Dear Prayer Warriors, Thank you for fighting the good fight of prayer on our behalf.

We know that spiritual warfare surrounds all of us and it can only be won through prayer. As we see the time of Christ’s return approaching, the Devil will be working extra hard to keep as many souls from the gospel of Christ as he can. Prayer is the one true weapon we have against our enemy. Thank you for your prayers for us and our Ukrainian family. December, January - Our usual tradition of having a New Year’s Service turned out great. There were 64 in attendance, including several unsaved people. We had very encouraging and admonishing preaching from a few of our men, it was inspiring to hear what God is doing in their lives. Along with the preaching, many prepared specials, skits and songs. Of course we had a great meal together. A wonderful time of fellowship! ! Like everywhere, the Christmas season is a busy time of year.  On Wednesday 12/26 we were invited to take part in the 'Holiday Celebration' at a Nursery School in Pyite Gorie. We have a good relationship with the director of the school, so when Yura and I approached her about us coming she whole heartily agreed. We presented a puppet show about the birth of Christ. We sang some songs and gave each child and teacher a gift. Our goal is show the love of Christ and plant the seeds of the gospel in their hearts. On Saturday 12/29 our teens and many from the Fostive Church went to an orphanage in Fostive. We were expecting to see younger kids under 5 years old, but that wasn’t the case, the youngest was 8, and the oldest was 15. The Lord worked it out so that our young people could talk with them individually. Our teens did a great job at mingling and getting to know the kids. We ended it with giving each of them a gift. I thought it would be a very good ministry for our teens to be involved in on a regular basis. However, as we left, the director of the orphanage told us that the government is shutting them down. This is sad news, but we thank God that we had this opportunity to minister to them. We wanted to be a blessing to many of the poor people that have been attending in Pytie Gorie. On January 7th (which is Christmas here) we had a special Christmas Service, we served a meal and gave each adult a ‘Christmas Basket’ of food along with a small toy for each child. February - This has been the toughest winter in Ukraine so far. We started getting snow in early December and has not stopped. It is not just the snow that is hard, it is the driving. Specifically because they don’t plow the roads. In Fostive the mayor said there wasn’t any money in the budget for plowing. There was quite an uproar, so he finally had the main street plowed, but none of the side roads. Imagine 2 1/2 - 3 feet of snow that has been packed down as people travel over it, it becomes ice, in most places up to a foot and a half thick. Add to that trucks that get stuck and spin their wheels making holes, it becomes pot-hole heaven. It would be easier driving on the moon! We had to change the routes of travel because the normal roads were not passable. A trip that normally took 40 minutes turned into over 2 hours. The driver (me) has to have their eyes glued to the road as other drivers can easily lose control of their vehicle. The stress of traveling goes off the chart, it took defensive driving to a new level. When you go through these physical trials you know that God has something happening. For some time we have had an influx of new people in Pytie Gorie. The majority of them are those that have lost everything and are living like bums, some were even homeless. Yura invited them to church and we began to help them with their physical needs. We gave them clothes, and Yura cut wood for them, we even put in a wood stove in one lady’s house. We bought a hide-a-bed for two ladies that were sleeping on a dirt floor. We purchased oil lamps to use at night, because they have no electricity. They have been coming to church now for several months and hearing the gospel. Satan has had grip on them for a long time. Please pray for God’s glorious light to shine in their hearts, that they would believe and be saved.

March - International Ladies Day, March 8th is a big holiday in Ukraine. We have always tried to make this a special time for our ladies and their families. In years past, we have had special services for each church around March 8th, but this year Robin thought it would be good to have a Ladies Conference. We invited some of the sisters from other churches near and far. We were very busy trying to get everything organized. We had three other churches attend besides our own four. We ended up with 64 ladies. Robin did a great job of getting everything organized and ready. The men helped serve the food, it made the day extra special. The theme of the conference was Walking in the Light and Abiding in the Light. The emphasis being that we need to do both in our lives, walk and abide. One of the high-lights of the conference was a song/skit that Robin thought up, based on the 12 days of Christmas. Olya put the words to it that described a day in the life of Ukrainian women. You should have seen the ladies faces as they sang that song and acted out the parts. Everyone was laughing and crying. It really touched their hearts because it was so true. One of biggest things we heard from the ladies is that the conference made them feel that they are not alone, and even with the everyday struggles of life, they can still choose to serve Christ fervently. Prayer requests: 1) For the unsaved Pytie Gorie: Sergae, Natasha, Nadia, Sasha, Larissa, Tonya. 2) Pray for Yura from Pytie Gorie. He is a big help and a faithful minister, he is shouldering a lot of the responsibility. Pray God gives him wisdom in his decisions. 3) Continue to pray for Maxim. He is not doing better spiritually, and the churches have lost their youth pastor as well as someone who was a spiritual leader. 4) My health. Now that March 8th is over I have promised Robin I would get some of my health issues taken care of, which means surgery. 

Your Missionaries, The Irelands

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