December 11, 2023 (Day 656)

December 11, 2023 (Day 656)

“… Without faith it is impossible to please Him : for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. My father’s name is Nick and he is 85 now. We had a small celebration after the church eating some cake and listening to my dad’s favorite music. My father is a sports fan, he never misses big sport competitions on TV. His favorite sport is biathlon and now is a season of it, he loves watching competitions in Europe. I thank God for my parents and ask the Lord to let them live to see victory. I am very glad that they know the Lord and want to be closer to Him. When we moved in their building to take care of them, Sergey and I brought a part of our library here and my parents began to read our books. They also like to watch the movies of their youth, sometimes we watch them together.

Our counselor Vika came from Odesa to our town for a weekend. She is taking part in a big research project that is going all over Ukraine. This is a study of the emotional and spiritual condition of people during the war. Vika conducted surveys with refugees and church members and it took her a lot of time because testing often turned into counseling when people wanted to talk and share some things. Vika also led the group meeting and did aroma therapy using strips of paper with different scents (vanilla, citrus, caramel, chocolate, fruity and floral scents), she asked to choose one scent and draw a picture of associations and memories that were provoked by the scent. Our refugees immersed themselves in pleasant memories and shared their feelings. We all enjoyed this time together.

Cold December days become increasingly gloomy as daylight hours get shorter. In the news and other sources of information, we often hear now that Ukraine will lose this war. We keep in touch with many soldiers who are now holding their positions at all costs, while the enemy attacks them more and more. We are preparing Christmas packages for the military and thinking about how to support them in such a difficult time. We send them treats, warm socks, candles and lanterns and other things they need. But most of all we want to share the Christmas message with them and keep their spirits up.

Looking at what is happening in the occupied territories, we do not even want to think that our country could lose the war and Russia would gain control over us. Every night missiles fly at us, and although our air defense skillfully shoots them down, there are still hits. Another of the many problems we have now is the blockade of the western border. Polish truck drivers have been blocking the border with Ukraine for two months now preventing our trucks from carrying goods. They were joined by drivers from other European countries. It suppresses our economy, which is still barely breathing. On the one hand, Russia is killing us, and on the other hand, we are literally being destroyed economically. We are grateful that we have food and are not starving, but the choice of food and other things in stores is becoming smaller and prices are rising.

Reflecting on all our problems, we only realize more deeply that all our hope is in the Lord. We are preparing a Christmas program in the church and the performance will include a skit based on the episode from Kings 6 when Elisha helped people to see the army of God protecting them from the Syrians. We all need to pray for the ability to see with our spiritual vision and trust God in the most desperate situations.

As the day draws to a close and our church gathers for our daily evening prayer, it is the time for us to support each other and talk to God revealing Him all our worries and pains. We pray for many things: for our brave soldiers, for our country, for spiritual awakening and for many other things. In the midst of so much adversity, we are privileged to see God answer our prayers and open the hearts of people. God teaches us to be patient in tribulation and to be steadfast in prayer because He does amazing things.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer.

Thank you for you support.
Please, send your donations to Pathway Ministries
E. Langston Haygood,D.Min.,Ph.D.
Pathway Ministries, Inc.
288 Huntington Parc Circle
Birmingham, AL 35226

In Christ,

P.S. There are photos of Vika leading the group meeting, the photos of our church Zoom prayer and the photo of my parents.