December 2017

We are very blessed to be back in Romania until Feb 15, and in the UK until May 13.  Its been such a joy to go to the gypsy village again.  We brought four new projects for them to increase the products they can make and sell.

The orders continue to come in for them.  At the yearly conference of people from Brazil, they had a display and sold some things there also.

The 100 fruit trees our friends Jim and Linda bought last year are growing great.  They added 40 chickens into the fenced area around the trees with some chicken houses and they are making great fertilizer for the trees!

They also have 7 goats and 5 of them are pregnant.  This will give the children there milk. The funny thing is the goats have been licking the salt off of George’s van.  We joked he can start a goat car wash and only 3 days to lick your car clean!  They planted a field of corn to help feed the goats and chickens and God blesses them with a bumper crop.

A wonderful lady dentist from Brazil brought an assistant with her and has done many more procedures.  This was an amazing blessing and not only have many gypsies gotten dental work but also some of the poor Romanians from the area.

We saw a whole book full of procedures that have been done.  It was a huge blessing to see how God has used the unit and the dentist told us how great it is holding up.

We had a Christmas party in Oradea for about 30 people, and then also had parties for the village children (about 120 children).

Bob and Nikko build a wall of shelving for us and a wall of hooks to better organize the fabric and supplies for the increase in orders coming in.

We had a blessed time during our visit to Cluj where we met up with a young couple and their pastor.  What a wonderful vision they have!  It was very exciting to listen and share with them.  God’s plans are so much greater than we can imagine.

We pray all of you have wonderful Christmas memories this year and a New Year filled with dreams come to pass.

Many blessings,
Bob and Joan

Winter 2016-2017

What a blessing it was to be in Europe this winter.  Alex and Bianca invited us to stay at their apartment in Romania for a month.  It was so much fun being with them.  Bob and Alex did some projects in their apartment to fix it up and had such a great time doing them.  They also introduced us to some new friends there that we hadn’t been privileged to meet before.  We loved being able to fellowship and pray with them and encourage each other along with our other friends we have made over the years.

Going to the gypsy village of Lazareni was so encouraging.  Their skill level has increased so much.  They have been faithful and diligent to move forward and God has really blessed their efforts.  George and Alina, with Caleb Foundation, have done such an impressive job there encouraging everyone to be more self-reliant.  While we were there, we had fun helping them with a new project of making aprons to sell.  Mugurel was able to sew them and the ladies did beautiful embroidery on them.  Alina told us that they already have orders for them.  This gives them a new product to earn money from besides the cards they embroider.

Robin from Arnies Arts and Crafts in Michigan sent lots of embroidery thread for them.  We were also able to buy some very nice fabric for aprons and cards along with a new line of thread that became available there since our last trip.  This will give them a great start as they bring in more money from sales to restock their supplies and receive wages.

Now that it is fenced in, they will be planting 100 fruit trees very soon.  Our friends, Jim and Linda donated the money for them.  This will be such a huge blessing.  Thanks to our other friends including, Bill and Becky, Bob and Sharon, Brian and Cheryl, Pat and Jim, and Dennis and Kim, we were able to support two men in the village who will oversee and keep the woodshop and sewing projects going.  We were also able to donate some more wood for the wood-shop.

Alex and Bianca helped us out as clowns and donating towards the treats for the kids at the village during a party we had for the kids.  It was a great time with food treats and gifts of bracelets, stickers, little lights and balloons.  The clowns were a huge hit.  We had brought some tricks we bought over and taught Bianca how to do them.  She had just as much fun and as the kids did, we think.

The portable dental unit has been used to do over 460 procedures already.  The young dentist from Brazil is coming back with another friend to do more with it.  What an immense job this has done towards better teeth and health in general in the village by eliminating infections and pain.

