September Update: Greetings from Lithuania!

Dear Friends and Family:

Laba diena! Greetings from Lithuania! After a few weeks of adjusting, we are excited to share with you what things are like and what has been happening.

MOVING AND SETTLING

Our travels on August 11-12 went quite smoothly; we were blessed to have Benj’s mother fly with us, and then stay for ten days to help us get established. We figured out the grocery store and the bus system together, and enjoyed some fun sightseeing excursions, including the amber museum, the sea museum and aquarium on the Curonian Spit, and a dolphin show.

We love our first-floor apartment. It is on the end of the building, so we have windows on three sides with a nice view of the garden and the pond. It is perhaps slightly smaller than our old Lansdale apartment, but it has plenty of storage space. Daniel loves his loft bed, with room underneath for his train set, and he has decorated with wall stickers and posters from friends. He also has a bicycle with a basket and a bell. The previous occupants were very kind to leave behind miscellaneous cleaners, spices, office supplies, tools, toys, etc., which has made the transition much smoother.

Pray that we will quickly feel at home here and be thankful for all that we have, without dwelling on the things that we left behind.

There is not nearly as much English spoken here as we expected, though we can still get around fine. Benj and Corrie will each take a semester-long class to learn basic Lithuanian. Benj goes out with a group of guys for fun on occasion, and enjoys prayer and conversation with his colleagues. Corrie is getting to know the other faculty wives and will be part of a women’s Bible study. We are considering whether to send Daniel to a Lithuanian preschool part-time to learn the language and have some time with other children; we are slowly discovering other kids his age, but it will take some time and effort to get to know them. In the meantime, he loves doing preschool work with Mommy at home. Elizabeth is walking quite well, and wanders around the house turning off the lights because she is just tall enough to reach the switches.

Please pray for fast-forming relationships that will give us a support network. Pray for our language studies. Pray for wisdom in discerning and managing the needs of our children.

MINISTRY

Benj started classes on Monday, September 1. As students arrived, it was fun to see license plates from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, and many other countries. There is also a significant contingent of students from USA colleges and universities spending a semester abroad.

The first day of school involved a convocation, followed by a parade through town with students and faculty of the other Klaipėda universities. Benj teaches Pentateuch, New Testament Epistles, and Hebrew. He is adjusting to a schedule where he sets his own hours and gets to spend all day doing work that he actually enjoys. We will be hosting his students in our home over the next few weeks to meet them, so many thanks to all of you who contributed hot chocolate packets! Corrie will soon start helping with discussion in an introductory Bible class. Over half of the students have never read the Bible before. The discussion panel of staff and faculty serves to answer student questions and show examples of lives transformed by a personal relationship with God through His Word.

Please pray for time management, for clear teaching, and for wisdom in connecting with the students at the appropriate level, both academically and spiritually.

The last few weeks, we have attended Miesto Bažnyčia (City Church), which holds services in Lithuanian with translation into English and Russian. The pastor and his family invited us and some other LCC families over for a pancake breakfast to get to know us. The number of Protestants in Lithuania is small (estimated at less than 1%), but City Church is growing and will meet this year on the LCC campus. LCC faculty and students hope to get more involved with this church this year.

Pray for unity among the Christian churches in Lithuania. Pray for City Church and its ministry in Klaipeda. Pray for Christians at LCC to join in and serve among the people of this church. Pray for us to wisely choose how to get involved.

IN TOUCH

We love to hear what’s going on in your lives! Email is fine, but phone calls and Skype are greatly appreciated as well. Our phone number is 267-498-7208, which is a domestic call from the USA but rings a phone right in our living room through the miracle of the interwebs. Remember that it is 7-10 hours later here (Eastern Europe Time)! But if we miss your call, leave a message and we will call you back.

Our mailing address is:

Giffone, c/o LCC International University

Kretingos g. 36

Klaipėda, Lithuania 92307

We’ve attached some pictures from our first month, and here is a link to a video tour of our apartment.

SUPPORT

We praise God that our first year is fully funded, and we are nearly half way there for next year! Thank you as always for your generous care for us. We are reaching the time of year when many churches are making their budgets for 2015. If you think that your church might be interested in supporting us, please put us in touch with your missions committee. Pray that God would continue to meet all our needs.

______________

Thank you all for your prayers and support. Stay tuned for further updates; be sure to follow us on the web and join (and share) our Facebook group. To receive monthly updates about happenings at LCC, you may wish to sign up for the university’s newsletter, Transformations.

In Christ,

Benj and Corrie Giffone (for Daniel and Elizabeth)

______________

(If you would like to unsubscribe to these email updates, please respond to benjamingiffone and let us know. No hard feelings—I promise! We get lots of email, too.)

Advertisements

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, exiled to the land of Phillies fans…an Old Testament professor and former liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three, brother-in-law to Josh and Hannah…uncle to Marshall.
This entry was posted in Giffones in Lithuania. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s