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