Hope in the Midst of Darkness
It's hard to believe that another month has come and gone. The month of February had its up's and down's. Coming out of January, our challenges continued. By the middle of February, we saw God bring us through these difficult months and affirm our calling here in Romania. It has been a blessing to see God do this and we glorify Him for it. February has also been a very busy month for us.
To celebrate Valentines, our teammates who are leaving soon had offered to care for our children while we had a full day and night together. In return, we would care for their children the next weekend. We have not had a night to ourselves since before we began this journey a year ago. Actually, we have not had a night without kids since before Lydia was born, which was a year and a half ago. We decided to start our date by going to an indoor water park/spa. We went to a place called Therme that has three areas. The first area is a water park with a pool and several water slides. The second area is an adult only/ children under two area. It is meant for adults to relax by the pool, hot tub, or in a cabana. The third area is for those who want to visit the sauna or get massages. We stayed in the second area with Drew visiting the water park to take on the water slides. Brooke, being pregant, stayed in the cabana and relaxed. We had an amazing time at this place and will definitely be returning. Afterwards, we went to a Marriott hotel in the Old Center of Bucharest called Marmorosch. It is a 5 star hotel in the heart of Bucharest that used to be a beautiful bank before communist times. The hotel staff took us on a tour of the hotel and the vault. At the hotel we enjoyed a nice dinner with each other. We really enjoyed this hotel and would love to return for another date night in the future.
Since we had a night time ourselves, Emerson stayed at our teammates apartment with their children who are three and five years old. This was his very first sleepover with friends and he was extremely excited. the next weekend was our teammates' turn to go out and so Emerson had his second sleepover which took place at our house. We are so glad that we had the opportunity to go out and be able to help our teammates do the same. Speaking of firsts, Emerson was invited to his first birthday party here in Romania by a classmate of his. He was of course excited about going to a birthday party and playing with friends. He was then invited to another friend's party for the first weekend of March. Even though our weekends have been busy the past month, we are so glad that Emerson has been able to experience this time with friends.
During this month we have had several prayer requests answered. The first has been that Brooke would begin feeling better and begin going back to language full-time. By the middle of February, Brooke began going back to language class every day. It was difficut for her at first because it had been two months since she went to class, but after a week, she began to feel caught up. Our tutor is currently working with us to prepare for our level A2 exam and has the hopes that we can be at a level B1 by the end of July. Our organization looks at these tests to determine how we are progressing in our language.
A second prayer request that has been answered is that we are recieving new teammates. One team is a couple with two kids and another team is a single lady who has been an amazing prayer warrior for our cluster. Both of these teams are from Ukraine and had to leave their country of service due to the war. We are sad for them and all of our colleagues who have had to leave Ukraine. During this time of transition, they both chose to come to Romania and serve with us. The couple will actually be our new team leaders. We are thrilled to have new teammates as well as team leaders who are in our city.
A third prayer request that was answered is that we would begin going back to church as a family. We had not been to church as a family since before Brooke began feeling sick from her pregnancy. We also decided to visit a church called AlphaOmega, which is a Baptist church plant that we would visit when we came on our short-term trips to Romania. We did try to go to church on February 20th, but because Lydia had not ridden in a car seat in four months, she screamed the whole way there. When we arrived at church, she would not stop screaming and so we were forced to leave. The next Sunday we decided to go back to this same church and everything went amazing. We praise the Lord for that. We have deicded to go back again.
In the month of February we recieved approval to begin looking for a larger apartment to accomodate our growing family. We currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment that is 80 square meters or 861 square feet. It has been great being in the heart of Bucharest and being so close to so many restaurants and stores, but we are looking forward to being in a home that better meets our family's needs.
February was also the beginning of a war between Rusia and Ukraine. Due to this war, millions of Ukrainians are fleeing Ukraine into nearby countries. thousands of Ukrainians began to come to Romania at the end of February. We are amazed to see so many organizations and people coming together and helping these refugees. Several Baptist Churches here in Bucharest have connected with Baptist Churches in Moldova and Ukraine to work on a way to help these refugees. The local Baptist seminary here is housing some refugees and the baptist churches have opened the doors to their camp to house them. On our end, the IMB is meeting with baptist leaders here in Bucharest to discuss how we can come alongside them and assist them in what they are currently doing. We are praying that God provides all that is needed whether it is supplies, people, room, or money. We pray that God puts and end to this war, but we are also proud as to how so many people are coming together to help the Ukrainian refugees.
Continued good health for Brooke and the baby.
Language- Pray that we learn the language and do well on our A2 exam.
That we build relationships with baptist pastors here in Bucharest and are able to assist them.
The war in Ukraine and that we would be able to share the love and hope of Christ with those around us.