Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update 10/9/2016

„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
Sometimes it amazes me how much gets packed into one month of our lives. Thank you for your part in God’s work among the Romanian Gypsies!
The most difficult age for people to live for the Lord seems to be the teen years. Very few teens have been coming to our services, but we are grateful for those that come! It seems whenever I see a group of them and go over to talk to them or invite them to church, they disperse. It’s almost comical, although it’s sad at the same time. Sara continues to come faithfully, so that is encouraging. Two girls came who hadn’t come for a while. Although they didn’t really pay attention, I’m glad they came. We heard that Rebeca is in a relationship with an older guy who is known for being a “bad boy.” This guy already has a wife and child, but he apparently likes Rebeca. We believe this is the reason for Rebeca’s distance, and for her ignoring us. Please pray that the Lord would get ahold of her heart.
After being beaten by her “man” and harassed by the neighbors, Ica (Eeka) decided she had had enough. She went back to her home village. However, she returned after a few weeks, saying that she felt bad for her man, Marcel (March-ell). The two are not married, so in that sense, it was better that she had left. Now that she is back, she is dealing with the typical issues of being made fun of for getting baptized and becoming a “repenter,” as well as children throwing rocks and bricks at their house. Thankfully, she is feeling a little better, but please pray for strength and steadfastness for Ica as she deals with oppression from the unsaved. Please also pray that Marcel would receive Christ as his Savior. We have talked at length with Marcel about the Gospel and know that the Lord is working.
The children continue to amaze, and disappoint us. Often, most of the children leave the children’s class at church before the lesson even starts. Thankfully, the ones who stay are usually very attentive, and answer review questions at the end of the lessons. After one of the classes, a few of the girls wanted to sing a Christian chorus that they knew. The children often want to help hold the songs we sing, or help with the lesson pictures. It’s great when they are involved (as long as they behave :o) ), as they tend to not leave! During my lesson about Jesus being condemned to death, three of the girls were very tender hearing about His suffering. They were anxious to hear the rest of the story of how He was crucified. The next week when I taught about the crucifixion, they were not quite as thrilled, but it was good to see them thinking somewhat seriously about the lesson. Please continue to pray that the Lord would work in the hearts of the children!
Lusi did come to one of the services recently, but Adi (Oddy) has not. Gina, Adi’s mother, said to pray for Adi and Lusi that they will think about the Lord.
The school classes have had fewer attending recently, but it’s often easier to handle fewer of them. It is so exciting seeing them learn the letters, and to see some of them reading! What an amazing gift God has given us to be able to read His Word!
We appreciate all your prayers for us and the Lord’s work here. May God bless you as you serve Him and take part in this ministry to the Gypsies!
In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Friday, September 9, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update September 8, 2016


The last few weeks have been typical of Gypsy ministry with ups and downs. We are grateful for each day the Lord gives us to serve!

Thank you for praying for the children’s classes. They continue to be well-attended, though often some leave before the class is over. Dani (Donny) left the other week with some other boys, but Codru came and he was actually very good. Last Sunday, there were a ton of kids, and they were pretty good for as many as there were. We hope God will continue to teach them His truths through us.

Around 22 children have been coming to the weekly school times. Although they were a little more hyper during class this week and there were some interruptions, they have been very well-behaved overall. We thank the Lord for all that they are learning, and ask you to please pray with us that they will learn well. Reading is the most important focus in our school times, as we want them to be able to read the Word of God. We also do writing and numbers with them too.

A few weeks ago, we got a call from our neighbors (who are believers) that a group from a church in Germany was staying with them for a few days, and was interested in doing a program with the Gypsy children. So, we had some songs, games, and a Biblical lesson in the church neighborhood, and we enjoyed seeing this group’s willingness to serve. Some of those from the group came to church with us the following Sunday and gave some encouraging testimonies.

We had a good time at the baby dedication for Adi (Oddy) and Lusi’s little boy. In the end, close to 100 people came. A Romanian pastor friend of ours preached, and their family and ours did some special music. Praise the Lord for Adi and Lusi’s testimony to raise their son for Him!

