Who's Got Time To Slow Down?!
We hope you are enjoying the beauty of Fall whether that means bright sun, rainy days or like our hometown of Edmonton snow and freezing temperatures! Here in Romania, Fall has kicked off in big ways as we’ve joined in for the yearly harvest. We were quite excited, though exhausted, from picking our potatoes, peppers, onions, and carrots, but it’s given us great insight and respect for how hard everyone works in our village as our garden was about 1/5 the size of most!
We usually catch up on a lot of our administrative work during the month of September and October as ministry slows down a bit after summer camps, yet this year has proved to be quite different. Aside from the usual ministry that kicks off in September like Paul’s preaching and my English classes, we had the opportunity to run a couple of new ministries.
In September we were invited by the Hungarian Baptist Seminary to run a 2-week English intensive course at the camp property! This was extremely exciting for a number of reasons. One, this is a great partnership for the camp to do practical ministry that will directly affect the church mission in Romania. The seminary has made it mandatory that all its students must learn English as it allows for more global mission relationships and partnerships. It was truly an honour culturally, for me to teach these pastors to become more proficient in English. The seminary also wanted to open up the class to outside individuals, which led to 2 other young men joining the program. The second reason this was exciting was because it was the first on-the-property-program that we’ve been able to run!! This was an exciting “first” of many for the camp. The 2 weeks went by fast, yet they were full of learning, and growing both with English and our faith. We look forward to how this partnership may continue and grow in the future.
Girls vs. Boys: Who can unravel a frozen t-shirt and put on first?
Another ministry opportunity that has come up, is leading the youth group in our village. The young woman who previously led the group had a baby this past summer and asked us if we’d be willing to take over for the next year as she adjusts to being a mom. We were delighted to support her, the church and the youth in this way. We have started to meet with these youth every week and are so impressed with their desire to grow in their faith.
On this topic of how incredible our youth are, we had a VBS party this past month to celebrate their hard work as volunteers! It was a fun evening including a Canadian styled campfire, sundae bar and movie night. We also spent some time debriefing the summer and sharing stories. One thing we did during their training in June, was hand out prayer jars. We emphasized the importance of prayer as a leader, as well as being poured into while you are pouring out. The jars had slips of paper in them for the teens to write down any people or experiences throughout the summer the felt called to pray for, as well as to write down scripture or things God was speaking to them. We were blown away by their maturity and engagement with this task. As they committed to pursuing God, God was clearly working through them and speaking to them through out the summer. This was truly a special moment seeing the beautiful fruit produced by the Spirit in these teens.
In the midst of this, Paul headed to Sioux Falls seminary for another week of sessions for his Masters of Christian Leadership. While down there, he was able to have a visit with Aplington Baptist Church in Iowa for their missions conference. He was encouraged to see the church come together as they were selling baking and pumpkins all to fundraise for the ministry and work in Romania. It overwhelms us thinking of the huge community around the world supporting Camp Falcon Rock!
As things finally slow down for us, Paul and I are taking a week of rest and heading to Czech Republic to a Christian retreat center. We look forward to some downtime and rejuvenation as we prepare for the busy season ahead. Right now, camp development is kicking off in big ways. Tamas is applying for individual project permits so we can begin the water/sewage/electrical infrastructure this Fall. We are also finishing up the existing building renovations by adding a girls washroom/bathhouse, the boiler room and a hall way to connect the existing building to these new additions. Construction is taking over at the camp, which is why we are praising God and so excited to share with you that Vern and Gloria have reached their fundraising support level!! This means they will be moving to Romania at the end of November to begin on the ground ministry. We have already laid out the extensive project list for them, which will be sure to keep them more than busy for this next season!
As always, we continue to appreciate your support, prayer and love. We hope each and every one of you is experiencing God’s love and encouragement in your lives—He is faithful and good!!
Tanya and Paul