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December 2007 - Merry CHRISTmas!

We wish you a merry CHRISTmas and a happy New Year!

Dear family and friends,

We are sending this special holiday letter to our family members and friends to wish you all the best of God’s blessings for this Christmas season and for all of 2008. We hope you will have many opportunities to gather with loved ones and celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ to our world that was lost in the darkness of sin. He brought us light, hope, and the plan of Salvation; and He will come again quickly, maybe in 2008!

We mail our regular prayer letters through a letter service in the United States, but this one comes to you directly from Oryol, Russia. We are hopeful that it will reach you in time for the holidays.

Below you will find a copy of our latest family picture. Alan and April are the taller ones! David and Cindy have been in America since 2005. They are both very busy in Elgin, Illinois. Cindy is in her third year at Providence Baptist College, and working at Menard’s home improvement store. David is a staff member at Northwest Bible Baptist Church. He is taking night classes in heating and air conditioning so that he will be able to work on those systems at the church and the college. David is also spending as much time as he can spare with “Audrey”, a fine young lady who is a special friend of his.

This has been a good year for all of us. Here are some of the events of 2007:

- The greatest blessing of the year was the salvation of Alex! After he was baptized, his wife Pollina also trusted Christ, and she was baptized later.
- Now we all have our 5-year Russian residency permits. We are praising the Lord for this open door to serve Him at a time when visas are harder to get.
- The value of the dollar dropped drastically this year. We praise the Lord that our support has been consistent, and we have always had what we needed.
- We were very blessed this year to have a nice church facility to use for church services and activities. We started a Wednesday night Russian Bible study, so now we have three services a week.
- We had three church picnics this summer, with barbecue, volleyball, and preaching! The church people really enjoy picnics, and it helps to make them feel a part of our group.
- The Travis Decker family moved here this year after they were deported from Belarus. We are very happy to have some co-workers! They plan to work with us now, take care of things for us here when we go home on furlough next summer, and then maybe start a new work in a nearby village.
- We had several American visitors this year. My pastor came with a group from our home church. Our daughter Cindy was back here for a few weeks. A young lady from Georgia came to experience life on the mission field. All these visitors were a great blessing to us!
- We went to Ukraine in August for a youth conference, where my pastor was the guest speaker. We saw many friends from several different countries.

We sincerely appreciate all your prayers, letters, and financial support this year. We are planning a short furlough for May through September 2008.

May God bless you in a special way this holiday season. You are very special to us!

In the service of the King,
Don and Ruth Ossewaarde, David, Cindy, Alan, and April