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.