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.