Greetings to Everyone!
We wanted to send you all an update on our latest trip to Romania in September. Sunday night, December 2, found us back in Oregon after being gone almost three months. Our Son, Andy, and his wife, Lauren, had given us business class free tickets for our trip. Words can’t express how thankful we were to be able to stretch out on the long flights instead of being squashed between seats. We felt incredibly thankful to them.
The trip wasn’t as we had expected it to be, but was wonderful nevertheless. We had hoped to spend quite a bit of time in the gypsy village at Lazareni. What was unexpected was an outbreak of Hepatitis A that affected so many there and lasted for a couple months. Since we had never had the shots or the sickness and it is especially hard on older people and children, we opted to wait until it passed. It didn’t seem wise to risk being very ill there.
Instead, we ended up being blessed to go to some other places before we finally made it to Lazareni. We were able to send things to them even though we didn’t visit in person.
One of the fun things we did was go to the village of Tinca where a young lady named Rachel we had met years ago has been for quite some years now.
Our son, Jeff, and his wife, Stacy, came to Romania to be a part of what we were doing. A couple things we were able to do was to take the kids at Tinca some school supplies and water bottles they needed. In addition, we were able to take treats for a little party and have some games and presents for the kids.
Alex and Bianca, our dear young Romanian friends, came dressed as clowns and really were amazing working with the kids there. They have such a wonderful gift with children that is so natural and God given. They have been such a personal blessing in our lives these past years. They both really love the Lord and have such giving hearts.
We met some new friends this trip and also were able to develop a deeper relationship with some we have known on our last trip and prior years.
There was opportunity for personal ministry with people. We were able to train Laura, a new friend, to do Freedom Through Christ Ministry. She has such a sweet spirit and a natural gift for loving and helping people along with her husband Vlad. They own a gym in Oradea and are a blessing to many people there. You can read her testimony and her sister’s testimony under our Testimony section. We added three new testimonies from this trip.
God has blessed us to know some absolutely incredible people in Romania. They tell us we are a blessing, but our lives are so much richer from knowing all of them and being able to hear and see their hearts as they graciously share their lives with us. This trip had a lot of one on one time going on.
A group of our young ladies we know from Sighisoara, our young friend, Gyongyi from Oradea, and our son and his wife met up with Bianca and Florine in Cluj. Meeting up in Cluj we all went to the salt mines in Turda, a town close by Cluj. It was really fun as we all stayed at an apartment that slept 10 of us. We got to see the underground lake in the salt mine and play ping pong under ground together. I think the salt mine had the most stairs I have ever walked in one place!
We were also able to go to church there and loved it. The people there were so friendly and you could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in such a sweet way.
Time allowed us to take a trip down to Sighisoara for a birthday party for two of the girls there. They had a really fun pretty much all day party. The kids they worked with came in the morning for a party followed by the adults later on. Sighisoara is one of the cities where you hear stories about Dracula. On Sunday we were able to attend the mission church there which is out of Mexico and working with poor children in the city. Again the presence of Holy Spirit was very strong and such a blessings.
Finally the sickness lifted in Lazareni, and we were able to visit our wonderful friends there. A lot of work has been accomplished. This is an amazing group of people working together and being faithful to improve their lives and the village. The embroidery is so beautiful it looks like a machine did it instead of being done by hand. Because of everyone who partners with us we were able to do quite a few things for the village this trip. Buying a new wood stove to heat the sewing room was one of the things the ministry and friends were able to do. The sewing room was in an old building that was in pretty bad shape. The guys there were able to lay new flouring, painting, insulating and reorganizing. It made a huge difference in working conditions.
We were also able to help with a home that was being built and another one we were able to help put a roof and insulation in the ceiling for one of the workers there where they desperately needed the room for a new baby and newly married couple added to the family with only one bedroom and very small kitchen where they cook on the wood-stove that also heats the house. The young couple was having to sleep on the kitchen floor with mats, so it was awesome that they got to enclose the new room before the baby comes which is due in December.
Due to timing we were only able to spend one day sewing new projects and made two different types of pot holders, but I also was able to take a pattern and material for a clutch wallet purse and they were able to make one after we left.
Our last trip back to Cluj right before we left was very special. We were able to spend some good time with the young Romanian pastor and his wife who are a very special couple indeed. Their hearts for the people to allow them to follow the passion and gifts in their hearts was so great to see and hear about. Another big blessing was meeting up and getting to spend time with Jim and Becky who we had previously met in Sighisoara. Making a new home in Cluj, they have a desire to be a blessing and encouragement there. God is going to use them in a mighty way. Below is a picture of the Romanian Pastor and his wife, (Radu and Dalia, front) and Jim and Becky (back).
The church in Cluj invited us to go with them to a poor village out of Cluj where they are doing some great things for the children. Even though the church is small, many turned out to bless the children and give them such a fun time learning about God. The time was packed full of singing, a funny skit about Joseph and Pharaoh and a great party. Our small part was to add some of those fun punching balloons for the kids and a sweet treat for everyone and to just help serve and clean up.
Fellowshipping, feeding and spending time with different groups of friends there was so much fun. We feel so blessed that God has allowed us to spend time with so many gifted, very amazing young adults. Our hearts have stored up many treasured memories from being with them. God is going to do some very amazing things through their lives that will make a difference.
Our young friend, Gyongyi (picture below), is such a wonderful amazing artist. She has a website if you want to check out her work. She did a prophetic vision piece for our friend here that is really beautiful. Visit: www.thecreativeblossom.com
So now we are nesting in for the holidays waiting to see what God has next in mind for us. One huge thing we got to do in Romania was study a lot about how your body, soul and spirit all work together. We spent months praying for God to bring our hearts and minds into agreement with His Word and to understand how amazing God has created us to be. We learned about a new discovery. I read about the God Code discovered from Gregg Branden on YouTube. Basically it tells about the discovery linking the Biblical alphabets of Hebrew and Arabic to modern chemistry. There was a lost code that was translatable with the alphabet and a clue to the mystery of our origins. When they applied the discovery to the elements of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon that form our DNA with the key letters of the ancient languages the message was revealed. Letters of God’s ancient name are encoded as the genetic information in every cell of every life. The message was “God/Eternal with in the body.”
My heart was so touched that it is like we are God’s masterpiece and just as an artist signs his work, even so God signed our DNA showing that He was the master creator for us. The Scripture from Ecclesiastes 3:11 also came to my mind that “God has planted eternity in the hearts and minds of man.” Once again Creation and Science is showing the glory of God. This past year especially, my heart has been so filled with wonder as I see the intricacies of how our cells and DNA and things work. The incredible potential and possibilities God has for us if we will only embrace them and renew our minds as we find healing in our hearts.
So personally, this has been a life changing year in our hearts for Bob and I. We find ourselves getting closer to understanding the amazing love and gifts God has for us. We truly feel a new freedom and confidence and passion to follow after such an amazing God. I often think about how many years ago I read the book, Through Gates of Splendor, about Jim Elliot a missionary who was martyred in Peru. He said you give what you cannot keep to get that which you can never loose. God is truly sending His Spirit out to whosoever will may come for a new deeper understanding and healing and freedom so we can actually do the greater works Jesus said we could do. There is no personal pride involved because it is after all only that we have released Holy Spirit to do the work through us.
Maybe you be blessed as never before in this new season God is bringing to us. May your hearts soar with joy as we celebrate His coming the first time and look forward to His return.
Many thank yous to all of you who have prayed and given for Romania through us. We were able to put almost $5,000 this trip into the village of Lazareni alone because of your giving hearts.
Bob and Joan