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