Since our last letter, it looks like our English evangelism courses have increased from 150 students to approximately 200 students. It has been a joyful experience for everyone involved. The students love the classes, the teachers enjoy their pupils and the churches are delighted in having an increased awareness about Jesus.
Besides learning English, a small percentage of people are beginning to go to church. There have also been Christmas parties and pot-lucks with many students building relationships with Christians. They say our classes are like a “family atmosphere.” And because of this positive environment, the life of Christ, through His people are shinning bright enough that word about us is spreading throughout this entire town.
I believe that the first stage of our outreach is a success and now we are ready to build towards the future. Beginning this August we will increase our 1st year English evangelism courses to include 2nd year English evangelism courses, discipleship courses and several youth groups. We have other churches pleading with us to do the same with them, but unfortunately, our financial restraints make it difficult, unless a miracle happens!
Nova Vodalaga Region, Ukraine
In the last letter, we discussed the town of Balaklayea. In this letter we will tell you about Nova Vodalaga. Nova Vodalaga, literally translated means “New Water.” Or to put a Christian spin on the name, you could say that we are ministering in the town of “Living Water.”
It is a town of about 15,000 – 20,000 people, with the region having many more residents. It is about an hour drive Southwest of Kharkov. This town is like many other towns and villages in Ukraine with an estimated 50% unemployment rate. The main industry is a glass factory. And consistent with other towns and villages in this culture, the average person makes $40 per month. They survive by growing food in their little plots of land, which they call “kitchen gardens.”
For the past year or so, we have been working with a church in this town. Pastor Victor and his wife Svyeta are such a delight to be around. They began the church as a bible-study several years ago and now have grown to over 40 people. Their sparkling personalities and love for Jesus is so infectious that people so very much enjoy their presence. Everyone works hard and they have just bought an old run-down building they are hoping to make into a church someday. Until that dream becomes a reality, they rent space every Sunday in a government building for their worship service.
They have embraced our classes and God has blessed our combined efforts. In this town we have 40 students, including several teenagers from a nearby orphanage. Many of the people the Lord attracted were youth. So this upcoming Fall we are going to begin a youth group to meet the needs of these young people. Several of the students have begun attending the church on Sundays.
To give you an idea of how the classes have made the students feel appreciated, I have attached an “unedited” copy of the testimonies from many in the class. Their hearts are warming so much that soon we hope many will trust Jesus and open their hearts to Him too!
Testimonies of English Evangelism Students
Dear Ron, This is Tanya and Angelica writing to you. We like these lessons of English. Ron, how are you? When will you come? Do you have snow in America? Happy New Year! Ron! We wish you happiness and good health. Tanya and Angelica.
I like everything at these English lessons, I like our teacher Natasha. Come to us, we miss you. Natasha. I like it all very much. I would like these lessons to continue. I like our teachers. I dream to visit America, that is why I study English. How do you do, Ron? Thank you for this chance to study English, but I had no this opportunity. I like the way they teach us very much. It is very easy and understandable. Thank you for this opportunity. Natasha.
Dear Ron (respectfully), I thank you and those people, who rendered the help in organization of the courses of English, a lot. This is really the unique chance for many people to study English in our location. Personally I like the classes’ atmosphere and the way English is taught. Alexei.
Hi Ron, My name is Anton. I live in Vlasovka and go to Vlasovka school. Next school year I will go to another school in Nova Vodolaga. I study English to be a good pupil at school. I visit an English group of which you are a manager. Thank you and your friends for these classes every much. How do you do, Ron? I want to thank you for this opportunity given to me. Now thanks to you and your sponsors I can fellowship with my classmates at English classes at school. When I moved to Vodolaga, English was hard subject for me at the new school. They often laughed at me and it hurt me. But thanks to your courses my classmates were surprised with my success at English. Ljuba.
Hi Ron, This is Sveta. I love English and I want to learn it completely and my school teachers and Natasha help me in it. The classes she teaches are very interesting for me, and I don’t want to change anything at our lessons. I like the atmosphere of the lessons where everybody help each other and everybody is interested. I want to wish you Marry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I wish you success in your work, happy mood and strong health.
