Today I listened to a sermon on the internet about negative situations we sometimes find ourselves in. It wont be a revelation to you to say that life has its ups and downs, it can sometimes be very difficult. Do you sometimes feel as though no-one is going through, or has gone through situations like you have? Are your situations always worse than anyone else's? The preacher drew our attention to Paul in the Bible. He was bearing the marks of Jesus as a result of suffering persecutions for Him, the way he had been treated, the stoning at Lystra, whippings, floggings and assaults had all had an effect. We too can bear the scars of things that have happened to us. Paul writes about his trust in God, when he reached a low point he trusted God, not blamed him.
Julie and I flew to Romania on the 16th January (returning on the 26th February) the flight was good but we had a very interesting time on the train from Bucharest to Cluj. We purchased overnight tickets on the assurance that Traian, Julie and I would have a cabin to ourselves. In fact the cabin was a six birth and our bunks were the top ones. Julie was not impressed!! We managed to find the guard who sold us (with out receipt) another cabin. The whole trip was a success, we accomplished everything we wanted to do. The most difficult thing was changing OACs address from Cluj to Alba Iulia. Getting the necessary papers, filing them with the judges office, waiting two weeks, hearing nothing, going to Judges office to find lost papers, all takes P + P. (Prayer & Patience) Eventually we found them ... in Alba Iulia at the office of another Judge. At the OAC European conference in November last year OAC Romania was recognised as a branch of OAC International. While we were in Cluj we had our first OAC Romania National Conference. (actually we all met in Constantins house but National Conference sounds good) We discussed the rule book and other similar interesting things. We talked generally and prayed for each other. It was a good time.
While we were staying at Constantins house we were able to go with him on an evangelistic trip to Sighet in northern Romania, approximately 5kms from the Ukrainian border. Traian, Julie and I worked with the children while Constantin and two others preached in churches. Many came to Christ. In both the morning and evening meetings we had about 80 children each time. The Sunday School teachers want us to come back in July to do some training with them and to hold a holiday club, You will get about 400 children said one teacher. They hadnt seen a programme like ours before and had never given children the opportunity to come to Christ. During the ministry times there werent many dry eyes. One teacher who had been praying for her son was amazed at the change in him. PTL. Traian also booked his puppet team into the University at Cluj. We all went along to help. The hall was full. After everything was completed in Cluj, Julie and I moved to Alba Iulia. We met the builders and organised a time in which they could start to put the house back together. They are from the Pentecostal Church and are able to do everything, plumbing, electrical, plastering, tiling etc: Each man has his own skill but they work together. This was a real answer to prayer because trying to co-ordinate all the different tradesmen was looking quite daunting. We have seen examples of their work and they come highly recommended. While we were there Julie and I were able to go shopping. We bought a lorry load of sand, bathroom fittings, tiles and cement. They are cheaper in February than in the spring. When building work commences the prices double.
To pay for building materials, builders and architects we had to withdraw money on our credit card, so far we have spent £4000. Could you help us to pay it off? We ask that you pray and help if you can. Could you mark any gifts with Berachah (means blessing)
Another answer to prayer was finding an accountant. His name is Dani and he lives in Alba Iulia with his wife Diana. He is a government inspector of taxes, examining the books of companies to see if they are paying the right amount of tax. In his spare time he works for Campus Crusade for Christ, sharing the gospel with students.
The puppet team were invited to Resita by a school Head teacher. We were surprised to find out that we were to perform in the cultural hall because he had invited all the schools in the town. There were 570 children with teachers and parents. The next day we were in a theatre with 200 children. Im sure that there was good fruit. We have received a lot of invitations from all over the country, not only for puppets but for general evangelistic opportunities. Pray that the Lord will bring us more people to work alongside us. On the 17th March we were invited to a place in the mountains about 100 Kilometres away. It was great because in the surrounding villages there are no evangelical churches. No one had seen puppets before, ever!! One lady, a teacher I think, said, It has made a great impact on the people Constantin Rodila in Cluj writes.... There are lots of opportunities for me to preach at the moment, I seem to be travelling a great deal. With Julie, Paul and others I went to Sighet in Northern Romania. It took 5hrs to drive from Cluj. We arrived Saturday evening and went to a Church. Our programme consisted of singing, testimonies and preaching. People gave their lives to Jesus. The next morning (Sunday) we were back and more people came to Christ. In the afternoon we went to another Church in a nearby village, Im not sure if people got saved there. We were back just in time for the evening service at the first Church. At the end of the service they gave us food and we drove back to Cluj. It seems that every weekend I am in a different Church, pray that I will be able to continue. 2 Timothy 4 vs 1-5.
The work here in Cluj is going very well. At the moment I am working very closely with a Church here in Cluj and my role is to organise and lead the youth meetings. Our group is growing through evangelism. When I came here it was just a group of Christian youth, now it is a group of Christian youth that is looking on the outside!! It has taken a little time to break with their tradition but now we have evangelistic meetings in the Church building and we also go out to where the youth are. The Church have given us a whole building, three floors, in which we can say is for the youth. We had a cleaning day and even the boys swept and washed the walls. It was a great sight to see!! I hope to have a table tennis table and other things one day. I am still singing with the Continentals when you read this I will be touring Italy with them. There aim is evangelism through singing. They used to go to places, sing songs and move on. I suggested that we add testimonies and preaching to the programme. They agreed.
It is a sad time at the moment because Malcolm, one of Julies brothers has passed on. He was 58 and lived with Julies mum and another brother who is mentally handicapped. Over many years he had associations with the Jehovahs witnesses which obviously led to many interesting discussions. Please pray for Julies mum at this time and for Julie as she organises the funeral set for April 2nd. Julie had another test recently at the hospital and they think there is a problem with a valve in her gullet. There is a small operation available should the doctors decide.
Andrew continues to pass exams at university. This is amazing as he never seems to do any revision which frustrates Julie and myself. He has three months left and is considering a career in the Police Force. Rebecca is doing well at Lincoln university. This is her second year. She has just failed the first part of a recent exam because she didnt read the question properly. Fortunately she should pass the second part and so get the required grade. She continues to talk to the Muslims in her accommodation telling them (in her opinion) where they are going when they die!! She, like Andrew has no interest in Church. I dont know what to write about myself except that I praise God for what He is doing through us all, Im always amazed when prayers are answered. I think its great when God sorts out the little problems as well as the big ones, it shows that He is interested in everything.
Our next newsletter will probably be with you in September. Please do not forget to pray for us all during this time. This is what we will be doing until then...
April 22nd - 27th, Spring Harvest, Minehead with Powerpack - Julie & Paul
May 6th - June 1st Romania, Alba Iulia, Open Airs - Julie, Paul, Traian, Youth group. Preparation for holiday club
July 3rd - Leave for Romania
July 5th - 12th Vienna, Open Airs - A coalition of Austrians Americans, Romanians & English
July 14th - 18th Timisoara, Open Airs .
July 20th - 29th Dragonesti, Romanians, English, Americans Dragonesti is a town in Southern Romania with no evangelical churches and lots of witches and stuff. There are no Christians so no training necessary just open airs. This could be difficult.
August 11th - 18th Sighet, Childrens holiday club & training. - Paul, Julie, Traian & puppet team
We do this work in the knowledge that we have Gods guidance and strength and your prayers and support.
This property was purchased through the generosity of OAC supporters in February 2002 (when the photos were taken). When the work on the house is completed it will serve as the Head Office for OAC in Romania.
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I know that I said in the last newsletter that the next one would be in September but I realised that if I waited that long it would be a book!!
We were both once again part of the Powerpack team at Butlins Minehead. It was a great and blessed time. We had between 300 & 350 children aged between 5 & 7 years. Spiritually it looked as though nothing was happening but the reports from amazed parents showed otherwise, My childs prayers have changed said one, My child is different said another. Pray that God would carry on the work already started. Julie and I dont have our disclosure so no toilet patrol for us, we just handed the children over for someone else to take. Ahhhh bless!!!
We joined Traian and his puppet team as they presented an Easter play to schools and kindergartens around Alba Iulia. Written by Lidia and Traian it goes from Genesis sin to Gods answer on the cross. Corina (who works for the Mennonites and is the front person) then explains what they must do to be saved. They are able to present the message of salvation very directly, unlike in Britain. Pray that this continues.
While in Alba Iulia we had coffee with the Mayor. We have to see his secretary to get permission for open-airs so that they can send the police to protect us. He will give us permission to preach if we can work together in the community. He has a list of projects, some big some small, in which he needs to collaborate with outside organisations. One project is to supply needy children with pens, pencils, crayons, writing books and a school bag to carry them in. When we went to Alba Iulia one of the things we wanted to do was to get involved in the community, God has shown us the way. We will visit the mayor again when we go back.
Work on the house has just about gone as far as it can go before we run out of money. There are tiles to lay in the office, kitchen, dining room and bathroom and a wooden floor to put down in our bedroom. Before winter we still need to build the corridor on the outside to protect the interior doors and tiles. Permission was needed for this from the planning dept. and it has only just come through. The central heating is complete and so is the rewiring, our bathroom is also nearly completed.
We now have £5000 to pay back to HSBC. Can you help with this?
The open-airs were brill as usual!! Praise God. 69 people decided to follow Christ, children, teenagers and adults. Please pray that the open air team will attract some older members. They talk to children and teenagers but because its a young team they dont feel able to talk with the older generation.
The Churches had no transport available for Sunday morning so our van was the only transport. We did the bus ministry that Julie has always thought we would. A few years ago she was given a picture of our van picking up children and taking them to church, she thought it was for Ruddington but it has come true in Alba Iulia. One man walked into the Baptist church and cried for most of the morning. (Memories) En route to church Julie and I joked about what if there was a policeman in the middle of the road. Guess who was around the corner? We prayed that God would blind him for the next few seconds. God must have closed his ears as well because as we drove past him most of the occupants were praising Jesus, very loudly!! He never even looked.
We hope to start childrens midweek clubs in the two areas that we did the open-airs. They are quite run-down areas of Alba Iulia and I hope these clubs will get us into the local communities more, helping us to share the love of Jesus with people who think that no-one cares. One of the areas is called Chicago!
All three evangelists, Constantin, Traian, and Cristi are being used by the Lord in mighty ways. Constantin goes from church to church preaching the gospel, he has also started to hold studies about friendships, relationships and marriage. Cristi has not long come back from Italy touring with the Continentals singing group. I only saw him for a few minutes but he said that the tour was a successful one and souls were saved. PTL! Traians ministry continues to grow. He is used by God in a number of ways. He is a natural leader, the youth of the churches look to him to organise them.
There are more and more ministry opportunities. Pray that we accept the ones that God wants.
Andrew and Rebecca are both fine. The bruising Rebecca received from her car crash three weeks ago has just about gone now. She has finished university and doesnt go back until September. She will work at Asda this summer. Andrew has only 6 essays to write before the end of June. He says he works better under pressure! What can I say?
We hope you have a good summer. Thank you for your prayers and support.
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What a brilliant summer! Great weather (too hot for some), a team, which we believe was put together by God, which led to a varied programme of gospel proclamation. People saw and heard and gave their lives to Jesus. We praise God that we have all been part of His plan this summer.
On the 29th of June, Julie and I left Ruddington and drove to Hull for the overnight ferry to Zebrugge. Thoughts were in our heads of the next two months, what would happen, would it be 'good' Only God knew. We arrived in Romania on the 2nd July and left again on the 6th heading for Vienna with Traian, Cip, Lidia and the puppet equipment. It was the first time Lidia & Cip had left Romania.
Stefan (OAC Austria) organised a week of training and open-airs. There were 107 participants from 11 countries. During four evenings there were three teams in the city centre sharing the gospel with puppets, dance, mime, magic and sketchboard. Bible studies and seminars took place in the mornings, training in the afternoons (we did the puppet training) and open-airs in the evenings. The centre of Vienna is a very busy place with lots of street artists but every night God went before us and gave us a place to preach. People came to trust Jesus. One man whose name was Innocent decided to follow Jesus after having a conversation with Cip & Traian. This was quite special as he was one of the main drug dealers in that part of the city. Cip & Traian were greatly encouraged. There were 19 other conversions and many contacts for the local churches to follow up. From Vienna some of the team went to Poland and others came back to Romania with us.
Team: - Cip, Traian, Lidia, Julie & me (OAC Romania) Greg Burton (OAC New Zealand) Paul & Sue Blocksidge (currently training with OAC West Country Branch GB) Roger & Rosemary Gray (OAC Scotland) Paul & Carmenia Adams (OAC USA) with their team, Mike, Tim, K. Lee, Courtney, Joe & Natasha.
We had 20 trainees from Timisoara and Bucharest plus Paul's team became trainees. Everyday they had the chance to learn something different, puppetry, sketchboard adults, sketchboard children, took part in one-to-one conversations and drama. One of the trainees realised he wasn't a Christian when he joined the one-to-one conversation seminar. He prayed and gave his life to Jesus. All the trainees had the chance to put into practice what they had learnt in the evening open airs. Similar to last year we had large crowds of all ages and many conversations afterwards. Many hundreds of people heard the gospel with 25 definite conversions.
Paul Blocksidge and myself are planning to go to Bucharest in November to spend more time with the trainees. They showed great talent, one in particular, Catalina, a 15yr old had never used the sketchboard before and took to it like a duck to water!
After Timisoara we all moved on to Dragonesti. This is a very different place to Timisoara with no evangelical church within a 50 kilometre radius. Raul & Anna (evangelists & church planters) had planned the week for us. Little did we know what was ahead. We arrived on the Saturday evening and on the Sunday we were preaching in different places, twice!
From the Monday to the following Saturday (21-26 July) we were involved in door-to-door work in the mornings, sometimes afternoon meetings and meetings every evening. We visited the gypsy parts of the town preaching to the very rich and the very poor. People were saved at every meeting. Raul & myself planned to do open-airs in the centre of Dragonesti on the Saturday and therefore had to ask the Mayor for permission. Our plans were about to be changed. Opposition came from the local priests who also had talks with the mayor and the police chief. Our permission for Saturday was denied so was our preaching in all areas of the town. They were very angry priests indeed.
Paul Adams sent the following e-mail to supporters:-
"Greetings from Dragonesti, Romania. The outreaches have been fantastic. People are being saved daily. However, please pray for us because we are facing great opposition from the priests and the town officials here. They have been trying to close down our outreaches and have been spreading lies to the people in the town. One priest is telling the people that we are giving drugs to children and that we are giving them poisoned food, we also take out their hearts to make salami with them. They have also been threatening to close down the church that we are working with. Pastor and missionary Raul and OAC evangelist Paul Wakefield have had to meet with town officials daily. We are encouraged by the fact that God is in control and that the opposition is proof that God is at work but we do need your prayers."
Our strategy was changed, through prayer God told us to concentrate on the surrounding villages, which we did and people were saved.
In the village of Coteana, Raul, Paul Adams and myself went to talk with the mayor. "Can we do our programme in your village?" "Of course you can but I have some questions. Why are you people different?" Four hours later we left his office, the programme had gone ahead and Raul had organised bible studies with him. P.T.L. On future visits to that village people were also saved. On the final Saturday we travelled to another town called Caracal. Here there is a small Baptist church (13 members, nice building, has prospects) in the middle of the town. We split into three teams and went into the park. Many heard the gospel and lots of conversations followed.
