12/26/2022 – Belgorod Dnestrovsky: A Christmas to remember

From Lyuda (Day 306): Dear brothers and sister, Merry Christmas!

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord…. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:11, 14
This Christmas time is wonderful because everything we do, all our thoughts are inspired by this wonderful event we celebrate.

In our country Christmas was celebrated on January 7. The reason of it is difference of two calendars Gregorian and Julian. When the calendar reform was carried out in the beginning of the 20th century, not all countries accepted it. Orthodox churches of eastern Europe decided to celebrate holidays according to the Julian calendar.

The reason for it was more political than religious. So it separated us in celebration of our holidays from other Christian countries. Protestant churches in Ukraine also celebrated Christmas in January to be in unity with orthodox Christians and be able to preach the gospel on this holiday. Some years ago the issue of the date of the celebration was raised in Ukraine and some churches decided to change the date and celebrate with the whole world.

Our church also started celebrating Christmas on December 25. It’s amazing that this year many-many people in Ukraine chose to celebrate on December 25 and it was so nice to hear people greeting each other with typical Ukrainian Christmas greeting: “Christ has been born!” “ Let’s praise Him!”

A big surprise and joy for us was the addressing of our President to the nation. He shared the gospel and encouraged people to rely upon God and use Biblical principles in defending our country. We thank God for these amazing changes we see in our President comparing him to the man he used to be three years ago.

We had a blessed time with our church during the weekend. We had a church dinner on Christmas eve and we had many guests: the refuges, the new people who come to the church, the people from the church neighborhood. It was nice to see Ilya, Dr. Anya’s brother who is recovering after being seriously wounded. The sisters of our church cooked a wonderful food for us. We had an interesting program. Different Bible characters visited us and talked about their experience and their part in Christmas event. Sergey and I were Zechariah and Elizabeth 😊.

On Sunday we had Christmas worship singing Christmas hymns and giving praises. Our worship was followed by a Christmas drama and some skits. We staged “ A Christmas Carol” by Dickens. Sergey played an old Scrooge. It was nice that some of the refugees were wiling to participate in drama and it was fun. At the end we gave gifts (food bags) to all people in the church. We had electricity all day and could meet again in the evening Zoom church prayer.

Of course we feel a little bit sad because we always celebrated this holiday with our grandchildren and now they are far away. But it’s good that we can talk to them and be together on the internet.

We wish you a blessed week!
In Christ,
Lyuda

P.S. I attached the brochure with the information about our plans for the refugee center.

3 responses to “12/26/2022 – Belgorod Dnestrovsky: A Christmas to remember”

  1. I was praying that Ukraine would be able to celebrate Christmas without Russian aggression ruining it. Praise God for answered prayer and for the many people who benefited from your program and meals!

    Like

  2. Dear Lyuda,
    Praising the Lord with you on having such a warm and wonderful day for Christmas in Belgorod Dnestrovsky!
    Love in Christ,
    Jill

    Like

  3. I’m thankful you and your church had a blessed Christmas, and that your president lead the nation by encouraging faith in Christ. Merry Christmas!
    God is training us, His people, to always want to choose Him in our hearts.
    Xenya

    Like

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