An update from Lindsay on the food ministry to the poor:
This past Saturday, a lot happened as we handed out the bags of food to the poor in Lviv.
When Natalya started receiving a bag of food for herself, she also had a heart for others and spread the word about us, so others could come & receive. She also greatly enjoyed the fellowship with other people and started coming to church every Sunday. Soon, she had started joining us for the entire time of food distribution, helping us hand out the bags. In January, she surrendered herself to the Lord and received His gift of salvation! Glory be to Him! On Saturday, as we handed out the bags, different people started telling us that Natalya had died. One woman is a flower seller and knew Natalya quite well, as Natalya always stopped to talk to her. She confirmed that it was indeed the Natalya we knew, and told us she had died after a car hit her. Even though the driver took her to the hospital and paid for an operation, the doctors were unable to save her. On the one hand, our hearts are saddened that we did not have more time to get to know Natalya, but we greatly rejoice, knowing that God had numbered her days and drew her to Himself before her days ended, so that she could spend eternity in fellowship with Him! Hallelujah!
Pani Vira (her name translates “faith”) has been receiving a bag of food for a long time and we have so enjoyed getting to know her. She is an amazing, hard-working, optimistic woman. She quickly started calling us her “golden children” and would light up whenever she saw us. Her need isn’t great enough that she begs on the streets, but the Lord led us to her as she sat on a park bench, as one He wanted to lavish His love on through this simple act of giving food. When things are a little harder, she will brush it off with a simple, “I don’t need to talk about the bad things. When I see you, everything is good, so it doesn’t matter.” Despite getting ready to turn 90 in 3 weeks, she insists on taking a walk every day, saying, “Once you lay down, you die.” She was still taking her daily walk a month ago, when it was -20 degrees! When she wasn’t out this past Saturday, we knew something was wrong. Thankfully, she is the only person we give food to who had earlier agreed to give us her address, so we could bring the food to her in situations like this. We went to her apartment, where she lives with her daughter (who is also elderly & retired), Nadiya (which translates “hope”). It was our first time meeting her daughter and at first, she seemed a bit cynical about us, but during our visit, she seemed to accept that we were sincere, normal people, and by the time we left, was tearing up as she thanked us for coming. As it turned out, Pani Vira had fallen and broken something (best we could understand, her hip). She could be laid up for up to 6 months. When I asked her if she was in pain, she brushed the question off with a grunt and said, “Just give me a kiss, and don’t worry about it.” 🙂 She is one-of-a-kind! Please pray for a quick and proper healing for Pani Vira, and pray that our relationship will grow, and our ministry will increase, as we go into Pani Vira & Nadiya’s home to deliver their bag of food and fellowship with them.
Finally, a cool moment came on Saturday as a man approached and asked, “Are you giving out humanitarian aid?” After answering to the affirmative, he said, “Okay, good. Here.” and handed us the equivalent of $5! Well, thank You, God!
We cannot say thank you enough for supporting us in so many ways as we serve here, and for the financial donations you have given to this specific ministry of ministering to the poor in L’viv. You have a part in the beautiful truth that Natalya is standing before the Lord right now, worshipping her Savior & King face-to-face! All glory be to Him!!!