We had a solid work-day at our home yesterday to get us ready for winter. Paul and I finished harvesting the garden by pulling out the last of our potatoes and we stocked up the boiler room with wood to heat our house. The temperature is starting to drop so the fires have begun! We’ve got a huge stack of trees from the forest still needing to be chopped but that’ll have to happen on our next work-day.
Paul and I got back from North American in the middle of October. We so enjoyed the last bit of our church visits. We finished off with some visits to our supporting churches in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota. Again we were incredibly encouraged and humbled by the love and support we received at each of our stops. Thank you to all of you for continuing to partner in this ministry! We ended our time in North America at a retreat center where took part in a “missionary debrief”. This was a rich time for Paul and I as we slowed down and processed all that has been happening in Romania. After our week there we were itching to get back to our home in Romania!
When we arrived back to Romania we were greeted at the airport by a group of our youth girls! They made signs and brought balloons to welcome us back. Yes, the name-sign they made to identify us at the airport did say “old people” instead of “Paul and Tanya”. And yes, they did toilet paper the entire interior of our house… but it was such a sweet moment to see their excitement when we walked off the plane. Our 2-hour drive back was loud and full of conversation catching up on all that we missed during the 3 months we were gone. And when we walked into our house seeing all that toilet paper we all had a good laugh!
Since being back, we’ve had to catch up on a lot of work. We left so quickly after the summer programs there was a lot of clean up and finishing work to do. We also had a number of reports to catch up on and house work to do to prepare for winter. But I think this week we are finally beginning to feel like we’re back into our normal rhythm. Paul’s been preaching in the village churches, I’ve been teaching English and we’ve been running our weekly youth group again. A couple of weeks ago we took our youth to a youth conference in Zalau (a larger city 20mins from us). The conference had over 800+ young people attending. The theme for the weekend was “Freedom” and our youth were definitely impacted by their time there. We’re looking forward to the year ahead with them as we run the weekly youth group. We are stepping into a 6-weeks series with them called “Truth vs Lies” hoping to speak some light into some of the darkness they may be facing. Please join us in praying for the Spirit to bring about fruit and freedom in our teens’ lives as we walk through this series.
We just finished up our annual English Intensive up at the camp which aims at teaching basic to advanced English as well as bible and theology in English. This time it was just one week and we will be running the second week in April. We had 12 students attend, 7 from the Hungarian Baptist Seminary. We saw a lot of growth in the students English capabilities even seeing one couple who spoke no English at the start of the week be able to share some lines in a play by the end of the week. This couple was attending to learn English in order to help them in their transportation business as they work with a lot of European Union companies and the common business language is English. These weeks are always a good time for us to connect with the seminary students and build relationships with these future pastors. This past summer we had two of these students join us for our camp programs by being our camp leaders and speakers. After connecting with them again and reminiscing about the summer, the rest of the students were eager to volunteer this next year too!
Construction is in full swing and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The camp crew finished laying the brick for the walls of the cabins and now has moved on to working on the roofs. They have also been building a giant water tank for the camps water supply. Today was concrete day and they managed to finish the walls of the tank. The last 3 weeks we hosted Issac, Carson and Carson’s son Paul to help us with our water and sewage system. Issac and Carson are both water and sewage system experts in the Edmonton area and were willing to sacrifice 3 weeks of work to come help us install our system throughout the property. This is a huge project!! Our entire property had to be dug up to lay pipe. The guys said that it would be equivalent to installing a system in an entire subdivision in North America. They managed to get all but two manholes in and laid almost all of the sewage pipes. It was incredible because we prayed for good weather and God provided. We had 3 weeks of beautiful sunshine with only a couple of days of rain at the start. In previous years we’ve already had snow up at the camp at this time. Our crew will be finishing up the project over the next few months installing the remaining two manholes and water line. We are so grateful to Issac and Carson for their sacrifice—there is no way we could’ve moved forward with this massive project with out their expertise!
Please pray with us:
-To finish the cabin roofs before snowfall!! Our aim is to get the roofs on so that we can do the internal work in the cabins during the Winter/Spring. This is a tight timeline as the weather is turning quickly. We haven’t been able to find a company who is free to do this for us, so our team will have to take it on in the midst of all the other projects.
-For good weather as the camp crew finishes up the water tank, water and sewage system and cabin roofs
-For open hearts and spiritual fruit in our teens as we dig into this 6-week series on “Truth vs Lies”
-For funds for our $450,000USD main lodge project. We have begun the architecture drawing process and are applying for permits.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us in this life-changing ministry in Romania!
Tanya and Paul