Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Hey all! Last week I got back from Macedonia and I must say that the trip went really well. We had some great opportunities to love and encourage the people and to see God work in their lives. The majority of our time there was spent with people from a tiny two year old church plant. Some of the members had stopped coming and it was our joy to be able to encourage them to get back into fellowship and to pursue the call that God has on their lives. We met so many wonderful people and I miss them already!
After we arrived back in Cluj we spent the week in school evaluations, packing and saying good bye. We had a very nice graduation dinner and received our diploma for finishing Youth With A Mission's Discipleship Training School! Praise the Lord I am official now! I could hardly believe that my DTS was over! It was sad to say good bye to the friends I have made in these past few months but my excitement for what is to come has been keeping me going!
After DTS I went with a good friend from the school to Budapest, Hungary to see the sights and take some days off to relax before heading back to Constanta. The city is GORGEOUS and we had a great time! I even got to spend time at the YWAM base there and with a friend who works with them, joining the team for an English club outreach and a prayer time. It was a big blessing for me and was great to see what a beautiful YWAM family I am now a part of! Praise God for all he is doing through YWAM :)
Now I am back in Cluj for the night and will be taking the train tomorrow to go back to Constanta where I will have a month of rest and renewal before rejoining the base there as fulltime staff for the next two years! This next season of life will be very different for me as I won't be working with the street children's ministry, the families, or the Day Center. Instead I will be staff for the January DTS (the same kind of school I just finished), leading worship, leading a small group, living with and discipling students, and leading the outreach to Bosnia and Serbia, Lord willing! So this is a big change. And, next to this, a couple nights a week I will be staying at the Girls Home that should finally be openning in January as well, beginning with just two girls from the Day Center. Your prayers will be needed!!!
I hope to be in the States in May for two months to see family and friends and do fundraising. So that is the story with me. Thank you for all your love and support and for checking my blog even when I had no updates! Sorry for that! Blessings!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
We made it to Macedonia! After over 24 hours of traveling by train and bus we made it to the beautiful city of Kratovo, Macedonia in the North Eastern part of the country. I love it! And I am excited to see how God will use my team here. We will be working with YWAMers who are planting a church here, the first Christian church in this city. It is an awesome work and there is a lot of opportunity to encourage people in this place. We will be sharing testimonies, doing dramas and dances, reaching out to the youth by hanging out with them and playing music with them. Practically we will probably be painting a bridge in the town and cleaning up garbabge as well. May we be a blessing to all we meet!
Thank you for your prayers! More info to come later!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
When Bob took my hands and said "are you willing from today forward, to renounce the world, the flesh, the devil and all the works of darkness, and walk in newness of life? Are you willig to give and recieve council from godly people that you respect?" it was as if I was saying my vows to get married. And actually that was exactly the kind of thing that I was doing! I had such a revelation of how I was chosing Jesus again, taking his name and identity through identifying with his death and rising again to life as I went in and out of the water. It was awesome! One of the most beautiful experiences of my life, even if it was in a bathroom, in someone's bath tub :)
These past months have been a huge growing experience and blessing for me. Tough times, fun times and powerful times. Thank you Lord for drawing me nearer to your heart!
In the picture to your left is Bob a Menonite Pastor from Pennsylvia. God used him to communicate the heart ministry and has resparked my interest in the Old Testament and in Jewish tradition as it points to Jesus. Bob is such a wise guy! Also through his teaching God revealed to me some amazing things about grace and how I can't work to maintain my salvation. Jesus died for my past sins, the sins I commit today and the ones I will commit tomorrow. Such AMAZING grace! Its hard to explain without writing a novel, but God really touched me through Bob's words, so much so that me and some other students decided that we wanted Bob to baptize us--that night!
Last week we had a very special experience spending time with some very special ladies. The girls from my DTS all went together to a village outside of Bucharest. There we visited a home for young ladies from age 22-26, who had all grown up in orphanages and had either ended up on the streets or without any other place to go.
We spent time talking with the girls, getting to know them, cutting hair, painting nails and sharing our lives and our faith with them. My eyes were openned to the need among girls like these, especially with discipleship, encouragement in finding vocations, and in support in every area.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Today is my one year anniversary of coming here to Romania! This is amazing! I can hardly believe that it has been a whole year. God has done SOOO much and I am sooo thankful for everything I have experienced here. It has been such a growing year. So...A BIG THANK YOU to all the people out there who have been praying for me, writing me emails, encouraging me and supporting me financially to be here! I couldn't be here without you! Thank you for letting God use you in such a big way!
