Sunday, October 8, 2017

After the Storm

What a mess…

A lovely double rainbow appeared afterwards.

One of the plum trees fell during the storm and apparently hit the apple tree, which was split down the middle of the trunk (or at least, something hit it). So unfortunately, we lost both trees. Thankfully, the harvest was basically over, so we didn’t lose all that fruit.

You might also notice that the outhouse is missing behind the shed. We were going to take it and the shed down in the near future anyway - this just made us move the time frame up a bit. You might have also noticed that toilet paper was strewn around the yard in the first picture.

Thankfully none of the reed panels broke. They were jus tied onto the the metal frames, and the ties broke. So we can remount them. We may have to fill in a few gaps on the ends, as some of the reeds slipped off the ends, but that shouldn’t be a problem, as we have extra. Some of the metal panels bent, but we were able to get them fastened back on at least well enough for now. We could even see the cement posts moving in the wind after the reeds came down!

Corn husks were flying everywhere during the storm - even way up in the sky. Our fence was full of them afterwards. :)

I thought this peach tree was going to come down in the wind, but thankfully, it held on.

Later on, another set of rainbows appeared. They were much larger, but not as full or bright.

The shed lost much of its roof and some of one of the walls.

What’s left of the outhouse is behind the shed on the right, up against the cherry tree. Pieces of the shed’s roof are on the ground.

Eight people died from the storm. Two were in a park when it hit, and a tree fell on them. Many lost parts of their roofs. Thank the Lord for keeping us all safe!

During the Storm

A few weeks ago, a horrific storm went through the area causing lots of damage and the loss of 8 lives.  We were without power for only about 12 hours, thank the Lord, but we didn't get our internet back for nearly a week.  They called it a "hurricane" here, but I'm not sure you can actually have hurricanes far from large bodies of water...   It looked pretty tornado-ish to me, though we don't really get them here.  Anyway, here are some pictures and videos.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jonathan and Kristy's update 06/12/2017

„But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” I Corinthians 1:27
It often seems as though we are having little impact on the people here. As I have been reading through Acts, it is amazing how thousands of people were getting saved and baptized, and people were turning to the Lord every day, giving their lives to Him and being changed. Although we certainly desire this and pray for it for our Gypsies, we are very grateful to the Lord for every victory, great or small. Thank you for praying for us, and I hope you are encouraged to read some of the victories we’ve experienced these past weeks!
The first encouragement was from two of our church ladies, Gina and Mariana. Our church neighborhood is quite muddy and dusty, so the church floors need to be swept every week. Normally we do it when we get to church. However, one week, Mariana and Gina took the initiative to not only sweep but also mop the auditorium floor. It was a small gesture, yet it was a blessing and encouragement to us!
We had our last English class with the children at Casa Rafa (Cossa Roffa). Though they can be a handful, it is exciting to see them learn, and be able to freely share Christ with them also. We look forward to starting classes again when the next school year starts!
Speaking of school, we are planning to start weekly school classes with the children in the church neighborhood again. They have been asking about it, so I’m glad they are looking forward to it! Please be in prayer for our school classes, that children will come, and especially that they will learn to read and write. Please pray for wisdom for us as well.
A few teens have been coming to the teen classes, but unfortunately, they haven’t been very attentive. Even if they’re not well-behaved, it’s still encouraging to me if they are learning. The last teen class was a little better, and we pray that the teens will come and their attention will improve so they will learn from God’s Word.
The children’s classes are generally well-attended, at least at one point or another! Usually, several will come at the beginning, more will come in during the class, some will leave, etc. I am so often reminded of the phrase from the Bible: “sheep without a shepherd.” They have no direction in life and just do whatever they feel like doing. A couple weeks ago, the children were quite rude and obnoxious, yelling, swearing, and being loud. For most of our church services, it is necessary for someone to stand guard outside because of these children. Please continue to pray that the Lord will work in the children’s hearts.
We praise the Lord that our fence is finished! We are obligated by law to have a fence around our property, so it’s good to be legal now :o) and it does make us feel safer. Thank you for your prayers for our safety.
It was a blessing to have Adi (Oddy) and Lusi (Lucy) come to church again recently. We hope they will continue to come faithfully. It was also a blessing to preach to the adults while my dad was on a missions trip in Armenia. We are always glad for the opportunities the Lord gives to share His Word.
Thank you for all of your prayers for us and the Gypsies. It is a blessing to have you supporting us!
In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Friday, May 12, 2017

