Friday, January 8, 2021

Hughes News #87

"Tie your shoes and pray for the Hughes"

Dear Friends, 
If given the choice, I always want to hear the bad news first.  Since I can’t find out your preference, that’s what I’ll share first.  In our last prayer letter, we mentioned hoping to start Bible studies.  We were disappointed when neither the couple nor the college student agreed to start a study.  No one has given us a hard “no” so we pray one day they will change their minds. 
I wrote about “V” last time- a young man who had been attending midweek services for almost a year.  His work schedule changed in November, causing him to miss most weeks.  My prayer is that his desire for spiritual things will not wane during this time.  We’ve stayed in contact with him and have other ways in mind to meet with him and encourage him. 
Attendance has been down in both Soroca and Bulboci.  A strong believer in Soroca left in December to visit her family in Russia.  A believer from Bulboci moved away from the village.  Another believer is in Chisinau with her daughter for the cold months.  
The oldest believer in Bulboci has had health issues that have kept her from services for a couple of months.  Her story is a good segue into the good news I have to share.  While she is not back to full strength, she has recovered enough to again stay in her own home.  The sister in Christ that is staying in Chisinau had been on a ventilator in the hospital with Covid and double pneumonia, but the Lord is bringing her back to health and she has been out of the hospital for a few days now. 
There are several things we are excited to either resume or start up in January.  Barring another Covid case at the children’s home in Cosauti, we should be able to restart our kids’ weekly Bible club there.  Later in the month, we plan to reopen our doors for English classes.  Also, we are scheduled to begin an evangelistic Bible study in Bulboci on January 21.  Two people have specifically expressed interest in attending and several others have been invited. 
Something else new is a group Bible reading project.  In both Soroca and Bulboci, we are attempting to read the entire Bible this year as a group.  Each person will be encouraged to choose a book, read it, then pick another that has not been read yet.  This Sunday we will be asking people to pick their first book. 
The Lord has blessed us with good health, a mild winter so far, and a pleasant and meaningful holiday season.  We enter the New Year wishing some things were different but hopeful that the Lord will work in those areas in 2021.  The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace. 
In His service, 
Jacob and Viola Hughes 
For Prayer: 
1. Evangelistic chronological Bible study every Thursday starting January 21 
2. That “V’s” interest in spiritual things would continue to grow 
3. Contact with the kids and workers at the children’s home and with our ESL students 
For Praise: 
1. A few visitors to services the last couple months 
2. “Z” attending services in Bulboci and planning to come to the Bible study 
3. Wiring is being done at our house

Monday, March 30, 2020

Hughes News #85

"Tie your shoes and pray for the Hughes"

Dear Friends, 
With many Moldovans celebrating Christmas on January 7th we had several special events after the first of the year.  The first was a Christmas program at the local penitentiary for the officers and their families.  (You may remember that over a year ago we helped with a special Thanksgiving program there.)  Viola and the Grosses taught all the kids a song while the adults took a Christmas quiz.  The kids sang for their parents and we had some other music together.  David spoke on how the message of Christmas affects us still today and afterward we had a few games and snacks.  Last year David and I were unsuccessful in our attempt to obtain permission to visit the inmates with a man from another city who ministers there regularly.  Our hope is that through ministry to the officers we may one day be granted access to see the inmates. 

The following Sunday we had a Christmas themed service in the village church followed by a meal together.  On Monday the 6th we held a Christmas program for kids.  We held one first at the Grosses house (we typically have a VBS there each summer) and then repeated the program in Soroca that afternoon.  The thing I was most pleased with was the handful of kids that came from unbelieving families, most of whom had attended our VBS last summer.  Since the schedule and program went well, we are considering future 1-day programs at other times of the year (Easter, specifically).  The final Christmas event was caroling out in the village.  A couple of the ladies who live there were planning to go so David and his daughter Abby, Viola and I joined them.  We enjoyed sharing with others songs about Jesus’ birth.  (We even caroled to the mayor of the village and his wife. I was glad I didn’t know who he was until after we had sung or I would have been nervous!)  

The ladies have a meeting the first Saturday of each month.  It is structured for believers and rarely do unbelievers come.  With the normally scheduled meeting falling one day before International Women’s Day (March 8th - a fairly big event here), the ladies decided to make it an evangelistic outreach.  A lady from the village church helped with food.  Special decorations, a craft, a game and prizes were all prepared.  Viola taught a lesson on Eve and our need for and God’s provision of a Savior.  As with many things, not as many came as were invited, but 7 unsaved ladies came from the community.  We pray the Lord will use that event in His drawing of these ladies to Himself. 