The other week when we went to the church building to do school with the children, we started talking to Ica (Eeka), who recently got saved. She was not feeling well, and explained in tears that she ran out of medicines, and didn’t have any money even for food, much less medicine. She did not ask us for anything though, which is rare for the Gypsies. Thankfully, we and our co-workers were able to get some of her medicines. The Lord has allowed a lot of trials in her life. We were planning a baptism for this week (on Tuesday), so we talked with her about getting baptized, as well as to Sara, Adi, and Lusi. Adi and Lusi didn’t think they wanted to get baptized at this time, Sara was not sure, but Ica indicated that she wanted to. My sister, Larisa, made sure of her salvation at camp recently, so she wanted to get baptized. When the day of the baptism came, it was encouraging to see Adi come to the service, although he didn’t want to get baptized. Lusi didn’t come, Sara did not want to get baptized, and Ica was feeling terrible, so she was at home. I was rather discouraged that it seemed no one except Larisa was getting baptized, but also very glad that she was getting baptized! When we walked to the baptistry (which was next to the church) to do the baptism, Ica started walking over with us. She began crying, and we thought she just was feeling terrible, and she probably was, but she just said that she really wanted to get baptized! Praise the Lord! You can see the attached pictures of the baptism. It was good to see Rebeca come to that service. There were probably at least 100 onlookers to witness 2 of God’s children showing their salvation testimony and their desire to follow Him!

Thank you for your prayers for us and the Lord’s work here. May the Lord bless your part in this ministry to the Gypsies!

In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update 8/9/2016

„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

Believe it or not, one of the most difficult things when writing a prayer letter is figuring out how to start it! :o) I will start by thanking you for your support and prayers for us. We can see God at work through the prayers of His people.

After weeks of preparing and solidifying details, our school classes with the Gypsy children have officially begun! For our first week, the kids were amazingly well-behaved. There wasn’t a lot of learning, as we were basically trying to figure out how much each child knows. Their ages are from 5-13, and the levels of knowledge range from reading well to not even knowing how to hold a pencil. I have a greater appreciation for one-room school houses, although thankfully, we are able to divide them up a bit, as there are 3 of us teaching. When we came out of the church building after school to go home, someone had stuffed cucumbers and other junk up the exhaust pipes of the cars. There were some guys sitting around who I was pretty sure did it, but I simply reprimanded them for just sitting around, seeing someone do something to the cars, and not even saying anything to us. We could have died from fumes or from an accident because of what was done to the cars. The other weeks of school so far have gone pretty smoothly (and no more cucumbers in the exhaust pipes!), and it is exciting to see the children’s enthusiasm as they learn and participate.

Cory loves children, and enjoys the ones that come to our church. He does need to learn good character judgment though! :o) The children’s classes are normally very well-attended. Often, however, some kids will leave after several minutes of coming, which we try to discourage. Fortunately, those that want to stay are usually better behaved. Speaking of behavior, I felt I needed to “put feet to my prayers” regarding the children’s behavior. So, I mixed up some essential oils with water in a spray bottle and now I spray all around the children’s room before class. I felt that if the Lord has given me tools to use, I should use them. They seem to help A LOT!

Dani (Donny), Mariana’s grandson who is 10, has been coming very faithfully. He used to come to church and leave after a few minutes. I was flabbergasted when he stayed for my whole lesson, even after his little sister and brother left. I was even more floored that he was pretty good and knew answers to the lesson questions at the end! On the other hand, Codru is a boy that is known as probably the worst child in the village. A year ago or so, he was kicked in the head by a horse, and we hoped that would sober him up and help him be better behaved. Unfortunately, he is probably worse, and was diagnosed as having mental/emotional problems. He killed a pig by beating it with a stick just because. He comes to our school classes, and has been very well-behaved! Please pray that Dani and Codru will receive Christ as their Savior, and be well-behaved.

Several adult visitors have come to the services in the past weeks. There are 2 children who are handicapped in the Gypsy neighborhood: Marin (Mah-reen), who is about 13 years old and in a wheelchair, and his sister, Bea (Bay-ah), who can walk with some difficulty. Their parents came to church the other week, which was encouraging. Marin can talk a little, and indicated that he wanted to get saved. After hearing an explanation of the Gospel, he seemed to understand. We didn’t want to rush a prayer or decision, but when a general question was asked during another later service: “Have you received Christ as your Savior?” Marin answered that he did.

Lusi and Adi (Oddy) are planning to have a dedication for their baby boy, Emanuel, in a couple weeks. This will be held at the local town hall, as we are expecting a lot of people. Please be in prayer for this event, that people would respond to the Gospel, and that Adi and Lusi would live for the Lord as they raise their son. Lusi has been coming to church with Emanuel, but Adi has not.