Monday 28th was the departure date. Paul Adams, his family and team together with Roger & Rosemary got the hire coach back to Vienna and flew home, while the Blocksidge family, Julie, myself and a lot of Romanians drove over the Fagaras mountains back to Alba Iulia. Everybody has their own individual favourite moments but we all agree it was 'awesome' to see God at work.
Please pray for Tim (19yrs) member of Paul Adams team from America who starts training with Korky (OAC GB) in January 2004. He wants to do evangelism full time and thinks it may be in Romania. Pray also for Mike who is going to Bible college in America and wants to be involved in missions.
We had ten days in Alba Iulia before going up to Sighet and a children's holiday club. On the 6th August Ian Moore (Sutton Coldfield) joined us from GB he was soon put to work sorting out toys and knocking down walls at the back of the house. Link European had delivered 2 pallets of shoe boxes containing toiletries collected by Mornington Crescent Primary School in Nottingham and some containing toys. Some were going to Sighet to be distributed and the others will be given out in Alba Iulia and villages. Thank you to 'Clearway' for free storage and giving us a van to transport the boxes from Nottingham to Worthing and thank you Martin Woolgar for giving his time driving it for us.
We were also able to show the Blocksidge family around Alba Iulia. Please pray for them as they seek Gods guidance for their future ministry. They have felt a 'certain something' about Romania and think that God might be calling them to spend more time there. Pray for Paul as he completes his OAC training and pray for the necessary finance to become available.
On the 11th Ian, Traian, Lidia, Cip, Mickey, Julie and me drove to Sighet 5kms from the Ukrainian border. We had up to 130 children attend the sort of 'Powerpack' type meetings and some gave their lives to Jesus. Names and addresses of all the children were handed to the church for follow up. I also spoke to the children's leaders about planning the visits to the children's homes. We gave out the shoe boxes to several families and used some of them for prizes. It was a good time and we have been invited back next year.
While all this was happening work on the house was ongoing. The front of the house which comprises of our bathroom and bedroom is now complete, the office is also finished so is the dining room and corridor. As I write this letter we are waiting for the gas people to connect to the mains. These rooms now need equipping. we need worktops for the kitchen and office and we need tables and chairs for the dining room. The other three rooms and bathroom are about half way finished. The house is almost finished but we have exceeded our budget and are in debt. The name Beracah (NIV) means blessing and it's from 2 Chronicles 20 verse 26. The story starts at the beginning of Chapter 20.
King Jehoshaphat and Judah are about to be attacked by the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites - a vast army...
The work we are doing in Romania is under attack, it was plain to see in Dragonesti. Those who preach the same message as us are the Baptists and Pentecostals and they are seen as cults.
King Jehoshaphat and all the people, men, women, children and little ones turned to God and said, "We do not know what to do"
Julie, myself and our colleagues in Romania turn to God, we do not know what to do. We are under attack
God spoke through someone
God showed us the way forward and made it possible for OAC to have a base in Romania.
The enemy was confused and defeated
God supplied this house to be a place of refuge, but also a place to do battle. Already the dining room is being used for children's meetings, we are winning the battle the enemy is confused. It is a sanctuary in God's name.
The people of Judah praised God
We praise God too for the work He has done through us. But there are still more battles to fight, more souls to be saved.
We need money to fight with, the house needs to be completed so it can be used properly. Will you help? Remember prices for materials are about the same as here, labour is a fraction of the cost. Average salary in Romania is £80 per month. You can send us a one-off gift or you can send us as little as £5 per month (more if you want) it goes a very long way. Will you stand with us?
We have on average 35 children coming to church every week having given their lives to Jesus during our open-airs in May. A church member collects them and takes them home again in his mini-bus. The programme is a little basic, there isn't even an over head projector to show the words of the songs. We are collecting Sunday school material for them in Romania. They have just come back from a week at Bethany camp with Alina, Lidia, Traian, Cip, Michella + cook. First reports from Traian are "they loved it but we are shattered, it was a good time, some of the children had never been away before".
Rebecca is getting ready to go back to Lincoln University to start her final year. She has a bigger room than last year which she is pleased about. She has worked all summer at Asda and a day nursery. Andrew is waiting for his results having now finished University. He is undecided about what to do. In the meantime he is waiting for a second interview for a job he has applied for. Please remember them in your prayers.
Sept 26th - Oct 2nd . Paul and friend Gerry in Romania. Fact finding mission.
Oct 6th - 22nd ...... Paul, Julie, John Yates (Committee member) Heather Thompson (Powerpack), Marilyn Zumsteg (Powerpack co-ordinator) visit to Romania (overland)
Nov 3rd - 7th ....... Paul & Paul Blocksidge (OAC trainee) fly to Bucharest to train open-air team
Nov 10th - 14th ..... Paul at OAC Staff conference, Cardiff
Nov 18th - 22nd ..... Paul at OACI mini conference for European Directors. Belgium.
Nov 22nd ............ Lidia and Traian arrive from Romania for Christmas puppet tour.
Dec 1st - 21st ...... Christmas puppet tour with Kevin Skillings, OAC Nottingham.
Dec 22nd ............ Traian & Lidia fly home
Thank you very much for your prayers and support. Because we know that you are praying for us we can go forward. God Bless
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favour rests
As I write this newsletter we are preparing 'Another Christmas Carol' a puppet play for schools and Churches. The story involves Pork Scratchings and his family with Marley taking Scrounge to Christmas past, present and future. Our programme starts on the 30th November and finishes on the 21st December. At the time of writing this newsletter we have 55 performances. Kevin Skillings (OAC Nottingham) Traian Opruta (OAC Romania) and Lidia Popa (Associate worker OAC Romania) and I will practically live in a white Mazda van driving all over Nottingham(shire). Please pray for travelling mercies and strength to perform. Lidia has never been involved in such an intense programme and Kevin and I are not getting any younger.
Since the last newsletter we have been quite busy with two visits to Romania and two conferences.
The proposed fact-finding, meet the people trip to Romania in September didn't happen. The only tickets available were about £500 each and so Gerry and myself decided not to bother. Together we are in the process of 'putting the ministry on paper'. This involves writing down the aims and objectives of all aspects of the ministry and will lead to a better understanding of the work and better publicity in the future, hopefully. We will plan a visit to Romania early next year.
With Julie and I were: -
JOHN YATES - Committee member. Visited Romania 30yrs ago, also been to the Ukraine.
MARILYN ZUMSTEG - From South Lake Tahoe, USA. Powerpack co-ordinator for the USA. It was her first visit to Romania although she has been to Mozambique and the Ukraine.
HEATHER THOMPSON - Leader of Powerpack Ministries. Last time in Romania was 8 years ago.
We went to the British Embassy in Bucharest to get the visas for Traian and Lidia. This turned out to be a full day of praying / debating / arguing but finally we succeeded. The next day we visited Caescescu's palace and drove back to Alba Iulia. Over the next few days we worked at Beracah putting worktops in the kitchen and office. Also at Beracah we held our first training seminar (which Heather led) and took part in the children's club and generally laughed a lot. In all we travelled 4400 miles!
This time Paul Blocksidge and myself flew to Bucharest for a week. Together with Traian we worked with a Church youth group showing them how to use the sketchboard with children and adults. They had gone out into the parks in the past but only two guys had preached. The girls hadn't really been given a chance. We had 16 for training and we hope to continue the relationship with the church. We gave a sketchboard and equipment to each of the 4 best trainees.
Traian, Paul and I managed to get to the Steau Bucharest v Liverpool football match while we were in Bucharest. We were with the Steau fans and thought it best to talk only when we had to. Everyone stood on the seats; maybe because they were wet, it rained all night. That's where I discovered my waterproof coat isn't! Good game though.
Firstly the OAC GB conference in Cardiff: Graham Loader took the bible study for us in the mornings with various guests sharing their resources and knowledge including, Asif Mall telling us how to share the gospel with Muslims. Asif was a Muslim and converted from Islam to Christianity. Other guests were Myles Wilson (raising support) and Alan Bass (children's ministry resources). It was good to meet everyone and catch up on what is happening in GB.
The next conference was in Belgium at the OM base near Brussels. It was the OAC European Zone conference of National Directors. Lasting just over 2 days we discussed a strategy for Europe, how the work in different countries was developing and how to develop work in new countries. Also up for discussion was the possible name change for OAC and how to market our resources and publicity.
The kids club in Alba Iulia continues to go well with about 25 to 30 children coming every week and several helpers now alongside Traian and Lidia. It was held at Beracah for a few weeks, which really blessed our Christian neighbours (not). They have a varied programme of games, stories that can be told using the sketchboard or the OHP (now that we have been given a new one) and memory verses. Lidia says that their prayers contain a real depth now. Please pray that the team will continue to gel together and for inspiration for future programmes.
Work at Beracah is still going on slowly because we only have one builder now. His name is Beni and he is a friend of ours. His work is good and he works from 8am till 6pm. We now have the corridor finished, central heating throughout and the house is all double-glazed. The front of the house is completely finished.
As a family we are all well. Andrew continues to work at the wholesalers to pay off some debts and Rebecca is doing well at University. Julie has just about recovered from her backdrop painting stint and so everything is fine and quiet in the Wakefield household.
Another year has gone (nearly). We want to thank you for your support, encouragement and for being with us. God has used this ministry for His glory this year; we have had the privilege of seeing people come to him, what joy!! We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
HAPPY NEW errr, 9 months!!!
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2004! What happened to the January newsletter? I hear you ask.
Well time just disappeared. I copied the OAC Start training programme, with a few alterations for Romania (they are not much interested in the outside preaching laws in England & Wales) had some time off, did some study, got ready for going back to Romania, Julie and I actually went to Romania and that was just about that. And here we are March!!!
Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord . Ps 102 v 18
The Christmas 2003 puppet tour went really well. Traian and Lidia arrived in November and 55 performances later were on their way back home for Christmas. Called, Another Christmas Carol we had Scrounge, Pork Scratchins, Marley and Tiny Tum telling the story of Christmas. We travelled 699 miles and estimate that 10,000 people watched the puppets and heard the gospel. We ask God to water the seeds that were sewn.
On the 11th February with one eye fixed on the weather forecast for Eastern Europe Julie and I set off for Romania with a van full of paint and personal stuff for Beracha. All was well until we got to Hungary, we woke to find everywhere white As we went to breakfast the question was, How bad was the road ahead? We decided to carry on and after 14miles the roads were clear, looking in the fields it was as though they hadnt had any snow at all. We arrived in Alba Iulia in the evening of the 14th. The days were mixed as far as the weather was concerned, heavy snow and after two or three days it was gone. Light snow and gone by lunchtime.
Julie started to paint, starting with our bedroom and then the dining room and other bedrooms and I started on the doors. Beni was also there finishing off the tiling in the small corridor and helping Julie to paint the rooms. Traians brother, Horea organised a team of men to come and move all the debris and soil that had just been dumped at the back of the house. They estimated that there were about 30 cubic metres to move. In true Romanian fashion a very large digger appeared one morning with a very small lorry and three gypsies who didnt want to work. Fortunately for them after half an hour the digger got a puncture and had to go. It didnt re-appear that day. Eventually the men drifted away. The next day nothing.
The day after (at 7.00 a.m.) there was a loud banging on the gate, which woke us up. Four men were in the street (different men to previous) with one of the largest lorries I have seen and a different digger (with better tyres). They were from the company who collect the household rubbish and they soon set to work. By the evening all the rubbish, soil and bricks were gone. Total cost £200. We still have to hire a kango to take up the base of the old dye house but well leave that until we are ready to start the new building.
arch 1st and 8th are special dates in Romania. One is mothers day and the other ladies day. With these days in mind the Little plate project was conceived. Traian, Lidia and other team members bought tea plates from a pottery in Alba Iulia, decorated them and sold them. They raised enough money to pay for transporting the local children to the weekly club and for a summer camp. Please pray for the team as they start visiting the children in their homes. Pray for good conversations and a nice welcome.
We all recognise how important prayer is and so as a supporter of this ministry and receiver of this newsletter we would like you to join us for a day of prayer and fasting (if you want) for OCA Romania on Saturday April 10th. As you go about your business can we ask you to remember Traian, Cristi, Constantin, us, the open airs, the childrens club, Bethany camp, Beracha etc: and pray. Then tell us. We would like to know what has God been saying to you about OCA Romania.
Cristi and Constantin are both fine. Constantin seems to be continually travelling around from Church to church and Cristi is at the moment organising some open airs for the summer as well as organising the prayer groups and singing with a group called the Continentals Please remember them both in your prayers.
The OAC Romania web site has more new stuff on it. Why not pay it a visit at www.oaci.org/branches/romania Tell us what you think of it.
Could you help us publicise this ministry? Do you organise a group in your Church? If so why not organise a missions evening or afternoon with Romania the focus? Last year we took our slides on the road to one or two places and we would like to do it again. Contact us to arrange a date.
Within this newsletter you will have found our first shopping list. As you can see the list contains various items for ministry in Romania, some of the items are quite expensive and some not so. The idea is that individuals, families, Church groups, Churches will be able to choose an item off the list and send us either all or part of the purchase price. We would prefer to purchase the items ourselves because sometimes things are cheaper in Romania. Transport is also a consideration.
Send your gift to: -
Mr D. Saville, OAC Romania,
14 Rainham Gardens, Ruddington,
Nottingham, NG11 6HX
Remember to tell us which item you would like us to purchase.
Please pray for the summer programme of outreach. I think its coming together OK. Please pray that the people that come will be the people that God wants.
Alls quiet on the family front. We had the privilege of seeing Andrew graduate on the 26th January. After much threatening by his mother he was dressed in tie, cap and gown and we were there to see him receive his law degree. An agency has got him a job in the complaints department of a large finance company. They also have a legal department that Andrew is particularly interested in. Becca finishes university in May. She is putting the finishing touches to a ten thousand word dissertation and starting a new film project. Stress!! Julie and I are fine so alls well.
Please pray for Julie and myself at Spring Harvest in Skegness, 13th 18th April. We are going as team members of Powerpack. Pray that God would have His way in the lives of the children and the leaders.
Julie and I are going to Philadelphia in May for the OAC International conference. From the 10th 21st we will be with Paul & Carminia Adams and their family meeting the parents of the people who want to come to Romania this summer as well as some childrens ministry and open airs. The conference starts on the 21st and we will be staying at Lancaster Bible College for the remainder of the trip. We return home on the 31st.
We are into another year, what will God do in 2004? We look back and see a God of love and faithfulness in action, a God using all of us to call people to Himself. Praise Him!!
Pray that everything will be OK at home while we are away. We thank you for your prayers and support.
Love in Jesus name,
Summer is coming and if you are like me you are looking forward to the hot weather. As I write this letter there are only two weeks to go before Julie and I leave for Romania. We have a full programme to look forward to with people from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the USA coming to share the Good News of Jesus using the sketchboard, puppets and drama in Alba Iulia, surrounding villages and Draganesti.