Yes, we too have the Corona virus in Moldova.  The last I heard we have 60+ confirmed cases in the country.  (*Update: As of March 29, there are now 263 cases with 2 deaths.)  Nearly everything is shut down and we are learning to navigate this unusual time.  With the cancellations and good weather, we have been able to work on our property.  Since construction stores are closed, more of our work has been outside.  It has been work that needed to be done, but that would have been put off had we been able to get materials and work more on the house.  Some things in Moldova were suspended until April 1st, but only time will tell if the restrictions will last longer than that.  Grocery stores still have plenty of supplies, so we are still able to get all that we need.  We are doing our best to make use of the time for things that we’ve gotten behind on (like prayer letters) and for others that we don’t always have the time for that we’d like (like work on our house).  May we each see the lessons our Lord has for us during this time!    

In His service, 
Jacob and Viola Hughes
For Prayer: 
1. Navigating this unique time in ministry
2. Wisdom in planning late spring and summer ministries 
3. Strength to work on our house while the time is available
For Praise: 
1. A number of encouraging Christmas ministries
2. Turnout for the special Ladies’ Meeting 
3. Health and progress on our house

Friday, November 1, 2019

Hughes News #84

"Tie your shoes and pray for the Hughes"
Dear Friends,

Fall has been bustling along and we have been trying to hustle along with it.  With the start of the school year, we have resumed teaching English classes one night a week.  Several new students have joined us this semester.  With our coworker Sarah on furlough, we have picked up a few responsibilities that she had been covering.  Viola is teaching Sunday School every week, Jacob is leading kids’ English classes, and there are a few other odds and ends.  With it being harvest time, Viola has made grape juice, apple juice and sauce, and started gathering walnuts (which are waiting to be shelled).  With good weather for several weeks, we have made some more progress on our house.

We had a special Harvest Sunday service both out in the village and in Soroca.  The biggest blessing in the village was that three visitors joined us who have been attending a chronological Bible study that David has been teaching.  The biggest blessing in Soroca was having “V” with us for the service.  He has come off and on for a couple of years, but hasn’t been to a service in several months.  The fact of us having a meal after the service allowed more time to talk with him.  Would you take a moment to pray for these four souls- for the three in the village to be saved, and for “V” to resume coming to services?

Harvest Sunday in Soroca

Last we wrote we mentioned a couple of older people in our ministries.  “O” has continued to be faithful to midweek Bible study and has come a couple of times on Sundays.  Some days, she seems fairly confused, which makes it a struggle to know how much she is following in the Bible study.  “P” has been reading the Gospels on his own, but hasn’t been able to come as frequently to services due to sickness, a small house fire, and visiting relatives.  We ask for your prayers for them, and for us as we seek to honor them (being older than us) and yet point them to the truth.

Our “skeleton” house pictured in our last update now has “skin” (OSB sheathing) and a “hat” (roof).  It also has windows, but I couldn’t think how to say that in my corny analogy.  We have a couple more projects to do in order to get it completely closed in before winter.  With daylight hours dwindling, we’d ask you to pray for understanding in the decisions to be made and efficiency in work.

People around us are struggling, dealing with a variety of issues in this life, just as people around you are doing.  It has stood out to me recently as I’ve heard of:
- A mother’s problems with her college-age daughter
- A young family’s struggles to run their own business
- A teenage girl whose mother passed away a year ago
- A man’s difficulties with four kids as his wife works out of the country
- A woman’s husband taking his own life (we’ve known the woman for maybe a year, but just recently learned that this happened a few years back)
- A woman’s son battling with cancer
Some may realize it.  Others may not, but they all need the Savior.  He is the only one that can bring comfort and aid to their specific situation.  Our desire is that they meet Him, know Him and walk with Him.  We are glad we can be His representatives here.

In His service,
Jacob and Viola Hughes
For Prayer:
1. “O” and “P” and the request mentioned above
2. Us to get our house closed in before cold weather
3. Preparations for special Christmas programs

For Praise:
1. Good Harvest Sundays in Bulboci and Soroca
2. Some more meaningful conversations with our English students
3. Viola feeling more comfortable conversing in Romanian

Jacob teaching kids' English class

Viola teaching at children's center