Reflections

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A long but wonderful summer on the road followed by a busy autumn living and working in North Carolina has left little time for blogging and keeping our website updated.  We apologize for the lack of activity on this website and it remains a continuing struggle for us to be more diligent in keeping our website updated.  The warm and humid days we experienced earlier this fall in North Carolina have turned to brisk autumn nights. Light fades a little every day and the calendar assures us of the coming of winter and the passing of another busy but wonderful year for us in Eastern Europe.  Season after season we are continually reminded of God’s faithfulness and of His provision for us in all situations; through both good and difficult circumstances that we experience in life, God’s faithfulness and His Word remain a constant Rock on which to stand upon.  Cooling temperatures and falling leaves along with news of the season’s first snow in the Midwest make it difficult to reflect on the warmth of summer.  We praise God for the incredible experiences and opportunities that the summer of 2015 held for us and we hope to share with you in the following blogs about our work this past summer serving God in Eastern Europe.

We left Ukraine in August and returned to the States for a series of doctor appointments, to visit family and friends and to work for a few months in North Carolina.  As many of you know Eric has twice been diagnosed with Non Hodgins Lymphoma in the past 18 months.  We left for Ukraine last January following a month of cancer treatments and we came back to the U.S. in August for checkups to determine the results and effectiveness of those treatments.  After blood work, CAT and PET scans, and a biopsy the oncologist reported that no cancer could be found.  We praise God and we are very thankful for His healing hand and a clean report of health.  Eric has also been diagnosed in recent years with cardiomyopathy and an August echocardiogram and a visit to the cardiologist has shown small but continued improvement in heart function.  We are thankful to God and praise His name.  We also thank all of you who have been praying for us during these trying times the past couple of years.

The arrival of summer changes our lives dramatically.  Gone are the weekly conversational English classes and clubs, weekly Bible studies and outreach programs that characterize our winter and spring months in Transcarpathia, Ukraine.  Gone too is the stability of having a home and living among neighbors and friends in our home community of Peterfalva, Ukraine.  Graduations and exams fill up the months of May and June for students and our work and ministry change focus from working with students within school walls and schedules to working with students through a series of summer English and Gospel outreach camps throughout the summer months.  In 2007 we participated in only one summer camp at the Peterfalva Reformed Lyceum in our home village of Peterfalva, Ukraine.  Over the past 8 years God has opened many doors and provided many new opportunities.  We marvel at the Lord’s work, for this past summer we were able to conduct 6 different English and outreach camps in three different countries.  We praise God for these many opportunities to share of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and share our faith with hundreds of students and young adults taking part in these programs. Organizing camps and activities and living out of suitcases, calling a new place home every week can be tiring and exhausting, but the opportunity to connect and develop relationships with hundreds of young people, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is ultimately far more rewarding.  It is really humbling that the Lord can use us in such a manner as this!  Summer camps have proven to be a very successful tool in our ministry and outreach to young people in Eastern Europe.

Remembering back to the spring months brings a flood of memories from Roma outreach programs, English class and Bible Studies, please click on the link or visit our photo galleries to see pictures from life in Ukraine and Hungary dating back to last spring, as well as pictures of people and places that surround us in beautiful Eastern Europe, making it a wonderfully fascinating place to live and work.   http://iccdabroad.org/photo-galleries/2015-march-june-life-and-times-in-eastern-europe/

 

About Eric Hoeksema

Stacey, my wife, and I are located in western Ukraine, living with and working among a Hungarian population in Transcarpathia, Ukraine.

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