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Good News of Great Joy

Rich Davis on December 10, 2019

Christmas-nativity

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).

Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He opened the minds of the disciples so that they could comprehend the Scriptures. He allowed them to understand from the Old Testament that it was always God's plan that He should die as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins and then rise again. He also explained that this good news should be proclaimed to all nations.

 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem" (Luke 24:45-47).

The tradition of giving gifts at Christmas time may have originated in part from the account of the wise men bringing gifts to the newborn King. We rejoice that God gave His Son that we might be saved and that He also gave us spiritual gifts and abilities for serving Him.

Sergiu Svetlana si Darius Sergiu is the worship leader at Imago Dei and Svetlana teaches English and helps Jo Ann with the ESL class when Darius allows it!

Good News - of Gifts being Used for Him

Jo Ann's Gift's of Language and Teaching

Jo Ann has spent many hours dedicated to learning to speak and understand the Romanian language. Her progress is wonderful and there is real joy in seeing the results of all that effort.

She has also become the local expert in teaching English as a second language (ESL) and has spent many hours developing the curriculum being taught at the Imago Dei Baptist Church. It is a challenge to prepare lesson plans for the different ability levels of the students who come each Wednesday afternoon. The neighbors who come to the church for the ESL classes range from elementary school age to adults. By God's grace, soon they will have the ability to understand Bible stories which is the primary reason we offer these classes. Please pray that the leadership at Imago Dei will have opportunities to visit the families of these students to share the gospel in a more intimate way.

Rich's Gifts of Teaching and Preaching

The fall semester at the Christian University (UDG) is ending as we near the Christmas break. Rich has been teaching students with translations in two languages and preparing them for ministry in Asia and Europe. The course which has been adopted for use in places where the victims of our enemy live is unique for sharing the story of redemption. The students are grasping the material well.

Pastoral theology is another foundational course also being translated into two languages as Rich teaches the section on developing international cross-cultural missions in the local church. We are preparing students who will be starting new church plants or serving as leaders in existing local churches so that the Great Commission will be at the heart of their churches. Naturally, this material is also a blessing for the Imago Dei Church where we are a part of the church planting team. One of our desires is to see Imago Dei be a missional church. Please pray for the students as they prepare to be sent into the fields that are ready for harvest.

Preaching in the Sunday morning services at Imago Dei is always a blessing. Pastor Mihai and Rich are leading a study through the book of Galatians with Pastor Mihai doing the lion's share of the preaching. Please pray that the Lord would draw individuals and families from our neighborhood to come and hear the gospel of salvation by faith. So many are lost while simply ignoring God or trusting in their own "good works" to get to Heaven.

Our Gift's in Mentoring

Because we have had a few years in cross-cultural ministries, we now have opportunities to share the knowledge and experience the Lord has given us with faithful young Christian men and women who are taking the baton from us. Jo Ann is leading a Bible study with some of the young ladies in the Imago Dei Church. Please pray for Svetlana, Irina, and Tatiana as they grow together with Jo Ann in the Word.

Rich is leading a focused discipleship study with the two primary leaders of the Imago Dei Church - Mihai and Sergiu. By God's grace, we will complete the Self-Confrontation course in the next six months. The idea of the study is to take the log out of our own eyes so that we might then be able to help others in their Christian life. This in-depth discipleship training is preparing these faithful men to begin discipling others. Please pray for these men and for all those to whom we have the privilege of serving.

Christmas shopping in Odessa Christmas shopping in Odessa over Thanksgiving. After all, it was Black Friday! The lady in the center is the artist that makes these Christmas ornaments.

Great Joy - of God's Many Blessings

Thanksgiving in Ukraine

Our ABWE colleagues in Odessa invited us to celebrate Thanksgiving with them since we are the only American couple in our mission in Moldova. The bus trip to Odessa only took 4 hours and we truly enjoyed the fellowship and love over that great weekend (not to mention the food)! We were also treated to a 5 story descent under the city of Odessa to take a tour of the limestone tunnels and then to the ballet where we saw a live performance of Sleeping Beauty. What a great weekend thanks to the amazing ABWE team in Ukraine. Far be it from us to forget the special Black Friday shopping trip with Holly Friesen (ABWE). It was a blessing to stay with Holly and see the fantastic Crisis Pregnancy Center that she directs.

Christmas in Spain

Romanian and Russian are beautiful languages, but it is impossible to take the love of Spanish out of us! We have been invited to spend Christmas in Spain with dear friends of many years. We are hoping that listening to Spanish will give our minds a rest from trying to concentrate so much in Romanian! Perhaps the Lord would allow us to participate in a Bible study and interact with friends in Spain who need the Lord.

Ministry in Moldova

We are looking forward to another year of active ministry in 2020. Ministries will increase at the Imago Dei Baptist church as will new courses to be taught at the Christian University (UDG). As we mentioned in our last prayer letter, we are praying about the need to bring our financial support back up to the required level.

The good news and the challenging news!

The good news is that some dear friends who are also a supporting couple increased their monthly support by 50% and almost cut the deficit in half. Praise the Lord! We are so thankful for this timely and generous response.

The challenging news is that we received notification from the ABWE home office that our health insurance costs are going up again beginning in January 2020 which will now leave us with a total monthly deficit of approximately $500 a month. Please join us as we pray for the Lord to supply the necessary funds allowing us to continue cross-cultural ministries on the foreign field.

Merry Christmas

We wish each of you the joy of celebrating of the birth of King Jesus. The world pretends that He is not real much less King of the world. We know better because we live in the real world. Once again, we will be far away from our children and grandchildren during this season which is so precious to families but even so, all of us will be worshiping our Savior and King. May the Lord bless each of You and may this time of celebration find Christ in the center and the very reason for our joy.