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