Jonathan and Kristy's update 05/09/2017

„But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” I Corinthians 1:27
Spring has finally sprung here in Mosnita (Moesh-neetsa)! We are so grateful for warmer days, and although it is still rainy, we have been enjoying more outdoor time. Being out more means more opportunities to connect with our neighbors, and we hope that we will be good witnesses to them and be able to win them to Christ.
Although the children have been learning somewhat at our English classes at Casa Rafa (Cossa Roffa), they haven’t been terribly attentive or well-behaved. But at least they haven’t been complaining about the class recently! Often when they would see us come in, they would moan, “English . . .” with sad faces. They do seem to have a desire to learn; we just hope they put that desire to good use.
On Palm Sunday, there were quite a lot of distractions in our church neighborhood. Many were drunk, so there was lots of yelling and fighting. The police came, the swat team came, and there were even a few ambulances. Life is never dull with the Gypsies! We pray that God will do a mighty work in this neighborhood for His glory!
Speaking of life not being dull, the other week, the field across the street from us was on fire. It wasn’t terribly close to us, but the wind was blowing strongly, and the fire was spreading. I had to call the fire department, and thankfully, they put out the fire. I’ve attached a picture of the fire with the fire truck on its way. We praise the Lord for keeping us safe.
Thankfully, Easter Sunday was the quietest Easter we’ve ever experienced here. Normally Easter is even more of a celebration (and more noisy!) than Palm Sunday, but we were grateful for the quiet.
We have been having new teens come to the teen classes off and on. This past Sunday, they were somewhat more attentive than normal. Several of the older children often want to come to the teen class. If they are almost 11 (the youngest age for the teen class), I normally let them, if they’re well-behaved. Unfortunately, many of them are not well-behaved, and they scream and yell outside, as well as bang on the windows and doors along with some of the other kids. As if this would make us want them in the teen class! These disruptions are a pain and a distraction for our services, and we would appreciate your prayers that they would stop, and that we would have wisdom in these situations.
There were two services recently where no adults came. I don’t ever remember this happening before. Please pray for faithfulness and obedience in those that are saved. We were thrilled that Adi (Oddy) and Lusi (Lucy) came to one of our services recently. We continue to pray that they will come and grow.
We are hoping to have our fence finished this week. I have attached a picture of part of it that is finished.
Thank you for all of your prayers for us and the Gypsies. It is a blessing to have you supporting us!
In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Monday, April 10, 2017

Jonathan and Kristy's update 04/08/17

After several days of warmer, sunny weather, we have hit another cold, rainy spell. Hopefully the warmer, spring weather will soon come to stay!
Just a few teens have been coming to the teen classes at church. Sometimes most of them don’t pay much attention, but I think God’s truths still get into their heads. They know many of the songs, and I’m trusting that the Lord is working in their hearts through the truths of the songs and His Word being taught. We occasionally see Rebeca around and continue to be burdened for her to turn back to the Lord. Please pray that Rebeca will repent of her sin and live for the Lord. The other week, the teens were being goofy during class, which is better than obnoxious! Some of the children were being very obnoxious though, coming up to the windows and doors and making lots of noise to disrupt the service. I ran out to chase them away, and the teens got a kick out of me running after the kids. It was hard to get serious for the rest of the service after that. :o)
We are grateful to have our fence partly finished! Gina’s brother, Sorin (Sor-een) who is also saved, does construction work and can also build fences. So, after Gina gave me his phone number, I called him and he came to start work on the fence the next day! Sorin and I have had some great Biblical discussions, and have had many opportunities to witness to our neighbors and the workers while they worked on the fence. Please pray that we will be able to finish the fence soon. We are trusting the Lord to work out the details.
While my dad was in Italy for a few days visiting some friends, I had the opportunity to preach to our Gypsy adults. A couple weeks ago when my parents were at a missions conference in Bulgaria, the opportunity to preach came again. It is always nice to fellowship with our people afterwards and hear their struggles and encourage one another. This is when most of our discipleship takes place.
The children at Casa Rafa (Cossa Roffa) have been learning English pretty well. The one week, they were getting ready for a program for Romanian Mother’s Day, so I happened to have both classes together. They were terribly-behaved, but they did have lots of hugs for me. :o)
After Sorin found out that I teach English, he wanted me to teach English to his 9-year-old daughter, Rebeca. Last week was our first week, and David, Gina’s grandson, is joining us too. We’re grateful for this extra opportunity to be a witness for Christ.
Thank you for all of your prayers for us and our Gypsies. We are blessed to have you supporting us!
In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Jonathan and Kristy's update 03/08/17

