Friday, February 12, 2021

Hughes News #88

 
"Tie your shoes and pray for the Hughes"
 
Dear Friends,
 
We are pleased to report that we were able to resume or begin each of the ministries we mentioned in our last prayer letter!  The first to resume was our weekly kids’ Bible club in the nearby village of Cosauti.  We have been pleased with the response of the kids and their involvement in the program.  It feels to me that we have picked up with them right where we left off.  There are three boys who live full-time in the center.  Starting next week, Lord-willing, David will stay after our regular program to try to specifically minister to these young teens.  We would appreciate prayer for “M,” “I” and “C.”
 
We restarted English lessons the same day as the Bible club.  After some general review, we have divided the students into groups and plan to teach lessons for the rest of the school year.  We have already seen how this ministry puts us in contact with people in Soroca that otherwise we would not have met, but we pray that God will bring spiritual opportunities from these contacts.
 
We had planned to start an evangelistic Bible study in Bulboci on January 21, but the first lesson ended up being a week later.  Our initial start date coincided with one of the days the Orthodox priest was blessing houses (going house to house down the street).  We think a couple of people who had considered coming to the study were waiting for the priest’s visit.  Despite the delayed start, the lessons have gone well.  Coming are: a solid believer, two young in the faith, one unsaved who has attended services for several months and one unsaved neighbor of the believers.  There is at least one other woman who expressed interest but who has not shown up yet.  We pray the study will be beneficial to all but especially that the Lord will use it to draw the unsaved to Himself.
 
David and I have made three visits to witness to an older man.  As we understand it, he has not been particularly religious up to this point in his life, but now has some interest in spiritual things.  We ask that you pray for “V” and for us as we talk with him.  Age has slowed his understanding and memory and while the person with whom he is staying is eager to help us talk to him, often the additional input does not match what we are trying to say or how we are saying it.  Due to some missing documents, this man should be in Soroca for awhile.  We hope to keep visiting him every couple of weeks. 
 
After dealing with health problems for several months, a dear sister in the village church has been able to attend services again.  Her presence, as well as that of a couple of others in January, has been an encouragement to us.  With things starting back up we are settling into a more regular weekly schedule and life is feeling more normal.  We are eager to see how the Lord will work in this year.  Thank you for your concern for us and for our ministry.  We appreciate your prayers to our Father on behalf of those we’ve mentioned in this letter. 
 
In His service, 
Jacob and Viola Hughes
 
For Prayer: 
1. “D” and “Z” – the unsaved attendees of the evangelistic Bible study 
2. The kids at the Bible club and specifically “M,” “I” and “C”  
3. “V’s” understanding of and belief in the gospel
 
For Praise: 
1. Resumption / start of ministries we had planned 
2. A great Romanian teacher who is helping us to continue to progress 
3. A decent start to our group Bible reading projects 

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