Sunday, September 03, 2006
My crazy fellow students in DTS!!!
Hello there! I am here in Cluj, Romania, over halfway through with the lecture phase of my YWAM Discipleship Training School. The point of the school is to know God in a deeper way and then to go out and make him known in mission. This time has really been whipping me into shape. There have been lots of challenges, but my heart is learning new things about God, living with people and healing some hurts in my life, and all of this is going to have such an impact on how I continue in ministry.
I am missing Constanta so much! I miss the kids, the families, the base, my friends...the sea :) But I am getting to know some wonderful people here in Cluj, and as time goes on I am seeing more and more that this is just the place where I am to be right now. We have one more month of lectures and then we will be off to outreach. My outreach team is planning to go to Macedonia. We are in desperate need of money for this to happen, but of course that is no problem for God. Yesterday we just recieved news that the YWAM base in Tyler, Texas raised $2,000 for all of us students to help pay off our lecture phase. So awesome! So God is providing for us. I am learning to trust him, even when the food is running low and things don't look too good. It is such a good stretch for me.
Well this is all for now. I just wanted to say hello and let you know what I've been up to. If you haven't recieved my latest newsletter please let me know and I can email it to you. Love to you all!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Last Wednesday we had such a great time reaching out to some children from poor families in a neighborhood where we have been visiting street kids. A couple of weeks ago we were going about our normal routine, visiting some of our street kids and one of the families where they come from, when about 15 little kids from the neighborhood came out of nowhere, jumping up and down, so excited to see us! So we decided we should take the opportunity and reach out to this neightborhood.
Since we have a team serving with us from Norway we decided to make a special night of it. Wednesday morning we started off with a short prayer walk around the neighborhood, told the kids we'd be back later that evening for a kids program. The team organized the activities and by the end of the night we had had an amazing time, singing, watching dances and dramas about Zacheus and The Good Samaritan, playing soccer and basket ball, drawing with sidewalk chalk, face painting and loving on the most beautiful little kids! Man, it was one of the greatest nights of the past few months! Thank you Lord for working it all out!
This Wednesday we will go again to spend time with the kids, telling them about Jesus and his love for them and playing games. Most of the kids are from poor families and some of them don't go to school. It is a great opportunity to bring light and joy into their lives and to share with them the Father's love! These kids are so open and teachable, it is amazing. A little group of them came up to me that night and wanted to pray! I didn't even have to initiate a thing. So God is openning up some unexpected doors...very cool! Please pray for the Lord to lead us as we consider continuing reaching out there this summer. Multumesc! (Thank you!)
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
We finished our Alpha Bible study course with the street kids and families that we have been ministering too. The attendence really dwindled by the end but not without fruit! God did such a work in one of the girls, Nadia, and she told us at the last meeting how life has changed for her, in the way she acts and sees things. Its so encouraging to see and we pray that she continues to hunger for more of God. Besides Nadia, we also have seen a big change in the lives of a couple named Dodo and Mirela. They have been coming the most consistently and it is amazing to see how much especially Dodo loves being there and learning about God. He said that the only things he would change about our bible study would be that we could pray and worship God more! So, God's moving in hearts and we are enjoying seeing this happen and praying that God will direct us to facilitate more opportunities for them to grow.
Lately with the street team we have been praying about where the Lord will be taking the street ministry next. Our leader will leave to work with training schools in Sept. and so there is a big question of how things will continue after that. From July 10th to around the middle of August we will have a break from the street ministry while people are out the coutry fundraising and visiting their families. I won't be going home but I will be hanging out with some VERY special visitors from the 17th of July through the 25th! Yep, my parents are coming!!! Yeah! So I am looking forward to enjoying a bit of a break with them.
I am still waiting on the Lord for direction for what to do after my commitment here is up in September. I would definitely appreciate your prayers. Thank you so much for keeping up with blog even though I am a terrible updater ;) Love to all!
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Okay, how many people get to eat lunch with the Romanian Army???? Yeah, we are cool!