The past few weeks have been eventful, and although times and circumstances constantly change, we are grateful to serve a God Who never changes!
We have had several teens coming to some of the teen classes at church. They aren’t always very well-behaved, but they do seem to enjoy the class. Alin (Ah-leen), Mariana’s saved son, has not been coming to church for a long time. Mariana said he wanted to come to one of the services recently, but his unsaved wife didn’t want him to and called him to her mom’s house instead. Rebeca, who a few months ago said she wanted to turn back to God, has not been to church for a while either. We went visiting in the church neighborhood, and she was hanging out with the unsaved married guy she had been hanging out with before. I told her we’ve been waiting for her to come to church. Please pray specifically for the saved young people to come to church, to grow spiritually, and to follow the Lord and His Word.
Ana (Onna), one of the older unsaved ladies who comes to church, had a scare when she could hardly breathe. She has asthma and other health problems. Her unsaved husband, Nica (Neeka), also has many health problems, and he was in the hospital. God is working in Ana’s heart, and we pray that she will understand the Gospel and receive Christ as her Savior.
Cristina, a saved lady from the village who sometimes comes to our services, had been studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. After several unsuccessful tries of us showing her their unbiblical, false teachings, she finally seems to be coming around. After one of our services, we got to talking about how Jesus is God and equal with God, although He is God’s Son. The Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus is a god, and is less than God the Father. Cristina recognized that that is false. It is exciting to see God opening eyes to His truths!
One of the saved ladies from our church who recently got baptized, Ica (Eeka), got very sick. After a few weeks of being in the hospital in intensive care, she has gone to be with her Savior. The unsaved man she was living with, Marcel (March-el), says that he wants to get saved. God is working in his heart. I was able to preach for the adults at our service while my parents were in Israel. Afterwards, I went with Marcel to see Ica in the hospital, and had some good talks about the Gospel with him. Please pray with us that Marcel will get saved.
Our weekly English classes with the children at Casa Rafa (Cossa Roffa) have been going well. Normally the younger class I teach is better behaved. The other week, we had such a great time during our class. Afterwards, the kids wanted to sing our John 3:16 song from church, so we ended up singing a couple songs. Please enjoy the pictures of the two classes I teach.
We have an interesting twist in our fence saga. While looking around for someone to build us a fence, I found out that in order to build a fence here, one needs a TON of paperwork. I looked into it a bit, and it seems like quite a hassle. After searching through all of our house and land paperworkI found that we actually have the necessary paperwork for building a fence, praise the Lord! It is not the type of fence we were planning to have, but it would work well. Unfortunately, the people I contacted about building it gave a quote much higher than we were expecting. Thank you for your prayers for this need, and please continue to pray that the Lord would provide a good fence for us.
The children’s classes at church have been pretty random lately, sometimes with many children, sometimes with just a few, sometimes starting out with a bunch but then many of them leaving. Even so, as we faithfully share the Word with them, we pray that the children will understand God’s truths and apply them in their lives.
We are so grateful for your prayers for us and our Gypsies. Thank you for serving with us!
In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Monday, March 13, 2017

Jonathan and Kristy's update 02/07/17


This is an election year here in Romania, and unfortunately, the socialist party won the vote. During the middle of the night, they passed a bill making it unpunishable to take up to about $48,000. This was done to exempt certain politicians from having legal action taken against their corrupt deeds. There have been many protests in the larger cities in Romania, and they have been the largest protests since the fall of communism. We hope and pray that the Lord will change the hearts of those leading our country that they will make wise decisions and lead our country in a good direction.
In our last prayer letter, we mentioned how random the young people are, and how we just never know what they will do or say from one minute to the next. We are grateful that several teens have been coming to the teen classes lately! This past Sunday, there were ten, and they were fairly well-behaved. After we were finished with the class, I said that we could sing another song if they wanted to, and they did. They continued to want to keep singing, and we must have sung about 10 songs! We are praying that these truths that they sang will remain in their minds and work in their hearts.
Gina, one of our saved ladies, asked us to pray for her son, Adi (Oddy), and his wife, Lusi. They have not been coming to church, and we trust that the Lord will work in their hearts and bring them back to Him. Gina’s unsaved husband, Ion (Yone), has not come to our church services in years. However, he has just started studying with some Jehovah’s Witnesses that come to their house. Gina has tried to show Ion how their doctrine is not according to the Bible, and we are praying that Ion will understand the true Gospel and receive Christ as His Savior.
The other week during my children’s class, all but 3 children left the class. Thankfully, the ones that stayed were attentive and learned! During a later children’s class, about 12 children came, and all but 2 left! So many times while working with the Gypsies, the phrase from the Bible comes to my mind: they are “as sheep without a shepherd.” They wander here and there, following their feelings, lusts, and desires, and they need God’s grace and leading in their lives. Please pray for spiritual maturity in our saved Gypsies, that they will follow the Lord faithfully.
Among other news, it is that time of year when we have to pay our government mandated health insurance here. Although it is cheap compared to US insurance, it has about doubled in price in the past 3 years. Unfortunately, paying for health insurance here is a long, complicated nightmare. First, we have to go to the health insurance office to the information desk to see what paperwork we need. Then we have to go to the finance office with the necessary paperwork and pay for the insurance. When we went to pay, it took us over 3 hours from the time we left the house to the time we got back! We attempted to go to the health insurance office with our receipt and renew the health insurance (which is the next step in the long, complicated process), but by the time we got there about 11 a.m., they had already given out all of their 110 numbers for the day . . . by 8:10 a.m.! They don’t even open until 8:15! So, we will have to go another day to the health insurance office, probably very early, just to get a number to get in hopefully before 1:30 p.m. when they close.
Our property has been surveyed, and I contacted a few people about building us a fence. We are hoping someone will come soon to measure and give us a quote. Thank you for praying for this need, and please continue praying. There continue to be more thefts in our area, some with chainlink-type fences being cut by the thieves. We have a small, temporary chainlink fence around part of our property, and are very grateful for the Lord’s protection and safety.
Thank you for your interest and part in our work among the Gypsies. We are encouraged and blessed to have you behind us!
In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory