Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer Camp with the Day Center

This month my roommate Sarah’s sister, brought a team from her church in Frisco, TX to run a week long camp for our Day Center kids. The week was wild, with great devotionals and activities from the team and the humor and antics of the kids. The team made a lasting impact on many of the kids and their example of love and patience was amazing. The camp was held in village outside of Suceava in the North of Romania near the Moldovan boarder. We were in the middle of peaceful farm land, with a huge grassy lawn for playing soccer- the kids are crazy about soccer! For me, some of my most special times were when I was able to lead the kids in their praise and worship times. These kids don’t do anything without passion- they play hard, fight hard J and worship with the same intensity. For me it was a special gift to join together three things that I love, kids, music and worshipping God. I hope to continue ministering through music with my kids, this fall at the Day Center.

New Wine Cafe

This is the first summer that New Wine Café has been open, and it has proved to be a great success! Even with many students returning to their villages for the summer holiday, we have still had a group coming for the different café events and especially for the Friday night discussion groups. For a few months now we have been partnering with the pastor of the local church where I attend. He has a great heart for discipling the students and leads the discussion groups, challenging the students to think about their lives, their desires and what God’s desires are for their lives. We have really enjoyed working with him and look forward to what is in store for the future of the New Wine Café!

That's Andi, my pastor in the blue shirt, leading a discussion about dreams for our futures. This was a really special night with so many hopes and testimonies of dreams-come-true being shared.

Old CIty Kids Club!!!

Woo Hoo! This summer we have continued with one of my most favorite outreaches- to the children from poor families in the Old City of Constanta. We are again joining a church planting effort from one of the local churches here, Good News Church, and also this summer, we have been blessed to be joined by some Romanian young people from a local children’s evangelism organization. Spending time with these children is such a huge source of joy! They love the “kids club” and we are believing that God is touching them in a special way during this time!

Slide Show :)

Summer Teams

Summers in Constanta can be a bit crazy, but in the midst of the craziness we find ourselves as YWAM Constanta so blessed by the young people that come to work with us from all around the world. We have had American, Canadian, Dutch, English, Norweigen, New Zealander, and Romanian guests visiting us this summer and more nationalities are on their way! Some come as individuals, others with their families, some on YWAM teams, and others from churches- but however they come, they have each brought with them a spirit of joy and service, encouraging our staff and sharing their gifts with those we minister too! The teams have been spending lots of time at the beach with the children from our Day Center, praying and interceding for our base, ministry and for the city, put on programs for the kids club in the old city, and joined with our street team and café ministries! Such a blessing each one has been! Thank you to each one!

UniQuip- Training for YWAM School Staff

After my week in Cluj I returned to Constanta for two days, sang in the Café with friend, Martin Axelsson from Sweden, hung out with friends from Constanta and then took off again with a group from our base for Kiev, Ukraine. This time, for training for YWAM school leaders and staff. If you aren’t too familiar with Youth With A Mission, you might not know that the Discipleship Training Schools and other YWAM schools are all part of the University of the Nations. Not long after the start of YWAM, the Lord spoke to the leaders about providing further training for young people, equipping them with skills for serving in all areas of society.

The training seminar we attended was held by leaders of the University of the Nations, to better equip and encourage those who are running these schools. There were staff from YWAM School of Biblical Studies in Sweden, and Ukraine, DTS staff from all over Europe, and other YWAM staff that just wanted to learn more about the UofN and the heart and focus of YWAM schools. Personally I was SOOOO happy to be at this conference! The example of leadership that was shown was amazing and hearing all the background and what YWAM schools are meant to be, finally gave me firm ground to stand on as I look towards staffing future DTS and YWAM schools.

Vishal Mangalwadi on Development vs. Poverty

And if you didn’t think I had done enough running around, after the conference in Slovakia I returned to the YWAM base where I did my Discipleship Training School in 2006. I spent just over a week in Cluj-Napoca, Romania with YWAM Medias’ School of Biblical Christian Worldview, video-tapping the teachings of Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi, an Indian community development worker and scholar who has written many books and spoken around the world on the issues concerning development of the nations and Christian Biblical Worldview. I loved Vishal’s teachings and soaking in the wealth of information and perspective that seemed to bubble out of him. He also discussed the roots and causes of poverty and how the Cross is our hope of redemption from all results of sin, including poverty. It was a powerful, challenging and important teaching. There is much more I could say about this man but I will let you check it out for yourself:

Freedom Project- Against Human Trafficking

Another special aspect of the conference in Slovakia was attendance of a tenacious young woman who has stepped out as YWAM’s voice against Human Trafficking. Ro, came to Slovakia with Al Akimoff and his team from YWAM Salem, Oregon, and shared in a special focus group and also with the whole conference about the issue of Human trafficking, and opened our eyes to just how relevant an issue it is for us here in Centeral Europe.