It is a blessing to see the faithful few young people coming to the services. Mirela (Meer-ella) has left the village, I believe to live with her mother, but Sara continues to come faithfully. Please pray that Sara will get baptized soon. Last Sunday, another boy, Tica (Teek-ah), came also. He was listening and understanding the Word. At one point probably a year ago, he made a profession of faith, but has not lived it. Please pray that the Lord will work on Tica’s heart. Rebeca has not been coming, and has been distant and cold towards us. Please pray that Rebeca will follow the Lord.

Thank you for your interest and prayers for us and the Lord’s work here. It is encouraging to know you are praying for us and our Gypsies!

In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update 7/9/2016

„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

The past month was a busy, eventful one, and we are blessed to know that you are praying for us and our Gypsies!

We continue to have young people coming to the teen classes and learning from God’s Word. It is exciting to be able to encourage those that are saved, and to share the Gospel with those that are not. Rebeca came once a few weeks ago, but has not been in church since. Please pray for Rebeca’s spiritual growth. One of the girls who has been coming, Mirela (Meer-ella), lived with a foster family for a few years but is now living with her father in our village. The foster family is a family of believers, and it is evident that Mirela learned much and was positively influenced by this family. Never underestimate the impact you can have on someone’s life!

We visited Lusi and Adi (Oddy) and their new baby boy the other week. They seem to be doing well, but Adi has not been to church for several weeks. Please pray for Adi to come to church faithfully. Adi offered to sell us a car, but it was not what we needed, as it was not registered in Romania. Please pray that the Lord would provide a good vehicle for us.

A few weeks ago, there was a holiday called “Ruga” in the village. This is usually a big holiday (and another excuse to party and drink), and unfortunately, many people missed the church service that night. Still, we have been having several visitors to the church services, and pray that God’s Word will work in the hearts of those who hear it!

This week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday was our Summer Bible School program for the children in the village. Around 30 children came each night as we sang, played games, and shared God’s Word with them. We would appreciate your prayers for spiritual fruits from the Bible School week. Please enjoy the attached picture of some of the children that came.

The children have been somewhat less destructive lately, especially since we no longer need the generator for light in the summer months, so the kids aren’t messing with it. Meeting outside for church services is also helpful, as the children don’t bother the cars when people are outside watching things. The other week, one of the little girls left the children’s class to go somewhere with her mother, and for some reason, all but 3 of the children left with her. So many times, I am reminded of Christ’s words when seeing the Gypsy people: they are truly like sheep without a shepherd. They often just go with whatever they feel like doing, or with whatever those around them are doing. They have no clear direction in their lives. It is our prayer that the Good Shepherd will lead them and rule in their lives!

We would ask you to please pray for the start of our school classes for the Gypsy children. We are hoping to start them up soon, and need wisdom and the Lord’s strength in this new work.

Thank you for praying for us and the Lord’s work here. It is encouraging to have you behind us!

In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update 6/9/2016

Oops... I somehow missed posting this from last month.

„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

Do any of your church services begin by hearing a loud argument about horses? You are fortunate if they don’t! Sadly, this happened right before one of our services . . . with one of the church ladies and another lady in the village. In many ways, the Gypsies are just like children. That is not meant to be mean or degrading, but it helps to understand a lot of their actions. We would appreciate your prayers for spiritual maturity in those that are saved.

After a few weeks of not having any teen classes, we have started them up again. The reason we didn’t have them was that the teens just didn’t want to come. The Gypsies are a very feelings-based people, and usually, if they don’t feel like doing something, they don’t do it. If they don’t feel like coming to church, they usually won’t come (that’s not true of the few faithful ones in our church, just in general). Some of the older children in our children’s class are now old enough to come to the teen class. They seem to be enjoying it, and they like singing lots of songs afterwards. We actually start the teen class from age 11, and one of the reasons we start it so young is that in the Gypsy culture, most young people get married, or just run off with someone, around age 12 or 13. Our hope is that keeping these older children involved in church will help them to live for the Lord and make wise decisions in their lives. We’ve basically just had a few of the older children from the children’s class coming to the teen class, but a few others have come also.

The other week after a church service, we were able to visit with a few of the teens who haven’t been to church for a while. It was good to see them, and we continue to pray that the Lord will work on the hearts of the Gypsy teens.

