June is hear and we cannot believe that we have been in Romania for a year. Well to be exact, June 25th we will have lived here for a year. It seems like yesterday we were landing in Bucharest with 12 checked bags, 4 carry-ons, two car seats, and a large stroller. As we move forward into the second year, with many days seeming like we are sputtering across the line, we are preparing for baby Tucker #3. For a while we thought we were the only "first-termers" who became pregnant in their first year, but then we look on social media and many other colleagues also became pregnant within their first year. Something must be in the water around the world. Anyways, we have had a lot to do to prepare for this baby girl.
With the new baby on the way we knew that it would be a while before we got to go on vacation again. In our last blog we mentioned that we were going to Bulgaria. We decided to take this vacation early before the season started because of the pregnancy. We are so thankful that God blessed us with this time at the beach. The weather was great for us as we played on the beach and took a dip in the freezing cold Black Sea water. We were able to relax and it was a wonderful change of scenery away from the city life. Due to it being out of season (beginning June 1st), the beach was practically empty. This also meant that many of the restaurants were not open. It did not stop us from having a great time though. What was interesting was that as we were on the beach we kept noticing all of these women with their children and no father's around. It did not take us long to realize that all of the families were from Ukraine. After speaking with some locals we found out that the Ukrainians were staying in several of the hotels nearby. it was very saddening to see this and think about how the families have been broken apart and separated by the war. We continue to pray that these familes will be united with their fathers and husbands again soon.
One exciting event that happened while at the beach occured at a fire fighters conference in the resort town we were in. Many firefighters from around Bulgaria came to Albena for a conference and put on an amazing event for the families there. The fire departments projected a fire onto the side of a large, white hotel that increased in size as time went on. They had large speakers projecting the sound of a blazing fire. When it became dark outside, different fire trucks began to show up and spraying water into the air. Emerson and Drew went to the show and were able to see different fire trucks being utlized based on the type of fire. Emerson had such a fun time.
After two months of searching we were finally able to find a new apartment that met many of our needs. In Bucharest you will find that you have to sacrifice some of your desires while others are met. Even though we did not get an apartment with a parking space, we were able to find an apartment with large rooms for a growing family and one that is near some parks. Fortunately parking is not terrible here. Immediately after signing the contract we began to go furniture shopping which can be exciting, but also stressful. After about a week of shopping we were able to get furniture brought to the apartment and set up just before we had to be moved out of our last apartment. We are also fortunate that our kids love the new apartment and have been doing well here.
Drew had been working on a project here in Bucharest where he has been mapping out each Baptist church along with other churches from other denominations. Through that Drew has been able to meet other pastors around the city. One particular pastor asked Drew to come to his church and preach a message of his choice. Drew was honored as well as encouraged that others trust him to come preach at their church.
Our final update is that we have welcomed our first short-term team here to Bucharest. We have always wondered what it would be like for us to have a team come visit and work with us. We have been honored to welcome our sending church of Christ Community Church of Huntersville to Bucharest for a period of seven days. We can't wait to share what God will be doing through this team while they are here.
Continue to pray for baby girl Tucker specifically for health and that she will turn head-down as well as Brooke as she prepares to deliver in July.
Team CCC as they serve in Romania
Our A2 language test coming up the first week of July
Our babysitter who recently put her faith in Christ- That she will continue to grow in her faith and seek the Lord daily.