Hello Friends and Family!
April was an interesting month for Paul and I. We spent 3.5 weeks a part as Paul headed to North America and I stayed at home--Romania that is :). Since I was going to be home alone for so long I decided to buy some baby chicks and 5 laying hens to keep me company. Our dog Theo, has really come into his own as he protects them and helps me find and collect the eggs--seriously he picks them up and brings them to me! During this past month, I had more ministry opportunities come up on top of the usual camp work, English classes and leading worship songs in church services. I was able to focus on developing deeper relationships with our community here in Szentkiraly. Here are some of the highlights:
A couple of the teen girls wanted to learn to knit so we spent some evenings hanging out knitting and chatting about life. I even taught them how to make Nachos which they had never heard of or tried before! It was especially great to connect and encourage these girls as one of them is facing some tough family situations at home.
One of the ladies from our church taught me how to plant and care for my own vegetable garden in the church’s community garden. As we planted together we were able to talk about life and sing worship songs.
A few of the ladies wanted to teach me how to cook Hungarian styled food, so I spent some afternoons in their homes learning their delicious recipes and chatting about life and faith.
A young pregnant women from our church wanted to learn how to sew clothing as there are few options for maternity clothes here. We've had a lot of fun together as I've been showing her how to operate a sewing machine as well as make clothes to accommodate for pregnancy.
Women's ministry through the church is rare not only because there are so few pastors but also because the women here are so busy with work around the house and farm, so these were truly special times for me. I had no translator during all of these experiences! I was excited about my progress with Hungarian as I was able to be with these ladies for hours at a time and navigate conversation somewhat well! Please continue to pray that Paul and I would both grow in speaking the language.
One other ministry that Paul and I started this month is leading a worship team with the young people from our church, as they’ve had a desire to learn newer worship songs. We have been teaching each other songs in English and Hungarian. There have been some powerful moments as we worship together during the service in both languages and sing new songs declaring who God is, His goodness and our desire to follow Him.
Paul spent most of the month in North America. First he went to Sioux Falls for a week of seminars to work towards completing his masters. He had an enriching time learning and connecting with other pastors and ministry leaders. Paul was able to spend one Sunday at First Baptist in Elgin, Iowa preaching and sharing about the ministry here in Romania and then a second Sunday at Parma Heights Baptist Church again sharing about the ministry. Both churches have been such great supports to us and the Camp Falcon Rock ministry. It was a special time for Paul to connect with the churches face to face and be a part of their worship services on those mornings.
After the week of seminars and church visits, Paul headed to Toronto to be with his family. His family is not from Toronto but as you may remember from our last update, Paul’s older brother Geoff has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer that exists in the pleural lining of his right lung. Toronto has Canada’s top doctor for treatment for this cancer. During the past month Geoff underwent 5 days of radiation and then had a major surgery on April 25thwhere they removed one lung, the lymph nodes and the pleural linings around his heart, diaphragm, and remaining lung. Praise God that the surgery went well and Geoff is now recovering! It was a stressful couple of weeks of treatment and it will still be a tough road ahead to recovery but we praise God for His faithful provision of great doctors, an incredible community of support, finances and other resources that have come to his aid. We also praise God that Paul was able to extend his trip to stay with his family for those weeks. Please continue to pray with us for Geoff’s recovery, that the cancer would stop spreading and that the test results would come back clear! The Doctors will be deciding shortly whether he will need chemotherapy in the coming months.
We hope you all continue to feel God’s peaceful presence in your lives in every situation that you face. A verse was given to us by a Romanian border guard who noticed our Visa paperwork stated we are doing religious work. He wished this verse as a blessing on us and the work we are doing. It has been an encouragement to us during this past month.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Tanya and Paul