Sebi and Robert, our young Romanian friends in London, invited us to stay with them at their flat.  We always have such an amazing time with them having fun adventures and spiritual time together.  We will be visiting the healing rooms and their church tomorrow (HTB).  We believe we will be doing ministry with them in the future!  God has bonded our hearts together about this.

Emanuel and Dorina invited us to Ipswich while we were in London.  It was a great visit and we got to visit their church and small group meeting which has an interesting blend of people from all over Europe.  It was such a comfort to feel at home with people you never met before, as you feel the same Holy Spirit and His presence.  It felt like such an open free church to the move of God’s Spirit.

This has been an amazing time for us.  We have seen a young generation of 20s and 30s being raised up and prepared for the new season in God.  The week we return home will be one of ministry and fellowship with a group of friends in Chattanooga TN.  Our house in Georgia sold, and we are not sure where we will go from there.  Our trust is that the Lord will show us in our hearts what our next step will be.

Please check out the Foundation Teaching we put in the teaching section on our menu.  Our young friend, Jean, in Romania who is a very talented artist and computer graphics specialist made us some animated illustrations for the teaching.  Then Robert, in London, made us a new website that is an improvement over our old one.  More things will be added when we get settled back at home including our new location.

Again we thank everyone of you for your prayers and gifts you gave to Romania that have been such a blessing to so many there.

God’s blessings to you all,

Bob and Joan

Fall 2016

WOW! It feels like summer just zipped by so quickly we wonder where it went! We started out going to Free Chapel which is an amazing church. We were so blessed to be there and still watch it online. After several months because it is so large, we wanted to find a smaller place where it would be easier to develop relationships. 12 Stone Church Braselton Campus is where we ended up. Pastor, Dan, is an awesome pastor and the people are so very friendly. They are doing an amazing job reaching out to make everyone feel like they are important and matter.

We have been blessed to help out at Sunday School and on the Prayer Team and took our first person through our FTC Ministry. She was an amazing lady and here is her testimony that she sent to Pastor Dan about the ministry. She is allowing us to use on our website.


“The Spiritual healing that I received in that three hour process was amazing. It is such a personal and loving setting that allows you to forgive yourself as God has forgiven you. Let God, let go as we woman in Small Group say. They always used the Word of God to support the truth. It was a spiritual cleansing.”

This past six months we have been privileged to meet and do prayer ministry with and for an incredible group of people from Chattanooga Tennessee. We were also able to do some teaching there and will be going back with our friends, Bob and Sharon Calhoun and Brian and Cheryl Matthews, to do an all day Saturday ministry in October. Each of us will be sharing different parts about activating our gifts. Our hearts are filled with excitement to see what God will do not only for them but for us as a team doing ministry together. Here is an email we received from Pat and Jim in Chattanooga.

“We first met Bob and Joan in April 2016. Then in June 2016, we heard them teach about the orphan spirit. After hearing the teaching, we realized the orphan spirit described our lives. We set up an appointment to go through the entire Freedom Through Christ Ministry. WOW! We were blessed beyond description! The lights turned on! And God gave us more and more freedom as hidden lies were revealed and replaced with the truth.

It was like my heart was “found” as God’s love shone in upon it. Love for my husband was multiplied. Love for Jesus grew. Joy. Peace. Delight. Just put simple “freedom through Christ!” Our lives have been strengthened, grounded, and encouraged through the Biblical principals of FTCM.

Then Bob and Joan shared even more by coming to our home in Chattanooga and letting us observe and take part while some of our family and friends went through the FTCM. Bob and Joan are teaching us how to share the FTCM with others. It’s so interesting when we see people who are hurting, struggling, and searching for help, and knowing we can offer this ministry to them as well.”

This is what we love to do and is our passion in life. Our prayer is that we might go to other places and not only share but train more and more people to do FTCM. The steps are easy, and so many people are holding regrets and things in their heart that need healing. So many of us know the truth in our heads, but getting it down to our hearts is a journey. FTCM helps us on this journey. Each time we take someone through or teach, God touches our hearts in a deeper way.

We are all on this incredible journey to a new place we have never been before and a new season in God’s time table. To go as a team helping and encouraging each other with the tools we need and our gifts activated is such a gift from the Lord. How can we ever thank Him enough except to give our lives to Him and follow the pathways He has had planned for us since before we were even born? Eph. 2:10

Our plan, God willing, is to go to Southern California for November and December to help some friends with their business. Not only can we help them, but we can earn some money that will allow us to go to Romania again in February/March and also to England to be with our young adult Romanian friends there. We get to encourage and be encouraged and have an adventure with them and the Lord as He opens up some doors for us there to do ministry there.

The months here have been good for us to study and learn even more and to edit our manual with the things we are learning and finding to be more effective. Our hearts are very full of thankfulness and expectation for the plans God has for us in the days and months to come.

We pray many blessings on all of you and thank you from our hearts for your love, prayers and support you have given us. Being able to share makes everything so much richer, so it is our joy that you allow us to do that.

May you dream big dreams, because we have a big God, and be blessed as you see them come to pass with joy in your hearts.

P.S. More testimonies are available to read under “Testimonies” on our home page menu.

Bob and Joan Phillips

May Newsletter

Greetings from Georgia!

Our latest news is that we have moved to Georgia for this new season in our lives.  We are pretty excited to see what God has in mind for us.  Free Chapel in Gainesville is our new church home where Jentezen Franklin is head Pastor.


When we left Oregon, we left behind a new team trained to do FTCM.  Clark and Laura Casewell are leading the team, and each person in the team has wonderful gifts to contribute to the ministry.  Each one has an amazing heart to reach out to others with truth and love.  It’s going to be such a blessing to hear what they have done and how God is bringing new freedom to others through them.

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To update you on the village of Lazareni in Romania the news is that we sent some money for them to make baby cribs for the children who had been sleeping on the floor and getting bitten by rats or in beds with the older children.  This was difficult because it kept the older children awake with the wiggling and made it hard for them in school when they didn’t get enough sleep.  Thank you so much to those of you who gave towards this worthy cause.  This didn’t just help the babies and school kids.   The men in the woodworking shop found a new project to bless their village and also to increase their skills.

Besides that look what the men did!  They brought in the young men in the village and taught them to make the cribs also!  What a blessing.

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New ladies have been added in the sewing project now.  Once again they are sharing their skills by bringing in some of the younger girls to teach them how to embroider and sew.

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More cards were also purchased from the village.  Our special friends in Michigan, Robin and Brian at Arnies Arts and Crafts, are selling them for us once again.  Proceeds from the cards can go back onto the village for more supplies. What a huge blessing for us to see!  God has a way of multiplying what you give and do and spreading it to bless many others.  This is only the beginning of the wonderful things God has in store.  Our prayer is that God will send us back to Romania this fall.  A part of our hearts remain there with the people it was so easy to love and admire.


In May, we had an opportunity to meet up with our friend, Jess Parker, who has TDS Ministries out of Yuba City CA  for a conference in Chattanooga TN.  Jess has a very powerful ministry to teach and train people how to recognize and defeat demonic activity in the lives of believers.  There are some great people in Chattanooga that we got to meet.  Since we are neighbors now, we hope to meet up with them again in the near future.

Our new home we bought should be ready for us to move into by early June.  After that, it won’t take us long to be up and running again.  So we are hoping to keep updating the newsletter more often again.

May you be very blessed and find divine appointments each day in your lives as you go forward on your journey to your destiny with our Wonderful Lord.

Bob and Joan



November Newsletter

IMG_1615After building a cottage this summer on our friends (Brian and Cheryl’s) property so we have a place to come and go from, we took October off and jumped in the car for a 6,000 mile trip to visit some of our family and friends.

From Atlanta we took a short trip to Romania to join Jess Parker during a conference in Oradea for pastors from the Federation of Independent Churches in Romania.