Even more eye opening for me was learning that a large percentage of trafficked girls are coming from Romania. In fact, even in the documentary Ro used to expose us to the situations that many young girls experience was based on the lives of girls from Romania and Moldova. Ro has been working state-side to bring awareness on these issues on and around Human Trafficking and is now working to see movements started in our region of the world. Many of us from Romania took a special interest in this project and will be praying about how to take action. Ro, along with a team, is planning to come to Romania this fall to visit YWAM bases, churches, café’s and student groups to share about the issue of Human Trafficking and to motive and inspire people to action.

To learn more about the Freedom project, you can check out the official website:

YWAM Conference in Slovakia

After David’s wedding and our time in Budapest, we continued on towards Slovakia to meet up about 70 other YWAMers from all over Central Europe. This event is held every two years somewhere in Central Europe and is a chance for more of our YWAM family to connect, spend time together, encourage one another and see what God is doing and saying concerning our region of the world.

I met up with many friends from Romania, as well as friends from Bosnia, and Hungary, and got to know new friends from other parts of Central Europe. It was a spiritually refreshing time and a time of looking back at our YWAM history and God’s original working in us from the beginning.

Al Akimoff, who has been with YWAM since its very early days, shared with us many stories of how God worked in Eastern and Central Europe and encouraged us to go back to those roots of faith and obedience to God. The spirit and attitude of each speaker was so humble and honest- another refreshing aspect of the weekend together. I am so thankful to our YWAM Central Europe leaders for organizing such a great event for our staff to be encouraged to continue in what the Lord has called us to.

Wedding In Budapest

In May almost all of our staff traveled together to Budapest for the Wedding of one of our staff, David McDowell. He married a lovely Hungarian girl named Krisztina who he had met in Budapest last September. It was a really nice wedding and we had a wonderful time in Budapest seeing the sights together and enjoying some team building time together. David and Krisztina, joined us for the summer in Constanta, but just this Friday left for Hungary to continue their ministry and new life together there. Thank you David and Krisztina for being with us and God bless you in your new life in Hungary!

Also while we were in Budapest we were blessed by some dear missionaries, Andy and Phyllis, who have been running a Christian Library in the city. They donated to our base boxes of books to use in our base library in Constanta. These are great resources and we are so thankful!

Support Raising Seminar in Iasi

Soon after I returned from Bosnia and the DTS ended, I headed up to the North of Romania with two other of our staff for a Support Raising Seminar. Long-time Norwegian YWAM Leader Terje Konradsen, taught for the week on the importance of relationship based support, communicating your vision, building budgets and developing support raising strategies. All very helpful for the life of a YWAM missionary. The seminar was attended by about 30 YWAMers from all over Romania. It was a great time of being together, being challenged and growing together, and supporting one another. In fact, at the end of the seminar we were challenged by the leadership to pray about making commitments to support another YWAM Romania missionary for one year. Many people were blessed and are continuing to be blessed through this lesson of generosity.

Monday, August 18, 2008

In April I traveled with Heather, one of my YWAM Constanta colleagues, to Medias, right in the middle of Romania. There we spent a week with YWAM Medias' Discipleship Training School. We came to hear our dear friend Don Stephen's share his powerful teaching on Worldviews and the Kingdom of God. Although I have had the opportunity to hear his teaching before, in never grows old. In fact I think the more I hear about the Kingdom, the more my eyes are open to it, and its implications becoming more and more alive in my heart and mind. It was such an encouraging week!

We were also able to spend time with and get to know the DTS students and to pray with them as they prepared to leave for outreach to Macedonia. These were some very special students, ready to serve and to be used by the Lord. Their team was led by a great lady and one of my friends, Beta Mereu. It was a blessing to be around these guys!

We had a special time of intercession led by a friend, Clay, who was traveling with Don as he taught in DTS's around Central Europe. I had met Clay in Bosnia on my first outreach there, where he had been serving in missions along side Don and YWAM Sarajevo. It was so great to see Clay again and to pray for Bosnia. I miss it so much!

When Don shares about the Kingdom, he comes alive!
In April and May I had the opportunity to practice sharing my music in public at our New Wine Cafe! The first time was really nerve racking but the more I do it, the more free I feel to share what God has given me and now its much more fun! I look forward to September when another musician friend will join us here in Constanta!


Dear Friends and fellow bloggers!
I am so sorry for neglecting my blog for such a long time. As usual, the summer has been full of activity and I have lacked the discipline to sit myself down and create updates for all of you to enjoy. Please forgive me! I hope to make it up to you this week by filling you in on all that has taken place since my last update. Thank you for your patience with me!
Grace and peace,
"All that is not the love of God has no meaning for me. I can truthfully say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and witness. If He wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is His concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that."
- Dominique Voillaume
(From "The Signature of Jesus" by Brennan Manning)