SPRING HARVEST was brill, as always. (Youd be surprised if I said anything different) We had 475 children aged between 5 7 yrs from different backgrounds and Churches, so you never know what is going to happen. You can imagine that at times it was quite lively, and it was, but there were times of quiet that were incredible. God was obviously doing something among the children . and the leaders!! To read more about Powerpack go to http://www.powerpackministries.co.uk
Julie and I had a good time in AMERICA. From the 10th-20th we stayed with Paul & Carminia Adams (OAC Baltimore) and their two children Shauna and Cameron. We went with Paul to a housing estate where he and the team hold regular open-air meetings. The audience is largely Hispanic and quite poor. We also went to Annapolis where Paul & Gordon Loop (also OAC Baltimore) have regular open-air meetings. They have a good young team around them, which is good because both of them are getting old!!!
From the 20th 30th was the OAC International Conference held at Lancaster Bible College. Among the items on the agenda was to elect a new International President and so Robert Siakimotu the New Zealand National Director became Gods man for the job.
Also at the conference Romania, Austria and the Ukraine were accepted as autonomous branches within OACI. It was good to be able to put faces to names and to meet people who are working in places like Ecuador, Paraguay, and Jamaica etc: OACI is growing, it is obviously part of Gods plan for this time. As mentioned on page one Julie and I leave for ROMANIA on the 21st of June reaching the border on the 24th. We would value your prayers especially on this day. Please remember us and the other team members in June, July and August. Traian has made contact with some people in CROATIA who are interested in the ministry. If we can we will pop in to see them on the way back from Romania.
Traian has made contact with some people in CROATIA who are interested in the ministry. If we can we will pop in to see them on the way back from Romania. Also there is a lady coming to Alba Iulia from TIMISOARA. She believes that God is calling her into full time ministry with children. She has seen the puppets and wants to learn more about them and us.
The team in BUCHAREST have a busy summer too. The parks and the streets are full in the evenings so the gospel is being preached in the nations capital.
Julie & I leave for Romania on the 21st June, entering Romania on the 24th.
On the 8th July Traian, Lidia, David, Julie & myself drive to Vienna for Reach The City campaign. 17th July back to Alba Iulia with other team members for programme until the 31st.
Julie and some of the team fly out of Romania on the 2nd August.
Paul and others to Draganesti until 10th.
Paul, Lidia & Traian drive to UK, possibly via Croatia to take part in Grapevine (27th-31st August) in Lincolnshire.
Please pray for travelling mercies and that the team will gel together. TRAIANs ministry is going strong with more openings in schools etc: CONSTANTIN has just returned from Austria visiting relatives and preaching in Romanian Churches.
The FAMILY are well, mostly. Andrew has finished at the agency and has been given a six-month contract at the finance company. They are sending him to London soon for more training so things are looking quite good. Rebecca has now finished University and is at home wondering what to do next. For the summer holidays she has a temporary job looking after young children. Julie has recently had to have some blood tests so they can find out what is going on with her thyroid. Her back problem is still not fixed. Im as always.. brill!! We would value prayer for all of us.
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy Ch: 4 v 2
Welcome to this long September newsletter. It has been a very exciting summer with outreaches in Vienna, Alba Iulia, Sebes and Draganesti with a team of people from Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, America and of course Romania.
We had a very good time in Vienna. Julie and I again stayed at the home of Andreas and Traian, Lidia and David stayed in other homes. In the mornings we had Bible studies and various training seminars, in the afternoons we had our puppet training seminars and open airs every evening. We estimate that 1800 people were reached with 80 people taking part and 5-8 people professing faith.
Our second meeting was very interesting. We went from Ampoi to another area called Chicago. The priest tried to disrupt our meeting by firstly sending a man saying that he would set my van on fire if we carried on. When we did carry on he got the same man to buy some sweets for the children and tried to bribe them to leave the meeting. That was quite successful a few children did leave and we started to pray. He ran out of sweets and the children came back.
We thought that was the end of him but then he got them to go to the shop and collect the sweets from there. We told the children that we were going to have a break in the programme so that all of them could go and collect their sweets and come back. The children did come back and I told them to thank the man for the sweets but more importantly thank God. We had a great meeting after that. The people thought that we had given the man the money for the sweets. It was good to see the Lord change it all around for His glory. Corneliu (Lidias brother) and another team member Julia (Germany) led a man to Christ. From these two meetings will start another childrens club.
The following day we were supposed to go to Mihalt village but we cancelled because there was to be the funeral of a 17yr old girl who had committed suicide because of a broken heart. The whole village was in mourning. We did go the next day and had a good crowd. Over the next few days we had meetings in Daia village and in another two places in Alba Iulia.
In Daia we had our meeting in the middle of a huge field on the outskirts of the village and it was well attended. The Baptist church in Alba Iulia oversees the church there, it does not have a Pastor but an elder told us that in the village school there is 250 children and another 150 in the kindergarten. Come here anytime he said, There is a lot of work to do, and can you come next week? Just to prove that not everything goes according to plan. We arrived at a park in Alba Iulia, set up all the equipment and realised that there was one thing missing an audience! Someone told us that it was too hot; the children dont come on to the park until 19.00 we arrived at 17.30.
Our evening meetings in Cetate (central) park were very different. Arriving at 21.30 to start our programme of mime/flags and a black light sketchboard preach we had crowds of around 150/200 every night. Conversations went on into the night and into the following morning, sometimes until 2.00 a.m. It was beautiful; those teenagers have lots of questions.
We visited another town in the Alba region called Sebes. Our meetings were organised with the help of the local Baptist church who sent some people to help us and provide food! Our childrens programmes started at 18.00 and our adult meetings at 20.00ish. We were able to give the Church many names and addresses for follow up and 7 people became Christians including one member of our team. Praise God.
Other local villages visited were Santimbru where there is a small Church planted by some American missionaries. Lidia led a teenage girl to Christ there. Please pray for another girl Marinela who was frightened to accept Christ because her life would change and she liked going to discos. Please also pray for this village, as we want to start a childrens club there.
In Ampoita, (Traians family village) we worked with a church plant of the Pentecostal church in Alba Iulia. Our meeting coincided with their celebration of the village saint. The priests changed their meeting time so it would end during our meeting. We just waited for them to finish and then the people came to our meeting. Both these meetings were very well attended. At the beginning of August most of the team went home.
On the 4th August Traian, Lidia, Miheala, Delia and I set off for Draganesti. Would we have the same fun as last year? Oh yes!!! This town has five very active Orthodox priests who, through the local Police Force still refuse to give us permission to preach the gospel of Jesus in the open air. When Paul & Sue Blocksidge arrived we were asked to write our details on paper and hand them in to the local police station. We refused telling Raul (resident missionary/pastor) that we would prefer to visit the police station instead. He didnt seem too happy about this but he agreed. All seemed to be OK until I casually mentioned that we were not used to being persecuted, as where we live in Europe we do not have to put up with this. We were taken to an office where the officer explained that we were not being persecuted but we were part of their new strategy called proximity policing The reason the police are always there is to protect foreigners and nothing to do with the priests.
We did manage to do some open airs in the surrounding villages and towns although permission was again denied in Draganesti. In Corabia one evening the police visited us during the conversations after the open-air meeting. They said we couldnt stand in groups and talk so we split up and went our separate ways. In Coteana the mayor told us to go ahead. He didnt have any problems with what we wanted to do. Its exciting to visit Raul & Anna, not sure that they would agree sometimes. Please pray for them their Church (which is growing) and the rest of their team. We left Draganesti amazed at what God is doing there. So...what else has been happening..?
Beni, Lidias Dad and brother worked all through the summer on the outside of the house. We are pleased to report that they finished the work and it looks really good. As well as that we have new gates and fence and the outhouses are now ready to be used for storage.
The club continues to flourish with about 30 children coming every week. You can see that the childrens relationship with Jesus is growing, their prayers are beautiful and deep. As I mentioned earlier in this newsletter we want to start another childrens club with the children we met during the summer. Please pray for Traian and I as we visit the pastor of the large Pentecostal church in Alba Iulia. We want them to oversee this group and to supply some of the team necessary to run it. We will supply the programme.
Please pray for Cristi as he is currently on a gruelling tour of the USA with the Continentals singing group. He is one of the main singers as well as the main preacher. He changed the way they do things. Before, the gospel message was given through their singing but Cristi introduced the idea of a sermon to finish. Many have come to Christ. Pray that this will happen in America too. (If you want his itinerary I can send it to you)
Do you want to support this ministry financially as well as in prayer? We have different ways you can give and if you are a taxpayer we get even more. Remember that £5 per month still goes along way in Romania.
Traian, Lidia, Julie and I have just finished Grapevine as Powerpack team members. When I left Romania in August Terry & Lidia came with me. It was their first time driving across Europe and their first time attending a camp such as this one. We had nearly 600 children in total and again we witnessed God at work in the children and leaders. Terry received the gift of tongues and Lidia felt Gods power so much she had to lay down We are taking them back to Romania on the 20th September full of ideas and resources donated by Powerpack Ministries. Thank you!! You can find Powerpack on the net at:- www.powerpackministries.co.uk
We thank God for the many items given to us from our shopping list in March. Among the items received were enough paint for the inside of the house, lamps, office equipment and even a computer. Thank you all. We could still do with a Laminator and pouches (£160), a Paper Shredder (£40) a Binder (for office use) £200 and a multi drawer cabinet £150.
Can you please pray for Andrew on Friday 10th September. He has an interview for a permanent position within his company. Rebeccas graduation is on the 16th September. Julie and I plus plenty of tears will go and see our little girl collect her certificate. Julie has begun physiotherapy on the torn muscle in her ankle.
Traian, Lidia, John Yates, David McSween and I will leave for Romania on the 20th. At the time of writing we do not yet know our itinerary or our return date for definite. Ill also go back to Romania in Oct/Nov to take part in my first Romanian puppet tour. Terry & Lidia will be in Bristol in December helping the team there with their puppet tour of schools.
Id like to finish this newsletter with an encouraging e-mail we received from one of the American team.
I had an awesome time in Vienna and Alba with you guys. It was wonderful to learn how to preach on the street and to actually see people led to Christ. I intend to get some training from Paul Adams (OAC Baltimore) and to continue preaching and doing the OAC thing. Maybe some day I will too join OAC. I get a lot of joy out of preaching and it comes out in my leaps and bounds!! I would love to come back to Romania, hopefully next summer. Let me know what your plans are for next summer as they come together. Keep me posted on everything that you guys are doing and when you get back let me know how Draganesti went.
Thank you so much for your support. We thank God for you.
Photos from the summer activities: http://www.oaci.org/rompics/index3.html
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These four pictures are all in the village of Sintimbru - July 2004
What a great time of year this is. Cities, towns and houses and are adorned with lights and trimmings. The shops never close and are full with things that glisten, light up and sparkle. We see toys for boys and girls, gift ideas for him and her to eat, wear, and spray on.
While they were there (Bethlehem) the time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn. Luke 2 vs 6 + 7 NIV
I flew back to Romania on the 25th October and Dave (see previous newsletter) and Traian eventually met me at Cluj airport. I say eventually because it was about 4.00 in the morning when I arrived there. During take off from Budapest the Carpatair stewardess told us the plane would be landing at Oradea instead of Cluj because of fog. When we landed we were given 30 euros each and told to make our own way to Cluj. Some of the passengers (those in Romania for the first time) couldnt believe it, those of us who had been to Romania before shrugged our shoulders and said, Welcome to Romania, where are the taxis? The fare to Cluj that night was 60 euros so together with two other passengers I finished the journey by road. We gave the taxi driver 60 euros with a 30 euro tip, he was well pleased and we have a story to tell.
One of the things I wanted to do while in Romania was to take part in a puppet tour. So Dave, Traian, Michaela and I hit the road. This would be my first Romanian tour. We had 12 performances before running out of time. At least it proves I can overcome the language barrier and the old age barrier. Next Christmas we plan to do an extensive tour. Dave was able to try his hand at presenting sketchboard messages and presenting memory verses. He still says hell be back in the summer!!!
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told
them about this child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds
had said to them
Luke 2 vs 17 + 18 NIV
The second childrens club is going well after a slow start. At the first meeting only eight children came. The second week sixteen children arrived and on the third week we had twenty four children. Please pray for more leaders for both this club and the Thursday night one.
Traian and Lidia are in Bristol until the 22nd doing a puppet tour with the OAC West Country branch. Pray for continued strength and ongoing opportunities for the team there. They have announced the date of their wedding. It is 9th July so if you are in the Alba Iulia area at that time you are most welcome. We join Constantin in praising God for a full summer programme of childrens holiday clubs and preaching opportunities. People have been saved and baptised. Pray for Constantin while his wife is in America seeing their first grandchild. She will be away for 6 months. As Constantin approachs retirement age pray for strength to keep going. Cristis youth work continues to grow. Please remember him in your prayers as he leads the youth work at Maresti Baptist Church teaching them and leading them in several outreach events.
The summer programme of outreaches went really well with people again
joining us from different countries and we were privileged to see people
come to Christ.
Beracha is almost finished. We only have one outside wall to render and half of the driveway to concrete.
The two childrens clubs are well attended, between 20 and 30 children come to each club each week. We have had plenty to thank God for.
We praise and thank God that Pauls mums eye operations went well and she
is healing nicely.
Julies health continues to improve and she is doing really well on her diet.
Andrew has settled into work and is slowly paying off his debts, which is good for his mum and dad!!!
Becca finished university with a 2:1. She is working part time at a local pub while she looks for a full time job.
Julie and I will return to Romania at the end of January with our colleagues Paul & Sue Blocksidge. We will be training some people to use the sketchboard which will give us more people for the childrens clubs and the outreaches. We also want to visit Vatra Dornei (snow permitting) We will come back for the OAC European Directors conference, the OAC GB Prayer conference and to take part in Spring Harvest as Powerpack team members before returning to Romania in May. It is possible that in 2005 we will see an increase of staff for OAC Romania and an expansion of the work into Bulgaria with Paul & Sue. We look forward to the exciting things that God is going to do.
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests
Luke 2 v 14 NIV
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2005, we hope you find it an inspirational, informative, interesting read.
While we were in Romania our dog died. We had had Zac since he was a puppy and he died aged 16 years. We all had lumps in our throats, but it got me thinking. If we feel this way about our Zac how does God feel when people He loves pass on without knowing Him? After allowing his son Jesus to die on the cross in our place what must it be like for Him to see the people he loves ignore His son?
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities,
the punishment that bought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah Ch:53v5 NIV
Julie and I flew out to Romania on the 28th January with our friends and colleagues Paul & Sue Blocksidge. Two weeks of sketchboard training were planned for local people. The first week eleven people came and the second week ten. This gives us a larger team of people who can do stuff in the childrens clubs and in the open air.
There will soon be pictures of the training sessions on the web site (hopefully). Paul & Sue left us on the 16th February to return home. Paul has an extensive schools ministry in and around Bristol so please pray for him as he seeks Gods direction for his local ministry and what God might be saying about Bulgaria.
The next day we were joined by another friend and colleague Gerry Barlow. Gerry, who is on our board of reference, is going to be a partner in a Christian coffee shop/restaurant in Alba Iulia. This is a real answer to prayer for us all as the other partner in the project has had many disappointments and broken promises along the way. The location of the project is almost ideal as it is between a school and a busy boulevard and is surrounded by apartments. We also have access to quite a large piece of land on which we could hold our programmes without having to get permission from the mayors office. There is still a lot of work to be done. Please pray that the cultural differences will be overcome.
The local work in Alba Iulia is growing; the weekly childrens clubs for example regularly have 30 40 children in attendance. They are all from non-church backgrounds and to see them grow spiritually is a real privilege to which we give praise to God. The mini bus that collects them is not really big enough; soon well need a coach!!!
Please pray for Traian, Lidia and the team. Pray for unity and the ability to continually hear Gods voice. Traian and Lidia have introduced the team supper idea which comes from OACGB West Country. All the team meet for prayer, bible study, worship and food. It is working very well, it gives people an environment where they are able to share personal stuff and get prayer. Pray also for wisdom for starting a new club in a village near Alba Iulia. Please pray for Lidia as she plans her and Traians wedding (July 9th) completes her studies (she finishes university in June) and her work in the childrens clubs. Praise God for her abilities. Lidia will become a full time staff evangelist with OAC Romania in July.
As Lidia comes in Constantin goes out (not related). It is with sadness and joy that we announce the retirement of Constantin Rodila from OAC Romania. Constantin was part time with OAC and was instrumental in the setting up of the organisation. God used him to open many doors for us in the early years. He will still do some evangelism but at a more relaxed pace, or so he says!! We pray that God will look after him and give him and his wife Lidia a long and happy retirement. Their children are resident in America and they plan to spend more time there.
There are two other exciting doors that seem to be opening for us. The first one is Bulgaria. In January Traian, Paul Blocksidge, Raul (from Draganesti) and myself went over the Danube to the Bulgarian town of Vidin. Raul has a contact there who is a Lutheran vicar and we went to see him and present our work to him. We showed him the OAC website and he was pleased with what he saw. We plan to do some open airs in September/October of this year. Please pray for Paul & Sue Blocksidge who are exploring the possibilities of working there through OAC Romania. Pray that God will confirm a call or not. Paul, Traian and I will be going back to Vidin in May to spend a week with the Church so we can get to know each other more. Please pray for a God conclusion for this.
The other door that seems to be opening is into the Ukraine although this is slightly different to the Bulgaria situation because OAC Ukraine already exists. This contact is in a place called Rovno and it is the contact of committee member John Yates. John visited this Pentecostal church a number of years ago and since his Romania trips the Eastern European flame has been rekindled in him. In September John, Traian, Paul Blocksidge and myself will go on a fact finding trip to Rovno. We will be keeping OAC Ukraine fully informed about the trip. Please pray for the organising of this trip, for visas etc. The Ukraine is not the easiest country to get into.
Because of Constantins retirement we needed someone to administer Bethany camp. This coincided with Cristi feeling that the Lord was leading him into other areas of ministry. Staying in Cluj was becoming a bit of a problem also so he decided to move back to his mums house in the village of Somescu Rece which is also where the camp is. Together Cristi and I have put together a building programme for the camp. The first thing is to install central heating in the house and eventually into the new toilet block which we hope to build this year. This means that the camp will be usable all year round. European style regulations mean we have to bring the camp up to standard with fire, hygiene and other regulations.
We will put pictures of the changes taking place on our website so you will be able to watch the building progress. As the camp develops we want to use it more on a local level also. We hope to offer the facilities to the local villages. Please pray for Cristi as he is a local lad which has its advantages but also its disadvantages. Cristi still continues to sing with the Continentals He does the preaching and God has blessed him by seeing many come to Christ through their programmes. His studies at Oradea Bible University are going well he is now doing his Masters in Theology. The cost of this is £300 which he needs to raise. If you feel that you would like to sponsor him with all this amount or part could you please send us your cheque with a note saying its for Cristi. Thank you.
Andrew and Rebecca are both well. Andrew is working part time in the legal department of his company because his own department cant release him yet so alls well with him. Please join us in prayer that his lifestyle will change. Julie and I think he needs a wife!!! Rebecca is continuing to look for work, but apart from that she is plodding along in her own carefree way. Please pray for a lifestyle change in her also. Julie and I are fine, not much else to say really
The full diary looks like this. (at the moment)
31st March 10th April, Paul & Julie at Spring Harvest, Skegness with Powerpack.
Please pray for all the preparation and that the team gels together. I do not know how many children we will have but it usually in the hundreds!!
10th 15th May, Paul Blocksidge, Traian and I in Vidin, Bulgaria. Please pray that this getting to know each other trip will be just that. Pray for the organising of the open airs in Sept/Oct.
15th 23rd May, Paul with Cristi in Cluj. Please pray as we organise/supervise the building programme at Bethany camp.
9th July, Traian & Lidias wedding.
11th 25th July, Open Airs in Bucharest, Romania.
26th 31st July, Open Airs in the Alba Iulia area.
1st 6th August, Alba Iulia childrens camp at Bethany.
7th 12th August, Open Airs in the Alba Iulia area.
26th 31st August, Traian, Lidia, Julie, Paul at Grapevine, Lincoln.
12th 19th September, Paul Blocksidge, John Yates, Traian, Paul in Rovno, Ukraine.
26th Sept 8th Oct, proposed Open Airs in Bulgaria.
There seem to be some exciting opportunities ahead, please pray that we will only take the ones that are from God. The next newsletter will be with you in June. Until then thank you for your prayers for us as a family and for our extended family in Romania.
We went to a Baptism yesterday. Well so what, you might say. Well, we like going to baptisms they are a visual sign that God is still at work bringing people to himself. Sometimes, when I listen to the news on TV or read a newspaper it seems like God has gone somewhere else This baptism was a little bit more special, although they are all special but this was the baptism of a man whos wife had prayed for him for 24 years. In this world of instant this and quick that when we tend to want people to come to Jesus after talking to them for five minutes, when our open airs are judged on conversions and conversations do not mean much, its great to know that the third alternative to instant this and quick that is Gods timing. He works to His own timetable.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2Peter 3 vs 8 & 9 NIV
Julie and I were again at Skegness this year with Powerpack. What a brill time. We were there for two weeks and expected less children the second week than the first. Guess what we had more!! Join us in praying that what God did with the children during that time will be sustained in the future years. To visit the Powerpack web site to order resources, join the team or just read go to:- http://www.powerpackministries.co.uk
On the 10th May, Paul Blocksidge (OAC West Country) and I flew to Bulgaria. We stayed in a town called Vidin on the banks of the Danube as the guests of a Lutheran priest and his family. Vasil & Maria have two small children and we were exploring the possibilities of working with them in the future. They work in the surrounding villages but not in Vidin because Vasil says that it is a very difficult place to get people to listen to anything Christian. Where are the easy places?? We plan to go back to Vidin with a team in September/October to do some open airs in the villages and in the town.
Traian writes... Hello there! Hope you are all ok. Here we are enjoying summer. Its so great to finally be able to enjoy heat after such a long and cold winter. Here are some things that happened recently. From the 3rd to the 6th of June we went to the South of Romania. On the Saturday we were in Slobozia, a town about the same size as Alba Iulia. There a local church that has a vision to reach the kids for Christ, had handed out invitations to all the kids in the town as they were coming out of the school one day. On the Saturday morning, in a rented hall, which was given by the authorities for free, 262 kids came for the first program which started at 10.30, and about another couple of hundred at the second program which started at 14.30. Then, when we finished the second program we drove for about one hour down south to a bigger town called Calarasi. There we set up our puppet stage in front of the car and started to perform. There were about 250 kids and about 100 adults. Most of them were gypsies. In order to try to get as many kids as possible, the local team gave out balloons to the crowd. They were extremely loud; in fact they were so loud that we had to stop our programme. I was sad, but there is a great potential there and we encouraged the local team to carry on doing this ministry. Both the childrens clubs are going ok although we have noticed the number of the kids went down a bit recently, but, the other thing that happened is that more or less the same kids come regularly. At a recent party 51 children attended. The mini-bus we hire to bring them was not big enough. The guy said that at this rate we are going to need a bus!! We started planning the programme for the summer camp at Bethany. We are hoping to have about 40 kids altogether. The planned open airs in Alba did not go ahead as the mayor only gave us permission to go in front of the cultural hall where there are no people. I am going to apply for permission again next week and try to go and speak to the mayor. Please continue to pray.
Cristi continues to sing with the Continentals singing group. While I was in Romania in May I spent some days with Cristi and had the opportunity to travel with the group to an evangelistic gig they were very good and have a good reputation in Romania. We made some plans for the development of Bethany camp. Phase one is about to start and I hope to put pictures on the web page tracking its progress. (Link here when done!)
One thing you realise in Romania is the vast difference between prices and salaries. They have eastern European salaries and western European prices. When we set our salaries at £100 per month diesel was 7,000 Lei per litre now it is 35,000 Lei. Prices are rising and we need to raise the salaries of our evangelists in Romania. We are asking you to pray and give or give more if you can. Some of you who receive this newsletter do not give financially, we are asking you to do so. If you start by giving £5 per month (more if you can) then you can make a difference. Can you imagine having to ask other people to feed you, everyday ? Cristi does! We have our first Romanian financial supporter. Raul Costea, a missionary from Traians church who works in Draganesti is going to give us £1 per year.
The main concern at the moment is Julies mums health. She has just come out of hospital having had pneumonia and cellulites in her legs. We plan to leave for Romania in a few days and its a very difficult time for Julie. Please pray.
On behalf of Traian & Lidia we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has been involved with the wedding plans.
I think that is about all the news for now. We hope you have a good summer and one that is fruitful for the Lord. Please will you remember us in your prayers. Pray for travelling mercies, the various programmes/open airs. The childrens camp etc:
We thank you for your support for this ministry and the individuals associated with it
Love in Jesus name
JUNE 20TH PAUL & JULIE LEAVE RUDDINGTON
23RD ROMANIAN BORDER ARRIVE ALBA IULIA
JULY 9TH TRAIAN & LIDIAS WEDDING
JULY 11TH TEAM LEAVE FOR BUCHAREST
TRAINING AND OPEN AIRS
JULY 25TH TRAVEL BACK TO ALBA IULIA
JULY 26TH 30TH OPEN AIRS IN ALBA IULIA AND DISTRICT
AUGUST 1ST 6TH ALBA IULIA KIDS AT BETHANY CAMP
AUGUST 8TH - ? OPEN AIRS IN ALBA IULIA AND DISTRICT
AUGUST 15TH TRAIAN, LIDIA, JULIE & MYSELF LEAVE FOR ENGLAND
AUGUST 18TH ARRIVE RUDDINGTON
AUGUST 26TH 31ST GRAPEVINE AT LINCOLN
SEPTEMBER 5THJOHN YATES, TRAIAN, LIDIA,& MYSELF LEAVE FOR ROMANIA
SEPTEMBER 8THROMANIAN BORDER ARRIVE ALBA IULIA
SEPTEMBER 12TH 19TH JOHN YATES, TRAIAN, & MYSELF IN THE UKRAINE
SEPTEMBER 26TH OCTOBER 8TH BULGARIA OUTREACH IN VIDIN
Julie and I have not left for Romania on Monday as planned due to Julie's mum rushed into hospital. Sickness and all sorts of stuff coming out of her! She is 80 years.
Please pray for her and for us to know when/if to go to Romania.
Paul & Julie
The wedding of Traian & Lidia took place without any problems; they both looked great and are now honeymooning in Greece.
Due to unforeseen financial circumstances the outreach in Bucharest hasn't taken place and the Blocksidge family that had come to help us have left to Great Britain.
The plans for the 'open air' weeks in Alba Iulia (25th - 29th July) and the (8th - 12th Aug) and the children's camp (1st - 6th Aug) remains unchanged.
Please pray that the mayor will be responsive to our requests and grant us permission for the 'open airs'.
Julie and I are catching up with those tasks that are normally put off like breaking up concrete with a 'jack hammer' Did we sign up for this? There are several other jobs around Beracha and Bethany camp that need doing and we are able to organise and oversee these.
Please pray that our time will be used wisely.
Julie's mum is now out of hospital but is still unwell. Please continue to pray for her.
Julie and I thank you for your prayers
Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world
Isaiah 12 vs 4+5
Our last newsletter reached you at the beginning of June and contained the programme for the summer up to the end of October. Things didnt quite go according to plan.
Julie and I did indeed leave for Romania on the 20th June arriving in Alba Iulia on the 23rd. The journey was uneventful and the crossing into Romania was normal except that because we had electrical items on the van for Beracah I had to prove to the border guard that I had got an address there. This was done by way of a telephone call to Traian and he faxing a copy of a gas & electric bill (they contain my name) to the border guard office and we were on our way. We thank you for praying for the border crossings we make as it makes what could be tricky problems so much easier. Of course you could say that it was a coincidence that Traian happened to be in the office at that particular time!!
On the 9th July Traian & Lidia said yes to each other. Julie and I were privileged to be the witnesses to this wonderful couple. It was a very special day. They will live in Alba Iulia and purchase an apartment with the help of a Trust based in GB.
Due to a last minute financial misunderstanding with the people in Bucharest the open air programme didnt go ahead. However we still feel that we need to pursue it for 2006.
A visiting team of Americans joined Traian and the team for an open air programme of dramas, singing and preaching at the end of July. Again large crowds watched and many conversations followed. During this time Julies mum became ill and I had to drive Julie home to be with her. I returned to Alba Iulia the following week.
Again this year we sponsored a childrens camp for the children that attend our clubs held in the Baptist and Pentecostal churches in Alba Iulia.. The children are also encouraged to bring their friends along. Over 40 children came. Some friends of ours, Ian, Sally and Gillian from a Christian fellowship near Sutton Coldfield came and organised all the craft sessions. This was a great relief for us because craft stuff is still not readily available in Romania. The children made prayer boxes and painted and made collages. The theme was Gods power in me and contained bible study, dramas, puppet shows and plenty of fun which is compulsory. One girl gave her life to Jesus. Lots of contacts made. In 2006 we are going to have two weeks of camps because our childrens clubs are growing. We will need to finance these camps. If you or your church is interested in sponsoring a camp please contact us for more information.
Part of the programme used at the childrens camp was used in the open airs in the areas where the children live. Parents were invited along to see what their children had been up to at camp. Parents are saying that since their children have been coming to the clubs they are changed, less swearing and bad behaviour and even tidy bedrooms!! Praise God!! More children signed up to attend the weekly clubs. In the evenings we went into the central park for more open airs aimed at teenagers. One guy I remember was shocked to find out he was a lying, thieving adulterer and he and his two girlfriends would not be entering heaven after death. I did not know any of this he said. One man gave his life to Jesus during the week.
Traian and Lidia came over once again to be refreshed and refilled. Nearly 500 children between 8-11yrs attended and God was there too. He did some amazing stuff with the leaders as well as the children. The theme was, No limits No limits with God. It certainly made me think about what limits I put on God. What about you? Please continue to pray for Traian and Lidia that they can sustain the freedom they received while attending a restrictive church.