What a joy it is to spend some time with some of the amazing young adults there.




Arnies Arts and Crafts in Houghton Lake Michigan sent some needed supplies for the ladies in the sewing project.  In addition, we had a great time teaching them to make some fun bags.

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Robin and the team at Arnies have volunteered to sell the cards at their store that the ladies in the gypsy village are making. This is just the beginning of different designs the ladies are trying out.  They are also embroidering decorator pillows.

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What a blessing it is to see the joy they have that they have with their new skills.  Two new ladies have been added to the program with other ladies on a waiting list.  The size of the building they are presently using limits the number of people in the program until a larger building can be provided.

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The team at Arnies have gone beyond just selling the cards.  You can see two of them matting and framing some of the embroidery pictures at the store’s expense. If you are interested in ordering any cards or pictures from Arnies, their phone number is 1-800-563-2356.  They have a wonderful store filled with great craft ideas and supplies.  Words cannot express how much we appreciate the giving hearts at Arnies. They are helping the villagers of Lazareni move out of their poverty and providing hope for a much better quality of life.

IMG_1573-1 Regarding the mens projects with the wood shop, we won’t be able to show pictures of wood projects.  Instead of this, they have focused on building a place for the after school tutoring, office and storage space.


Building a house for one of the families involved in the program was the second project.  Their old dwelling was falling apart allowing rats entrance.  You can see what a nice place the men built with the help of Empower Romania raising funds to buy the materials while the men involved in the training project did the work.

During the next few months, we will be focused on doing some training and ministry here in the states.  It is also our hope to find some new markets for the cards and items the Lazareni workers will be producing.

Many thanks again for the giving and prayers from all of you.  Many blessings for your holidays with wonderful memories to cherish.

Bob and Joan


July Newsletter

Greetings from Oregon


It’s hard to believe this is the last day in July!  We are almost finished building a small one bedroom one bath cottage on our friends, Brian and Cheryl Matthews property.  In return for building it, we will be able to stay here and have a place to come and go from until the Lord shows us our next step.  Once we complete the cottage, hopefully in the next two weeks, we can pray about what to do or where to go next.  Our partner in ministry and friend, Dennis Bohnstehn, is working on plastering it for us today.  And… it is over 104 degrees today!  What a huge blessing he and Kim have been to our ministry for years now.  They have always encouraged us so much.


For many years we have had a dream and even a prophecy about having a center where people can come for healing ministry, training and equipping.  Having a property where we could have some of the young adults from Romania come to receive ministry and be trained would be a dream come to pass.  In addition to this, we would love to finish training and establishing some places of prayer and ministry in Romania and other places God might open doors for us to do this at.

Here is part of the prophecy we received from Bishop Hammond who didn’t know us in August of 2003.

“There’s going to be many, many young people gather around you wanting wisdom, wanting counsel.  And you are going to develop that training center…that equipping center… that place where you are going to co-labor with.  Make the vision known.  Write it and make it plain.

Birth pains are coming says the Lord, and you’re going to give birth.  When you give birth, others can help you nurture it.  I will not give birth pains without birthing says the Lord.  The ministry will come forth.  You will have the physical place the people and the resources, and it shall be accomplished.  You will accomplish more in your later years than you accomplished all your years before.”

It seems like now is the time to reach out for the dream.  We are certainly in our later years!!!  We’ve never actually written it out before, so we wanted to be sure we were obedient to the word we were given.


We’ve been looking on line at northern Idaho and in northeastern Washington near the Idaho border at places with acreage.  Not that we are limited to that area.  It seems like a good idea to be out in the country,  yet with  an airport nearby.  That way it would be convenient for us and other people to fly in and out.  Right now it is just a dream.  But hey!  Without dreams, you have nowhere to aim.


While we are here in Oregon, we have been asked to do some training and ministry at our church with FICM.  In the meantime, God is always faithful to bring people across our paths to encourage.  It’s great that we are able to stay in contact with the young adults in Romania via email and Skype.  We sure do miss everyone there.

