A letter from Nadia Ayoub serving in Ukraine
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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (the future)” Hebrews 13:8
Dear Friends and Families
I greet you all with love, grace, and peace of our God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I thank our Lord for his unchanging love for us at all times and in all situations. And I thank you all for your faith and love for the Lord our God and your desire to share your faith with others in the hope that the others will come to know the love of God for each one, and through this will come to accept the Lord and have a personal relation with Christ and become one with God’s family. Thank you so much for of your faithfulness, encouragements, prayers and generous financial support through which many Roma and non-Roma friends in Carpathian-Ukraine come to know God’s love for them.
So many changes have happened in the past three months. Thank God that the new year 2017 has begun, and it is already toward the end of March. A long and very cold winter is finished and we have started to have some warm temperatures—not too many flowers yet, but I trust there will be soon.
In the U.S.A. we received our new president with many changes and we trust God to help to make all things work for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28). Also I thank God for the time of Lent, which keeps us looking to the Lord God and his love for us through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf.
The year 2017 marks 500 years since the Reformation that was wrought by Martin Luther, emphasizing the five principles: only Scripture, only faith, only grace, only Christ, and only for God’s glory. This means a big recognition and celebration in the Reformed church here in Carpathian-Ukraine and in Hungary. It is a joyful occasion in Carpathian-Ukraine because for the first time all five denominations (Orthodox, Catholic, Reformed, Baptist, charismatic) agreed to join together to celebrate the Reformation on April 21 in the Central Reformed Church in Beregszasz-Ukraine. This is a transformation in the hearts as the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing one another in love; making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:2-6).
The Roma mission team has gone through some changes and become one mission with the Reformed Church mission. I thank God the work in Peterfolvo area is continuing, and we see many signs of reformation and transformation among the children and the adults.Thank God for the preschool program. The children keep attending the program and showing the effects of learning in reading, writing, mathematics, drawing, coloring, handcrafts, songs, and social behavior with teachers and helper, and also in their homes among their family members. Children are cleaner and they are always ready when the bus comes to pick them up. Parents too appreciate the program and allow the children to attend every day.
Thank God also for the afterschool program for grades 1-4. The children are very happy to come back to the mission house after school for a Bible time, hot lunch, and doing their homework with the help of the program teachers. Children from four settlements are enjoying each other. Children who were once enemies are now friends and care and pray for each other.
Thank God for the Sunday service being attended by many Roma. They come to the mission house with joy that they have their own place of worship. Last Sunday 14 older children, ages 10-15, came, and that made us plan to have a special program for them, different from Sunday school, which is for children under 10. Three settlements meet in the mission house but because one settlement is far away we meet in one of their houses.
Elemer continues to teach the adults and Hanny, his daughter, and I lead Sunday School.
More people from the Peterfolvo area are getting interested in working with the Roma people and I thank God for their help. Students from the Christian high school come once a week to spend a couple of hours helping with the afterschool program. Both the Roma and non-Roma children look forward to meeting with each other. This show signs of transformation in the students—they become more compassionate toward the Roma and the Roma children feel more confident in themselves.
Yes, Christ Jesus is the same, not changing. With joy and thanksgiving I can sing the song:
Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone,
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives.
Again I thank you so much for your partnership and your faithful support, which allows me to be a part of this ministry and to witness God’s work among the Roma people in Peterfolvo area of Ukraine.
I pray and trust you have a blessed time of Lent and a joyful celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Serving the Risen Lord with you,
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