Friday, September 21, 2007

Our Host Family (Joni)

It's shameful that it has taken me this long to introduce you to this important family in our lives here in Moldova! My only excuse is that I had been wanting to get a picture with all 7 of them together, but that is entirely impossible. I've never seen all 7 of them together myself, much less assembled to take a picture. So I ended up settling for a picture with the 4 of them that we see most often, and you'll just have to imagine the other 3. :)

The above picture was taken at our house when we had a dinner with Dan & Beth before they went back to Holland. I provided the location, Tanya provided the food. I definitely got the good end of the deal. Front row from left: Anatoli, Nelly, Tanya, and Beth. Back row from left: Slavik, Dan with baby Rebecca, and Justin.

This family is the kindest, most generous and hospitable, most patient host family we could hope to have! They have hosted people in their home (or the apartment beside their home that we live in) non-stop for the past 5 years! They are Russian speakers, so Justin has a great time talking with them and practicing his language. They are really patient in helping him learn - they've never had anyone stay here that spoke as well as Justin, so they are excited to have people staying at their home that they can communicate with beyond sign language!

Anatoli and Tanya have five children: Slavik (23), Natasha (21), Ina (19), Sasha (17), and Nelly (7). Their four oldest children are all out of school and have various jobs, which is why it's hard to coordinate their schedules enough to get them all in one place at one time!

Slavik is the oldest, and his English is pretty good. He is SUCH a nice guy and so willing to help with anything! When I first met him, he had this crazed look in his eye that I wasn't so sure what it was about - but it didn't take long for me to see that was just the joy of the Lord shining out of him. He is great!

Natasha and Ina are both deeply involved in church work and ministries to children. They both also have boyfriends who are currently living in Moscow, so they spend a lot of their time pining for them. Natasha's relationship is more serious, and they plan to be married within the next year or two. Ina is the one in the family who has the best English - she translated for me at church once and did a great job.

Sasha is the computer expert in the family, and spends all hours of the day and night on his computer. He also works with his dad in the family business of renovating minibuses, and he does a great job at that.

Nelly is the baby of the family, and she just started first grade this year. She has a little trouble hearing out of one of her ears, and so she sometimes has a hard time understanding Justin's Russian. She also has a hard time understanding that I DO NOT speak Russian - she asks me all sorts of questions every time I see her, and just stands there expectantly waiting for me to answer. Sorry, Nelly, I don't speak Russian. :)

So we are very thankful for this family, and we are glad to have them as our friends here! Please join us in praising God for them, and also in praying that He will bless them immeasurably for their kindness to us!


Mom said...

I'm very thankful that you have been provided a family to be surrounded by, too. They sound like wonderful people, and to be so hospitable that they've hosted people constantly for 5 years!!!!

Ryan said...

Excellent! What a blessing!