Before travelling to Grapevine Julie and I decided to visit my mum. While leaving her home my eyesight became strange with double vision. Ill visit the optician when I get home and get some glasses I said, thinking that now Im getting nearer to 50 my eyesight was deteriorating. What a shock when he told me to go and visit my GP tomorrow if possible. He said my eyesight was OK. My GP thought Id suffered a slight stroke and this was confirmed by a hospital consultant after 2 days of tests which found high cholesterol, high blood sugar level and overweight. Driving was out of the question. The Bulgaria outreach was cancelled and for six weeks I didnt do much. The hospital decided to wait and see how things developed; we decided to ask people to pray. It was the 15th October that I next got behind the wheel of the Mazda and although my eyesight wasnt 100% I could see enough to decide that a trip to Romania was possible and necessary. After the final arrangements were made for the trip my eyesight healed completely. Praise God for the healing.
The invitation came again from the Continentals Singing group for Cristi to join them on a tour of Spain. You might remember that Cristi does the preaching part of their singing programme. Cristi writes, I never realised that there was such a need for the gospel to be preached to Romanians in Spain. They went there looking for money and we found people who were starving for God. We need to go where we can to present Jesus. I praise God for the unique chance that he has given us to live in these times.
Julie and I set off for Romania arriving in the evening of the 22nd. The reason for the trip was to encourage the team and the children. They had all been praying for a complete recovery and seeing an answer to their prayers was a great encouragement to them all especially the children. They went wild when we walked into the church, praising and thanking God. I told them the story of Eutychus the young man who fell out of a third floor window while Paul was preaching. (Acts 20) He died and was bought back to life. Christians really can make a difference where they live if they choose not to limit God.
We now have three clubs running. The third one is held on a Wednesday in a village just outside Alba Iulia in a village called Sintimbru. It is part of a work by a Free Church which was started by an American missionary. Chip an old friend, evangelist and new member to the team organises it using the same programme as the other clubs. Traian and Lidia are overseeing it for the time being. Chip writes, I must confess I didnt expect so many children to come, there were about 40 children for our first meeting. I thought I would only see familiar faces but we didnt, it was a total surprise. I cant wait until next week The theme for the clubs in December is, The King is here covering, obey him, worship him and rejoice in him. Lidia writes, Loads of kids are going to Salem Church (Pentecostal) every Sunday. Last Saturday (12th Nov:) there was a youth meeting at our Church (Baptist) and 20 of the oldest children turned up. Please continue to pray for them, some of them are really going for it and asking us for Christian books. The Friday club is going very well since we changed the day, it is growing mainly with teenagers (15, 16 ) Please pray that they continue to come and know the Lord. 45-50 come regularly every Thursday, 30-35 on Friday Some of the children asked us if they could have a time of Bible study on a different night to the clubs. This time would be for a type of house group, bible study, prayer and discussion. (It all sounded very grown up to me) After prayer and discussion we asked Anca and Andrei (team members) to gauge the level of interest. There were 15 children at the first meeting. Some of the children are attending Church on a regular basis every Sunday. Every week we send a 17 seater mini-bus to pick up the children and to take them home again, the problem is that numbers are growing. Just how many children can you get in a 17 seater mini-bus? Well the most so far is 45!!! The transport cost is £100 per month and that is with discount. Can you help us with the cost? Can you also pray for Traian, Lidia and the team as they come under pressure from some Church leaders to change the childrens programmes.
In October/November the team toured the schools with One for all a play about Esther. The play was written by Traian, Lidia and Chip with the scenery backdrops painted by Chip. The aim of the play is to teach that just as Esther risked her life trying to save her people, Jesus dies for all of us to save us. The tour covered villages around Alba Iulia and 55 performances were made in all. The Christmas tour is now underway. Called, A found letter it is a parody on a famous play in Romania written by Caragiale called, A lost letter Please pray for the team, for strength, travelling mercies and good opportunities to talk to children and teachers.
You may remember that as well as visiting Bulgaria we were going to visit a Church in the Ukraine. Within our vision for Eastern Europe we were looking forward with excitement to these two visits. My eyesight affected the trip to Bulgaria and a misunderstanding on behalf of the Ukrainian Pastor (he actually booked his holidays for the same week) led to the cancellation of the visit. We ask you to pray with us about these two countries in 2006.
Julie and I attended the annual GB staff conference at Hebron Hall in Cardiff. It was great to meet the other evangelists and we felt privileged to listen to the excellent teaching of Roger Carswell. The conference is now open for anyone to attend so if you are interested in coming please contact us. The dates for 2006 are November 6th 10th.
You will find a Direct Debit/Gift Aid form in with this newsletter. (For those who receive this newsletter by e-mail I can send you a form by e-mail or snail mail.)
We are asking you to consider two things:-
1) IF YOU DO NOT SUPPORT US FINANCIALLY. Can you please pray and carefully consider filling in the form to support this ministry on a monthly basis. If you can give us £5 per month (more if possible) then this will be a great help. We are receiving £100 less than we were this time last year and are relying on one off gifts to keep going.
2) IF YOU DO SUPPORT US FINANCIALLY
We all want to thank you for your financial support for this ministry. We want to ask you to give the Direct Debit/Gift Aid form away. Can you publicise the ministry and/or pass on the form to your Church leader/Secretary or a local Trust? We are asking you to tell others about us. Praise God that we were able to raise the salaries to our Romanian evangelists by £10 per month and at the time of writing this newsletter we have received approximately £18,000 towards the purchase price of the Logan and Hiace vehicles. Another 2-3 thousand pounds would be good!! Go on give a little .or a lot, its Christmas!!!!!!
Between now and Christmas Cristi will be in Bocsa speaking at a youth conference. The theme(s) are Gods coming and Motivation for serving please pray that God will bring more people into His work. Next week he is going with the Continentals singing group for a series of evangelistic meetings in Satu Mare. As you know Cristi sings and does the preachy bits pray that God will bring many to Himself. Following he is speaking at meetings in Beclean and Cluj. The meeting in Cluj is for people who are training to be Doctors and the topic is Chance, Destiny or Blessing.
Julie and I with Rebecca and her friend Sarah were able to go away for 7 days to Egypt. It was 30 degrees!
Julie and I want to thank all of you who made it possible for us to go with Sarah and Rebecca. We had a wonderful time and we Praise God for the opportunity of a real lying by the pool type holiday.
Andrew is doing OK at work and although it isnt quite what he wants to do he was pleased to accept the position of joint team leader and the extra money it brings.
Please continue to pray for Andrew and Rebecca that their wandering will soon be over and they will come close to the Lord.
We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Thank you for everything you have done to help and support us throughout 2005 we look forward with excitement to 2006.
I wonder what will it be like ..?
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2006, my 50th year. I know you will be surprised at that but its true!
A friend of ours sent me a copy of a prayer that was given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session and everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:
"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbour's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honoured values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out angry at the prayer. It made me think, certain aspects of the prayer only apply to America but could they happen here? What do you think? I know Im nearly fifty because Ive started to reminisce, to think back how life used to be. Are things better now than they were?
Julie and I leave for Brussels on the 7th February for the conference. We will be there for three days with other European National Directors. Please pray for continued unity as we seek a common strategy for reaching Europe with the gospel and for travelling mercies.
From the conference we plan to drive to Romania arriving on the 13th. Pray for the border crossings. At the moment we are not quite sure what we will be doing for the whole month. We need to discuss and pray about a summer programme, we are holding a sketchboard training session for people from an Independent church and well be encouraging team members. I am sure we will find more things that need our attention when we get there! We will return to GB on the 8th March.
The three childrens clubs are up and running and are very well attended. Please pray for the team, continued enthusiasm, unity and strength. Praise God for His continued provision.
We thank God that Traian and Lidia have now taken possession of their flat. They have already started to knock down some walls (lets hope they dont knock down too many) and generally make the place liveable. In March they will start preparations for the Easter puppet play.
From the beginning of February Cristi will be making regular visits to Oradea Bible College. He is in his final year of this round of studies. Pray that God will give him true ideas as he writes on the topic of New Birth using the gospel of John.
There are several opportunities for evangelistic meetings in the spring as people again start to attend Church in the evenings.
From the trip to Sighet the two people who came to Jesus are attending the Baptist Church there. Praise God!
Praise God that we were able to take delivery of the Toyota Hiace on the 12th Jan. Its very new and very nice!! At the time of writing we are waiting for a quote to get the extra seats and windows fitted. We also have enough money to purchase a Dacia Logan when we get to Romania in February.
Andrews new relationship seems to be getting stronger. Her name is Diane and she is very nice!! Please pray for opportunities to share the gospel with her. Rebecca has settled into her new job but says, It isnt forever! She is looking at a teaching career. Julies mum and Pauls mum continue to suffer poor health. This makes it very difficult for Julie to go to Romania.
Thank you for your prayers for us as a family and the team and ministry. As a friend of ours once said, I suppose we should be pleased that peoples behaviour seems to be getting worse; this means that Jesus return is getting nearer!
I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
Deuteronomy 32 vs 3 + 4
With my 50th birthday fading into the distance I entered a time of examination and reflection. After a health check towards the end of last year Julie and I are now into a ministry check. We have been wondering if our time in ministry was coming to an end. Like Moses was enlisted by God for a specific task were we at the end of our journey, was our task complete? The examination is complete and it does look as though we are going to run the race for a while yet at least. As the verse above says Gods works are perfect and we will seek to find his way for our lives.
Julie and I attended the OAC conference in Zaventum, Belgium from the 8th 10th February. As in previous years it was a refreshing time for both of us, meeting other directors and finding out what is happening in other parts of Europe. Our International President joined us for the conference so did our colleagues from Russia. This was the first time their visa application had been accepted. Praise God.
From the conference Julie and I set off across Europe for Romania. We had
reports that the weather in Germany was bad and almost turned back. We carried on and arrived in Alba Iulia on the 13th.
While we were there we trained ten people with the sketchboard, visited the childrens clubs; all three are going strong and insulated part of the loft at Beracah.
We were able to look at the teams initiative to raise money for one of the three summer childrens camps. If you remember from this time last year we told you about the little plate project this was resurrected and enough money was raised for one of the three camps. We have also secured funding for the other two camps. The dates will be: - 26th June 1st July, 3rd 8th and the 17th 22nd of July. Pray that God will move in a mighty way through the children and the leaders too!!
Julie and I were part of the Powerpack team that worked with the 5 7yr olds at Spring Harvest, Skegness. We were there from the 8th 18th April which were weeks 2 + 3. Each week we had about 350 children and the main thing was that God was most definitely there too. We had some great meetings with many children becoming Christians and getting filled up with the Holy Spirit. To have the privilege of seeing God plant his seeds in these small vessels is terrific. What lives will they have only God knows that? We even survived an Ofsted visit on the last morning!!
I (Paul) planned to be back in Romania in May but because of our financial problems (see page 5) my visit was cancelled. However we did manage to send Traian some finance and he and the team, accomplished the two main aims of the trip. The first task was to go to Bethany camp to paint and renovate the house and to make safe the water channel that runs along the sports area. This was completed within a week and now is looking really good.
The second task was to renew our links with a church in Constanta that we made about 3 years ago when we did some sketchboard training with them. It was a hectic week for Traian, Lidia, Chip, Arthur and Micky visiting schools and orphanages and preaching in the open air. Several conversations took place but we know of no-one who made commitments to Christ. However the Church was given several addresses for follow-up.
The team is going really well.
From the 29th 31st March we were at a conference organised by Scripture Union Romania. We learned quite a few things about running camps and through contacts made we will be doing ministry in Cluj and different parts of the country.
We are also running the three childrens clubs every week and from May onwards we will be working on the programme for the three summer camps so please pray for that too. As you probably know it is not easy to organise a camp so please pray.
We were in Budapest from the 8th 16th April with an international OAC team from Austria, Germany, England, Wales & Slovakia. Working with a local Church which had been started through open airs we did open airs every day in different locations and we trained locals in the afternoons. We trained 5 people in puppetry. It was a good experience for all the team.
On Easter Sunday & Monday here in Alba Iulia we organised a series of open airs in the Cetate Park. Our programme started at 19.00 and 21.00 each night. We had hundreds of people stopping to watch which was a real answer to prayer. We had quite a few good conversations. Some of them we hope and pray will come to Church and we are seeing others to talk a bit more. Pray that the Holy Spirit continues to work. We are so excited about the open airs. We intend to have open airs every Saturday and Sunday up to the summer holidays. Lidia and I are still renovating our flat, not far to go now. It takes a lot of time effort and finance. It was wonderful to see how God provided step by step. We are hoping to move in before the summer, God willing.
It has been quite a busy few months. I have had to plan the strategy for the summer mission with students from the Emanuel High school as well as prepare for my exams. In the last two weeks I have taken 24 exams but finally I have received a diploma in theology.
In my church (Iris) we are looking forward to a Baptism service with 3 people from Aghire Fabrici where I preached at an evangelistic programme this spring and also another 3 people from Cara another place where I went to do evangelistic meetings. I am the spiritual father of one of the teenagers getting baptised.
I am also preparing an evangelistic camp with some students which will be from the 10th 17th July.
Andrew and Dianes offer for a property here in Ruddington was accepted and they move in on the 19th June. It will be nice to have them living in the same village.
Rebecca is still working at the finance company. She still wants to go into teacher training but has to reduce her overdraft first.
While Julie and I were in Romania in Feb/March we interviewed Ciprian Florea with a view to becoming our 4th full time evangelist in Romania. I wanted to interview him 2yrs ago but he decided to go to America to see what it was like. Eventually he decided that God wanted him to work in Romania and we all agree!! .
During our recent open airs in Alba Iulia one of the exciting things was to see Cip preach and lead the meetings. The first night he did a gospel trick and the second night a sketchboard message. I believe this is a major success. He was quite good at it and I believe that as time passes he will get better. Please pray for the guy, he needs your prayers.
Subject to a committee meeting approval and the success of his training we will be bringing Cip onto staff in 2007.
As you know for the past two years we have been involved in an extensive building programme at Beracah (see web site). It has enabled us to have a base/office in Romania that is used every day for rehearsals, Bible and prayer meetings and a place for travellers to rest. But, it has left us with £6000 on a credit card at an interest rate of 1.490% per month. We are trying to pay off the outstanding amount but it is proving very difficult, the minimum payment every month is £185 but approximately £87 goes back on. We have recently been promised a gift of £1000 but of course this still leaves £5000. Can you help us to pay off this credit card?
Please send your gifts to the usual address. Please mark your gift visa Thank you for standing with us.
Julie, Sally and myself leave for Romania on the 22nd of June.
Julie and Sally will help with 2 of the 3 childrens camps doing the craft.
Julie and Sally fly back to the UK on the 10th July
Paul, Traian and Lidia come back to the UK on the 16th August
Grapevine at Lincoln 27th Aug 1st Sept:
Paul, Traian and Lidia return to Romania on the 5th September
Paul returns to the UK on the 29th October
We all thank you for your support and prayers, pray for the gospel to be preached this summer and for souls to be saved.
Here we are with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ ready to share with you what He has been doing in us and through us this summer. This is a very hectic time for us as we try to make the most of the summertime with childrens camps and open airs. We are so thankful to the Lord for the goodness that He has shown towards us and for always being with us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
From the 13th 18th May we went with the rest of the team to OACs Bethany camp near Cluj. The purpose of this time was fellowship and renovation. We prayed for each other and worked with soap and paint to improve the camp facilities for our forthcoming childrens camps.
