A Letter from Nadia Ayoub, serving in Greece
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“I will tell of the kindness of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us, yes, many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.” Isaiah 63:7
Dear friends and families,
I greet you all in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. With a heart full of joy, I praise the Lord for he is faithful and according to his mercy and compassion has brought us safely to this New Year and I pray and trust he will save and redeem and carry us all the days. I thank you my dear mission partners for you have kept your commitment to continuing to serve the Lord with your prayers, encouragements, and financial support, and continue to follow the Lord’s command in Matthew 25.
Indeed, the Lord has done many good things since my last correspondence.
Praise the Lord for his mercy. COVID has become much less prevalent since the COVID vaccine has become available. Christmas was able to be celebrated very well this year in Katerini. The Greek Evangelical Church had its outdoor carnival. All the neighbors came with their children and enjoyed the activities and food. The City of Katerini also had many festival sites for the children and families like the train ride and the campfire dance.
I thank God that we were also able to celebrate the New Year with the traditional Vasilopita cake with the women during the Friday coffee time.
Many Iraqi-Kurdish families, whose asylum claims were rejected two or three times, were able to leave Greece and immigrate to their country of choice. Many have received temporary asylum until a final decision on their cases is made. I thank God that they are currently, if temporarily, indoors, warm, fed, and medically cared for.
Ukrainian refugees receive immediate decisions that temporary protection asylum has been granted. Through the International Migration Organization (IOM), in partnership with Perichoresis, they receive some assistance with living and housing expenses, as well as Greek language lessons. Sadly, by now, many have understood that it will be some time before they can return to Ukraine. Many of them have lost their homes, businesses and jobs. Slowly, they are trying to learn the Greek language. Their children attend Greek schools in-person as well as online Ukrainian schools. It is very difficult situation for both the children and the parents. Because of the stress they often get sick with various illnesses.
The Perichoresis education center is helping the Ukrainians in a holistic way. We provide education in Greek and English for adults, after-school programs for all students, a working space with WIFI, Friday coffee time for the women, a youth club for teens, a club for younger children, counseling, resumé writing courses, help in finding employment, medical help, and many more services as the need arises.
Tamara is a new Ukrainian new beneficiary of Perichoresis’ education center. She is an unaccompanied minor and cannot be registered alone. Her aunt is hoping to be registered as her formal custodian, but it is a long process. Since Tamara will be 18 years old next month she can, thankfully, be registered on her own. Tamara comes to Perichoresis for English lessons, we talk about things that matter to her, and sometimes she brings her English homework from her online Ukrainian school for some help.
She was very disturbed by having to leave her family, friends and familiar places. She told me how this war is dividing people and families. Her father is pro-Russian, and he fights with his family and accuses them of being Ukrainian terrorists who kill each other and denounce the Russian army. Now Tamara is hoping to become independent. She is full of hope and has many plans of living in Europe since there is no way she can return to Ukraine. Her hometown has been destroyed and her friends no longer live there. Some of the boys she knew died in the war and the rest have left Ukraine.
Please pray for the conflict between Greece and Turkey. As the tension between the two countries escalates, the young people of Greece, aware of their duty to their country, are becoming anxious. One young person told me this story. One day he forgot to turn on his alarm clock and he overslept a little. He dreamed a specific dream three times. In it, he was in the battle fighting the Turks and the Greeks were winning.
“In all their distress He (the Lord) too was distressed and the angle of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy, he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9
The Lord is faithful, and He is in control and hears our prayers, please continue to pray as you read my newsletter. I pray that the Lord moves in you whenever you praise Him and request His guidance.
and the Lord moves in you whether it is to praise Him or to request.
Thank you so much for your faithful partnership. I pray the Lord blesses you and encourages you to live a life in service to God.
Serving Christ together with joy!
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