Ron, if you will have possibility, come to our lessons, we will be happy to see you. With respect, Sveta Kranz.
Greetings! My name is Tanya. I am 16. I want to say thank you very much for the opportunity you gave us to study English. I like these classes very much. I want them to continue. I am so grateful to you because we are restricted in many ways living in a village so this opportunity to study English is very good and needed. Thank you!!! May the lord bless you and protect you.
My name is Olhovskaya Vera. I like our classes very mush and I like our teacher – Natasha. I like the way she teaches in class – very easy and understandable. I’d like that she may pay more attention to everyone separately and to ask us separately more. It will stimulate us to study better. It’ll be good is we could revise the material we studied before because otherwise we forget much things. In general I am thankful to God and men who gave us this opportunity to study.
What I can say about our teacher Natasha is that it’s the best teacher. She is an interesting person. She knows the language perfectly and the way she explains the material to us is very easy and understandable. It’s very important because the person can have perfect knowledge but be unable to pass it to others. Thank you for support of our classes. I’ll be glad if my comments are useful to you. Nadezda Protsun
I’m thankful to God for touching the hearts of the people who are serving Him to organize and teach in our village English classes. I like our discussions in homelike atmosphere when you don’t care about a bad grade that you may get or the disapproval of the teacher towards you. While in class I have the possibility to have a fellowship with friends but not only that, I also get to know new methods of teaching that make the process more interesting and give a variety to it. It should be so, for everything that is created by God is always pleasant, for the work of God is glory and beauty (Psalm 111:3)
I like the English classes. Now I know many words. Now I am much better at English. I thank you for the opportunity to get to know something new. Kutsenko Anastasia 8 years old.
Thank you very much for the opportunity of learning English! We live very far from the city we are not able to attend the classes we need to pay for. In such time as this we have a unique opportunity to get the knowledge that are very necessary for us. We also thank Anya who is very simple and clear in her explanations of what we need to study. Kutsenko Valentna, 39 years old.
I greet you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I wasn’t to express t a great gratitude to you for having English classes in our small village. We don’t have many opportunities in our village but you made them more real to us. For me and some other students there is no other way of studying the language the nearest school is 30 kilometers away. And it’s hard to get there form our village. Not much time has passed since we started but I understand I’ve learned much. Thank you very much for your care for scarifying your time and strength every Saturday to cover such a long way and come to our place. Thank you for the knowledge you give me and I do not have enough words to express my gratitude for your ministry. Sincerely yours, Nadya.
My name is Kvashnikova Irina, I attend the English classes with my son. We like the classes very much and we would like seeing them continue. We thank very much the sponsors of these classes and our teacher Anya.
Thank you that in this far away place we live we have the opportunity of studying English. I think especially our children need it. Because the Engish language is necessary for the ability to communicate in future. And I know that knowledge will be useful always. Julia 42 years old.
My name is Prishkina Julia, I attended English classes. I want to thank all people who participate in the organization of these classes. I’ve been dreaming of learning English for a long time and thanks to these classes my dream is coming true. Thank to you all. May God bless you all.
Hello, my name is Julia. I like studying English according to your agendum very much. Thank you very much for this opportunity you gave us. We haven’t had this opportunity of studying English in our village before, so I’m so much grateful to you.
Hello dear Ron and friends, I am 47 and I’m a father and a grandfather. I study English at your classes. I got to the English classes because of my daughter and grandson. So it’s the fortune’s will or God’s will that I also study. We live far from the New Vodolaga’s place – 22 kilometers away! So I have to drive them and me to the classes every Saturday. In the village we live my daughter was studying German and when she moved to Vodolage she started English. So the problems began. Because of your English classes my daughter Luba only in tree months can now read and translate. Her teachers wonder because she can’t possible learn English so quickly as she does. And being a father and a grandfather I am very much thankful to you for your work and help. My grandson also attends classes he is in the 5th form at school. He does not have English yet as a school subject this year but the next year he will. So he’ll have some knowledge. Thank you very much and thank your friends for me. Sincerely, Vyacheslav Valentinovich.
Thank you for everything. Peace to you in Jesus name!