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Money doesn’t bring happiness nor do good looks, intelligence, or youth. The things that matter most may not be sexy, but they’ve got a charm all their own.
In one study, volunteer and charity work generated more joy than anything except dancing. The sense of accomplishment, the social connection and the chance to do something meaningful are what make it so much fun.
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As we approach the celebration of Passover and Resurrection and see signs of life, let me update you on springtime in Romania.
Since mid-January I have been facilitating our first semester abroad program. We have 2 students studying Romanian, challenges in a post-communist countries, Christian approaches to poverty, spirituality in missional community, and their practicum focus. While it has meant that I give a significant amount of time to the program, we have enjoyed seeing them learn, grow and contribute to the life of our community. I also took them to Hungary, Serbia and Moldova in order to have points of comparison with other post-communist countries. In Serbia I was grateful to visit our friends Kiki and Cveta and to see their church plant of a Lifegate campus.
Along with the study abroad program, I have been facilitating an internship for a new Word Made Flesh staff, Shelbye Renfro, who plans on starting a WMF community in Rwanda this autumn. It has been inspiring to see her steps in faith toward the calling that God has on her life. Currently, we also have a volunteer with us for two months from Scotland. We enjoy the diversity brought by the various folk from different parts of the world.
Since Christmas time, we have had a number of our staff battling serious illnesses. This was aggravated by some serious flu strands going through the city. Please pray for the health of our staff and of the children, for healthy rhythms of life, and for sustenance and energy from God.
Over the past five years, I have been leading annual evaluations and monthly planning sessions with our communities in Romania, Moldova and Sierra Leone. I’ve also been asked to facilitate these sessions with other organizations, companies and churches. So, I decided to get some training and will soon be qualified as a personal coach with Best Year Yet. I hope in the future to participate in training for team coaching as well in order to offer better tools and practices.
This past month, we were thankful that our friends Jan Savage and David Bamber came from England to visit us for the first time in Galati. They gathered lots of information to bring back to the UK, where they do advocacy for the children. Also, our friend Andrew has come out from England to help us install a ventilation system for our EarthShip aquaponics project. We have harvested some lettuce and onions from the greenhouse. We hope to do some significant extensions of the project in the coming months.
We have just finished visiting all of the evangelical churches in Galati. The kids from the Community Center sang. We had a short presentation about our activities and challenges. And we were sometimes invited to preach. Here is an example of a Sunday church service, if you are interested.
In the coming weeks, we will have lots of activities with the children for Easter and for spring break. Please pray for the presentations where I have been invited to speak in some high schools during their break from regular classes. Please pray for our Easter Sunday party with the families at the Community Center. We hope that they will come, celebrate and experience the invitation from God to resurrection life.
We are also preparing for a couple of teams. Some friends from the UK are coming to help us repair the swing set and to build some retaining walls in the garden. After that we will have a summer serve team from George Fox University. Please pray for each of our friends to have a good experience and to discover new parts of God’s heart for the world.
Likewise, we will continue to pray for you, for a wonderful Easter, and for signs of the New Creation to be evident in your life.
david and lenutsa