Monday night conversation classes at the Open Door Center are growing! We began the class last fall with just two students coming regularly and last night there were eleven in attendance split between “Beginner” and “Intermediate” levels. It is exciting to have a bigger group and we praise God for the ways He is expanding our sphere of relationships.
On Friday night (April 25) we held an Easter Celebration at our Center. Students from the two universities we teach at came to play games, hang out, and share about Easter. The truth of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection was clearly presented. Students were challenged in their pursuit to find God, to know him and the power of the cross, to believe in Him, to confess Him as risen Lord and to see the hope that He provides us through the resurrection. Please pray for these students that they would seek God with all their heart and find him. Pray that they would know Him as their Lord and Savior.
On the Monday after Easter, the local people go to the cemetery to spend time with love ones – both those that have passed away and those that are still alive. Bringing food and drinks, a family feast is held near the decorated grave. Eggs are dyed deep red to symbolize the blood of Christ, and taken to the cemetery the day after Easter to roll across the graves. And also to crack against others’ eggs to see whose egg is the strongest! Please pray that as people finish up the Easter Holidays with this tradition that many would ponder the truth of Easter and find the power of the resurrected Christ to be real in their lives.
To begin Holy week, many people go to church to celebrate Palm Sunday. At church, people bring their old willow branches that they have kept in their house since the previous year and they burn them. They then receive new willow branches that are blessed by the priest to take home and keep for another year. Please pray that as people go to church that they would meet God in a new and powerful way. Pray that the traditions will come alive with meaning and allow them to know God personally.
We recently had 10 students complete Level One English classes! They were excited to receive their certificates of completion and we introduced them to the traditional graduation music of “Pomp and Circumstance” for our little ceremony. We are really encouraged by the relationships that have formed with these special students. Please pray for the deepening of friendships and building of trust.
This old tower is on a hill overlooking our city and is similar to ancient towers we have found all over the country. For centuries people in this culture ran to towers in times of trouble when enemies drew near. We are praying that people here will understand in new ways that “the name of the Lord is a strong tower”. His name is a strong tower that doesn’t fade or crumble!
As we move into the Easter season we ask that you pray for the people of our country. Many people will attend church at some point during this time. We will update you on some of the Easter traditions here, but we pray that the actions of the people would not just stop as a simple tradition that is done without meaning, but instead will be brought alive with new life in Christ. Pray with us that people would meet Him in a new and powerful way this season.