January 2017

Dear Joshua Project Friends,

As the shadows grow darker...

A young boy is abandoned by his family shortly after finding out he is HIV positive. He is left to struggle to survive in the orphanage systems of Romania. HIV/AIDS is a terrible disease on its own, but Obi has so much more to deal with. The trauma of neglect, hunger, and sickness has taken its' toll on Obi's life. Suffering from epileptic seizures, struggling with anger, and years of abuse... we meet Obi for the first time. He is heavily medicated, his eyes look through you when he speaks as if he doesn't really see what is in front of him. Obi has had a life of terrible suffering, infected with HIV/AIDS as a small boy from medical negligence, abused by the orphanage system and now barely functioning in a cruel society that considers him a leper. We have had the honor of knowing and loving Obi for the past 5 years and he has come and heard the message of hope that Jesus gives to the world. We know he has heard the truth and God knows his heart. With physical sickness, mental illness, and so much emotional trauma we trust God with Obi's eternity. Over the past year Obi's sight had diminished, he has lost a lot of weight and just before he died on January 14th he would shuffle around feeling his way as the shadows grew darker. Obi's life was one of suffering and pain but we know that God is love, God is just and God is full of grace for the least of these. Please pray for all the other kids at the orphanage as they have watched another brother suffer and die.

When following Christ is costly...

When we read the New Testament we see how the disciples suffered persecution as they set out to spread the Gospel. All through history we read accounts of Christians being put to death for their faith and even today in the Middle East we are seeing the terrible reports of the Christians who refuse to turn from Christ at he cost of their lives. Growing up in the West has protected the Church from the worst persecutions, yes as young people come to Christ they might suffer bullying and ridicule at the hands of their classmates but rarely does it cost them their lives. As we work in the poverty stricken remote areas of Romania God is moving in mighty ways as many young people are surrendering to Christ and being saved. These areas steeped in the Orthodox religion, a dark religion that teaches a salvation by works and payments into the church, holding the traditions of the church as holy, even more holy than the scriptures themselves. We are excited to see many coming to know Jesus as Lord but there is a cost to their faith. Nic is a 16 years old boy, raised in the Orthodox church with his whole family holding strong to the traditions of the church. He has been saved and now wants to be baptized, a small village Baptist Church was holding baptisms and Nic decided to attend and get baptized. During the service, as the Pastor preached the doors swung open and his dad had heard of his decision and was furious to find Nic sitting waiting to be baptized. He took him by the arm and lead him out of the church and back home. Almost all the kids coming to Christ are coming from the Orthodox church, they are taking the truth of God's word and asking questions of the priests and family members directly from God's Word. As they do, even their parents and priests are starting to come and so God's Kingdom continues to grow. Nic desires even more to be baptized and knows one day he will be able to. Please pray that God would protect those coming to Christ and that their would be a revival in the Orthodox church, that traditions would be brought down and the truth lifted high.

Prayer requests:

Prayer cover - Please cover the work of the Joshua Project with prayer, sign up to get our updates as we send out prayer letters as the needs arise. Please pray for our team to follow the leading of God at all times. Please pray for those lost in sin that they will repent and be saved. Please pray for physical health for our team and everyone we work with.

Pray and come- Each year we have opportunities for short term volunteers to come for a week or two and help out in many ways, from camps, day camps, village evangelism, bible studies, craft activities, sorting and organizing supplies, construction and maintenance work etc. No matter how old or unqualified there is work to be done.

Pray and send- Each year we try to send multiple shipments of supplies, this is a huge blessing leading up to Christmas. We need toiletries, small toys, baby items, crafts, non-perishable food, clotjing, baby supplies and many other things.

Pray and give- Please give to the work that God is doing in Romania, we rely completely on the donations that come in. It is through the giving of people just like you that children and families suffering in sickness and poverty can hear the good news of Jesus and receive help in hard times. Every financial gift goes completely to helping these little ones we work with.

Thank you for all you give and pray to make this incredible work God is doing at the Joshua Project possible...we are so blessed by you.

Love and Prayers, Andy and Tresha McKnight

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