Jesus is the greatest gift of all! Natalya Skala – Christmas 2014

Christmas- this is the most joyful time of the year for family!!! Old wonderful traditions including giving gifts to each other!!! Still we realize that the entire world does not always celebrate the way we do and feels such blessings as the family of God. I am a happy person, I love to make people around me happy. I like to give gifts and see their smiles when when they receive the gifts. We came to USA as a refugee family from the former USSR 25 years ago. Since that time and throughout the years, we received many gifts and were blessed to be able to give many gifts to people. There are many cherished memories. However, the best gift that I was able to give to people is to share about the life of Jesus Christ!!!

I know that in 21st century it is not politically correct to be so open as I am. Today I don’t care any more what is “acceptable” as polite, not stepping on anyone’s toes, rocking the boat, or any other politically correct cliches.

Today, just one week before Christmas, I received some awful news. No, this is not about gifts, but about loss, even during this joyous season. One of our kids in Ukraine, a child who lived on the streets as an orphan, experienced just a few warm years as part of our family, died. He was only 22!!!!

Lyenya's picture

Lyenya’s story is so simple and yet so significant. He ended up on the streets of Odessa when he was only 1.5 years. At first he lived with his mom; however, she passed and he was left all alone on the streets until the age of 14. This is when I met him. I was a mother with a broken heart. Our daughter had died only several weeks prior in a car accident. For several months I was taking care of Lyenya while he still living on the street. Then one day he came to my apartment and agreed to stay. Many people told me that I am crazy, that I shouldn’t trust this kid, but I wanted just to be a mother to him, as to other orphans!

Lyenya had never been to school and had to learn to read and write. He was a very bright kid! Soon he learned enough to be able to join the rest of our kids in the children’s center, but he didn’t want to leave me. However, after a couple weeks he asked me to stay with rest of our kids at the children’s center. He found a family!!!!

He became absolutely a different teenager when he came to The Lord. This was the best gift that I was able to give to him!!! He studied hard for a year, and with our help and with tutors, he passed 9th grade exams and was able to go to technical school!! Oh, we were so proud of him!

Today Lyenya is with Jesus! He suffered a stroke and passed. I didn’t know how to respond to such news except to cry and talk to The Lord.
Why? Why did he live such a short and hard life? Why did God take him so early? I don’t know the answers to so many questions, but I know one little simple thing which always comfort me in days of trouble and tragedy. Mary when she asked the angel who told her she will be with child, “How could it be?” The answer was: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you”!!!

So today I am crying out to The Lord, to the Holy Spirit and saying to Him: “Please find every child and adult who is so lonely, who is poor and needy, who doesn’t have anyone to bring them a gift, please, please You be that Gift to them!!” The best gift which the fallen world could obtain is the gift God gave to us – His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He died for all of us, that we don’t have to!!!!

Praise God one day I will see Lyenya and Julie-Marie and my mom again!!! You will see your loved ones who have passed. Praise God I will see Jesus!!! Will you? Did you accept this beautiful gift, the best gift in all entire world- life!!! The life of Jesus Christ!!!!

Please pray with me as once Lyenya was praying: “Jesus , please come to my heart as a Christmas gift and be my Lord and Savior! I want to know You !!! Thank You for hearing me , in Jesus name I pray.”

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