The children are up to their usual shenanigans. Occasionally, we have a service where we’re not bothered by them too much, and it’s definitely better when the adults meet outside for the service and can keep an eye on things. The other day when no one was at the church, the kids found a key, and it happened to fit into the church door keyhole. They actually opened the church door, and the key broke off into the lock. Thankfully, it was able to be fixed. There is basically no respect from the children, and they are often left to their own devices most of the day (and night). These Gypsy families are broken, and are in need of God’s salvation!

It was a blessing to have my sister, Joanna White, and her family here from Germany for a few days. We greatly enjoyed our visit with them. As missionaries, time with relatives is rare and precious!

A few weeks ago, we had a Romanian hospital experience. Cory had a fever and ended up having a febrile seizure. We called the ambulance and they took him to the hospital. After much observation and many tests, everything seemed basically normal, and we were able to go home. Thankfully, Cory is fine now. Romanian hospital rooms usually have at least 6 beds. Fortunately, our room only had one little girl other than us, and a boy and his mom were admitted to our room a few hours before we left the hospital. We were expected to bring our own plate for food, and our own cup for water. We were slightly unprepared!

This past Sunday, I preached at the church of some missionary friends of ours that we go to on Sunday mornings. I also preached our evening service. After our services with the adults, we usually have a time of questions if anyone has them. It is encouraging to hear some of these questions, and to see the people’s desire to learn! Thank you for praying for some of our ladies. Lusi had her baby: a healthy baby boy! They are recovering at home.

English classes are coming to a close, as the school year ends soon. It’s been surprising to see all that the kids have learned and remember. We are thinking about starting up a few school classes every week for the children who don’t go to school, and would appreciate your prayers for our literacy ministry.

Thank you for praying for us and our Gypsies. It is a blessing to have you behind us as the Lord uses us here!

In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update 5/9/16

„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

Screaming, yelling, banging, and door slamming are not common sounds during church services - unless you are working with the Gypsies! Between unruly and destructive children, drunks and dogs coming to the church services, and members sharing their hearts during prayer request times, there is never a dull moment here. We are honored and blessed (and at times, overwhelmed) that God has called us to minister to the Gypsy people here in Romania. We often feel inadequate to effectively reach them, but where we are lacking, the Lord gives grace. We can do all things through Him!

To give you an idea of how to better pray for us and for these destructive children we deal with, after one of our services, we heard something on my parents’ car while we were driving. It sounded like something was stuck on the wheel and hitting the road, but when I looked, I couldn’t see anything. Finally, I looked underneath the car, and wrapped around the underside of the car was a wire. It looked like it was wrapped around about 60 times, and it took a while to get it off! These children often run after the cars as we leave, or run in front of the cars, hit them, throw things at them, or try to open the doors. They throw rocks onto the tin roof of the church building, which makes quite a racket! We would appreciate your prayers for these children, and for us to have wisdom and patience with them.

We are so grateful to have my parents back and to have them helping to bear some of the loads of the ministry. Our Gypsy people were overjoyed to have them back, and we all prepared a surprise for them at the suggestion of our church people. A few weeks after my parents left, some of the ladies in the church talked about how we really should paint the adults’ room and hall, and make things look a bit nicer. We decided to take up some special offerings to do some much-needed work on our little church house, and the Lord blessed with some record giving! Our Gypsies do not tithe yet, so this was encouraging to see. We painted the hall and adults’ room, and put some linoleum in the adults’ room . . . without telling my parents. :-) They were pleasantly surprised when they returned, and it seemed like our church people enjoyed participating in the surprise. They not only gave, but also helped paint and clean things up just in time for May 1st, Romanian Easter Sunday. Attached is a picture of the adults' room.

Thank you for your prayers for Cory’s residence permit. After weeks of delays, we now have it in our hands!

Thank you also for praying for the teens in Mosnita (Moesh-neesta). Some of the faithful, saved children coming to our children’s classes have reached the age where they can come to the “teen” class (which is actually for young people 11 years old and up). Sara, one of the girls, expressed an interest in having the teen class, so on Sunday, we had our first teen class in several weeks! The temptations and pull of the world and bad influences seem so strong at this age. Please pray that these young people will stay faithful to the Lord and to church especially as they become teenagers.

