A letter from Nadia Ayoub serving in the Ukraine
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Dear Friends and Families,
With joy I give thanks to God for his love, grace and comfort to us all. Especially this blessed Easter I celebrate with all of you who have received Christ as Lord and Savior.
It is hard to realize that 2015 has gone and it is Spring 2016 already. The Lord has helped us thus far. Thank you so much for your hearty encouragement, unceasing prayers and generous financial support. Your partnership is very much appreciated in the ministry among the Roma people in Peterfolvo in Carpathian Ukraine.
The Lord blessed us with a very joyful time celebrating Jesus birth and the gift of the New Year 2016. The Roma people, young and old, have once again heard the story of God’s love for the world expressed through the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6: 9-10).
We rejoice because God has answered our prayers, and on January 17, 2016, a Sunday service in Roma began to be held in the Roma mission house. For the first service we had 15 people from one village. The numbers have increased gradually and yesterday we had 50 people from two nearby villages. We also continue to have a service in Tivadar because it is seven kilometers away.
We have begun to offer treatment for alcoholism and tobacco addiction at the Christian rehabilitation center, especially to those suffering from asthma and tuberculosis. We thank God for these healing opportunities. One person, Valodia, went for three days.
We thank God that winter has ended. In February more than 200 people died of flu because neither vaccines nor good medicines were available. The schools were closed for three weeks. At one Bible study in a home they told me they were sick. I said I wouldn’t sit too close. The local custom is to remove our shoes, so my feet got cold. By the time we finished I felt my throat getting sore. My helper, Tania, and I both ended up needing to take antibiotics, but we were better soon.
The new year has brought changes to the Ukraine that will affect our ministry. The Ministry of Education has stopped providing free lunches for children in grades 1 to 4. This will especially impact the Roma children. Of course children cannot learn on an empty stomach. We thank God that here in the Peterfolvo area we are able to take children from three villages to school and then bring them to the Mission House in the afternoon for lunch, and then help them with their homework.
Please pray that we will be able to help the Roma children improve their reading and writing skills. The schools are thinking of segregating the Roma children, keeping all ages together in a separate classroom until they learn how to read and write.
God is not only working with the Roma people, but he is also transforming those who come to help us in this ministry. I remember one girl from Holland who was deeply moved by the experience of helping me with a summer camp in 2013. I was thrilled to hear from her again and remember her as she recalled the projects we worked on together. I am praying that God might call her to come and serve Jesus among the Roma. Please join with me in this prayer. Her name is Marije.
I pray that this letter will be of encouragement to you. Every day I give thanks to God for your financial support, for your prayers, and for your frequent words of encouragement. If you are not already supporting a Presbyterian mission worker, please pray about becoming a member of my family of supporters.
Have a very blessed time celebrating Christ’s death and resurrection.
In Christ the risen Lord,
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