Hello from Bucuresti, Romania!! We have just finished our third month here in Romania and at many times cannot believe it. Most days are really good, while others definitely have their challenges. We are thankful that in these hard moments we have each other to lean on as well as our Heavenly Father who carries us through with so much love and grace.
Our language tutor went on vacation in early September, so we decided to take advantage of this time and go on vacation ourselves. After receiving recommendations, we decided to drive across the border to a town called Albena, Bulgaria. Albena is a gated community on the Black Sea and is compromised of several different resorts. There was a rocky start to our journey to Bulgaria. Our GPS decided to take us on a route that led to a ferry. We arrived at the ferry and decided to try to find a different route. After turning around and driving towards the land border, our GPS became confusing and we took a wrong turn. A turn that had no exits nor turn-arounds for 25 MILES!!! This route actually took us back towards Bucharest. We finally got turned back around and made our way towards the border. As the sun went down and we attempted to turn on our headlights, we found out that both of our headlights were burned out. We were fortunate to still have our high beams and fog lights to help us get to the resort. What should have been a 5 hour drive with a stop took us over 8 hours. We really enjoyed our vacation though. Emerson and Drew enjoyed playing in the sand and making tunnels for Emerson's monster trucks. Lydia enjoyed being outside, but she did not know what to think about the sand. We also met a Bulgarian family who had a boy close to Emerson's age. They enjoying playing in the sand and flying kites. God also gave us the opportunity to share the gospel with this family. We are praying for them and that the seeds that were planted would conintue to be watered and one day take root. We praise God for allowing our paths to cross and we know he wastes no opportunity.
At the end of September we had the opportunity to go on a churchwide trip with the Romanian church we have been attending. We went to a vineyard outside of Bucuresti and had a blast. There was a trampoline at the vineyard that Emerson loved. He must have jumped on the trampoline for two hours. Lydia enjoyed running around the vineyard and playing in the sandbox. This was a great time to fellowship with new friends and spend time with our family.
Drew is beginning to make new church partnerships and grow our network here. Brooke has been meeting with women in the area and developing new friendships. We will also be hosting a small group in our home beginning next month and are excited to see how the Lord will use this group in our community. It is exciting to see ministry begin and where God is leading us. Language is also going well. We are now going five days a week for three hours each day. It gets mentally exhausting, but we see progress being made. As we begin the month of October, we are excited to see how the Lord will continue to work in our lives and pray that He would use us to grow His kindgom. We appreciate each of you and are so thankful for your prayers! Below are some specific ways you can pray for our family.
Please pray that we would continue to lean into the Lord as we progress through language learning. As mentioned, it becomes mentally exhausting and at times we feel discouraged. Pray that we would show ourselves grace and that the Lord would provide many opportunities for us to practice and apply what we learn.
As we begin to develop local partners, please pray that the Lord would give us wisdom and discernment in how we engage with those partners.
Please continue to pray for Emerson and Lydia and that they would continue to thrive here in Romania.
Please pray that we would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and that we would be obedient to share the gospel whenever the Spirit prompts us.
Please pray for the small group we will starting next next week and that hearts would be drawn to Jesus.