It has been neat to come in contact on Facebook with several children (who are now grown) from our ministry when we had our church in the city, and also from our ministry in Maguri (Muh-goor). Some of them still seem to have a heart for the Lord, and that is very encouraging. Please pray for us to have wisdom as we minister to them through the internet. Many of them are out of the country, but the Lord is working in their lives.

We have been able to have some of our church services (with the adults anyway) outside, when the weather permits. This was helpful for Ica (Eeka) the one week, as her leg was bothering her, so she just sat outside the church fence by her house and listened to the service. Many of our ladies have health problems, and I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers. Lusi’s pregnancy has not been the easiest, Gina’s foot often bothers her from a previous accident, Aurica (Ow-reeka) has terrible asthma and heart problems, and Mariana has a bad back. Please pray that the Lord would keep us in good health also. We are very grateful for the good health He allows us to have.

Thank you for praying for us as we minister to the Gypsies here. It is a blessing to have you behind us as the Lord uses us here!

In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update 4/6/2016

„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
The past few weeks have flown by, and the busyness has certainly increased! With my parents in the States on a reporting trip, we are taking over some of their responsibilities and taking care of their house (not to mention the fact that, out of the blue, life and schedules in Romania can change quite quickly!). What seems like it will be a quick trip into the city often turns out to be an all-day event. We are grateful, though, to be busy for the Lord! When you are serving Him, He doesn’t let you get bored. :o)
We would ask for your continued prayers for us to get Cory’s residence permit. We went to pick it up a couple weeks ago, but were told it wasn’t ready yet as it was delayed. We tried again last week, and it was still not ready. We plan to try again on Thursday, and are praying that we will be able to pick it up, Lord-willing.
Teens coming to the church services is a rare thing these days. It often seems that dogs that wander into our services are more faithful and well-behaved than a lot of people! Rebeca did come once, and although I have made contact with some of them, they just don’t seem to be interested in coming to church anymore. Please pray for the teens in Mosnita (Moesh-neetsa).
Children, on the other hand, always come! For one of the classes I taught, they were not really paying attention, but we had a nice time of fellowship with the adults after the service. The other day when I taught the children, they were extremely good, very attentive, and did great with review questions from the lesson!
There have been lots of visitors coming, and it is exciting to be able to share God’s Word with them. We have been having services outside, as the weather is beautiful. This gives opportunities for those hanging around outside to hear the preaching, even if they might not come to church. Radu (Roddu), one of the main drunks in the village, has been coming quite often. He informed me that he likes my preaching the best, better than even Brother Pete’s and our co-worker’s! :o) Unfortunately, it wasn’t much of a complement as he is usually drunk when he comes. But we pray that the Lord will work in Radu’s heart through the things he has heard from God’s Word.
Thank you for your prayers concerning our house contract and land deed. I went with the previous owner, Mrs. Condre, to the notary and got it taken care of. It was good to see Mrs. Condre again (she is a believer) and catch up with her. Praise the Lord for quickly and smoothly resolving the issue of our contract and land deed!
We would ask for your prayers for our protection. The other day, Kristy and I both felt a strong sense of spiritual oppression. During a trip into town that evening, within about 15 minutes, we almost had 3 accidents! I think people were praying for us, as the Lord obviously protected us from harm. Drivers (and in some cases, pedestrians) can be crazy and unpredictable here. They often seem to be paying zero attention to what is going on around them. Our neighbor just brought a petition for us to sign to the mayor regarding the crazy traffic on our newly asphalted road. Most vehicles pay no attention to the speed limit, yet there are many children that play on our street. We do appreciate your prayers for our protection.
Thank you for praying for us as we minister to the Gypsies here. We are blessed to have you behind us as the Lord uses us here!
In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory
P.S. Please enjoy the picture of Cory enjoying his time with one of the ladies in our church. He loves people! :o)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update 3/6/2015

„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

The last few weeks have been busy with ministry, getting paperwork for Cory’s Romanian residence permit, and preparing for my parents’ absence. My parents leave for a 7-week reporting trip to the US this week.

