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Who is my neighbor?

A Letter from Nadia Ayoub, serving in Greece

Winter 2023

Write to Nadia Ayoub

Individuals: Give online to E132192 in honor of Nadia Ayoub’s ministry

Congregations: Give to D500115 in honor of Nadia Ayoub’s ministry

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery).

 


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“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” What is written in the law? Jesus replied. “How do you read it?” The expert in the law answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10: 25-29)

Dear friends and families,

I greet you all in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. I praise the Lord for He is love and helps us to live a life of love just as Christ loved us. I thank you for your faithfulness in loving God and loving your neighbors; near and far. I thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support that empower me and give me the opportunity to realize that the kingdom of God is at hand, here and now.

I thank God because He is merciful and has helped us through this past summer season during which many ferocious fires burned in many places. Many houses were destroyed and now we continue to ask for His grace to cover all through this upcoming season of rains and floods. I pray that the Lord has kept you safe this summer and that we will always rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in God our Savior.

The Education Center resumed teaching Greek and English after taking a summer break. During the summer, we continued to have Friday coffee time with the ladies. We had an interesting time decorating small and large jars to make candle holders. One time we baked Kataifi. Kataifi is made with special kataifi dough, stuffed with walnuts and covered in sweet syrup. Another Friday we learned how to crochet. It was a lot of fun since some of the ladies did not know how to hold the crochet hook. On the last day of summer, we went on a one-day trip to the Evangelical Church Bible summer camp. The young mothers with their children enjoyed some hearty conversation with the camp’s workers, time on the beach, and a delicious lunch.

The grandmother, who I told you about in my last letter, went back to Ukraine with her two granddaughters. She wrote to tell me that she was at home, but not in her own home. Two months have passed since she returned, and she is still living with her son. The two granddaughters have not been able to join their parents because their parents live in occupied territory.

The Ukrainians who fled Ukraine in search of peace, hope and community are facing discrimination from their neighbors. They are accused of being the reason for the war and the current world economic crises. A 14-year-old girl was telling me about how many of their neighbors treat them. She was overjoyed to know that one of their neighbors was a true friend.

The Lord has asked us to love God and our neighbors as ourselves and He helps us to find ways to live it in our community and neighbors. I am loving my neighbor when I become a friend to someone in need, show interest in someone who is neglected, am kind to someone in pain, have fellowship with someone who feels lonely, share the peace of Christ with someone who is in trouble, give my support to the sick and the poor. My prayer is that I will be attentive to my neighbors and recognize their needs so that I can respond to them in faith and love.

Thank you so much for your partnership, and I pray the Lord will encourage you more in what you are already doing as you love your God and your neighbor locally and overseas. I pray that you realize that your labor is not in vain and that your reward has been prepared for you since the creation of the world.

Then the King will say to those on his right, come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)

Serving Christ with you,

Nadia Ayoub


Please read this important message from Director of World Mission Rev. Mienda Uriarte

Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Matthew 25:34-36

Dear friends,

Great things are happening in World Mission! As you know from the letters you’ve been receiving, our mission co-workers are at the forefront of showing us what Matthew 25 looks like in the U.S. and in the wider world. They are addressing issues related to eradicating systemic poverty, building congregational vitality and dismantling structural racism. Together with our partners, mission co-workers are engaged in life-transforming ministries in 80 countries around the world. Here are just a few examples:

As an education consultant in the Democratic Republic of Congo, José Jones assists the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (CPK) education department in the development, implementation and evaluation of strategic plans to strengthen the church’s primary and secondary education programs for more than 350 schools.

Based in Manila, Rev. Cathy Chang works closely with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and other partners in ministry to engage programs and networks across Asia that advocate for people vulnerable to forced migration and human trafficking.

Nadia Ayoub works alongside our Greek partners as they faithfully hold to the biblical call to welcome the stranger. Nadia serves with Perichoresis, a ministry of the Evangelical Church of Greece that provides housing and support to refugees; most of whom have come to Greece from Arabic-speaking countries.

Joseph Russ strengthens and supports a network of partners working in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to address migration issues in the Northern Triangle. Based on the needs people on the ground identify, Joseph empowers U.S. congregations to engage in advocacy related to Central America and immigration reform.

Revs. Drs. Noah Park and Esther Shin serve as professors at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC). ETSC graduates work toward revitalizing congregational ministries in Egypt and work with refugee and peace ministries in various countries in the Middle East.

Please consider giving an extra gift this year to support our mission co-workers as they walk alongside our partners and help shape a more life-giving, equitable and hopeful world!

Prayerfully,

Rev. Mienda Uriarte, Director of World Mission
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

To give online, visit https://bit.ly/23MC-YE.

Honorary gifts can be made by checking the box and writing the mission co-worker’s name in the comment field online.


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