December 2009 Newsletter
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
“Oh a lo!”, is the phrase that we hear over and over in our home, as our youngest, not yet two years old, discovers new and exciting things, finds things out of place, or sees something for the first time. “Oh a lo!”, we heard over and over as Valentina was decorating the Christmas tree. “Oh a lo!’, we heard as the star was placed on top and the lights turned on. However, when the nativity scene was pulled from it’s box, it was a whispered, “WOW!’ that we heard as Laurentiu reverently bent over and kissed the baby Jesus! How can it be that one so little sees the wonder in the birth of baby Jesus when we adults tend to forget the significance, the wonder of Jesus’s birth. When we adults have become so busy with the decorations, the festivities, the gift giving that we have forgotten the most precious gift that we, each individual who has ever walked this earth, has received! Our prayer is that this Christmas, each one of you would once again experience the wonder of Christmas, that you would look upon the baby Jesus and whisper, WOW! Thank you Jesus for coming to earth for us, thank you for dying and taking away our sins, thank you for returning to the Father and leaving us with the Holy Spirit to help us and comfort us and to lead us back to the wonder of Christmas! And … as we return to the business of our lives, help us to think on these things and know that we are blessed and as a result help our desires to be those of Jesus, … that no man should perish, but that all should have everlasting life!
So much has happened since the last newsletter went out that it is difficult to know where to begin. Many of you know that for the last three months, Albert has been in Canada where he faced many challenges and received many blessings! We thank each one of you who received him into your home, your church, your heart, for blessing him and allowing him to minister to you. God truly worked many miracles in and through him and we are so thankful for God’s protection and provisions. We are thankful for those who gave sacrificially in response to our plea for financial help, for those who sacrificed time to help Albert when he was assisting our daughter with house renovations. The list goes on and on but we want you all to know that without each one of you, our lives would be poorer in many ways. Thanks for your blessings and we pray and know that God will bless you in return!
With Albert being gone three months, means Elvira was home alone with the children and work for three months. It seemed that during these three months, anything and everything that could go wrong or break – did! Elvira says that either God was trying to show her how much she depends on Albert to keep things running, or Satan was trying to discourage her and take her attention off of what was important – either way – it worked!!!! But, we are so glad that we know God is bigger than any problem, God is bigger than any discouragement and we know that He was watching over us! One of our first and biggest problems was with communication, first the internet went down and once that was working, the computers all broke down! This was very trying for Albert as he was concerned about how things were at home but God is faithful, even with everything breaking down around us, we were safe! Our ATV chose this time to break down as well! This meant that Elvira had to take Laurentiu with her on medical calls which sometimes took most of the day, getting from one end of the village to the other with a baby carriage! However, it gave us more opportunity to stop and chat and love the people than when we zip by on the ATV! We do not understand God’s plans but He has a way of working things out and we pray that the important things were taken care of while Albert was gone and the things that were not done, do not matter!
During the time that Albert was gone, the oldest lady in our church went to be with Jesus. She had been suffering from a growth in her left eye for some time and she desperately wanted Jesus to take her but she kept on living. Her last months on earth were not very easy as the family taking care of her became tired of the burden of having an invalid under foot and she was not treated very well. However, we believe that she is now with Jesus and she knew where she was going! A few days before she passed away she called for two of her children and told them they were to come with her on a long journey. They wanted to know what they should pack and she told them that were they were going they would not need anything but that they would not be coming back! A few months ago she was in much pain and constantly calling on God to have mercy and take her home but in the last few weeks she was very calm and quiet and seemed to be watching for someone. Her death touched almost every life on gypsy street as she had been a grandma to everyone, always giving a crust of bread to the hungry child even at the expense of going with out herself, always speaking a gentle word to the down trodden often to the ridicule of those around her. We believe that she prayed individually for many on the street and pray that someone will step in to replace her in upholding each precious life there. Her funeral caused much controversy in the village and much of the true hatred between the Orthodox and ‘repenters’ was brought into light. However, we believe that it also brought much soul searching and pray that people would see the love of Jesus in those who she left behind and those whose lives she prayed for, would come into the Kingdom of God!