The Lord worked miraculously in our dealings with the immigration office for getting Cory’s residence permit. It did take several weeks for us to get all the paperwork ready. In fact, we had an issue trying to get a statement from our doctor saying that Cory was in good health. The program used in our doctor’s computer system wouldn’t let her print a statement for the patient without a Romanian ID number. Cory will receive an ID number with his permit, but we can’t get the permit without the doctor’s statement. And we couldn’t get the statement without an ID number! Thankfully, the doctor had one old form left that could be written by hand, so she filled that out for us. The other miraculous part was that the paperwork and documents were accepted by the immigration office . . . the first day we submitted them! It usually takes several tries of putting in paperwork, being told this or that is not acceptable, or that we need something else. We are praising the Lord it was accepted, and expect to pick up the permit in a couple weeks. Thank you so much for your prayers!

It is exciting to see the children coming to the classes at church and learning! It is obvious people are praying for them, and the Lord is working. Children who normally don’t even seem to pay attention, or even if they try, don’t seem to learn, have been knowing answers to review questions at the end of the lessons! Gina’s 4-year-old grandson who lives with them has been memorizing Bible verses, and knows some of the children’s songs by heart. Although the children are often quite rowdy and wild, it is so encouraging to see them learning! Please keep praying that the Lord will work in the children’s hearts! Sara, the saved granddaughter of Mariana, comes very faithfully and is such a joy. She listens and learns very well, and she loves to sing. :o) We are praying Sara will want to get baptized soon.

We were able to attend a course for several days on teaching children, taught by Jeff Welch. It made for some long days, but it was a blessing, and we gained much knowledge through it. We pray that we will be better able to minister to the children because of it.

Some days with our English class, the children are great, and other days, not so much. :o) Last week was not so good. It is difficult to know what to do with them sometimes, but despite the challenge, we are grateful for the opportunity to spend time with some of the children in our village. We will take a break from English classes for a few weeks while my parents are in the States, since we will be taking over some of their responsibilities.

I had the opportunity to preach to the adults the other week. Radu (Roddu), one of the drunks in the Gypsy neighborhood, was there, and thankfully, didn’t cause any problems. He loves to sing the church songs. Hopefully one of these days, the words will sink into his heart! Ion (Yone), Mariana’s unsaved husband, was also there. Please pray that the Lord would work in his life, and that he would be saved.

Alin (Ah-leen), Mariana’s saved son who is away from the Lord, and his 15-year-old wife, Lacri (Luck-ree) just had a baby boy. Please pray that Alin would turn back to the Lord, and that Lacri would be saved.

Regarding our house and land, Lord-willing, this week we will contact the previous owner and get the contract and deed taken care of. Basically, as foreign citizens, we cannot own land in Romania. Currently, the land is in our name, so it is not legal. The previous owner will have to give us the land rights, so we are praying that the Lord will resolve the land/house issue quickly and smoothly.

Time fails me to tell of the many broken Gypsy families in our church neighborhood, the poverty they choose to live in, and the ways the Lord has worked in some of their lives. They need your prayers. We need your prayers as we minister to them, and are so grateful to have you behind us as the Lord uses us here!