Unload 4 TONS of sauces donated by Samaritan's Purse. Thank you Samaritan's Purse!!!
Sorting through food donations!!! So exciting! L-R Maria from Romania, Peter from Reno, Sarah from Minnesota, Corina from Romania, Elena-Project director, David- Elena's son.
Two weeks ago I had the most amazing opportunity to join four other YWAM staff members from my base in a four day outreach to flood victims in a village about 3 hours from Constanta. As many of you have probably heard, all over Romania villages have been flooded, destroying people's homes and farms. Hunderds of people have been displaced, living in temporary camps set up by the government as they await new homes and a chance to rebuild their lives.
For the four days that we were there, we came along side a couple who has been working with the mayor of this particular village, Chiselet, and the military. They have created their own organization called Fundatia Betania (Bethany Foundation). This amazing couple had helped flood victims last year and had been in Chiselet for two weeks before we got there, working mostly by themselves to coordinate food and clothing donations for the flood victims and visiting the families to bring them hope and encouragement in the Lord.
Our team got to help with sorting clothes, unloading food donations, washing dishes, digging trenches in the rain and doing activities with the kids in the camp. It was amazing for me to experience this kind of thing that I usually only see on television. These people had lost everything and were so in need of hope. Knowing that I could do something practical to help them and then to also be able to love on their kids was so great. And man were those kids cute! I hope that I will be able to go back again soon.
These camps of displaced people are such needy places for the hope and love of Jesus. The couple that is leading Fundatia Betania are praying for a special tent from the government and for a team of missionaries to live in the camps of displaced people and be able to reach each group-- men, women, and children. Please pray for the flood victims and for God's work in their lives. My hope is that though this hardship, God will rebuild their lives with him as the foundation. I think we all need to come to the realization that nothing in our lives is secure. We can't trust in our homes, our jobs or our situations, because in one moment they can all be taken away. What we can trust in though is our Creator! God is our only sure thing and we can trust him when all else fails. I hope that these people will be able to see this and place their hope in Him who never fails.
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
God answered our prayers by telling us that we just needed to use what he had given us and to not give up. And today God showed us that he is SO in our family ministry and he is working! Peter, a guy from Reno, has joined our team and today we switched places from our usual ministry schedule. I went to the Girls Home to work on the restoration and he went to the families to share his testimony of healing. And God used his testimony in such a powerful way!
With the family of Nadia, a girl that has been coming to our Bible study and has really been growing in her understanding of the Lord, Peter shared his testimony and also what it meant to accept Jesus into your life. The WHOLE family (everyone that was there) ended up praying the sinner's prayer with the team!!! So awesome! Praise God! They all want to come to church on Sunday. Please pray that God will provide some Romanians to help start a Bible study in this family's house so that they can be discipled and grow in their understanding of their new life in Jesus! Yeah!!! God is so good!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
The week before Easter, I went to the west of Romania in Timisoara to attend a week of language school with 5 others from my base. We had a great time exploring this GORGEOUS city and learning more of the Romanian language. The focus of my classes was mainly on learning grammar rules and this has proved to help me the most in my reading of Romanian and has increased my vocabulary! Praise God! So things are moving along! :) Thank you to those who have given money to make that trip possible! It was such a blessing and help for my langauge learning.
So much has been happened these past few weeks but I will have to write more about it later. Today I am going to Brasov with Sarah from my base to recruit students for our upcoming Discipleship Training School in January. We will be doing this at a huge Christian Youth Conference where there will be over 3,000 people! Pray that we are able to share with the right students and be an encouragement in their lives to go farther in their walk with Jesus.
Well, this is all for now! Blessings to you all!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
One more thing... if you have not recieved my latest newletter and would like to do so, please email me and let me know! firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
My BIGGEST prayer request is for this coming Sunday! We are having a special day for the Street Kids bible study and we need as many people praying as possible. We will be taking the kids to the country, having a BBQ and teaching them about the Holy Spirit. We are really asking God to move and to change these kids lives. Pray they they come and pray that they get touched by God in a big way! Thanks guys!!!!
