Dear Friends and Family in Christ Jesus,
Greetings from the Popchenko Family! We hope you had a blessed Christmas and we pray for God’s richest blessings on each of you and for renewed strength in the Lord’s service this coming year.
As we look back at the past year, we were once again reminded of God’s faithfulness in upholding us through the hardships of life. Even though we experienced many of God’s wonderful blessings in 2010, the past year was the most difficult for us health-wise. In June, all of us got some sort of gastrointestinal infection and all except me ended up in the hospital. This past year I had another health problem added to my collection: my lower back. Then, from August to November, I had three sinus infections and two ear infections in a row, experiencing the latter problem for the first time in my life. Finally, my old stomach problems (the primary one being ‘reflux’) have returned… or perhaps they never went away since 2004. This is not mentioning our numerous colds. At the time of this writing, I am recovering from the series of sinus and ear infections, thanks to the successful treatment prescribed by my immunologist, and am at the same time treating my stomach problems. We covet your prayers for my health: I need it to complete the Ukrainian Bible.
In spite of my recent illnesses, by God’s grace I was able to finish the first draft of Matthew and to do the first draft of 5 chapters of Mark. The end of the year 2010 marked the completion of 35% of the New Testament in various stages. Some of the books are in the first draft, others are in the second draft and one book is in the final draft. We praise the Lord for the opportunity to accomplish this much! The first readers of the newly translated Gospel of Matthew were my family: we used it in our family devotions. One particular instance of our family devotions was especially interesting. When we read Matthew 25:31-46, I commented on verse 40 “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” I tried to explain to the boys that what we do for other Christians, we are really doing for Jesus, since all believers are His brothers. Several days later Christmas arrived. Our ‘philosopher’ Sashko was trying to understand the Christmas practice of gift giving and asked, “Why do people give presents to each other on Christmas, if this is supposed to be Jesus’ birthday?” After thinking for a moment, he said, “I know why. Because when we do something for Jesus’ brothers, we do it for Him.”
Mama’s Corner (by Wendy)
The boys and I were excited to complete our first semester December 24th, being ahead in every subject! I have a feeling that this will come in handy after the baby is born and we need to be a little more flexible with our schedule. Baby Popchenko seems to be doing well and everybody is looking forward to his arrival in about two months. With all the snow we have, Sashko and Yurko have been getting plenty of exercise and fresh air as they build snow forts, ski in the nearby forest, and shovel, shovel, shovel. Andriy does his part with his tiny shovel… never happier than when he is ‘working’. Thankfully, throughout the many weeks of Yura’s sicknesses, all three boys and I have stayed amazingly healthy. We praise the Lord for sparing us and are all SO glad to have Daddy feeling better!
1. Pray for me to have wisdom, protection and health, as I continue translating.
2. Please keep praying for my lower back and for me to regain strength after these recent illnesses.
3. Pray for us to find a larger reliable car for our growing family.
4. Pray for Wendy and the baby’s safe delivery at the end of February. Also, please pray for Wendy’s mom as she travels over to help us.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers and financial support. May the Lord bless all in 2011 as we each labor for His glory in the harvest field.
Your fellow-servants for Jesus’ sake,
Yura, Wendy, Sashko, Yurko and Andriy Popchenko