With two weeks left of training here in the States, we want to share with you about the past five weeks. We have met a lot of amazing people here and have enjoyed getting to know them. Some of those people have really taken to our children and have helped us out tremendously. You never know how much you need help until you get to dinner and both of your children want to be held while you try to eat. If you have ever tried eating with a child in your lap, you know how difficult it is. We are so thankful for the people who came and picked up our children and held them while we ate our meals. We are thankful for the many women who signed up to baby sit our two kids while we both went out for a run. We are also thankful for the recreation team who, on every Saturday, hosts a 1-hour event for the kids to go play games in the gym while the parents get a break. It is the small things that are truly a blessing.
The training that we receive here at the IMB is also amazing. We never knew just how much goes into planting churches and the steps taken to get to a healthy church. The IMB has been planting churches for 175 years, so they know what it takes and continue to update their training methods as the world changes. What doesn’t change is the message of Jesus Christ who continues to save lost people around the world. There is a lot of information given here and we cannot wait to put the methods into practice. The photo above is picture taken of the fountain here on campus during a spiritual retreat I was able to take. The IMB allowed us to all take a spiritual retreat for 2 hours while our children were in school. During this time were were able to dive into scripture, mediate on truth, and pray to God without interruption. It was a very refreshing time that showed us just how much we need this time with the Lord and how much we will need it on the field. Since every person was on their retreat, the time we had outside was very peaceful.
It has been an exhausting 5 weeks though as we continue to transition to this new life. We will leave here in 2 weeks and stay in the Charlotte area just before moving to Romania. The spiritual warfare has been tremendously difficult. We were all warned ahead of time that when we accepted this calling to be missionaries that the enemy would begin attacking us harder. What is interesting is that the Bible tells us that Christians will go through spiritual warfare. That is why the Apostle Paul tells Christians to put on the whole armor of God (Eph 6). The question is, how will we react? There are many prayer requests that we have that we will list below. Since being here, all four of us have gotten sick multiple times with Lydia recently having a fever of up to 104 degrees. There have been many sleepless nights and sleep deprived days. There have been thoughts of wanting to give up because the warfare has been so difficult. At that moment the Spirit reminds us of our calling and who is in control. It is God. Sometimes God may break us so that we begin to rely on Him.
The first update is that Drew preached his second sermon in front of 100+ missionaries and did an amazing job. When he was done, he said he could feel the Holy Spirit speaking through him. The men here at FPO could sign up for one 1 of 13 sermons that included a full chapter from either Colossians, Ephesians, or 1 Peter. Drew chose to preach from Ephesians 4.
The second update is that Lydia began crawling during the second week here. We were so excited about this; however, it means she is constantly on the move. We had to scramble to find electrical outlets covers and other items to help “baby proof” our living space. Lydia is all over the place chasing Emerson around and taking his toys. Thirdly, Emerson has transitioned to his new class at school very well. He is learning different aspects about Romania each week and will begin a unit on international foods next week.
The third update is that as of May 13th Romania extended their border closure for an additional 30 days. This means that we will have a later departure date than originally planned. It is expected that Romania will either open its borders around mid-June with the possibility of forcing people to quarantine 14 days or requiring the Covid vaccine.
Thank you so much for your support and to those of you who have reached out to offer prayer and encouragement. Your kindness does not go unnoticed as we know we could not do this without the support of our prayer warriors. We are thankful for each of you.
1. Pray for good health for our family as well as help with transitioning.
2. Pray that Romania opens their borders soon.
3. Pray that we remember our calling and become fully dependent on the Lord.
4. Pray for the Romanian people. Pray that God opens doors for us to form relationships quickly, and that their hearts will be made ready to hear the Gospel.