Sunday, March 12, 2006
The parents themselves seem to have endured an extremely hard life. They are desperate and therefore have become almost like animals in their fight for survival, taking out their frustrations on their children. It was so hard to see. It is so hard to know that this is happening in so many families and there is so little that I can physically do to change the situations. I am so thankful to have met the parents of the girls and to understand more where they are coming from. I was SO happy to see them all in church today. Even Felicia who stole my money was there. We had some talks about it and she apologized. I just hope she really learned something out of the situation.
Oti, from the Alpha group was also in church and that was great to see. He is connecting today with some guys from the Christian group home where he stayed for a few years. They are mostly guys from our church and just the kind of people he needs to be around right now. Praise God for that. And he is also meeting with someone about a possible job today. God is good and answering our prayers. Please continue to fight in prayer for these dear ones-- for Simona, Ramona, Felicia and Oti. May evil no longer rule in their life, but may they find new life in knowing Jesus.
You can also pray for Ionut, the five year old brother of Ramona and Simona. I’m not sure why the child protection services have not taken him away from his parents. Pray that we will have wisdom in looking into the situation further and that this little boy will be protected and cared for as long as he is at home. Thank you for joining with me, in praying for the healing of Constanta.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
YEAH! Man God is so cool! And so GOOD! We had about nine boys from the street come to our first meeting for the Alpha Bible Course that we are going to be holding for the next 11 weeks. It is mostly for the older street kids (in their 20's ) and those that have been coming to church or have expressed interest in wanting to know God better. The night was just an introduction night, but from some of the things that were said by the guys there, it really meant a lot that we were having something like this for them.
There were two guys there that I really want to ask you to pray for: Oti and Gelu. I think they are the most serious about knowing God and wanting to get out of the street as well. I was thinking last night that kids from the street are sort of on a "ladder" on their way out of the street. Some are at the bottom and have a long way to go and others are farther up the ladder and are almost out, but need help to get the rest of the way. I think these guys are near the top and now that they want to know God, I know that Satan is going to try REALLY hard to knock them down again.
So PLEASE pray for Oti and Gelu. They are great boys and I know that God can really do miracles in their lives, but it won't happen without a fight. Pray for their protection, for them to find jobs, for the different people who could possibly take them into a half-way house, and for them to know Jesus as never before. That they would know him as their very best friend, as the LOVING father they never had, as their Savior, as their HEALER from the hurts in their lives, and their DELIVERER from the darkness of street life. Thanks so much for all your prayers. You guys are the best!!!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Sisters: Simona (14 years), Ramona (15 years)
If you remember me telling you before, I came to Romania with a specific heart for some of the young girls here who had been coming to our Day Center. I think I also mentioned that three of them are no longer coming to the Day Center and our attempts to have a home for them to keep them off the street have been coming along very slowly. Simona, Ramona and Felicia are the names of these girls and I am writing this update to ask you to begin interceeding for these girls if you have not already. The longer I am here the more I learn about these girls and how hard they are becoming the more time they spend living in the street.
The other day I met Ramona on the street with a young man wearing a whole lot of make-up. I had heard that her and Simona were living with a transvestite, so I suspect that this is the guy. It was good to actually have met him but it was upsetting for me to see more of the reality of where these girls are at. They are experiencing SOOO much in the street. They have been abused by their families and have run to the streets for "protection" but we know that there is no protection there.
Yesterday I heard that Simona and Ramona came to the Day Center, but weren't allowed to stay. I am not sure what the situation is exactly with them and the Day Center but I do know that it is a difficult one as the girls have had many chances to be in the Day Center, but for some reason have done something to lose their place there. I can't say that I agree with the decisions that the Day Center has made concerning them, but since I don't know the situation fully I can't really judge things. I just want to ask for prayer for these girls because we are losing them to the darkness of street life more and more every day.
I had another wake up call Sunday in church, when I had all of my money stolen from Felicia while she was putting her head in my lap while she was tired and "not feeling well." I had prayed that morning specifically for her and hoped that she would be at church, and she was! I sat with her most of the service, loving on her, hugging her and praying that God would let her know his love for her. But everything she said to me was a lie and all she could do in response to my care for her was to steal from me, feeling no remorse for it at all. I wasn't mad at her, but rather so sad because I was so naive to think that some hugs and kind words are enough to change Felicia's life. Its not enough. These girls are hard. They have been hurt and have learned how to survive no matter the cost, even if it means hurting the people who show them love. Its tough to realize for me.