In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update 2/8/2016

„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

Through all the trying moments, exciting happenings, and busyness of our lives and ministry, it is a great comfort to know that people are praying for us all over the world! It is a great comfort to know that God hears His children’s prayers and answers them!
An answer to prayer is that the children have not been quite as destructive and disruptive in general. We still have to keep an eye on things, but there were a few services where they weren’t as bad. Please continue to pray that the children will behave.
It was exciting to have Adi (Oddy), Gina’s son, and Lusi (Lucy), his wife who recently got saved, come to a church service recently. Lusi is learning from the Bible and growing. Many times after our services, we sit around and talk with people and have a time of questions. Ana, an unsaved older lady from the neighborhood, has had many questions. Lusi adds to these conversations, and it is encouraging to see the understanding she has of spiritual things. Please pray that Ana will understand the Gospel and be saved. Please pray for Adi and Lusi to be faithful and follow the Lord.
We have not been having reading classes, as Ica (Eeka), our only student at the moment, comes just every now and then to the services. Our plan was to have reading class after our mid-week service. We trust that the Lord is working, and hope that Ica will have a desire to read, and that she will come and learn.
Shortly after the New Year, we took a trip to Germany to visit my sister and her family, Joanna and Bruce White. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, and while it was short, we enjoyed spending time with them and the nieces and nephew. Cory thoroughly enjoyed meeting his cousins. Please enjoy the recent picture of our little guy. :o)
Speaking of Cory, when we returned from Germany, the passport control didn’t want to let Cory enter the country because he had been in Romania (before we went to Germany) more than 90 days and didn’t have a residence permit yet. Because he was born in Romania, we didn’t think this rule applied to him, as it does to other foreigners. It wasn’t even possible for us to get him a residence permit within 90 days of his birth, because it took about that long to get his birth certificate and passport, which we need in order to get the residence permit. We were praying that they would allow Cory into the country. After many phone calls and people explaining to us what the problem was, as well as us trying to explain how it wasn’t even possible for us to do what was necessary, they decided to allow Cory to come into the country. Praise the Lord for answering prayers! We are working on getting everything together for Cory’s residence permit, and we appreciate your prayers that everything will go well and smoothly.
The children at our English class are learning, in spite of not having the best behavior at times! They got a strong reprimanding by the staff the other week for being bad, so thankfully, they were better for our last class. We are grateful for the opportunity this allows us to be a part of the children’s lives, as well as to get to know more children.
Please be in prayer about our house/land situation. We just learned that, although we are the owners on the contract, the law says that only citizens of EU countries can own land in Romania. We can legally own the house. But if someone contested that we are not the legal owners of the land, we could legally lose the house and the land, since those are on the same contract. We hope to soon have this resolved, which will mean re-doing the contract with the previous owner as legal owner of the land. The owner will then have to give us the rights to the land. Please pray that the Lord will work this out quickly and smoothly.
This week, we are attending a course by Jeff Welch about teaching children. We are excited about all there is to learn, and are trusting that the Lord will use this time to make us more effective as we minister to the Gypsy youth here in Romania!
Thank you for your prayers for us and for your part in our ministry! We trust that the Lord is blessing you as you serve Him!
In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

Friday, January 8, 2016

Jonathan and Kristy's update 1/7/2016

„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


At the beginning of this new year, it is amazing to think on all that the Lord has done for us in the past year! We are so grateful for your prayers and support for us and the Gypsy ministry here!

Gypsy ministry is always exciting, although not always in a good way! :o) Please enjoy reading about some of our exciting happenings!

We continue to keep someone outside the church building during services to guard things (cars, the generator, etc.), as the children can be very destructive and disruptive. During church services, there have been tires slashed, junk stuffed up the exhaust pipe, the plug pulled out of the generator, and banging on the windows. Please pray that the children will stop disrupting and destroying things at the church building.

Among other excitement, a fight broke out with the boys in my class the other week. I sent one of them home, and the other was fine after that. It is exciting to see the children learn though, and very encouraging to see children who don’t seem to learn answer review questions correctly! One Sunday, several children came, but only two ended up staying until the end. One of them was Gina’s grandson, David, who is 4. He doesn’t usually participate much, but since it was just him and Sara, I tried to make extra sure that he learned. He answered several review questions at the end very well!

I was able to preach to the adults a few weeks ago, and it was encouraging to see visitors. Radu, one of the main drunks in the Gypsy neighborhood, visits our services occasionally. He came last Sunday and was very obnoxious. It was obvious the alcohol was controling him. Another one of those “exciting” moments! Please pray for Radu’s salvation.

Another very exciting event for us was Kristy’s family visiting from the States. We had a wonderful time with them, and her parents were thrilled to see their first grandson. :o) They enjoyed seeing our ministries also, and our Gypsies really enjoyed them. We sang together as a family for church, and it was a blessing to us as well as to our people. After Pastor Montgomery (Kristy’s dad) preached at our Gypsy service, Lusi, Adi’s (Oddy) wife, said she wanted to receive Christ as her Savior. We are overjoyed that she is now part of God’s family! Please pray for Lusi’s spiritual growth. The Montgomerys left us on December 30th, and although the time was short, we thank the Lord for our time together!

Thank you for praying for the heating for our home. The Lord worked it out for us to get all the heating panels and install them in the house before Kristy’s family came to visit! This is a huge answer to prayer, and we are excited to have heat! :o)

We would appreciate your prayers for the teens. They don’t come often, and those that used to, like Rebeca, seem to be drifting away.

Ica (Eeka) did very well with the reading class. She comes off and on, so the reading classes haven’t been very regular. Please pray that Ica will come faithfully to the church services and reading classes, and that she will learn to read.

It is an encouragement to know that through all the exciting times, you are praying for us. Thank you for your continued faithful prayers for us and the Gypsies!

In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory

P.S. Enjoy the attached pictures of our time with Kristy's family!