This Week on the Field
by Mary Malone
We had a crazy busy week this past week, which I guess made up for the quiet week we had when we were all sick! It was a week filled with ministry, choir program at school, final seminary exams including a term paper for Chris, basketball practice and scrimmages for Bethany and Seth, plus just the day in and day out busyness of our life with seven kids in the house (five with special needs).
On Tuesday, we had a birthday dinner for one of our moms, Inga. I want to share a little bit about her with you because Inga's story so well represents why we feel called to be here, doing what we do. Inga is a single mom of two boys. Her oldest son, Danil, has a very severe form of autism. He requires constant supervision and is, for the most part, homebound (and that means Inga is, too, since she is his primary caregiver). We came to know her through the special needs ministry here in Brovary. She has attended camps and been a part of Friday night Bible study and even Saturday studies that our friend Tanya leads. She came to Christ in April of 2014. Since then, we have seen so much fruit in her life. Although her life is very difficult, she is almost always smiling and warmly greets us each and every time she sees us. She regularly talks about what she has been reading or memorizing from God's word. A friend was recently in her apartment and she said even though they have practically nothing she couldn't help but notice the walls were covered with the many scripture cards that our colleague Jamie has made for weekly Bible studies and camps. It is so very evident that, to Inga, God's Word is her source of hope and joy.
Here are some photos from our time:
It was a sweet time of fellowship. We took turns speaking blessings and encouragement to Inga, who was just beaming the entire two hours we were together!
Sunday nights continue to be pure joy for Chris and I and we are continually amazed at the many unbelievers that come and participate. I am only in the service for the worship and children's sermon and then I go on to a classroom where I help with most of the smaller or more significantly disabled children. In my room, we have different sensory activities, such as sand trays and bean trays, puzzles, blocks, etc. I have loved getting to know these precious ones and share the love of Christ with them. Last week, we had a little girl named Marina. Marina and her mom are new. We met them at camp this summer and were so excited to see them show up for Sunday night service. Until last week, Marina's mom had not felt comfortable enough with us to leave her. Very understandable, especially considering Marina is severely disabled. She is nine and yet does not sit or stand on her own and has very little head control. Nonetheless, her mom carried her in and we began to get her situated on the couch, propping her up with different pillows. Even then, I could tell her mom wasn't sure about leaving her but I assured her we would come and get her, if needed. For the rest of the evening, we took turns talking gently to her, singing over her and telling her that she has a Heavenly Father who cherishes her. Although she was mostly unresponsive, we know that the Word of God does not return void and that it is powerful enough to penetrate the heart and mind of the hearer. I am sharing this story because we are making a very conscious effort to not only share the gospel with parents but also with their children. I was reminded this week as I was reading God's Word in 2 Timothy chapter 2: Paul spoke that though he was physically bound and unable to take God's Word to others, still God's Word could not be bound! How true that is! We are loving on and working with some very disabled children and, yet, God's Word cannot even be bound by their limitations. It is our responsibility to share it with them and His job to see that it reaches the secret places in their heart and mind.
Thank you for praying for us and encouraging us through emails and texts. Winter here is oppressive, yet your prayers make a difference and keep us going!