Christmas prayer

Dear all those who do or might pray for ROOF's work,

All of us at ROOF wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God,
Hath shined upon the world the light of knowledge;
for thereby, they that worshipped the stars 
were taught by a star 
to worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, 
and to know Thee, the Dayspring from on high.
O Lord, glory be to Thee.

As you take time this Christmas to remember the way God showed his love for us in becoming one of us, born in poverty in a manger, we would like to ask you to also remember all the children and young people that ROOF works with in and from Russian orphanages, and also to remember ROOF staff and trustees in your prayers.

Particular points of prayer:

  • Stas. Stas is a young man, now in his early twenties. He has come a long, long way since we first met him in the Belskoye-Ustye orphanage, where, at that time, he was given little or no education or intellectual stimulation, and suffered many personal problems (both psychological and physiological manifestations). Please give thanks with us that he now lives independently, working as a paid ROOF staff member, serving as the caretaker for the ROOF house in Baranovo. He is a responsible and careful person and works hard. However, the winter is hard in Baranovo, and although Stas often prefers to be alone, the aloneness the winter brings in Baranovo (where there are only two other year-round residents) can be extreme. Stas also struggles with various issues in relating to people, and is frequently misunderstood (and sometimes deliberately provocative). He is also known to change his faith affiliation frequently! Please pray for peace for him this Christmas season, for the strength to resist temptations that may strike either in his loneliness or in contact with others, and most of all pray that he will know the constant presence of his Lord.
  • Inna and her father. Please give thanks with us that Inna joined ROOF as Development Director, working since the summer of this year, as she is a very capable person, able to work effectively in English as well as in Russian, and sees her work as part of a life of faith. Unfortunately her father was taken very ill in the early part of the summer, and Inna has become his primary carer. His condition has worsened now so that he is essentially bed-ridden. Inna is trying to find someone to assist her in full-time care of her father, not least so that she can take care of her other responsibilities including her work for ROOF. Please pray that she will have the strength to face all that is in front of her, and pray for her father.
  • The Belskoye-Ustye orphanage and the Pskov authorities. It seems that the orphanage in Belskoye-Ustye is likely to have a new director over the next few months. Please pray that the Russian authorities will appoint a person of faith who will be appreciate the need to help the children spiritually as well as materially.
  • Relationships. Please pray that in all our relationships, those of us working with ROOF would be faithful, loving and straightforward with our students, colleagues, partner organizations, those we work with in the orphanage system and both governmental and non-governmental/non-profit organizations. Often it is hard not to get drawn into existing webs of suspicion, mistrust, cliques, misinformation, and even gossip, but if we fail to stand firmly and faithfully apart from all these things we compromise our work and the well-being of all involved.
  • Love. Please pray that in everything we do we manifest the love of Christ in whom we attempt to do all that we do, and that we continue to love Christ in every person we meet in the course of our work.

All of us at ROOF thank you very much for your support of our work in prayer, and wish you again a very Merry Christmas.

Andrew and Georgia Williams