From Lyuda (Day 208): Dear brothers and sisters, This Christmas season is full of blessings and we enjoy every minute of it. All encounters and all conversations are inspired by Christmas. We know that our country will be different when the war ends and we hope for a great awakening of faith.
I saw difference in the eyes of our refugees as we met at the breakfast yesterday. They all spoke how special for them was the time in the church at the weekend. I know that there was a different focus for them, focus on Jesus rather than on traditions and rituals. We continue to exchange congratulations and wishes. Some of the refugees don’t come for breakfast to the café because they joined our church group that cooks food for the soldiers every Tuesday. So, I buy some desserts for them and send to our Christian clinic where they live.
There was a newcomer in the cafe yesterday. An elderly woman came late when we were going to leave, she walked slowly with a cane and it was vivid that she overcomes pain to walk. Tanya and I introduced ourselves and helped her to make herself comfortable at the table. We ordered food for her and began to talk. From the first minutes of our conversation we felt as if this lady came from a different world. The way she spoke, the words she used, her table manners, everything in her gave away aristocratic style. Her name is Larisa, she told us that she is 83 and she used to teach physics at the university. Her husband died long ago and she has no children. All her life she lived in Nikolayev, was an active member of literature club and was a keen theater-goer. She left her city several months ago when it was severely bombed. Now she feels very lonely and misses her friends and the environment she used to be in.
When our conversation came to the point when I felt I could invite her to come to the church, to my surprise she said that she had already been to our church and even met one of our elders. She came when we were distributing help to the community. I invited her to come on Sunday for a worship service and to visit the Bible study.
While we were talking I watched her and saw that she evidently hadn’t eaten desserts for a long time. When she finished she picked everything up to the last crumble on her plate. When it was time to leave we bought some food for her to take home and in spite of her active protests we put it into her bag. Then we walked her to the bus stop.
We hope she will come to the church and join our support group. I am still wondering how this lady who lived through the Soviet Union time which brought so much brokenness, didn’t lose her aristocratic dignity and manners.
Please, pray for our work with people that God sends to us.