December 18, 2023 (Day 663)

December 18, 2023 (Day 663)

Dear brothers and sisters,

Merry Christmas! Christ came into this world, we rejoice and sing praises to Him! May your Christmas be filled with moments of love, joy and the warmth of family and friends. During this season of celebration I want to express my gratitude to you all for your faithful support, love and care. It is such a joy to be a part of a big God’s family and to rejoice the fellowship of saints.

This year, our country has changed the dates of the main holidays and returned to celebrating Christmas on December 25th. More than 100 years ago when the Soviet empire adopted a new calendar Russian Orthodox church refused to accepted it and continued to celebrate all religious holiday according to Julian calendar. The younger generation in that godless country stopped celebrating Christmas; the main holiday was New Year, when we decorated a fir-tree and called it New Year Tree, gave gifts and had parties. Elderly people continued to celebrate Christmas secretly, but did it on January 7th. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, people began widely celebrating Christmas and it became an official holiday in Ukraine, but it was still January 7. Many Protestant churches had a long Christmas season which started in December and continued through January to witness about the true meaning of Christmas to our community. Now we are happy that all Ukrainian churches celebrate this great holiday together with the whole world.

This week we send the parcels to our soldiers, to the detachment of Paul Lukoshkin, to Dr Anya’s group and to some other groups with whom we have close contacts. We know their needs and have bought them what they need now: warm underwear, woolen socks, sweets, lemons and oranges, cold medicine, hand cream, lip balm and much more. In each packet we put a card with greetings and Christmas message, we hope that it will bring warmth and joy to their hearts. Our army is now holding the line and standing at the positions that are constantly being attacked by the enemy. We ask the Lord to be their shield and protection.

We all united, people in the church and our group of refugees, everyone prepared something for our soldiers. Some women knitted warm socks, others collected things for them, made trench candles, some did shopping buying all the necessary things. It was a big joy to do it. Victor, Paul’s father, made special gifts for the soldiers. He organized in his home a production of some special details for the equipment that our soldiers use in the war zones to have connection and communication. It is very important now. Last week, we experienced a major hacker attack by the enemy on our system of mobile communications. For several days we could not make calls on our phones, In stores and banks, the terminals did not work, we could not buy things in the stores using our cards. It was difficult, but we survived and the system has almost recovered.

I had to help some of my friends who started having panic attacks due to lack of communication. One of them is the mother of a soldier who is fighting. She could not contact him and was very worried. All our counselors work hard now because there are so many needs around. Our counselor George has the hardest work right now. He is leading the group for widows and mothers of the soldiers who died. Please, pray for these women who are in a deep grief and pray for George as he is walking with them through this difficult time.

May your homes be filled with the special light that our Savior brought into this world and may the peace of God rest in your hearts, giving you love and joy

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” Isaiah 7:14

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. In the photos you can see our Sunday worship, the packets with Christmas gifts that we are making for the soldiers, Victor with the details that he is making and the women of the group that George leads.