We have had a full summer, followed by a full autumn. Thank you all for praying for our camp. We were able to bring 43 children from our Centers in Galati and Tudor Vladimirescu to the mountains for a week. In the midst of a lot of fun, activities and exhaustion, it is surprising when young boys put down the basketball and say, “When you were talking just now, I felt something burning in my chest.” And you go on to explain how to say “yes” to their walk with God. And then they pick the ball back up and return to the game.
After camp, I traveled to England where I participated in a consultation on child theology and presented a bit from our experience. While there, we also held a pitch & put golf fundraiser, and I spoke for the Sunday service at Holy Trinity Parish Church.
Then I spent a few weeks in the US with family in Omaha and with grandparents in Colorado. Although the time was short, I was grateful to connect with friends from Lifegate, All Nations and Winterset Community Church.
On my way back to Europe, I spent a few more days in England at a meeting for organizations affiliated with the New Friars. It was good to be around friends with similar experiences, similar approaches to mission and similar challenges. Word Made Flesh has much to learn from these partner organizations.
Upon returning to Romania, I picked up a “servant team” of one and a student for our semester abroad program. They will be with us for the autumn – learning about Romania culture and language, developing relationships, serving with us, and growing through the studies and spiritual practices that we share with them.
Just before the school year began, we said goodbye to Anca and Eugen. They have served with us for many years and did fantastic work. And they are good friends. Because of financial constraints in paying for child care, they had to move to Vienna. They leave a huge hole and great sadness. In the midst, we are faithful to see God working in their lives as they went through a stressful move. We are also thankful to see how God brought two others to serve with us, Monica and Adelina, who bring different gifts and vision to our community.
In September, we were grateful to have our friends Will and Catalina an
d then Katy Daniels with us; we organized a fundraiser around a half-marathon that Bogdan and I ran; and we received five new children into our daily activities.
As of September 12th, the children are back to school. Last week as I was walking past one of the poorest courtyards the neighborhood, a little 9-year-old girl popped out the gate and asked, “David, when can we come and work for school supplies?” I could not contain my delight. For years, we have been working against a mentality of hand-outs and creating dependency. Now, children in real need of help to get school uniforms, rucksacks, books and supplies know that they will receive these in exchange for their work. Together we will spend an afternoon picking up garbage in the neighborhood and hopefully making this place a little bit more beautiful.
At the end of September, we hosted a great team from Lifegate, who shared life with us for 10 days and gave us enormous help with our EarthShip greenhouse extension. During this time, Vali was given the greenlight for radiotherapy on her thyroid. We continue to pray that there is healing and no more need for surgery or radiotherapy.
We continue to try to recruit retirees to volunteer with us. Through this project we were honored to meet Princess Margareta of Romania.
At the moment we have friends from the UK here to help us with the greenhouse extension. In the coming month, we hope to finalize the authorizations needed to build a kitchen extension on the Day Center in the village and the staircase extension on the guest house. We look forward to the arrival of two new staff from the States: Mikayla Greenwell and Harper Swords. Please pray for them as they seek people to support them as they answer this call to mission and as they accommodate to life in Galati.
We are organizing a consultation on Christian living in urban contexts. Please pray that it is well planned, that people are open and participate, and that new avenues are forged for engaging the city. Following this consultation, I have been invited to do a presentation for the leadership teams of Pentecostal churches in our region of the country on the church’s involvement in society. In the coming weeks, I will also be facilitating annual reviews and tactical plans for a church team and for a software company.
david and lenutsa