This is a wonderful new season of opportunity.  May you be richly blessed as God prepares you for this time ahead.  May doors of opportunity be opened for the dreams in your heart to come to pass.
Many blessings,

Bob and Joan

June Newsletter


The month of May took us out of Romania for awhile to meet up with our friends, Bob and Sharon Calhoun, and Brian and Cheryl Matthews. When the six of us went back into Romania it was a great time to say the least.


Brian got to share on Sunday morning at New Life Church and did a great job. Afterwards we had a pizza party for about 20 of the young adults at the church.


The next adventure was to go out to the gypsy village. Our friends, Robin and Brian from Michigan, sent a box with wonderful gifts for the village sewing group to use. Inside the box were the coveted soccer shirts that Brian designed. They were awesome and the guys were very excited to get them. There were only some of the guys there who would wear the shirts.   The younger boys who were at school will love wearing them during the games they play.


What was really fun was that we got to take a very special treat with us. 200 ice creams were loaded up covered in ice for the village kids. There was enough ice cream left over for the workers and for the kindergarten and after school kids for the next day also.
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While we were there we got to go to the office Joanna, the dentist, is using. It was amazing what she had accomplished in just a short time.  She was hard at work and had done 64 patients already when we were there.  Her work is continuing each day to bless more of the people so in need of it in the village.. So the dental unit so many of you helped us get is really getting a work out!

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The kitchen is well on the way to be completed.  Along with the oven they needed a refrigerator.  With the help of our friends, we were able to give the money for them to purchase a nice one. They still needed a mixer and some other kitchen tools we were able to take out with us for them.

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Brian, Bob and Bob were able to go to the same orphanage we went to last May. Brian was hoping to find a couple of the young men he bonded with on the last trip. What a blessing that they were out on the sidewalk when the men arrived! They took cookies for the orphanage and the boys were excited and remembered Brian right away and ran up to him. The two Bob’s got to see the the trophies for sports one of the boys had won.  He was so proud to show both the Bob’s while Brian arm wrestled the boys in the kitchen.

The final day at Bookafe we told everyone we would be available for three hours to meet with people. Instead of maybe a few people showing up, there was a steady stream waiting to share and be encouraged and prayed for by us all. It was a wonderful time.

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The very best thing the whole time was seeing the love in the hearts of the people who received us. We are convinced we receive so much more than we give, because of the amazing quality of the people who have such wonderful hearts and openness to share their lives with us. 

We will be returning to Oregon June 15th after a couple more weeks traveling with our friends through Europe. We do know we will be doing some training for some people in Eugene about our ministry for healing hurts of the heart. We also hope to gather up ideas and samples for new projects for the gypsy village to help continue the work they are doing to improve their lives.

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This has been an amazing season in our lives In Romania that we are forever grateful we got to be a part of.  Cornel and Cami received us with so much love and helped us so much more than we can express.  We are extremely blessed by all of you who gave and encouraged and prayed for us while we delivered what you so generously gave. It seems that this is just the beginning, and God has more coming up that we can be a part of in the months ahead.  It will be exciting to see what unfolds.

Many blessings on you all,

Bob and Joan

May Newsletter

GOD IS ON THE MOVE! And He is using His people to do wonderful things as a team to accomplish His purposes.

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The results of many people working together made it possible to get the dental unit up and running. After we got the unit, we discovered it was missing the connections that actually make it operable. Our young dentist from Brazil, Joanna, got those connections, which were expensive, and put them together. So now any dentist who comes to help can even clean teeth with the unit.

A doctor in the nearby village offered a free room in his office with running water to have a clean, safe, and legal place to use the unit. Then another one offered the use of his sterilization unit which is about a $3,000 unit for use. I believe someone else gave all the supplies and materials needed in addition to the unit to actually work on teeth.

