!! We continued to have many cold and overcast days throughout the month of April and even had snow near the end of the month, but now we seem to be turning a corner to warmer temperatures and more sun. May reminds me of March in Oklahoma – minus the tornadoes of course.  Soon I hope we will be wearing flip-flops, t-shirts, and capris and leaving the jackets at home!

The work at the Agape Rehabilitation Complex continues. The waiting lists are long for both pediatric and adult rehabilitation and the schedule remains consistently full for all of our therapists. We welcomed a new member to our therapy team in March. Natasha joined us as a speech therapist in training. She previously worked as a caregiver at Agape, but expressed a desire to become a therapist and agreed to fill our need for a speech therapist. She is praying about and pursuing opportunities for speech therapy education in Ukraine. Because her schedule is not full, she also helps Veeka keep up with all the secretarial work.

All nine students in the second class of the PT Training Center returned for their second session at the end of April. We began with a test over the previous session before jumping into a large quantity of new information. What a joy to see their progress in learning the material and hear how they have utilized the knowledge and skills they learned during the first session. Most of the students serve in ministries that do not yet provide rehabilitation. But that did not deter a couple of them from conducting educational sessions with moms of children with disabilities on topics such as properly lifting and transferring their growing children and performing passive range of motion. I rejoiced to hear that after completing only one session, they went home and found ways to impact the people God has put in their ministries. And then they returned for this second session with eager anticipation and expectation of the new knowledge and skills they would gain!

We had a guest lecturer spend a day with us. Dr. Sarojini Budden is a developmental pediatrician with more than 45 years of experience! We were privileged to have her share a fraction of her knowledge with our students and also to spend a day consulting some of the families whose children receive rehabilitation at our center.
Some of our topics for this session included normal gait…
Learning the phases of the gait cycle in small groups
Fitting patients for assistive devices and training in their use…
Analysis of posture…

 

Spinal cord injury and spina bifida…
Students attempting various methods of transferring from the floor to a wheelchair
And various special tests…

 

 

We covered quite a bit of material and had an enjoyable time together in the process.

 

 

 

We look forward to welcoming this class of students back for their third session in August!
May 7th marked the 10th anniversary of our rehabilitation center! The first time I came to Lutsk was in September 2007, just a few months after the opening of the rehabilitation center. So I have had the amazing privilege to be part of many of these ten years of rehabilitation. Sergiy and Natasha Bolchuk invited our therapy team to their house for dinner and celebration to mark this anniversary. Unfortunately, not everyone was able to attend, but we enjoyed looking back at God’s faithfulness over the past ten years of rehabilitation and looking forward to what God might do in and through our center in the coming years.
The most recent exciting news for our ministry was yesterday’s wedding between Veeka and Sergiy! This marriage was quite exciting to witness as it is the first for our ministry between a person with a disability and a person without a disability.  Veeka has been involved in the ministry since her early teenage years, beginning with crafts and camps for children with disabilities. She has been working with our rehab team since last August, overseeing the secretarial work and also in training as an occupational therapist. Sergiy goes to a daughter church of Fimiam and began helping at our camps for adults with disabilities as few years ago. Currently, he is a caregiver at Agape and is in the second class of students at the PT Training Center. We rejoiced to witness their love for one another grow over the past months and their union in marriage yesterday!

 

The wedding party

 

 

We continue with our busy schedule as we anticipate the final session of the first class of students beginning June 7. Please join us in praying for the preparation and translation of the material for that session. And camps, which begin in July, will be here before we know it. We are praying that many of the patients we have had this past year will be able to come and hear the good news of the Gospel. Thanks for joining us in prayer!

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