Saturday, January 24, 2015

winter goings on

It's been a while since I posted anything.  Life has been incredibly busy with holidays, travels, ministry, and furlough preparation (just to name a few).  But enough babbling.  On to some pictures!

Back in the beginning of December, we had some beautiful, clear days.  The mountains off in the distance could easily be seen with their snow-capped peaks.  How beautiful!

Next was preparing for Christmas.  One night we went downtown to see the lights, browse the shops and stands that were set up for the holidays, and get some traditional Romanian food.

One of the things we had been praying about was being able to buy a Christmas tree.  It may seem like a small thing, but we didn't know that we would be able to, and we very much wanted to decorate for that special time of the year.  However, the Lord provided for us to get one.  And my siblings gave us money for decorations as a Christmas gift.  Praise the Lord for His provision even in the small things!

On Christmas day, Jonathan and I first celebrated together, then with his family, then with our coworkers, and finally with some other missionary friends.  What a busy but wonderful way to celebrate Christ's birth.

the lovely earrings my husband gave me for Christmas
After Christmas, the weather turned cold.  Really cold.  The first snows started one afternoon and continued falling through the night.  It was beautiful that first night, as the snows rested gently on the ground.  But the next day we awoke to howling, frigid winds, bare grass, and snow drifts.

the trees were sure beautiful...
... but the bare grass was not
the winds even blew the sidewalk dry
you can see some of the marks the wind left in the snow
even the windowsills were full

It was pretty at times, but oh, so cold.  The winds just raged and howled.  We rolled towels up and put them around several of our windows because so much air was blowing in.  Strong drafts were even coming in our key hole!  The cold hung around for a couple of weeks, often dipping below zero (Fahrenheit).  Reports stated that it was the coldest spell this area of Romanian has had in 53 years.

Unfortunately, the frigid temperatures meant that we needed to use more firewood than we thought we would.  Last year we had fires going every two or three days, and the house stayed fairly comfortable.  This year, however, we were often making them every day.  We could see that our supply was not going to make it through the winter.  But the Lord always supplies when we need it.  A supporting church somehow heard of our plight and gave us a large love gift with which we were able to purchase some more wood.  We now only have a small amount of the old wood left.  We are saving it in case we get another super cold spell, as it burns better and hotter than the newer, greener wood.  The new wood, though, is perfect for the not-so-cold days, as it warms our house, but doesn't make it stifling.

January 1st we flew to Germany to spend a few days with Jonathan's sister's family.  We had a lovely time.

Well, that's been our winter in a nutshell!  Hopefully I'll be a little bit better about blogging in the future...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Jonathan and Kristy's December Prayer Letter

„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 Corinthians1:27
December was a busy month again, and we rejoice in the blessings God has given to us. Please rejoice with us as you read how the Lord is working, and continue praying for us.
The children’s classes continue to be well-attended for the most part. The one evening, there were about 17 children, and they were a bit wild, but seemed to learn pretty well. Most of the time, several leave before we’re finished, so it was surprising to see them stay for the lesson. During one of the other children’s classes, the children were pretty bad. Romica, one of the teen boys who often comes to the children’s classes, tried to help keep some order with the kids. I asked him some questions from the lesson, and he knew some of the answers. A lot of the children (and even some of the teens) don’t seem to know how to learn very well, so we appreciate your prayers for them, and for us, as we try to teach them God’s Word.
A few teens have been coming off and on. Rebeca came with a friend of hers, Ioana (Ye-wonna), and after the teen class, they wanted to sing. So, we ended up singing several songs, and they enjoyed it. Ioana also comes to Casa Rafa, so we have spent some time with her there. She is not saved. The other week, a bunch of the teens were hanging around outside before the service. I went over to them (thankfully, they didn’t disperse, which is what usually happens when I go over to them), and invited them to come to the teen class. They didn’t want to come. Please pray that the Lord would work in these young people’s hearts. At least two in the group claim to have gotten saved, but have not been to church for a long time.
Although Ion (Yone) is going very slowly with his reading, some things do seem to click for him every now and then, which is encouraging. Gicu (Jee-cu) actually came for part of the reading class the other week, and it was surprising to see how much he remembered. Last Tuesday, no adults came to the service except for Ion. He heard the Gospel again. Please pray for him to get saved.
Mariana, the mother of a couple of the boys that come to church, asked us a few weeks ago if we could help her to read. She is wanting to take a course for being a care-taker/nurse, so she needs to improve her limited reading abilities. She has done very well for these first few lessons. Sometimes, we are able to talk about spiritual things with her. She told us that a while ago, she “surrendered.” Normally, this means that she got saved, but I am not totally sure what all she understands about the Gospel, or exactly what she did. In any case, she is not living for the Lord, but does know what she should be doing. Please pray for her, and for us as we minister to her.
It is a great blessing to have our co-workers back! Their help is much-appreciated, as they help to bear some of the burdens of the work here.
Adi (Oddy) and Lusi, Gina’s unsaved son and daughter-in-law, have been coming to church now and then. It is encouraging to see this sharp young couple listen to the Word. They seem interested in spiritual things, but are not yet ready to make a personal decision to receive Christ. Please pray for their salvation.
It was a blessing for Kristy and me to spend our Christmas together. :o) We also spent the day with my parents and sister, with the Freels (our co-workers), and with the Tylers (missionary friends of ours). It was a wonderful day filled with good fellowship, games, and thankfulness for the Savior’s miraculous birth!
As firecrackers pop all around us, ushering in the New Year, we are amazed and grateful to think of all the Lord has done this year. Thank you for the part you have had in our work among the Gypsies in Romania! We are blessed to have you behind us!
Serving Him,
Jonathan and Kristy Heisey