Dear Praying Friends and Family,
I hope this letter finds you all well in the Lord Jesus and rejoicing in His service! It is going on six years since our last furlough and we find ourselves missing home and longing to see our family and friends in the churches. The first week of January is always spent preparing for taxes, which affords me the opportunity to relive what the Lord has done and take a look at the sacrifices of God’s people so that we can be here. I am humbled and thankful for all you who give so that the people of Ukraine can know our Savior Jesus Christ. Please know that we pray for you often that Jesus Christ would be real to you and that He would answer your prayers in such a way to bring Him glory and strengthen your faith.
Holiday Season: If it feels a little late in the year to be talking about last Christmas I’d like to let you know that we still receive Christmas cards in March and April! We wish to send our thanks to those who sent special gifts for our family and ministry for Christmas. We felt very spoiled this year! Our church and family were thrilled to take up a special love offering for our missionaries who are engaged in winning souls and planting churches.
The children in our Sunday School presented a play depicting the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, reciting Scripture from memory and singing the classic hymns. We had a great New Year’s celebration with preaching, singing, testimonies, prayer, and….fireworks! It is not illegal in Ukraine to shoot fireworks so every house and business puts on their own display at the same time. There is literally a fireworks display in any direction you look for about 20 minutes after midnight. I still have a bit of boyish pyromania in me, so I think this is very cool!
Building Project/Fund Raising:We are thrilled to report that we have 20% of the necessary funds to begin our building project. The Lord sure has been good to us and encouraging us in this project. The weather has been unusually warm this year which means that we can start as soon as we are ready. We are still working on trying to get the three phase electricity hooked up. The electric company is currently working on the paperwork which we hope will be completed soon.
Ministry in a Nutshell: We continue to rejoice and give thanks to the Lord for His goodness to our church in the area of soul winning. Six people have received Christ over the past several weeks as a result of our people doing personal work. It was especially good to hear of one lady, Oksana, who has prayed for the Lord to allow her the privilege of leading someone to Christ for two years now! Sister Sveta, who recently received Christ herself, gave a great testimony of how she led one of her friends to the Lord. We are preparing for a baptismal service in the near future.
We are also encouraged by three new men who have begun faithfully attending services. One came
after being released from prison. It has been hard for him but he is really trying to do right. Another man came back after being in the world for about seventeen years. He struggles with drug addiction and now has AIDS, which is a first for us as a church to deal with. If any of you pastors have had to deal with this I sure would like some advice. I have a US number: 513-376-1011. Or, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to minister to this man but want to protect the congregation as well.
The Bible Institute is continuing well and keeps me very busy. We are all looking forward to graduation and having more time for evangelism and catching up on various projects. Please pray that we finish well.
Family Update:We are very excited that our daughter, Miriam, is back home with us for a while till she finishes her degree. It is a good thing that she returned home when she did. We suspected that something was not quite right with her health and ran some tests. The blood tests revealed that she is anemic and that she has the same condition that Naomi has been fighting. It is a condition where they cannot absorb iron, even though iron may be present in the blood in sufficient quantities. Naomi has been working with a functional doctor in the USA to help her with her various health problems. Things are improving but we still need a lot of prayer. My cancer-marker blood tests came back the same as before, which is a big relief. The rest of the family is in good health, thank God! Please pray for my oldest son, Joshua, who has been in the States for the last seven years that he would get close to the Lord.
New Converts Growing in the Lord:The Lord did something for the young lady I mentioned in our last prayer letter that I thought would be a blessing to you. She attended our church for around six months before making the decision to receive Christ. Since the day she got saved she is growing and is overcoming a lot of things the world has been throwing at her. We always pray for our converts that the Lord would answer their prayers in such a way that they would know beyond any doubt that the Lord did it for His glory. The Lord answered our prayers in a great way. We received a special love offering to give to her personally. I let her know during prayer meeting and she gave a testimony of how the day before she was asking God to somehow help her. She needed to feed her little boy, pay her rent and utilities which were already due. She came to church with her last 20 Hryvna (about 80 cents) and left with $200! She was overjoyed with tears. She began to realize how the Lord already knew her need weeks before she prayed and put it on the heart of a saint of God to help her. She continues to witness everywhere she goes.
Thank you for your friendship, prayers, support, and all that you do for the Lord that gives us the privilege and opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you as you serve Him! Until our next prayer letter or our meeting in the air!
That Ukraine May Know Him,