Anyway, the awesome news is that it is finally up and running! We are thanking God for everyone who listened to the Lord’s leading to make it all happen. It took a team. What an amazing impact for the village to have Joanna offering her time and money to stay and help actually do all the dental work. We pray she will be richly blessed beyond measure for her heart to help in such a great way.

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An Easter Party for the children at the village was a great time with butterfly cookies, colored boiled eggs, drinks, chocolate eggs, and fruit bread. They also got to watch the “Jesus” movie. There were balloons and for the smallest children we had little stuffed monkeys to give to them.

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The sewing gang finished the quilts they were making and sold them. This brought big smiles on pay day as it was the first time they had earned money from what they created. We also sold some pillows they made. Next came more pillows and embroidering greeting cards for Mandy to take to Australia.

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The men made more benches and sold 10 of them already. Work started on fencing they are making which was presold. Above are pictures of the 4 men who are working at the wood shop with a little bit about them. They are still looking for sponsors for some of the men to give them a small wage while they are in training for 13 months.

Another exciting thing that has happened is that there was nothing for the teen boys at Lazareni. Beni who does the work shop had a burden for them.  Since he loves soccer (which is a big thing in Romania) he offered to start working with the boys 2 afternoons a week teaching then to work together as a team and have something to look forward to after school.

Our friends, Brian and Robin in Michigan at Arnies Arts and Crafts, offered to design and supply the team with soccer shirts. This is like a really big deal. The boys don’t have many clothes and to have a special team shirt is something very impacting to them. Then our friend, Sally, gave money to buy the backstops and level and prepare a playing field for them.   Robin mailed the package to Romania, so we will have it hopefully when we get back on May 16th to take out to the village. We are hoping to get pictures of the team wearing their new shirts playing a game.

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Work is going forward on the kitchen at Lazareni.  Above is the new stove still packaged up waiting for the cupboards to be finished.

Bookafe is hoping to have the Place of Prayer open starting in May.  So all in all, things are moving forward at a great pace.

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We left Romania to celebrate our birthdays and meet up with friends we will be taking back to Romania. So for the next two weeks we will be on the move heading back that way from Barcelona. This is also an early celebration for our 40th anniversary in June. Here are some pictures of before and after. Wow! Where did all the years go, and who are those old people? We still feel young inside and thankful for God’s grace that we are able to do all we have been doing.

We pray for many blessings to overtake you, and we are so thankful for the prayers and wonderful things you have done to make it all happen.

Bob and Joan

April Newsletter


Greetings from Romania!  Spring is here with flowers on the trees and leaves beginning to show along with the mosquitoes.  We wanted to let you know we are blessing them with blood donations!  Our friend, Sean, says people usually only share the good about overseas adventures.  So here is our effort to share the other side.  It kind of feels like Alaska with them out and about!

One of gypsy men we took through the ministry last month had a serious issue.  This week he told us how much stronger he felt with his new freedom.  God is so amazing, and it was so encouraging that He let us be a part of what He’s doing in lives at the village.

One of our board members, Bill, said we need to let you know we are working with two foundations at the village.  Caleb Foundation started the work here and is in charge of maintaining it and overseeing different ministries there.  George and Alina, from Romania, do an amazing job keeping it all together.  It can be a very tough job and discouraging at times.  We admire them so much for what they accomplish.

Empower Romania is the other foundation led by Mandy, from England.  They are gathering funds to find sponsors for four men to be trained in the workshop for 13 months.  They are looking for people who will give $50 a month to give them a small wage as they learn.  These men in turn will be able to find work or train others who enter the program later.

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They already sponsor a man who is in charge of the women’s cottage industry that is being built.  He will be going to sewing school this month to be able to come back and teach others.


The dream is to develop cottage industries to take the village from a poverty level to being self-supporting.  Lazareni is to become a prototype for other villages that remain stuck in poverty in Romania.  Empower Romania has a vision of getting two more mobile units by the end of the summer.  One would be a place for the ladies to work in and the other will be for medical and house the dental unit we bought.  The one above is used for the kindergarten.

