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