January 1, 2024 ( Day 677)

January 1, 2024 ( Day 677)

Dear brothers and sisters,

Happy New Year! We wish you a year full of blessings and joy! May God bless your families and your churches.

In our culture, New Year has always been a big holiday and people usually celebrated all night with fireworks and champagne. But this year, the first day of the new year is a day of mourning for us. Massive attacks on our cities continued throughout the holiday season. Odessa suffered many blows. The drone attack continued all new year night and there are deaths, ruined buildings, and wounded people. This morning, the city is recovering from the attack along with the whole country.

In the midst of all what is happening now our church seem to be an island of safety and stability. We had a very good Christmas worship full of love and joy. Our church building is very warm and light due to the solar batteries we installed on the roof. The program that our youth prepared was wonderful. We were glad to have Dr. Anya and all her family with us. Vitaliy, her husband was back home from the hospital and could come to the church. Now he is in hospital again, he has just had a surgery on his arm. Please, pray for the recovery of the functions of his arm.

Our youth decided to spend new year’s night in church, not so much to celebrate, but simply to be together. They cooked dinner together and prepared a movie to watch. Sergey and I came in the evening and spent some time with them. It is a great blessing to see them grow and mature.

Christmas is a good reason to visit people, greet them and bring them a good news. We made a lot of home visits last week and each of them was special. We also prepared Christmas programs for the groups we lead.
With a big joy the local defense group responded to the program we prepared for them. They listened to a Christmas story and we had some discussion of the events when Jesus was born, then we played hand bells and gave gifts. The volunteers and the soldiers there all joined our meeting and were very happy. I am so glad that the hearts of people are open for a good news now.

But the most exciting event happened when we visited our neighbor Victor on Christmas day. We have been caring for this person for quite some time. He is seriously ill and has been on the verge of death several times. He is very lonely. His adult children do not communicate with him, holding a grudge for having been abandoned by him in childhood. He does not know how to build relationships with people due to his tough character. It was very difficult for us to talk to him about spiritual things, because he didn't want to listen about God. But we continued to visit him, bringing him food and helping with different things. Sergey gave him injections and helped with other medical procedures. At some point we saw him smiling, this was great progress for a man who lived in anger all the time. Last week we came to him on Christmas day in the morning, brough him some food, put a white table cloth on his table, we decorated his room to give him an atmosphere of Christmas. He felt very bad that day, he could hardly breathe and could not get up from his bed. Sergey gave him a shot and helped him to use breathing apparatus. I sat down on his bed and asked if I could pray for him, he said yes. I prayed and then I asked if he would pray with me. He wheezed that he would like to but it is very hard for him to talk. I told him that he can repeat after me mentally. I prayed the repentance prayer asking Jesus to come into the heart and he prayed with me. It was a miracle. When Sergey visited him few hours later he saw that Victor felt better, he could get up and eat. The next day he could talk better, he told Sergey he wants to go to the church with us. He is still too week to go somewhere but we ask God to strengthen him and give him this opportunity to go to the church and to see the atmosphere when the body of Christ meets together.

The situation at the front is very difficult. The enemy is constantly sending barrages of fire towards our positions. Our soldiers are very tired, but they are holding on with all their might. Paul Lukoshkin came home for two days last week, but we did not see him. He was so tired that slept almost all the time. We received messages of gratitude from the military to whom we sent the packages with gifts. We are glad that we were able to bring them at least a little joy.

Despite the fact that the situation is very difficult and it doesn’t seem like anything can change in our favor, we never stop hoping and believing in Victory. And Victory comes with the Lord.

Thank you for your prayers and 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 our Christmas worship, the photos of Dr. Anya’s family and her husband Vitaliy playing the guitar, the photos of what happened in Odessa last night. Our neighbor Victor does not want us to take his photo and we respect it.