Feb 2006 News

These are the faces of young people who were introduced to you in 2004. Those pictured are the ones walking with the Lord and gathering with believers.

Kolya... looks like he time travelled from the 70’s. Not too many young men have long hair in Ukraine, neither are many young men willing to stand up and talk about Jesus to groups of their peers. God is using Kolya and working in him to bring Himself much glory.

His brother, Alyosha, is still working with us. He has gone through some up’s and down’s over the past year and a half. He currently has a girlfriend who seems to be the focus of his life right now, perhaps to the detriment of his relationship with God and others. Pray that he would find again his enthusiasm for God.

Natasha has been running the kids club for two years now. She has become the head accountant at a large firm nearby and has felt like she doesn’t have the time enough to prepare properly. She and Alyosha (red-striped hat) hope to marry in July/August. Her faith is strong.

Sveta is also an accountant but working in Kiev during the week. She just sent me an sms asking me to pray for wisdom for her in regards to her mother. I think Sveta would like to live and work here, but her mother believes she should work in Kiev. Her father died last year. Sveta misses the close fellowship we have here in Rzhishchiv, but loves Jesus with all her heart.

Tanya, the passionate one, asked me a couple of days ago what she should do with her life. I told her to quit her job, her studies and come to work on the building site with the boys. She didn’t take to that option. She’s been regularly meeting with some of us to pray at 6:30 before work begins Wednesdays. I visited her family a few nights ago and enjoyed spending some time with them. Her father is normally drunk – one of her burdens. It was still a good time!

Alyosha (Natasha’s fiancé) is out of the army and has just got a job in one of the most prestigious restaurants in the region. He is pretty happy. Oh! That’s right! Today is his birthday! Must sms him!

Lerik (Empty frame) has gone back to the bottle and binge drinking. Yana, a young 18 year old, has moved in with him and he told me recently that they planned to marry in the New Year. I caught him at home, sober, and we sat and talked for a while as he fed the fire which keeps their house warm. I look at his situation and feel hopelessness. There is no responsibility taken for keeping the floor swept, let alone for staying away from drink. How do you teach an adult responsibility? Yana had an abortion a few months ago – an agonizing decision which I had hoped might bring them to repentance. It hasn’t yet.

Tamara (empty frame) has been forbidden to attend church by her mother. She will turn 18 in a few months at which time her mother will let her decide for herself. Please pray that her “re-introduction” will be a delight for all, but especially for herself. I fear it won’t be easy.

Grisha (second line) is currently doing “alternative service” (as opposed to serving in the army). He is actively involved in ministry in a town about 50 km away. He preached for the first time last Sunday! This is the first time he’s been here in three months though, although he often phones.

Larissa has accepted Jesus as her saviour since I last wrote. She is a confident and laid-back personality who I often see giving advice to the younger girls. She is also an accountant in the local bread factory.

Luda is doing well. She is librarian to the 100 or so books we now have in the library, (which is proving to be much more popular than I expected)! She and Tanya are the ones who are always best-prepared in the Navigator’s course we are going through.

Nadia continues to actively witness for Jesus to her friends. She has the longest hair I have seen, I think! She has a deep love for Jesus and His people.

Kristina is being used by God to refine my character. She is a cheerful optimist. She needs a permanent place to stay as well as a job. She’s been helping out around the house of late.

Alyosha is a positive young man. (Yes, there are three “Alyosha’s”.) He won an award at his technical college recently for “Gentleman of the year”. He loves making people feel good and I enjoy his massages. He is committed to fellowshipping with believers.

Masha is doing well. Her mother is dying of cancer and refuses to speak with her about it. She is a lot of fun and laughter but has her fair share of burdens!

There are many more

Andrei, Vova, Igor, Sergei, Sasha, Zhenya, Inga, Oksana, Olya, Olya, Lesya, Lesya, Vadim, Sasha, Olya, Vitaly, Lena, Luda, Vova, Natasha… and I stop trying to list everyone. All except for one of the believers are first generation believers – their parents didn’t believe when they began to follow Jesus. Out of this list, only three of the mothers have chosen to “join their daughters”.