God continues to be faithful to our children. Laurentiu is growing in every way, he is such a blessing, so intelligent and people are in awe of the difference the family a child is raised in makes. Valentina is struggling a little this year with all the changes in school but is doing very well. Of course, she is top student in English, and the teacher often gets her to answer the questions of the others as she knows the answers better than him! We had prayed this would not be a problem and God has sent a new teacher this year who is very good with it and does not feel put out that she does so well. Rita has faced a few challenges and they have changed their wedding date several times, trying to please everyone and make it all work out. We believe they will now be married in June of 2010. Pray for them as they face many challenges but their love for each other and for God is very strong and we know that He will see them through. Dana continues to give us many challenges. Once again she has done something to be asked to leave the home she was living in. She is now living in another home, does have a job and so we are praying that she will see how serious life is and how much depends on our behaviours and actions if we want to succeed and have peace and joy here on earth. She continues to need lots of prayer! We are planning on spending Christmas with our Romanian family in Lunca and are believing for a blessed time.
Our Canadian children are also doing well. Albert spent some very special days with our son, daughter in law and grand children. He said leaving was extremely difficult but is so thankful to know that they are in God’s hands. Shauna had lots of work for her father to do when he arrived at her place, doing some major renovations to her bathroom. Along with some very special help, he was able to make the changes she wanted and we believe she is very happy and blessed that her father was able to take some time to help make some of her desires come to be!
It will not be long now until the new Bible School Session starts. In March we are expecting to run two sessions, back on back. This means double teachers, double the meals for Elvira to prepare so are still looking for help!!!!! We are believing for new students who are ready to learn about God’s word and how to apply it in their lives and how to teach it to others! Thanks to those professors who have already committed, we are looking forward to a great time as we work together for the Kingdom of God.
God blessed us with finances to receive several containers of humanitarian aid in the next few months. We are praying for wisdom in distribution as well as for help with all the work involved with receiving the container. We know that God wants to bless many by your gifts of love to the people here in Romania.
We also received many promises of people eager to help us get the camp site ready for use this summer. We are getting excited about what God will do there and look forward to hearing from and seeing each one of you who felt God was asking you to sacrifice your time to help us in this area.
There is so much more that we could say but once again we would like to return to the original subject! The birth of Jesus! All the things we can do here on earth, the gifts given to help in foreign countries, the time sacrificed to put programs in place, all means nothing if we forget to remember for whom we are doing it! Jesus said, ‘Whatever you do in my name….’ Let us do all in His name, for His name and let us receive this season and all He has done for us with reverence because of who He is – the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, etc, etc, etc and because of what He first did for us!
May 2010 be filled with peace and joy, may every dream be fulfilled to the glory of God our Father who gave everything for us!
EHM PRAISE REPORTS AND PRAYER REQUESTS
1. HEALTH: God is our Healer! We are so thankful that we can say we are healthy! Albert did great with his diabetes while he was away and is feeling great! We can not say we do not have aches and pains and the colds and flues have hit our home but all is bearable and we know that God will heal these too!
2. CHLDREN: Make us a blessing to them as they are to us!!
3. FINANCES: God is a God of miracles and the way He provides continues to make us stand in awe of His faithfulness! We thank each one of you for helping us do what we believe God has called us to do here in Romania! May God Bless you as you continue to give sacrificially to further the Kingdom of God.
4. BIBLE SCHOOl: Praying and believing that we will have double sessions in March. This means, double the work, double the professors, much time and commitment on our behalf and on behalf of many others who have committed to teaching the gypsy nation about God’s word! Pray and believe with us that the students will come, the professors will come and the KINGDOM OF GOD will come!
5. HUMANITARIAN AID: God has blessed us with finances to receive several containers and their contents!!! Please pray for wisdom as the aid is distributed, for safety as Albert travels through out Romania and that people would see God at work in their lives through His faithfulness in caring for their every need!
6. CHURCH WORK: It is often easy to get discouraged but we know that we see only a little piece of the picture – God sees the BIG picture! We have seen some growth in the individuals faithful in attending church and are thankful that God is working. Our prayer is that many more would attend church and therefore be able to grow in wisdom in the Lord and to find joy and happiness in serving God.
‘For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only son,, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ John 3:16