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Christmas 2022 is Upon Us

Hello everyone! Thank you once again for visiting our blog and reading our updates. It has been a really busy month for our family with additional family visiting us as well as taking trips. Even though it has been busy, our family has been truly blessed to have the family visit and be able to take these trips.

After Brooke's mother left we decided to take a last minute trip to Bran, Romania and stay in a wonderful house nestled in the mountains. Bran is the town where Dracula's Castle (Bran Castle) is located, and we were able to stay in this home that is located less than 5 minutes by car from the castle. This was our first trip as a family of five as well as our first trip to the mountains as a family since moving here.It was such a wonderful time! The home had a little yard with a trampoline that Lydia and Emerson really enjoyed, as well as gated space for the kids to run around outside. Our kids are full of energy, so this trampoline was nice for them to be able to let out energy in a positive way. Even though we were so close to Bran Castle, we decided it would be best to do something different since we had the kids with us. We have both visited the castle before as well as Emerson. Although, with Emerson it was a race as to how fast we could make it through the castle. What we decided to do was visit a large dinosaur theme park called Dino Park located in Brasov. Emerson and Lydia loved seeing all of the dino exhibits as well as playing on the playgrounds there. It may have been a really cold day, but it was also really enjoyable with the children. The rest of the time while in the mountains was restful and relaxing, something we do not get to do much while in Bucharest.

After we returned to Bucharest we prepared for the arrival of Drew's parents. They arrived really late on a Thursday evening, but that did not stop Emerson from going to the airport with Drew to pick them up. They stayed for about 10 days which went by extremely fast. This time was precious for the children as they all received tons of attention from both grandparents and got to play with their favorite toys with them. There was time visiting the Old Center of Bucharest as well getting ice cream with the grandparents. It was unfortunate that all three kids plus Brooke became sick again during this time. We are blessed to have had the help from the grandparents during this time, but sad that we had to spend it while being sick, yet again. This did not stop us from cooking the Thanksgiving turkey and the stuffing for our team as promised. We were planning to host the gathering, but had to cancel due to some of the family being sick. Our turkey guy delivered to us an 11.8kg (26lb) turkey that was supposed to feed over 20 people. Drew and his mother prepared and cooked this behemoth of a turkey to perfection on Thanksgiving Day and then Drew, his father, and Emerson delivered it to the team gathering. Fortunately Emerson was feeling much better by this time. Then the day came to say goodbye to Mimi and Poppy. Another sad day for the family. Although we were sad to see them leave, we look forward to the day we get to see them again.

Shortly after Drew's parents left we had to begin preparing for a company conference in another Eastern European country. It was our first conference with the company and to be honest, we were quite nervous traveling with three very young children. Rightly so as Claira screamed for 30+ minutes on the first flight and another 15-20 minutes on the second flight while Lydia had meltdowns in the airport. Poor Claira was overwhelmed by the large amount of people in such a small space as well as her ears likely hurting since she had been sick with a cold the week before. We spent five days with many of our colleagues who also live in the same part of Europe that we do. We were able to get to know them and here their stories. We also recieved training for our job and were able to hear about some initiatives that several colleagues all over Europe are doing to minister to people. We cannot wait to implement several of these initiatives in Bucharest if God allows. This time was also great for spending time with our kiddos. While many colleagues went to the Christmas market or toured the town we were in while it as 30 something degrees Fahrenheit and windy, we decided to stay in the hotel and visit the pool. We had some wonderful times as a family swimming with the kids. While we were at this conference we received cards from several people from our home church as well as another church who sent volunteers encouraging us in our ministry. We are so grateful for these cards and to those who wrote them. After 5 great days with colleagues, we left for Bucharest which ended up being a much more pleasant trip back. Praise the Lord!

December is upon us and that means two things. Christmas is nearing and we get to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Also in December the International Mission Board is raising funds through our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. 100% of the funds raised through this fundraiser go towards funding missionaries and the work they are doing all over the world. We truly could not do the work here without the support of those who give. We are so thankful for each of you who either give towards this fund through your local Southern Baptist Church or privately through the IMB's website. We hope that this Christmas you will consider donating to this offering so that the IMB can continue to send new missionaries as well as keep those currenlty serving on the field. We greatly appreciate it! Here is the website to donate.

Thank you again for being a reader of our blog. Here are our updated prayer requests:

  1. Please pray for good health for our family. We've already experienced quite a lot of sickness this year and are praying for a healthier year next year.

  2. Please pray for our language. We will be taking another test within the next month. We hope to be at a level B1 which is considered an intermediate proficiency level.

  3. Please pray that God will grow our team

  4. Please pray that God will continue to lead us to opportunities to share the Gospel, begin new relationships, and begin new ministries.

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