Between the 21st and 27th of May we were in Constanta. Here is what the representative of our host church said about us, We had a team from Open Air Campaigners visit our church and they were a real blessing to us. They specialise in two evangelistic methods; puppet theatre and street presentations of the Gospel using the sketchboard. We have had many teams come to our church to do ministry, but none have been as efficient. They visited two childrens homes, two shelters for street children, a kindergarten and two schools and churches altogether doing eleven presentations with the puppets. About 350 children enjoyed the shows which were very professional and totally biblical. We also did open airs in the parks and approximately 30 people of all ages listened to the gospel message. It is difficult to estimate how many were truly interested, but 5-7 people were counseled after every meeting, leaving with a clear understanding of the Christian message.
On the 4th of June we went to Cluj to hold a childrens open air meeting in the Central Park. About 350-400 people of all ages attended. They were extremely open to the message which we presented using the sketchboard and magic tricks. The Bible story of Esther was performed with the puppets. Unfortunately at the end of the meeting the rain started so we did not get the chance to speak to the people personally. The look on their faces throughout the meeting told us that God had truly touched their hearts.
Our visit to the town of Pucioasa from the 9th - 11th of June was in response to an invitation from the local Baptist church. We ran two childrens clubs every day and 100 children plus parents attended every meeting. All were non believers. The Church members were very welcoming to the newcomers and were very sensible in the way they got to know the people inviting them to church the following Sunday.
At the end of June we started the first of two camps with the theme of, Where are you taking me Lord with children that regularly attend our weekly childrens club in Santimbru. (a village just outside Alba Iulia) Children aged 6-12yrs followed the ups and downs of Josephs life. The children learned that all the happy and unhappy times that God puts us through have a wonderful purpose and all we need to do is trust Him. They enjoyed a varied programme of bible stories, dramas, team games, hikes, crafts and swimming in the river. They also felt the promptings of the Holy Spirit and His work in their lives. We were amazed by their openness to the gospel and excellent behavior. Their enthusiasm during the camp for all the activities gave us as leaders the strength to carry on.
10 of the 25 children asked Jesus to change their lives and to cleanse their hearts.
The second camp started the following week with children up to 12yrs of age from the two childrens clubs that we run in Alba Iulia. Again 25 kids arrived at Somesu Rece full of hope and enthusiasm and they went back home feeling closer to God. One evening 10 children received Jesus in their lives and it was a great joy for us. Traian told them that a great party was taking place in heaven to celebrate the ones who just joined Gods family. Later that evening when everyone was getting ready for bed two boys started to fight and when Traian went to tell them off one of the boys, Tudor aged 10yrs said, Does that mean that the party in heaven is over? Its so wonderful that Gods grace and mercy does not end when we disappoint Him.
The third camp was a lot more challenging with 43 children taking part aged 13yrs and older. The theme was, A midsummers camp dream and again we studied Josephs life. 10 children were from our Sunday school class and it was great to see how children that have been used to going to church got to be friends with those that dont. We focused on different dreams, those that we need to stick to and those that we should run away from (like the one Potifars wife had). We tried to adapt the message to their age and give them practical answers to the temptations they face in the world. 13 of them, in a memorable Thursday night said yes to God for the first time, and another 33, including some leaders experienced a very profound moment of rededication to God. While everyone was on their knees praying, a girl called Bia (15 yrs) received a vision from God. She was standing to the side, very cold and skeptical about what was going on, when the Lord showed her a white cloth that was covering all those who were crying and repenting before God. She understood then that they are received by God and that she should be under the same white cloth. Here are some quotes from children who attended the third camp: Marius 13 yrs, The 20th of July was the happiest day of my life. God entered my heart and changed my life. I want to walk with Him now. Believe me! The night I felt the Holy Spirit, God was closer to me than ever before Sonia 14 yrs, This camp meant a lot to me especially the night when everyone was crying and repenting before God. I felt something that night that I have never felt before and since then I feel a totally different person. Lord, thank you for entering in my heart. Bianca 12 yrs, I want to be with God and to know more about Him. I realised that he chose me as His daughter and He wants to be a true friend, not like the others that dont understand me. But receiving God in my heart now, I know I can be protected every day and every minute and every second for the first time in my life. Anda 15 yrs, I started to know Jesus two years ago, when I was a child. I forgot about Him though, but He didnt forget about me, He loved me even though I believed that in all my problems he was not with me. Many things in this camp made me think of my past, my present and of my future.
From the 23rd of July - 8th of August we had an international team helping us do open airs in Alba Iulia, Sebes and Blaj and 2 childrens clubs in Alba Iulia and Sintimbru. The team consisted of people from England, Wales, Australia, New Zealand with many locals. Our programme contained dramas, magic tricks and a gospel sketchboard message. We had lots of very good conversations and we found once again that people are truly empty and hopeless. Unfortunately many of them prefer to stay that way. But we discovered that no matter how hardened their hearts are they do not refuse a prayer. A 17 yr old guy called Vasile received Jesus in his heart on the street. Please pray for him. Many guys from our team used these open airs to grow in courage, sharing their faith one to one and speaking about the hope that lies within them.
During the same period we had several seminars led by our colleague Korky Davey from England who has been a Christian worker for 48 years. He spoke about how you can spread the Good News in a world that does not believe it and we looked at the history basis for our faith. Other seminars were held by us as we trained some locals and two British girls how to use puppets.
We pray that the Lord will bring more people to help us to reach the lost in Romania.
From the 11th 14th September we will be doing a childrens holiday club in Blaj (a town nearby Alba Iulia) and that will be followed by an autumn puppet tour. Please continue pray for us.
As you can see your prayers did work and we are happy to share with you the formidable results. Thank you for your prayers, your financial support and for your interest in this ministry.
Luke 24 v 47 NIV
It is only two months since the last newsletter but such a lot of exciting things have happened that if I didnt write now the next newsletter would be a book!
On June 22nd Julie, Sally (Harvestfields Christian Fellowship) and myself set of for Romania with a full van including craft stuff for two of the three summer camps being held at Bethany camp. The theme of this years camps was Where are you taking me Lord using Josephs life as an example. Its strange at this point because you never know what is ahead, will the trip be a success, what has God got in store for us? Well we didnt know but we trusted Him. We arrived in Alba Iulia on the 24th and started the first camp on the 26th. There were 25 children aged 6 12yrs and each day Sally and Julie did a different craft with them. By the end of the week ten of the children had asked Jesus to change their lives.
1) Julie & Sally instruct 2) The making of Josephs coat 3) Papier mashe prison 4) Potiphars house 5) The Palace
The second weeks camp had 25 children in attendance and during the week 10 children accepted Christ as saviour. Please pray for all these children that their relationship with Jesus will grow and they will be able to fight off the worlds attractions.
Pictures coming: Sally & Paul standing in Bethany camp bathroom
The second camp finished on the 7th July and Julie, Sally and I left Alba Iulia heading for GB on the 8th arriving home in the early hours of the 10th. Originally I had planned to stay in Romania and Sally and Julie were to fly home but we received word from Andrew and Diane that their electrician was being awkward and they needed help with the house. He had not finished on time and their stress levels were rising, they didnt like all the holes in the walls!! I set off back to Romania on the 19th having had nine days of plastering and general filling in
The day after I arrived back in Alba Iulia the first of our visitors arrived, Korky Davey,(OAC GB Bristol), Chris and Shirley Dunstan (New Zealand) and Dave Knight (Australia) came ready for open air action!! They had come direct from Reach the City Vienna an OAC Austria initiative to reach the lost in Vienna. Our programme started in the park of Alba Iulia and after a few nights there went on to Sebes and Blaj. Again this year we had good crowds at our open air meetings and some excellent conversations afterwards. One person we know of for definite gave his life to Jesus on the street. Praise God.
CHILDRENS PRAISE PARTY KORKY DOES MAGIC THE CHILDREN PRAISE GOD
Andrew & Dianes house is finished and looks really good. All the stress has gone and alls well. Rebecca changed her job within the company and has now moved back to Ruddington. I finish this newsletter on a sad note by announcing the death of my mum. She had been ill for some time and passed away in her sleep on August 19th. Sadly missed.
Thank you for your prayers its been another great summer and we have again seen God change peoples lives.
Welcome to the festive season and the last newsletter of 2006. If you are reading this you have survived another year!! Whatever it has been like it is good to know that in every situation God is with us We look back on some great ministry opportunities God has been and is doing some amazing things in the hearts of people.
On August 19th my mum passed away peacefully in her sleep, she was 87 yrs old. She had slowly been deteriorating and although difficult maybe it was a blessing. The funeral was on 31st August. Thank you to all who attended.
At the end of August, Traian, Lidia, Julie and I were at the Lincolnshire showground as members of the Powerpack team and 600 children!! This was the biggest yet and seems will be even bigger in 2007. One child said, (when seeing adults on the floor) I thought that was only for children
We set off back to Romania on the 6th September and our first ministry opportunity with Traian and the Alba Iulia team was in a village near a town called Blaj. The local school was hired by our contact and over the next four days an average of 100 children attended. It was a great time and after the appeal to become a Christian all the children stepped out and went to their leaders to pray (except 10 boys who at the last minute decided to play football). Please pray for a team there and that they will be able to start a weekly club in the village.
Cristi was asked to facilitate the evangelistic vision of the school by training the students to do evangelistic work, starting with street evangelism. Cristi says, The hope is to implant this activity into their hearts, imagine hundreds of students with the desire to share Gods gospel
With the help of gifts and a loan from a Romanian man we were able to purchase a car for Cristis ministry. The old BMW he has been using for the past 7yrs finally gave up and died. I might have a buyer for it though Cristi says!!! We have to repay the loan in February 2007 so if you can help please contact Paul.
If you remember from the previous newsletter we were concerned about a broken water pipe. With the help of your gifts we can report that a replacement was purchased and fitted by Cristi. We thank God for your support. Please pray for Cristi as he administers Bethany camp as well has his ministry.
During the month of October I began to take Romanian language lessons with Lidia. I would like to say at this point that I am now fluent in the Romanian language but I cant!! I feel that Ive made progress and understand a lot more now. (Dont know what Lidias opinion is though)
Also in October Julie flew out to Romania with John Yates (committee) and Sylvain Milazzo (husband of committee member Pat). It was Sylvains first time in Romania. He was able to preach in a Pentecostal church, meet all the team and see first hand the work going on. We visited Bethany camp to clear the drains and get it ready for the winter. Someones got to do it!! Julie flew home with Sylvain and John and I drove back at the end of October.
We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Ciprean Florea. Cip is our OAC Romania trainee. He is being trained by Traian in Alba Iulia and will become an OAC Evangelist sometime in 2007. We have known Cip for sometime now and he is a very gifted evangelist and artist. We will need to find the £170 per month salary for him when his training finishes. At the moment he and his wife Alex are living at their church with their living quarters one side an open courtyard and their bedroom the other!! Could be interesting in the winter! As Alex is studying they receive no finance surviving with the help of both sets of parents. Please pray for Cip & Alex and help with the salary if you can. His story is enclosed with this newsletter.
In November I was back in Cardiff meeting other evangelists for our yearly get together It was good to meet the guys and catch up with what is happening around GB. God is doing some good stuff through OAC. Please pray for more OAC workers in GB.
Andrew and Diane have settled into their new home. Andrew has just changed his job within the company so hes training at the moment.
Rebecca has just been told that she is to be trained as team leader in her section.
Julie continues to look after her mum and it has become nearly a full time job for her and then theres me, of course Im brill!!!! Please continue to pray for us.
Please pray for Traian, Lidia and Cip as they are in the middle of a Christmas puppet tour. They have approximately 50 performances and estimate that they will travel 1800 miles. Pray for travelling mercies and for strength.
We hope you have a really good Christmas and an even better God filled New Year.
Christmas and the New Year celebrations are now a distant memory. Do you remember those New Years resolutions? Some things fade away in time, people . come and go but in an ever changing world one person can be relied on. How well do you know Him?
It is impossible to write about everything that has happened since the last newsletter so I can only give you tasters of December, January and February.
In December Traian, Lidia and Cip were involved in a Christmas puppet tour of schools. Traian writes, With Gods help we finished the Christmas puppet tour and it went well. It was a very hard tour because there was just the three of us. In the past we have had two volunteers as well to help with everything. In twenty days of performances we traveled 3600kms reaching 3 to 4 thousand children and teachers by performing 52 times. Please pray that the seeds sown will bear fruit and that the message will not be forgotten. We were received well in all places
January and February were equally busy months. The three childrens clubs started after the Christmas holidays. Cip has taken the lead role for the Sintimbru village club. It continues to reach out to children and their families. Cip says, Now I am with OAC I feel a real sense of responsibility and sometimes it is stressful. I am taking the lead in Sintimbru and it is not an easy task but I thank God for the people I work with because they are patient and helping
In February another club was launched. Meeting in Beracah every Wednesday this club is for older children and is more of a Bible study/Housegroup. It has 20 regular children. The vision is for the teenagers to make friends with teenagers from a church background. We want them to go to a local church and be baptised. Please pray for Traian & Lidia as they lead this club. Pray for the right sort of material to teach.
The Little Plate project has been launched and is even bigger than last year. If you remember the idea is to decorate plates (this year other things too) and sell them on the 1st & the 8th of March for Ladies day and Spring day. 700 plates have been decorated and are ready for sale. The proceeds will go towards one of the childrens summer camps.
Again this year we will have three childrens camps. Please pray for them. We will need financial support for the other two camps. Each camp costs approximately £500.
I did not have many things booked for Christmas because I decided not to work with the Continentals singing group as in past years. I concentrated most of my activities organizing a Spring programme when most people gather for evangelistic meetings. These meetings are more suitable for talking to people afterwards.
Ive been going to prison! I was invited to go with a team to Gherla prison (the largest in Romania) whose inmates are muggers, robbers and murderers and are there for many years including life. Even though it is winter the meetings are held outside. The courtyard is surrounded by cells and we were separated from the convicts by a metal fence. I will never forget how these people were walking around the courtyard to keep warm but when I started to speak about Christmas and the possibility of a new beginning with a past that is forgiven they came to the fence to listen. I could see in their eyes that some of them had a desire for this new beginning
The team I was with is made up of Baptists, Pentecostals and Orthodox Christians and I was able to encourage them to forget their doctrinal differences and preach the message of Christ.
I have also been visiting the south of Romania which is a very dry place spiritually speaking with a lot of witchcraft and curses. This is the area that has been devastated by floods with whole villages wiped off the face of the earth. People have lost everything. My church, Iris, has a vision for the area and together with other churches have managed to build 76 houses. We have had a request to go and plant a church there because people want to become Christians, not because they have received a new house but people who have received nothing want to become Christians too. With the support of Iris church (both prayerful and financial) I have been able to make several visits to the area. It is amazing that in an area where it seemed God had forgotten we are seeing His power at work. Please pray for us because satan is not going to give up this area easily. One lady said, God hadnt forgotten us after all
With our house threatening to burst at the seams with the amount of stuff in it I decided to start the new year with a clear out. With ten + years of ministry behind us we had accumulated a serious amount of resources, all on paper. So with a lesson on scanning from Rebecca I started to put everything on CD. The house breathed a sigh of relief.
