Ministering in Ukraine

Grace in a Time of Grieving

Monday, February 22, 2016

Grace in a Time of Grieving

  A few days ago, we learned that the mother of a 12-year-old boy, Max, who comes to our Sunday School had been released from the hospital with only a few days left to live.  When we visited her, we were so glad to find that her heart was open to the Lord.  We found Alyona with the Bible which we had given her son by her side.  She had been reading it and had repented and received Christ as her Lord and Savior.  As we read to her, spoke with her and answered her eager questions, I offered to pray and she said, “After you, I want to pray, too!”  The light of joy and salvation just radiated from her thin and frail face.  In the coming days, as we visited her and her family, they were deeply thankful for the support.

 Just a few hours after one of Oksana’s visits, Alyona passed away.  At the funeral on Friday, as the tradition is here in Ukraine, friends and relatives and neighbors from our village gathered in the yard of the family to pay respects before proceeding to the village cemetery.  During this time, I was able to speak to all those assembled and share the Gospel and tell them all about how Alyona had been reconciled with God through Jesus Christ.  Afterward, I prayed, and rejoiced to think that many of these villagers (whom we know and have never yet come to church despite our invitations) were able to hear the message of salvation.  

  On Sunday, Alyona’s husband, Alexei, walked into church for the first time in his life with his son.  God had used the change which Christ has made in his wife and the love of Christians to bring him to a place where he could hear more about the Savior.  

  Now, it is up to the Holy spirit to work and for us to continue to be the vessels of grace and love which we’ve called to be.