I wanted to give you a brief update on how life is in Galati so that you can know specifically how to continually pray for us.
Spring is here and our lives and schedules are fuller as the weather warms. Sadly, the person we employed to coordinate the new Day Center in the village resigned, but we have seen God’s hand at work. Within days another person, who volunteered with us a few years back, expressed interest in coordinating the Center. Her name is Mariana and we are so thankful that she is now involved with us. She’s getting to know the kids and figuring out the role.
We celebrated Easter this year as we have in years past. The kids prepared a performance of songs and poems, Lenutsa explained the reason for the holiday, and then we had a big meal together with the kids and their families. Afterwards, the kids tried to break a Romanian version of a piñata. It was a struggle, but they eventually broke the candy out.
It was a huge blessing that our friends Frank and John came out from England to help us build a playground at the new Day Center in the village. We also had a group from New Hampshire that were with us for a few days and helped us plant grass both in Galati and in the village.
We also received David Clark, a pastor from Scotland, for a few days. He led us in some reflections and discussions on what it means to do ministry in, with and for the city. It really helped us to start thinking about our ministry and our community in a larger context. We are now thinking and praying about some different activities to better engage our urban context.
Last month our community in Galati took two full days to create a one-year tactical plan. It was a time that helped us evaluate the positives and the negatives from the past year and focus our energies for the year to come. Each month we will come together to analyze our implementation of the plan. Please pray that we would continue to seek God’s heart for the vulnerable in Galati and that we would have wisdom in prioritizing our activities.
After lots of preparation, we are getting ready to take our community on a retreat. This year it is a regional retreat, which means that some of our staff from Sierra Leone and from Moldova will be participating with us. Sadly, three of our Sierra Leonean and one of our Moldovan national staff did not receive visas and are unable to come. So, our time of building and rejuvenating community is also mixed with grieving the kingdoms of this world that divide and try and keep us divided. The theme of our retreat is Reconciliation. We do pray that God would do a work in us personally and communally and a work through us towards reconciling all of creation to God. Please do pray with us and for us.
I would ask you to especially pray for our teenagers. Most of them have been with us since they were very young. But, as with most teenagers, they are struggling with the major decisions that will give direction to their futures. And they face struggles much more difficult than I did. For example, one of our teens has an older brother who was never sent to school and never learned to read or write. As you can imagine, it is difficult for him to get a job. Yet, he comes back from Italy with a car (that he has to hire someone to drive) and money to buy an apartment. The way he gets money is through stealing or through pimping girls. Although our teens do not think that this is a “good” way to make money, they do see it as a viable job. This is the model that they see at home. And it is a spiritual battle to help them seek God and reject the things and the ways the world values.
I continue to write some reflections on my blog: davidchronic.com. In March, Lenutsa and I were in Assisi with the other Regional Coordinators and the US co-executive directors of WMF where we had a great time together and were able to walk in the same place where Francis and Clare started the mendicant movement. A number of the recent posts are about the Franciscan movement. I have attached a short reflection below.
Thank you for standing with us in prayer,
David and Lenutsa