Maybe you are thinking I am pretty foolish and I think you are correct. I have a lot to learn about reaching these girls. Pray for me please and for all of these things. I know that God can reach the hardest heart and he LOVES these girls. He won't give up on them and I don't want to either, but sometimes I am discouraged and start thinking that there is nothing I can do. Pray for wisdom, pray for staff to come, pray for the girls. Mostly pray for the girls. They need it sooo much.
Thank you friends for joining me in this...blessings to you.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Heather & Alec Chalmers-Faru Chruch, Chris Klop-
YWAM, Therese Wiik- YWAM, Me- YWAM, "Vinci"-
Catholic Org., Irina- YWAM, Mirjam- YWAM (missing-
Tica & Adrian- Casa Sami)
Friday night was a night in history. In our apartment we joined with all of the Christian Street Children Workers in Constanta for a night of fellowship, food and just a chance to get to know eachother better and share about our desire to work together to see the lives of the street kids in Constanta changed. Up until now we have been helping eachother here and there and have had good relationships. My team leader Chris has been meeting with the leader of two of the organizations for prayer, but we felt that God wanted to see more in our city and we needed to be united with others who are all reaching for the same goal.
Everyone was into the meeting and they suggested meeting regularly which was our hope. Man, God is so cool. One of the directors said something that I think sums up the whole idea of meeting together: "Maybe if we keep meeting like this, about 2 years from now we will look back on Februrary 24th, 2006 and say, that was the day when all of our separate teams became one team." We all have our separate organizations and projects but being able to see ourselves as one team or all, fighting for the street kids of Constanta, is going to make a huge difference.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Yeah! We are finally getting a Bible Study for the people from the street that are either coming to church or seem to want to know more about God. And it just so happened that our pastor's wife is in charge of Alpha, a program for people to get to know God, for all of Romania. So it was natural for us to decide to do an Alpha program with the Street people. If you aren't familiar with Alpha, it is an 11 week series of basic teaching from the Bible about Jesus and having faith in him for salvation and how to grow in knowing him. The people who come eat together, hear the teaching together and then discuss the teaching afterwards.
We hope that the kids will really be into it and really have a hunger to know God more. The greatest thing about this group is that our street ministry team is actually not leading it, but a young couple from our church is and the husband used to be a street kid himself. They are perfect for this and are really excited. Their names are Ion and Cocoa. And another young man, Cristi, who was also on the street for a while is also helping. We are so excited to be working with Romanians and especially Romanians with such a special heart for these people.
We will begin the group next Friday. This Friday night however we will be getting together with all of the Christians here in Constanta who are working with street kids. Our desire is to be more connected with one another, being more of a support to one another and being in unity as we all share God's heart for these people. We will have our team, the director of a boys home and the director of a girls home here in Constanta, a couple who just moved here recently from Wales to open a half-way house for guys over 18 on the street, the director from a day time drop in center for street kids, and the director of a large Catholic organization that has a Day Center, a boys and girls home, and other services to help street people. There are so many wonderful people serving in this city and it will be great to be together and get to know eachother better. I hope all is well with all of you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog and for praying. Blessings to you all!
Friday, February 10, 2006
The staff at our base is really working to see the renovation of this house completed and we are seeking out the staff that we need to run it. Again if anyone out there has a heart to serve through construction and those sort of things, or if you are interested in sponsoring the girls home OR STAFFING it, please don't wait any longer! Let us know! :)
Please pray for all of this and for the girls. The girls that are in mind for it are really in need. Three of them are basically on the street and experiencing all kinds of things no 13 years olds should ever have to experience. They are hurting and in desperate need of a safe place and of unconditional love. Please keep the girls in your prayers. And please pray for me as I continue to seek out the best ways that I can help them in this girls home project.
Oh yes...I had a WONDERFUL time with Leisl! Being with her for the week was an incredible blessing and I am so thankful for her friendship to me! She also brought with her tons of clothes for the street kids from her mom's classroom of elementary school kids (thank you Sue and kids!) and from a lady at her church. AMAZING! They gave such nice clothes too, they are really a blessing. Thank you to all you who gave and thank you Leisl for blessing my life so much!!
...the other thing Leisl brought to me was the laptop I am now typing on! What a crazy blessing! Thank you Grandad Lewis, Aunt Libbey, Mom and Dad and Grandad Billings and anybody else who contributed that I don't know about! This beautiful little machine is such a huge help to me!