Please pray the government will hook the village up to the water supply from the road.  This would be a huge, vital issue that would enable the villagers to bathe, cook, and clear and have sanitary conditions.  The schools and buses don’t like having the gypsies,  and one reason is due to body odor.


It was a blessing to have our friends, Robert and Mary here in March.  They were able to minister while they were here.  Mary held a trauma group meeting with a group of young girls from the village.  One is 12 years old and just had a baby girl.  She was abused by three men and had to drop out to school to take care of her baby that she loves.  We were told the Roma do not abort their babies.  Another girl 13 is pregnant.  The police don’t like to be bothered with the paperwork saying the gypsy girls are sexually active at a young age anyway.  With an attitude like this is it any wonder with no consequences that the young girls continue to be abused?

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With help from our friends, Bill and Becky, Jim and Linda, Loretta, Bob and Sharon, Brian and Cheryl, and Kim and Dennis, we were able to purchase a load of wood, buy a vice and a planer for the wood shop that will allow the men to make enough projects to sell while earning a small wage and being able to replace the wood.

Beni and the men are working on building a kitchen in the meeting hall.  We will send pictures next month of the stove and different kitchen items we were able to buy.  Wow!  We are incredibly blessed that God answered every last prayer we had in our hearts to do before we leave.

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For the sewing, we were able to buy a 4 x 6 ft smooth board Bob screwed down for us to have a nice place to work and cut out fabric.  We were also able to buy a storage cabinet to keep things in.  The quilts are almost finished!  Then there are more pillows along with gift cards they will embroider with with fabric insets in them.  We were able to buy fabric for more embroidered pillows and pillow forms to go inside them.

One hundred dollars was even given towards starting an orchard for the village.  It is possible to buy 100 trees for $400, so the $100 is a great start.  It will enable them to learn to plant, prune, harvest and put up fruit for the village to enrich their diets.


The final things on our hearts was about the “Place of Prayer” at Bookafe. Opening date is scheduled for the week of the 12th of April when the dedicated room will hopefully be completed.  To begin with it will be open for 2 days a week from 5 to 7.  Bookafe has about 1,000 to 1,500 people a month go through there.  It is part of an international group started in Brazil that is a coffee house with Christian literature etc.  Bookafe turns into New Life Christian Center on Sunday mornings and feeds about 70 homeless people on Saturday mornings.  Pastor Cornel has wanted to add a place of prayer that will be advertised on the menu and TV screen in the cafe.


Our hearts are very warm and thankful that we believe when we leave we will have accomplished the assignments God gave us to do while here.  We could never have done it without the prayers and support from everyone here and all of you.  From deep in our hearts, we ask God’s blessings to fill you with overflowing joy and to know you have made a difference and brought hope into people’s hearts.

Bob and Joan

March Newsletter

Well here we are close to the 1st of March. We have been allowed to partner with so many wonderful people since we have been here this trip. We started out on this adventure thinking we were here for the purpose of walking people through our ministry and encouraging them in how to be stronger in their walk with God. Well, it seems that was only part of God’s plan.

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A big blessing has been spending a lot of time working at the gypsy village of Lazareni.   You can see from some of the pictures that we have been able to help with a wood shop to teach men a trade that will give them hope in finding work and learn to make a living using their skills. With the help of many of you, we have been able to buy some really nice tools. They are just getting to the place where they can make different wood projects that they can sell at markets. In this way they can pay for the material they use and make a little money while learning.

