Thursday, March 8, 2007

Nelson Newsletter - March 2007

Spiritual Life in Ukraine
President Victor Yushchenko attended Epiphany celebrations on January 19th. He joined many Ukrainians plunging into the icy Dnieper River to ensure that their year will be prosperous. In his speech, the President said, “On this day, we speak about spiritual purification. Today, we are cleansing ourselves with the blessed water. Ukrainians have always believed this curative water of the Jordan helps end quarrels and hatred, envy and rancor. I really want this Holy Epiphany to heal and unite our souls, help us prosper and bless us with health.” This gives you an idea of the religious environment we are working in. Many Ukrainians do not know how to have a personal relationship with God based on simple faith in the work of Christ on the cross. There are many rituals that cloud the issue and salvation is often confused with doing good works to earn eternal life.
Russian Class
We returned to Kiev on Sunday and started back to school on Monday! Forget jetlag! We are working hard in our Russian class to learn this difficult language. God has helped us and your prayers are effective. Thank you! We only have three more months. Yea! We can relate to the following story.
A Polish immigrant went to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to apply for a driver's license. First, of course, he had to take an eye sight test.  The optician showed him a card with the letters:
'C Z W Y X N O S T A C Z.'
"Can you read this?" the optician asked.  "Read it?" the Polish guy replied, "I know the guy!"
English Club
Starts Danelle and I started a weekly English Club a few weeks ago in our apartment to reach out in our neighbors. There are six coming so far. Two of these are a young couple from our church, Vlaude and Lena, that we are working with. Please pray for hearts open to God’s love and spiritual births!
Scott and Maria
Matthew and Amanda

Two Son’s Married
We had a wonderful month in America, with the highlight of our visit being the weddings of our two sons. We celebrated Christmas and New Years and visited with many of you. We also moved all of our possessions out of Scott’s house. Matthew graduated from the University of Georgia. My father fell and was in the hospital for a week recovering from a fractured jaw, broken teeth and a cut lip. He recovered remarkably, praise God! Then I had knee surgery the day after Christmas. Other than that, it was a quiet and restful time!

Please continue to pray for my work with the leaders of Spring of Hope Church, our English club outreach and our Russian. We are learning to trust God and His word as never before. “With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”  2 Chronicles 32:8

We appreciate your love, support and prayers. We are a team!

Love in Christ,

Steve, Danelle and Merry