Okie dokie, this is all for now...man there is always so much to say! :) Until next time- let Jesus love you :)
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
And if that wasn't enough excitement for the day, just about 30 minutes after we (Leisl and I- my best buddy visiting from the States) had gone into the Day Center, another old man was found dead, flat on his back right on the sidewalk there. Just a few meters from our front gate. What happened I don't know,and who he was I haven't a clue- just a nicely dressed old man going for a walk I guess. Its times like these that my heart hurts and I remember that my God's heart hurts so much more. Suffering was not what he intended. May he use it though to continually teach my heart compassion and mercy for those in need, and move me to love, not only in words but in ACTION and in truth. Good night friends...may your hearts be stired.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Tomorrow we get to see Vacile at church and I hope to give him a New Testament and talk to him more about knowing Jesus. I'm waiting to see what God will do with this guy and with the other kids who have been coming to church. Its so cool that they come and I am so glad that our church allows them to come there. Pray for God's Spirit to continually show up in our services!
Well, I am super excited because my best friend Leisl is coming all the way from Visalia, California to visit me on the first of February! She is coming at the perfect time as I am having to say good bye to my two closest friends here in Constanta. She is also bringing me a laptop that my family is giving me! Thank you Jesus! So hopefully my updates will be more frequent and I can get more pictures out to let you guys see what all is going on here. Please pray for her safe trip and for our time together to be blessed! I can't wait!
Well friends...you are amazing and I have to tell you that my time here has been blessed because of your love and support, packages, emails, and prayers. I miss you and hope to hear from you when you have the chance.
La revedere! (Good bye) :)
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The Day Center is doing well. It was also great to be with the kids there and they seem to be doing well. The outreach team from Ireland has two team members there a day so they are taking care of the special activities and for now it seems like one of the teachers is taking care of the Bible lessons which I had been doing when it was my day. I'm relieved about this because for some reason I get so freaked out about doing Bible lessons. It is so difficult keeping the kids attention in the first place and then when you have to take time for translation you really loose them. So I guess I will tackle this Bible lesson challange another time in the future. For now I am hanging out and helping with the kids and get this- TRANSLATING!
No joke! The other day the teacher who speaks no English asked ME to translate what the kids were saying to the outreach team! I totally laughed at her because I am SOO not that good at Romanian. But I guess that kind of kicked off my year...as far as language goes, its sink or swim! In the day center they lost their aid that did the translating for outreach teams and in our street team we also lost our translator and only Romanian! So, Therese, who speaks a good deal of Romanian and I are the only ones to translate now. Its crazy. Please pray for me to get better and quickly!
Now for some serious prayer requests:
*NADIA* We know this girl, about 23 years old, and she has come to us asking for help with an abortion. She some time last year she was in a horrible accident where a wall fell on her and her baby girl, killing the baby girl and injuring Nadia. I am not sure if this accident had anything to do with this, but she is telling us that due to some surgeries she had in the past and her physical condition now, if she tries to give birth she could die. She has no money for the abortion and that is why she is asking us for help. We are really praying about how to respond to this situation as there seems to be no easy answer. Please pray for God to give us wisdom and to do a miracle in this girl's life and in the life of her baby.
*Eugenia* This woman, has had a very hard life. I won't go into her story for time-sake but she needs to pay a very high water bill as soon as possible and our team is trying to go about drawing papers for an agreement to give her a loan. We need prayer for this to go well and to take care of this is the appropriate way. We also need prayer for the money that we will need in order to give her the loan. This is going to be a huge blessing for this woman and a gigantic burden lifted off her shoulders.
*Vasile* Sunday at church a bunch of street kids came and stayed, listening to the whole message which was a simple, straight-forward, passionate message of salvation and God's love! It was the PERFECT message for street kids and as a result one of the guys from the street, Vasile, prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior! Awesome! Please pray for this young man to grow in the Lord and that we would be able to take the right steps to disciple him. We are seeing more and more that we need to start a Bible study for these guys on the street. Pray for this as well!
