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 ..?