Twenty years ago when Julie and I became Christians we were nurtured by Derick Saville using his own notes. I have now put that course onto a CD and added some more material from the internet so we now have a nurture course for new Christians in Romania.
We had our first Romania presentation in January. Twelve of us met in the Old Chapel on Chapel Street in Ruddington to see what we had been doing in 2006. If you want Paul & Julie to visit your Church or Housegroup with the presentation contact them using the details on the first page.
We recently received a donation of kitchen equipment for Bethany camp. Included in the donation is a stainless steel work surface/table, steel sink, cooling cabinet, racking and other electrical equipment.
Do you want to see firsthand what we are doing in Romania? In past years many people have joined us for the summer outreaches. We give training in puppetry, sketchboard preaching and drama. Learn during the day and put it into practice in the evening. Dates this year are between 16th July and the 10th August. Other dates are available during the year by arrangement.
We need to raise another £80 per month for Cips salary. Praise God for what we have received so far. Please join us in prayer for this.
Please pray for Traian and the team from Alba Iulia as they train a group from Cluj who want to start a childrens club. They will be there from the 12th 16th March initially.
Praise God that Julies mum (Dorothy) has recovered from her pneumonia. She still has cardiac failure which has to be monitored regularly. Please pray that Julie will have more opportunities to talk to her about Jesus.
Andrew and Diane announced their engagement last month. They are getting married March 2008
Julie and I are delighted
Julie has several hospital appointments over the next few weeks relating to her arthritis in both hands. She will also have to have a small operation in the near future.
Rebecca and I are OK. Pray that we will remain so.
(ALWAYS SUBJECT TO CHANGE ALWAYS NEEDING PRAYER)
5 7 Paul at OAC GB Prayer conference
12th - ??? John Yates and Paul leave for Romania. . Visiting Alba Iulia, Cluj, Vatra Dornei (No return date finalised)
10th 15th Julie & Paul at Spring Harvest with Powerpack
13th 16th OAC European Directors conference
17th - ??? Paul & ??? in Romania. Visiting Constanta, Cluj and Alba Iulia
19th Julie, Paul & Sally (H.C.F.) leave for Romania Sally & Julie will be doing the craft sessions at two of the childrens camps.
9th Julie & Sally fly back to the UK Camp 3 for teenagers starts
7th Julie flies back to Romania
11th Cristi & Christinas wedding day
15th Traian, Lidia, Julie & Paul leave Romania for the UK
24th 29th Traian, Lidia, Julie & Paul at Grapevine with Powerpack
5th John Yates, Paul, Traian & Lidia leave UK for Romania
10th 14th Blaj childrens club
18th 25th John, Paul, Cip & Traian in the Ukraine
2nd John & Paul arrive in the UK
T.B.C. Cristi & Christina in Oxford & Nottingham
5th 9th OAC GB Staff conference
We thank you for being part of this ministry, the people mentioned in this newsletter couldnt minister to the lost without you.
As a family we have appreciated you being with us on this journey over the years.
Ana Maria Ratiu, 15 yrs old, started to hear things about God at our Open Airs in her neighbourhood. She started to attend one of the OAC childrens clubs and two years ago gave her life to Christ at a youth conference. On the 15th April 2007 she was baptised and is now an OAC volunteer/leader working with children in the streets and clubs. Lives are being changed, Ana has persuaded her Dad to attend church and other parents have reported significant changes in their childrens behaviour.. for the better of course!!!!
In March the Little Plate project was launched once more. Many of the team worked for hours decorating plates and making cards for sale. The proceeds go towards supporting one of the three summer camps.
In the last newsletter we were Praising God for supplying 50% of Cips salary. We didnt know it at the time but Cip and his wife Alex had already decided to quit full time ministry. This was a suprising decision for us and all the team in Alba Iulia. Please pray that God will show them if this was the correct decision or not.
Ministry is going really well in Romania. Traian, Lidia and Corina are three quarters through a puppet tour of schools performing daily. Jon Gore (OAC GB Kent) and friends have just returned from Romania having spent a week with Traian and the team. Jons email reads, We had a really great time in Romania, the boys really enjoyed meeting the young people in Alba Iulia, we had some great open airs and time in schools with the sketchboard. People committed their lives to Christ on the street on one of the evenings. There is a really good work with children and the teenagers, the work in Alba needs prayer for ongoing provision, workers and finance isnt that always the case??
In March John Yates and I (Paul) went to Romania visiting Alba Iulia, Cluj/Bethany Camp and Vatra Dornei. We were able to spend some time with Cristi and arrange the kitchen units at Bethany camp that had been donated by Gerry Barlow and The Shalom Trust. The kitchen now looks very nice and very shiny! (Pictures will soon be on the website) We visited Vatra Dornei and met with Pastor Vasile Hoblea of the Baptist Church. What amazing God changes have happened since I was last there. We were finally able to resolve the issue of the ownership of the field.
It is strange writing this June newsletter in rainy/sunny Ruddington instead of very sunny Romania. Those of you who have still got a copy of our summer plans will know that about now I should be coming back to Ruddington to pick up Julie, Sally and all the materials needed for a summer of evangelism in Romania. We have had to cancel the May trip and the programme for the foreseeable future. (We have managed to get all the materials onto a lorry destined for Alba Iulia)
For the past few years we have spent the summers in Romania so to see my back garden in full bloom is very strange and different but sadly necessary.
Although some people have finished supporting us financially over time, we Praise the Lord that our finance has roughly stayed the same. The problem is that year after year our costs have risen. We have tried to raise our financial level by writing to various people and Trusts but our attempts have been largely unsuccessful so we have had to use credit cards, both ours and OACs to bridge a gap that has got wider. As you know borrowing money on a credit card is expensive and this could not continue.
After several visits to the bank manager we have put into place new bank accounts and a new way of working to insure we do not get into this situation again. Of course we have to pay off our current debts and to do this we need your help in one or more of three different ways:-
1)You can donate your unwanted clothing, toys etc: Julie and I have started to stand flea markets, currently doing three per week. In our first month of markets we were able to give £100 towards reducing the debts. Can you collect items from other people in your area/church/family? We will collect.
2)Have you ever needed a van? Well now you can hire one with me as the driver. I have all the relevant insurances and am ready to go anywhere in mainland UK.
3)You can give money by Standing order or gifts. We have included a Gift Aid/Standing Order form so you can give directly to our account. Standing orders are better than one off gifts because we know we can depend on them and build the ministry accordingly. One off gifts are still brill though!!
All seems well with the family at the moment. Andrew & Diane continue to prepare for the big day next March. Diane gets all worked up and Andrew seems indifferent to the whole thing. Rebecca is training for a team leaders job and is generally enjoying herself. Julie has an appointment at the hospital soon for a breast examination, so please pray for that, and me well Im brill as usual.
Thank you for standing with us as a family and in ministry. We hope you have a lovely summer
It is a while since you had news from us but as you can see from the (PDF format) newsletter Terry and the gang in Romania have been busy with evangelism this summer. Its been a terrific time and they have seen God change lives. God has all the glory.
In July Anca married Andre (both OAC Romania volunteers) and Cristi (OAC evangelist) married Christina in August. Christina is studying to be a doctor and they both attend Iris Baptist church. They honeymooned in Egypt.
Sadly Julie and I were not able to attend either wedding due to financial problems with the ministry. Since April we have been busy here in GB selling your donated items on 3 markets a week and doing various van driving jobs. Together with some financial gifts we have been able to reduce the debt on our ministry credit card (which accumulated because of urgent building work at Beracah and Bethany camp) to £4750.
Its been a difficult/different summer, spending the time in GB is not something weve done for many years and selling items on markets is something we have never done.
Apart from Pauls GB national minimum wage and Julies part time salary (15 hours per week) all money given goes towards the ministry in Romania only.
Our financial situation is deteriorating as prices in Romania continue to rise. We expect to have a shortfall between estimated income and expenditure for 2008. We would like you to pray about this situation and help if you can because we may not be able to carry on for much longer.
Read in Terrys (PDF format) newsletter what God is doing through this ministry in Romania, lives are being changed by God.
The Wakefield family are all well, alls quiet on the western front as they say.
Blessings to you, thank you so much for your love and support this far.
Not long now until our son Andrew marries Diane. We fly to Jamaica on the 2nd March for the wedding (finance courtesy of Julies mum) returning on the 19th. Please pray that all goes well, Diane isnt too good at flying.
Julie and I visited Alba Iulia in January spending time with Terry and Lidia. Their news of Lidias resignation came as a shock but we can understand how being together 24/7 would not work for everyone. Please pray that Lidia will find a teaching position so she can still help with planning for the childrens clubs and camps. They will certainly be better off financially too!
Please continue to pray for the clubs and the work in Romania. As you can see from Terry & Lidias newsletter it is an exciting ministry.
While we were in Alba, Chip and Alex announced that they were moving to Spain to live/work. This was another blow as Chip was actively involved with the Sintimbru childrens club and unless we get more team members that might have to finish. Please pray for this situation.
Finance continues to be a concern with no real increase in our finances. We have managed to pay off the ministry credit card bill for which we thank you for your help and praise God but prices continue to rise. Please pray about our financial position and help if you can.
We have a plan for ministry, written down, not in Pauls head. It wont be new to a lot of you but if you would like a copy to help you pray please contact Paul & Julie for a copy.
We hope you enjoy reading Terry & Lidias newsletter and we thank you for praying for us.
Many blessings to you all
Well done good and faithful servant
We flew into the sun on the 3rd March for Andrew & Dianes wedding. The hotel was grand the food good and the company great (3 gs for the Baptists) the ceremony was held against a backdrop of blue sky, palm trees and a clear blue sea. Wonderful!! Jamaica is an interesting/contrasting place to visit, similar to Romania with a huge gap between the haves and the have nots It was a wonderful relaxing time for all of us. Thank you for your prayers.
Spring Harvest in April was very successful. There were 220 children aged 5-7 with a few 4 year olds who attend full-time school. The theme was One Hope, looking at eschatology, Gods Hope for us as a church, His people and His world. It looked at Isaiah passages and how Jesus fulfilled Gods plan and ensured our future. We had a superb team and the feedback from children and parents was very positive. We enjoyed lots of new songs from Powerpacks new album The Shine had a story machine, with spinning wheels and noises, dramas, games and lots of fun. The worship and response times saw all but 20 of the 220 children become Christians. Many children heard words from God saying I love you, Ill be with you and I want you to be a doctor.
In April I flew to Romania for 10 days buying materials for part of Beracahs roof and to arrange for the work to start in May. The tiles have become brittle over the years and we are replacing them with metal sheeting that looks like tiles. (See the roof pictures here) I also spent time with Cristi & Christina in Cluj making several visits to Bethany camp, tidying and chopping wood.
In May I drove to Romania with John Yates (committee member) and Dave Mcsween a friend of ours from Guildford in Surrey who has been before. Dave has stayed on in Alba Iulia and will be there for a total of three months coming back in the middle of August. He will be helping Traian and the team with the childrens clubs, a puppet tour and the three camps. Please pray that God will give Dave a clear direction for his life.
The roof work didnt go completely to plan as we were only able to replace the rear sloping roof because we couldnt get the scaffolding to start work on the tower part of the house above the office.
Also in Alba Iulia at the moment is Rachel Simmons. Rachel has been a Powerpack team member and friend for many years and has come to see what we do Shell be doing much the same things as Dave, pray that God will use her and bless her during her stay.
Again this year we have three summer camps for children being held at Bethany. Between 40 & 50 children are expected every week. The main theme of the camps is, Challenged to Survive and the children will be specifically looking at what it means to be challenged to be different, to know Him, to listen to Him and to thank Him. We have 10 leaders for each week.
Joining the team this year will be Sally, Gillian & Jordan from Sutton Coldfield and Charlotte from Nottingham. They will be there for the first two camps helping with the childrens programme and doing the craft session each day. Pray for, the presence of the Holy Spirit, salvation, rededication, health and safety and great weather!!
I will be leaving for Romania on the 22nd, joining me will be Rebecca, our daughter on her first visit to Romania in 10 years. She is very excited to be going back to meet up with old friends. She will fly home on the 29th. Please pray for travelling mercies.
Pictures to come! Lidia tells a Bible story, Games time, Pictures from 2007
Andrew & Diane have settled well into married life and seem very happy, we now have two Mrs Wakefields to answer to!!
Julie continues to take care of her mum and disabled brother and misses ministry in Romania. She plans to go back in August. Me, Im fine except that after a scan at the hospital they found Ive got too much fat in my liver and other places as well.
Hope you have a refreshing summer and see God do mighty things. Thank you for your prayers.
Becs certainly enjoyed her time in Romania. We travelled on some of the old roads which she remembered and visited Bethany camp where she spent many happy summers while her Mum & Dad trained Romanians in puppetry, sketchboard and evangelism. She met Cristi who she hadnt seen for 8 years and wandered up the road reminiscing. Praise God for a good time and travelling mercies.
Paul returned to the UK having spent four weeks in Romania working at Bethany and being a driver for the English ladies who came to the childrens camps to come alongside the children and organise the craft sessions. Sally, Gillian, Charlotte & Jordan did a wonderful job helping the children build an ark, painting their faces, platting their hair and getting wet in the river.
Camp 1 was for children from Sintimbru Fabrica, a village near Alba Iulia. This part of the village of Sintimbru is situated on the main road and is separate from the main village. It has a large gypsy population and a very low moral living standard. Most of the population work but choose to spend their salary on drink & drugs, supplying the needs of their children are very low on the priority list. The camp hosted 48 Christian/non Christian children. We run a weekly club in Sintimbru, please pray that God will raise up more leaders.
Camp 2 had 46 children attending from different areas of Alba Iulia. Some of them attend churches and another of our weekly clubs and would be Christians already. Some gave their lives to the Lord at this camp. Please pray for them.
Camp 3 had 54 teenagers in attendance, again a mixture of Christian/non Christian. Some attend churches and our weekly bible study group. Six gave their lives to Jesus at this camp.
Mirel wrote this one evening, Today was special for me. I felt something I had never felt before. I used to always be the first when it came to doing wrong things, but today I decided to call Jesus into my heart and I decided that I will try to give my life to him and to live with God. I felt great tonight. I felt Jesus touching me and I wished that tonight would never finish. I was too embarrassed to go upfront for prayer so I prayed on my own. My heart is clean now whereas before it was bad. I love you Jesus.
Crina wrote, I felt something I hadnt felt before in this camp. I dont think I can put into words everything that I felt, but I felt that God was with us and he enjoyed everything we did in these special days. I prayed with the leaders for when I would get home, because I will be surrounded by bad people that will try to prevent me from doing the right things, but they will not succeed this time because I know that something special is in my heart, like it were new. Lord, please fill my heart with your will. Leaders, thank you for all that you are doing and ever done for all the children, you are great and I feel like all of us have come to love you like you were our own parents."
Thank God for answered prayers, the Holy Spirit was certainly present, lives were rededicated to Him and the weather was great.
Five days after his return to the UK Paul & Julie left for Romania to spend some time with Korky (OAC GB West Country Director) and his colleagues as they met Cristi, Cristina, Terry & Lidia. They learnt about their ministries and about the vision for Bethany. After a tour of the camp and a marvellous BBQ cooked for us by Cristina and her sister-in-law they expressed a desire to try and raise some finance for the camp. Praise God for good food!! Pray that God will open financial doors for them and they will remain excited about Bethany.
