NEXT GENERATION PREPARATION
„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
We had a wonderful holiday season as we particularly remembered the miraculous birth of our Savior! My parents were in the States for a week with my oldest brother and his family for Christmas, so we spent the day by ourselves, and read the passage in the Bible about Jesus’ birth. Though some do not celebrate Christmas because of its origins, I think it is still a good idea to take time and be reminded of the wonders and blessings of Christ’s birth, no matter what day it is!
There was a week or two recently when no teens showed up at church, but other weeks, we had a bunch of them come. To my amazement, one week, one of the boys who is usually terribly behaved was perfect! I didn’t hear a peep out of him the whole service. A few weeks ago, Sara was hanging out with a guy, but Mariana told us that she isn’t with him anymore. Sara came to church this past Sunday, and was very attentive and even asking questions about the lesson. Please keep praying that she will live for the Lord!
The children have been coming to the children’s classes also. This past Tuesday, there were about 20 of them!
With my parents in the States, I had the opportunity to preach a few times. It is always nice to be able to fellowship with some of the adults. We were very glad to see Lusi (Lucy), Gina’s daughter-in-law, come to one of the services recently!
The Gypsies often ask us for things, telling us how poor they are, and our hearts often want to help them. You can see in the attached pictures how “poor” they are. That is in quotes for a reason. We got to talking to some of them, and realized that most (if not all) of them have larger incomes than ours. Just with scrap metal, some of them can make over $100 in a day. Even without that, if a few of them in a household are working a job, they make more than we do. An average household there spends $900 just on cigarettes every month, and probably quite a bit on alcohol! It is no wonder that their shacks look the way they do if they spend almost their whole salary on cigarettes and beer. Anyway, I guess we are ministering to the well-off Gypsies in Romania, and we should be asking them for stuff! ;o) Sometimes I wonder what their reaction would be if I would do that!
A new year is a time to be reminded of the blessings of God in our lives, and to evaluate our goals for the future. Our main goal and focus is to serve and please the Lord in all we do. We know that God has us here ministering to the Gypsies at this time. It can be very disappointing to see just a few saved through our ministry, and many of those have turned away from God. It can also be frustrating when we teach the children and teens the basic truths of salvation month after month, and after years, they still don’t know what to respond when we ask them what sin is! It certainly is a blessing when one of them grasps a spiritual truth! We often feel like Jeremiah, who was called to preach to the rebellious Israelites. God knew they wouldn’t listen, but Jeremiah continued preaching to them, because that was what God wanted. We plan to keep on serving the Gypsies here as long as God wants us to. We do appreciate your prayers for us, and for the Gypsies to be saved and live for the Lord! As we reflect on God’s goodness and mercy to us this past year, we realize that you are a huge part of it! Thank you for your prayers and part in our ministry, and for helping to spread God’s Word to the Gypsies in Romania!
In His service,
Jonathan, Kristy, and Cory