Hi friends and family!
We wanted to write you all to fill you in on our first couple of days on the ground in Romania. We are having a fabulous trip so far.
We arrived safely and slept hard and comfortably - the hotel is wonderful.
After a breakfast yesterday (Monday) morning, we went to our ministry host's apartment and spent several hours planning the women’s conference in detail. We also made up about 500 bags of candy to take to children in the Roma (gypsy) villages today/tomorrow. Then we came back to the hotel and spent some time working on our teaching for the conference.
Today (Tuesday), we will be visiting 3 Roma communities and meeting women who will be attending our conference. We will also be taking candy to the kids as a special treat. After 3 village visits we will head to Manna church, where we will be hosting the conference, and the women of the church will be having a special prayer service for the women’s conference.
After breakfast, a few of us took a walk into the old city, and a few worked on some preparations for our talks for the women's conference.
After that, we piled in Mihaela’s car and headed for Manna Church. This is the church that’s hosting our conference (many churches are coming together for the conference in many ways, but we’re using Manna Church’s facility). We met with Pastor Pilu and caught up with him a bit.
Then we piled BACK in the car and headed to Danesh, a gypsy village about 10 minutes outside of town. There we visited a local after-school program for gypsy children. They were hard at work on their homework and on some Bible study curriculum. They were precious and (I think) happy to see us. Or maybe it was just the candy we brought them. :) I’m not sure. The ladies who run the program fixed us some cookies and coffee, which was precious.
After a great visit in Danesh, we headed to the village of Soard. Gusti and Dana are some dear friends and work in ministry in the village. We saw their home, and then went back on their property to play with some children from the village (we also brought them candy). On a side note, Mihaela and I saw their land, which is newly owned property for them, and immediately knew that this is where we will build our next playground (next summer 2016). Blessing Gusti and Dana’s ministry with a playground for the hundreds of children in Soard is SUCH an exciting thought! We went and walked around the village a bit, which was quite a culture shock for some of us. It’s tough, but God is also doing great things.
After our time in Soard, we immediately went to Boiu (another Roma community) and met with the women in the village who will be attending our conference starting tomorrow. It was a sweet time. They made us homemade apple cake and coffee, which was a true sacrifice. Suffice it to say, we’ve had LOTS of coffee and cakes today. :)
Lastly we went back to Manna Church and had a prayer meeting, asking God to show up and richly bless our conference. Please pray - we start tomorrow evening at 6pm Romania time. We’re excited!
Hopefully we can fill you all in tomorrow! Thanks for your prayers - we feel them and are having a wonderful time.