Also in Romania was Dave McSween who came with me in May and stayed! He became part of the team in Alba Iulia and a team leader at the camps. Dave was looking for Gods direction for his life. Pray that Dave will hear God loud and clear and will only be influenced by Him.
Pray for Traian, Lidia and other leaders & children who go to Soul Survivor tomorrow (16th) this is the first time some of the children have been out of Romania. Pray for their host Jon Gore (Kent) for blessing and that financial need will be met and that all will meet God in a deeper more exciting way than ever before.
Traian, Julie and I are looking forward to being members of the Powerpack team once more at Grapevine this year. Please pray for unity in the team and for God to move in an exciting way through the lives of the children and leaders. Pray for Heather, Christine & Nick as they work on the programme.
The main event in our family at present is that Andrew has just become a qualified driving instructor and wants to build a business for himself. So if you live in the Nottingham area and want to learn to drive he would welcome your call on: 07825631328.
Becca, Julie, Diane and myself are OK, everyones happy, Praise God!!!
Thank you for your prayers and for taking the time to read this newsletter.
It's 436k on the server and may take a few seconds... or minutes, to download. But it's definitely worthwhile! Great pictures, news and we hope you will want to support our project to replace the camp's barn with a purpose-built dormitory block. More from Paul...
If you need Adobe Acrobat Reader (or an alternative pdf reader) and haven't got it yet, please Google it. It's free!
Welcome to our Christmas/Happy New Year newsletter. Its been another strange year for Julie and me. Our time spent in Romania has not been as long as we would have wanted due mainly to our financial situation and Julie having to look after her mum, who as I write is in hospital with pneumonia. We have witnessed various highs and lows during the year and now we face Credit Crunch Christmas and Despair New Year. As Christians we have been taking comfort in the fact that Jesus is with us. What does the Credit Crunch mean to God when one of His names is Jehovah Jira!!
Again Julie and I were part of the Powerpack team looking after 600ish children and being blessed by God in a mighty way. We had a Power House where people could go for prayer. Here are some testimonies:- Rebekah I have been praying for my ankles for ages and they have finally been healed! Wow!!! Gill age 45 I could hardly walk when I arrived on Monday morning but after walking through the fire tunnel I have no pain in my foot anymore Lucy age 9 God filled me with his Holy Spirit Paul was involved in the Preaching/Teaching section where children asked God for a word relevant to Grapevine that they could preach on the final morning and they certainly did!! Julie was involved in the art and craft section. Julie says, You can always tell which children have had quality one to one time with parents or carers For more information go to:- www.powerpackministries.co.uk
In September our church announced their postponement of financial giving to us and other missionary organizations, as well as other cutbacks for the rest of 2008. The church was asked to pray, we asked our supporters to pray and God answered in an amazing way, church giving went up and our financial situation was back on track. Thank you to all those who prayed and gave.
John Yates joined Cristi & me at Bethany Camp to move 25 ton of concrete and remove hundreds of stones from the land, preparing it for grass. We concreted a pathway and had a wonderful time together sleeping at the camp and eating biscuits and beans!!!
We all came together again at Hebron Hall, Cardiff for our annual conference. Its good to meet other evangelists from OAC and other organizations. The conference is open to anyone and is always full of good worship, teaching, food, laughter, stories and different methods of evangelism. If you are interested for 2009 I have the dates already.
Julies mum has had a particularly bad year with her health but among it all Julie was able to lead her to the Lord in November. God is brill! Andrew & Diane are fine and so is Rebecca, please remember them in your prayers.
We have been using the Man with a Van idea for tent making purposes. We have had a few jobs but could do with more. If you know of anyone needing a man with a van please give them our number.
One of the things that remain constant though is the gospel, Gods word never returns void and has the power to change lives and that is what has been happening in Romania, with or without us. Traian, Lidia & the team in Alba Iulia plus Cristi & Cristina in Cluj are an inspiration to us.
The Christmas puppet tour called, Wandering on Christmas Eve is underway with an estimated 70 performances in total (so far) Please pray for the team, Loredana, Delia, Costel, Dave (from Guildford UK) Lidia & Traian. Pray for protection as they proclaim the gospel in dark territory. Pray also for traveling mercies as they drive locally and around Romania as far away as Bucharest. Pray for the weekly childrens clubs, and Bible studies. Abortion has become one of the main forms of contraception in Romania giving the country the highest abortion rate in Europe, Please pray for Lidia and Simona (Pastors wife) as they start a girls group at Beracah on a Saturday evening.
Cristi stayed at Bethany when John and I left. He was joined by some boys from the churches in Cluj and they spent two weeks there leveling the ground and chopping firewood for the winter. The two week trip to Germany and Austria with the Continentals Singing group visiting Romanian churches was a real success. The churches were greatly encouraged. The Christmas evangelistic programme has not been finalised at the time of writing but bookings have been made for the two largest shopping malls in Cluj for carol singing and scripture reading. Please pray for fruitful conversations. Cristina is into her final year of studies to become a doctor which means exams and the chance to practice in local hospitals. Please pray that she will be a good representative of God to her colleagues.
To see the pictures and read past newsletters etc: why not visit the website at www.oaci.org/romania
We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New year. Thank you for standing with us in 2008 and we look forward to taking residents from the kingdom of Darkness in 2009. Many blessings to you
Starting on Monday the 29th on July we will be starting the summer camps, three this year. First two weeks will be for kids and the third for teenagers. We have worked a LOT to get everything ready and we have prayed and intercedede with the team a lot.More than once we have been warned by God while praying that the devil has plans to come and stop what we are doing. SO this is something that you can really pray against. Also, pray for many other things: safety, loads of the presence of God, great weather, protection, and many more....
Thank you for you support.
But do not forget this one thing dear friends;
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years,
and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord
is not slow in keeping His promise, as some
2Peter3 vs 8&9a
John Yates and I were in Romania in August visiting Vatra Dornei, Cluj and Alba Iulia.
At Bethany camp near Cluj we worked with a team from Alba Iulia replacing the plastic water pipes with a rubberish type one. New pipes were laid to the kitchen and the house. Digging the channel to lay the pipes was particularly hard work as we had to dig through stones and concrete. Yatsie and I were thankful for the young team that accompanied us.
While we were there a long term project/ambition was fulfilled. Cristi and I have long wanted to put a small road up the hill and finally we managed to secure the services of a man down the road with his digger and the road was dug. This gives us access to the forest and one of the best views on the planet. (Pauls opinion) We also managed to enlist the services of Lidias dad and builder Addie to erect a metal staircase to one side of the barn as a fire precaution. We have to buy or build a pull down ladder for the other side as we do not have enough room to erect a fire escape. Pictures of the work done will soon be on the web site's Bethany camp 2009 page.
We also went north to Vatra Dornei to erect a cheap fence to one side of the land we have there. Purchased in 1996 with a vision to erect a Christian centre on it we have always hit problems, unacceptable building plans initially obstructed by the local orthodox Priest, then by various people along the way. Pray with us for Vatra Dornei and the local Baptist Church there. Finally, we had some chill out time in Alba Iulia with Traian, and Lidia. Open Airs were organized but cancelled due to rain.
On the next trip to Romania Paul will be accompanied by a friend, James Woolgar. James is a young man of twenty something and attends Ruddington Baptist Church with his parents; he wants to do something for God but as yet doesnt know what. Please pray for James as he starts this exciting journey of discovery. Please pray that God will reveal His purpose for James life whether in Romania or elsewhere. They will be in Romania from the 25th October 1st November.
Being able to put the road up the hill at Bethany camp was an amazing example of Gods timing as over the years things never seemed to work out. Another example is the building of the foundation for the new building which has remained just a foundation for maybe 10 years until a man with some friends came to have a look last year. The man was Korky Davey who is the Director of OACGBs West Country Branch based in Bristol. He came and saw and caught the vision for the new building and he went away and raised probably 99% of the total cost. We are amazed at this and we continue to praise God for this. We hope to start construction in the Spring of 2010. Praise God for the people who have given towards this project.
Korky is one of a few amazing men and women that are OAC evangelists. With an evangelistic ministry going back 30 years or so his stories are legendary within OAC and you have a chance to meet him. As you can see from this flyer we are having a presentation of the ministry on November 8th at St: Peters Rooms, Ruddington, Nottingham NG11 6HD (postcode if you want to come from afar via SatNav) from 3pm 5pm. Along with Korky who will be giving a world view of ministry will be Chris Mathieson, OACs European Director who will be giving a European perspective and Traian & Lidia who together with us will be presenting the ministry in Romania. We hope to have representatives from OACs ministries in Albania & Austria with us too. We will also be in Bristol & London. See here for all the details!
The family is well, Rebecca has just started back to work after being bit in the face by a dog, and her top lip was hanging off. Fortunately after micro-surgery there is only little scaring on the top lip which you cant see unless close up.
Diane & Andrew are enjoying waking up in the middle of the night for Georges feeds; he is showing them who is the boss. Anyone who says having a baby will not change their lives need to ring Andrew & Diane!!!
George continues to be a great blessing to us, he has started smiling and we love being grandparents, taking him for walks then taking him home when he needs a feed!
Julie & I have had our first inspection for Childminding and expect to receive our certificates in 5/6 weeks time. Already Julie has had one definite commitment with several people expressing an interest. Until the childminding starts we continue to stand markets and gardening as we continue our tent making.
We want to thank you for being with us in this ministry and hope to see you in Nottingham, Bristol or London. Come with your questions and your requests.
Does God want you to work with us? What you might have thought impossible is possible; doing the impossible is everyday business for God.
No Bible verse to start with this time but something I heard in the film Kung Foo Panda. Dont leap to phone me I have not adopted an oriental religion I just thought it was nice .
Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a Gift thats why its called The Present.
We have nearly reached the end of another year and weve survived. We praise God and yourselves for being faithful to us and this ministry which He has given us. These are difficult times for many of us and maybe the year didnt go according to our plans but we believe that the ministry has moved forward and there are some exciting things happening in 2010.
The picture shows Cristi and Timothy measuring the foundations at Bethany camp. We hope to have approximately 10 bedrooms with bathrooms on the first floor and a dining room, kitchen, cooks quarters, utility room and boiler room on the ground floor.
In July/Aug 2010 we have a team of teenagers coming to Alba Iulia from Bristol. They will be coming to work with us in the town and surrounding area doing outreach evangelism. We hope to have other people join us and have enough people for two teams. If you want to join us, contact us!
Traian & Lidia have various meetings and childrens clubs throughout the year reaching out to all ages. Interested? If you want to join us, contact us!
In Cluj a lady has expressed an interest in learning puppetry, Cristi will talk to her.
In GB a church in Sleaford Lincs has contacted me wanting sketchboard training for four of its members as they want to go out and proclaim the gospel. One of the guys used to go out with the team in Leicester Square London. Since the last newsletter, James Woolgar accompanied Paul to Romania visiting Bethany camp, Cluj and Alba Iulia. He wired up the new gazebo bought and paid for out of gifts to Traian & Lidia, yard sales at Beracah and some donations. He also spoke at the team supper and shared his testimony at a youth group. This was the start of Jamess journey of discovery to find out what God wants him to do. Please remember to continue to pray for James.
The Time For Europe presentations in Ruddington, Bristol and London were a bit of a disaster with 11, 70 & 11 people attending them. 5,000 leaflets were printed and distributed in all. At this moment...we wont be doing it again!! The OAC GB conference at Hebron Hall Cardiff was very good. It was Traian & Lidias first conference and they said they got alot from it. We will try and bring them over for the 2010 conference too. It was a good time of sharing and being able to meet evangelists from other organisations and countries. One evening we decided to go to the village pub. When we left we headed for the chip shop and standing outside was a group of teenagers who recognised Pete Hodge (Director OAC Wales) from their school assemblies. We stood outside until late sharing the gospel with them and answering their questions...usually starting with, If there is a God, why........?
Grandson George is now five months old and seems to laugh all the time, sometimes at 1, 2, 3 & 4 in the morning too!! Andrew & Diane dont laugh at those times though!! Julie and I enjoy our Mamma & Grandad days and the beauty is that we take him home at teatime!!. In November George was Christened in the local Parish church, people who dont usually go to Church were suprised at the service, one or two said they didnt realise vicars had a sense of humour.
Our Ofsted childminding certificates have arrived and Julie will start childminding in the New Year
Apart from a few sleepless nights Diane and Andrew are fine, Rebecca is OK also. Julie and me are good too!
All of us want to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Thank you for standing shoulder to shoulder with us as we battle the kingdom of darkness for Jesus sake
Heb 13v8:- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday (in history) today (what a present/gift) and for ever (tomorrow and beyond)
Download Traian's annual report here! 10Mb!
Read the recent article published in Christian Today!
Here's Traian's March 2010 news: www.oaci.org/docs/RO-Noutati_lucrare-March10.pdf
Our round-up of activity over the past six months is now available as a PDF. Please download it here!
The newsletter also gives details of how you can get involved in the summer of 2011. Go to the last page and be sure to sign up. If you want to know what might be involved, read the report on Christian Today (link below)
Christian Today has reported on our summer outreach using a British team. But of course that was just part of the past 3 months of action-packed programme. even if you can't understand Romanian, you will learn piles by taking a look at the OAC Romania Blog!
We hope you are well....
The summer brings many ministry opportunities. We are now heavily involved in getting the summer camps ready....We would very much appreciate your prayer support!
28th June - 2nd July- Town camp Alba Iulia (a sort of holiday club)- approx 50 kids
5th - 9th July- Town camp Santimbru fabrica- aprox 40 kids
12th - 18th July Teenagers camp- aprox 50 teenagers
Also starting on the 26th July to the 9th August we are going to have a time of training, street preaching campaigns and kids ministry in villages, being helped by a international OAC team. Please pray for that too....
And to finish up the summer programme, in the second week of September we are having a one week holiday club followed by 2 days of Church for kids.! Thank you for your support and prayers!
Read our latest news here (PDF)!
Charlie William Wakefield was born today at 11.56. He weighed 9lb 1oz.
Mother and baby are doing fine, he has already had a feed and 'liked it'
Thank you for your prayers
We had a full week of reharsing this week and we are ready to kick off the start of our Christmas Puppet tour here in Romania. The puppet play is called Hai Hui in Ajun, which translated means Wondering on Chrisman Eve and its the story of a little boy who goes to several places on Christmas eve and discovers who was Jesus, how he was born and why did he come into this world.
Also pray for the puppeteers (photo on left from left to right: Robert Ulesan, Delia Mihaltan, Andreea Bolea and Traian Opruta) as two of them are new this year, Robert and Andreea, pray that we all have strength in our arms, backs and knees.
Please also pray for health, Traian and Lidia have a really bad cold which seems to be a very strong one for over a week and Delia is in a lot of pain due to a wisdom tooth.
Nevertheless pray the Gods message will be powerful, hearts will be touched and people will get to know God better this Christmas through the puppet play.
Thank you for you prayers and support, they are very much needed and appreciated.
Below you can see some pictures of the puppet play during the reharsals.