The wood is a little hard to work with for furniture. We have only been able to find rough sawn lumber. It takes a lot of shaving with the table saw and using the belt sanders to get it usable. We hope to get some help getting a planer to make this step easier. Before we leave this time, we would like to supply the wood shop with an ample supply of wood to stack in the shop. Then it can be drying and give them a start in making an income.   An example is the picnic table you see in the picture. It costs roughly 150 lei which amounts to $39. Try that in the states! That includes wood, stain, varnish, belt sanders, and screws. Then we hope to be able to sell them for 300-400 lei ($75 to $100).   This would allow money to replace materials and give them some income.   We are looking for a planer, vise, and a biscuit machine to joint wood together.

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Now about the ladies and one of the men who love to sew.  Finally after trying many different forms of knitting, sewing etc. we have found what they really love and have a talent for. It is embroidery. So far they have made pillows, and they are now embroidering squares that our friends Robin and Arnies Arts and Crafts have sent us in a box filled with wonderful craft items. With these squares, we bought bright colors of fabric.   They are going to make beautiful hand sewn quilts to sell. I can’t tell you how excited they are now. They didn’t even want to take a break for lunch. (And they don’t have a lot of food, so it’s always a great thing when we make them lunch!)   Here you have really poor people without even running water, and they are laughing and singing as we sew.   It’s like this month brought a turn around and a bundle of new hope and excitement with the reality that they can actually earn money and improve their lives and the lives of their children.

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A Valentine Party for the kids was a fun highlight in February. The children enjoyed egg salad sandwiches , and over 100 pretty decorated Valentine cookies with juice. It was so much fun, because our gypsy sewing group decorated with hearts and balloons we brought with us.

If you could only see the difference that love makes in their faces. When love touched their lives, they were filled with songs and thankfulness and know how to give it away to others also. If you could hear some of the stories of how they were raised and the trauma and pain they endured, you would be amazed like we are at how sweet and kind they are having gone through so much.   Sean and Adina, a young couple we have been training to take people in the village through healing of their hearts, have started adult classes to teach a group of them in the village to read and write. One of the men came back to the woodshop to show Bob his writing and how proud he was of it. Hope is abounding in the village and wonderful transformations are flourishing.

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Another activity we really enjoy is being with and being able encourage the Romanian young adults we love so much. For Valentines we also cooked up some French dishes and decorated our apartment up with candles and hearts and invited 3 young in love couples over for a romantic dinner by candlelight.


Some other fantastic news is about the dental unit we got for the village, because their teeth are so bad. When the dentist in town came, we found out we are missing two connecting parts we will try and get in the next few weeks. BUT…the great news is that Cornel was in Brazil where the international Bookafes have headquarters. A lady dentist told him she is willing to come to Romania and work in the village for up to 3 months to fix people’s teeth. What an amazing answer to prayer! Instead of a town dentist coming once a month, we will have someone there enough time to really make a fabulous difference in people’s teeth and general health.

They will be starting to fix a kitchen in one of the buildings where they have fixed up an assembly room where they can have meetings and Bible studies and church. Our dream is to buy a stove and get enough basic equipment like large pots and baking dishes etc. to make it operable. We found a stove we can buy for about $250 that would be awesome. You use it with bottled gas.   So we have a lot of dreams with not a lot of money to see them come to pass. BUT…God is good and he is bringing people like the dentist here. We are praying and hoping God will put it in people’s hearts to help make these dreams become reality.   If you could pray with us to be able to get the tools and wood and the kitchen items we need to get it up and running and to become self supporting, that would be awesome!

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New Life Church continues to feed the hungry at Bookafe every Saturday morning, and we got our turn again in February. We cooked up a huge pot of taco soup with rice and cheese.  Adina was making the tea, Bob grating cheese, and Sean and I cooking up the soup.  So you can see this month has been a busy one for us. Busy but so rewarding!

Thank you all for praying for us and being an important part of what we are seeing come together here. We don’t have an address here to get mail, but we love to receive emails. Bill and Becky Herb are taking care of our mail and FTCM finances in Seattle.   FTCM 4104 Beach Dr. SW #3 Seattle WA 98116

Many Blessings, Bob and Joan