*More Workers* And as always we are praying for God to call more and more people with different gifts to Constanta for this ministry. We now REALLY need a Romanian or at least someone who speaks fluent Romanian. And we are also praying for a nurse/medical assistant to join our team too, but we can use anyone with a heart for this ministry! We will be losing Cressida at the end of this month (And I will be saying good-bye to a very dear friend!) and sometime in Februrary we will be having a man from Sweden joining us. He has a big heart for intercession and that will be a huge blessing for us. So God provides in his timing, but I am reminded that we need to continually seek God's face for these needs. He is our good Daddy who provides for us. Amin!
Thank you so much for your prayers and LOVE! I hope you are all doing well and I will give you more updates soon!
Friday, January 06, 2006
So...I forgot to mention that Cressida and I set out for our Christmas vacation about a week after our break had officially begun. We first went to Sighisoara where we stayed with Aghi's parents who had just arrived from Hungary for the night. The next day we drove to the village where Aghi's oldest sister lives with her family of four and another of Aghi's sisters. we stayed there for about four days and had a great time. I love her family and especially hanging out with her sisters and little neice and nephews. Check out my pictures to see them!
After being in the village we went back to Sighi to meet the outreach team from Ireland and to show them around the city. Then we went back to the village where they are ministring for a couple of days, Teius, and here I got to meet some wonderful people and enjoy getting to know the Irish team (which is all Americans!:) ). There we went with the team to an orphanage and Cressida told the kids about Africa (she is from South Africa), and we sand more Christmas carols and read a Max Lucado story to them. Then the openned presents from Operation Christmas child! The kids were so cute openning the packages to discover what was inside. NOw I know first hand the impact of those gifts that our church has been sending out every year.
After leaving Teius, we took the train to Brasov, and there I fell in love! No, not with a person but with the city! It is a beautiful city full of all kinds of beautiful artitecture and history. You must see the pictures. We stayed here with a Romanian friend and ate all kinds of good food that his father made. We joined our friend and his girlfriend and friend on New Years watching hundrends of fireworks go off all over the city from our look-out spot on a hill. This was one of the most beautiful sights! After praying together for the new year and I committing 2006 to the Lord, sensed a real exictement for what this new year is going to hold. I can say that this was one of the best New year's I have ever had!
I learned two new things about Romanian New Year's celebrations: the first is that as soon as Christmas comes, boys, young and old and even some girls start lighting firecrackers in the streets wherever you go. New Year's eve I thought I was walking through a war-zone, trying not to get in the way of one small explosion after another!; the second thing I learned was that Romanians don't just wait until twelve, say happy new year and go home, they stay up all night! Call me boring but I fell asleep at almost three in the morning while my friend stayed up all night and even his dad was out at a friend's party until 8:30 in the morning. I tell you again, Romanian's know how to celebrate!
Christmas Day I woke up and took a shower only to come out and find that everyone had opened there presents without me! But I quickly learned that presents are such a big deal here. Everyone wakes up whenever and goes and gets their own presents and opens them as they like. This was different for me because my family makes a big deal of openning presents together, but I decided that I like this way because there is not so much focus on the gifts.
That morning we went to church for a very special service of people sharing songs, skits and poems. The youth group did a skit of the Christmas story which was very entertaining :) and other people, even me!, sang Christmas songs.
(At the top you can see Aghi and I singing a beautiful Christmas Carol in Romania! And I am wearing really cool, trendy Romanian style boots :) )
On Christmas eve we followed Romanian tradition and went out singing "colinde" (Christmas carols) from house to house with the youth group of Aghi's brother-in-law's church ( he is the pastor). There must have been about 15 of us by the end of the night as kids would join up with us along the way. At each house we would sing until they opened the door and invited us in for cakes and soda. I was sooo full by the end of the night, which was really the end of the night- midnight!!! Romanians know how to celebrate!
(The girl "directing" is one of Aghi's sisters Asia)
Merry Christmas...Craciun Fericit!!!
I had a great Christmas with my roommate Aghi's family (her parents, six sisters, and her sister's husband and three kids!) and Cressida from my street ministry team. We stayed for a few days in their little village way out in the country. We sent lots of time dancing with the kids, eatting great food and relaxing!
(Aghi is in the middle wearing blue, Cressida is in the back with the black shirt on and I am the blazing white girl next to her :) )
- Dominique Voillaume
(From "The Signature of Jesus" by Brennan Manning)