Ukraine

Being Salt and Light as a YMI Mom

Youth Ministry International’s “Wives in the Trenches”:

Being Salt and Light as a YMI Mom

By: Melissa Hughes – YMI Ukraine

For the past two years I have struggled with feeling uninvolved. My husband, Sam, is often away on ministry and I am home with our three kids. I have complained to God (and others) that I am not involved in ministry outside my home. Any opportunities I tried to pursue, the doors immediately closed.

God has spent the past year working on my heart issues: pride, self-centeredness, relationship with my husband and children, contentment and thankfulness. Recently, He decided that I was ready to be involved in ministry again.

At the grocery store a young Indian woman introduced herself after she heard us speaking English. She is a medical student living down the street from us with her boyfriend (also an Indian medical student). They speak little Russian/Ukrainian as they study in English. Busy with studies, they have not met many people in the English-speaking community. They were eager to get to know us and we immediately exchanged phone numbers. They are very open to a relationship with us even though they are practicing Hindus. We have had several conversations about God, morality, worldview, and how my faith impacts my daily life. I told her about the international church where they speak English. They are open to meeting more Christians and possibly visiting the church. We are praying for wisdom and for God to use us to draw them to Himself, the One True God.

Recently my friend, Tanya, invited me and several ladies from our church to study the book of Esther with her. It is an excellent opportunity to study God’s Word with my mom friends, and they also hope to improve their English. We met for the first time at a cafe. As we pulled out our books and began speaking in English, a lady at the next table asked curiously, “What are you studying? It’s in English?” We explained that we were studying the biblical book of Esther and invited her to join us.

For the next hour as we read the first chapter of Esther we got to know our new acquaintance. She decided to order a book and join our Bible study every week! May God use the study of His Word in English in a public place to grow us as believers and attract non-believers to Himself!

Tanya also shared about an evangelistic English curriculum for kids. I had been asking God for a way to share the gospel with Jarrett’s classmates and parents! I sent out a text announcement that we will be starting a Christian English Club and already have six families interested. The first to respond was the mom of a bully that has been tormenting Jarrett. May God make Himself known to these kids and their parents and heal the brokenness that Jarrett sees daily in his classroom.

One Saturday a policeman rang our doorbell to say that one of our upstairs neighbors had died. He explained that the man had not died at home and that he was lying in the stairwell. They needed two witnesses to view the body as they filled out official paperwork.

I didn’t know the man but occasionally have conversations with his mom, Maria, a kind woman who cares for her very elderly mother. She thanked me for coming and stood over the body of her son in shock and disbelief. I told Maria that I would be praying for her and she started talking about caring for him as a boy and began to cry and wail.

The next day Jarrett and I took banana bread to their apartment and expressed our sympathy. Since then I have had several conversations with Maria and express love to her in the midst of her grief. May God use His Word to show His love and comfort to this grieving family.

God answered my prayer and has given me PLENTY to do to minister here outside my home. I am having a wonderful time sharing the good news with other women in “my world!”

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