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Hello Friends and Family!
Spring is in the air! The weather’s warmed up, the village has come back to life, and the hens are a laying (we are at 8-10-eggs a day now)!! As we look out our window here in Szentkiraly, we see our neighbours ploughing fields, planting seeds, caring for baby chicks—life is happening. We’ve joined in by ploughing, hoeing and planting our own garden! We’re also eagerly awaiting 60 baby chicks to raise for meat and eggs!
February was a month full of sharing the Gospel to many people in many ways! We were so encouraged by all the opportunities we had to see people meet Jesus! In Romania, the villages slow down during the winter because harvest is done and farm work takes a break till Spring. The churches take this opportunity to reach out to their communities as people have more time to attend church events. Each village will take a turn in hosting an Evangelistic week or weekend, bring in a special speaker, and the church members will serve throughout the event, sharing their testimonies and hosting guests.
This year we invited Terry Fossen of the Alberta Baptist Association and Dave Spate, Senior Pastor of Brentview Baptist, Calgary, to be the main speakers for our Evangelistic week. We worked Terry and Dave pretty hard as they preached at least once a day and they were in 4 different villages throughout the week. They also ran a pastor seminar on “Crisis” and “Sabbath,” as well as ran a preaching seminar for elders from our churches. Terry and Dave spoke really well and we were encouraged to see responses from people from our communities.
During the Evangelistic week we were blown away by our teens! The teens accompanied Terry and Dave throughout the week. They poured out their hearts as they shared their testimonies and led worship in all 4 villages. It was powerful to see them stepping out in faith and serving. One girl who I just started teaching guitar this month already wanted to share her skills by serving in worship. She did such a great job! Another one of our teen girls shared a word she received from the Lord about what it means to be obedient to the Lord’s call. She had received a specific word to share in January but shied away from the opportunity three times. She heard God ask her, “Why do you ask me to speak to you if you won’t share my words?” It is so encouraging to see her grow in her faith and step out as an inspired leader!
In March, we hosted Dan Hamil, Executive Director, and Norm Poehlke, VP of Ministry Outreach, for the North American Baptist Conference. They came to see the ministry and development at the camp as well as to further establish their relationship with the Hungarian Baptist Conference (HBC) leaders and pastors. Dan Hamil was invited to be the main speaker at the HBC’s annual assembly. It was an encouraging time to see both Baptist conferences come together to worship, connect and share about what God is doing in the midst of their churches. After the conference we met with the HBC leadership to check in and further discuss the NAB and HBC partnership. It has been so incredible to see God’s leading and provision in this partnership and we were extremely encouraged by our meetings and time with the leadership teams from both the HBC and NAB. This is huge for the ministry and mission here. God is providing a greater community around the ministry through the partnerships with NAB churches and HBC churches, NAB pastors and HBC pastors, NAB camps and HBC camps. We see such huge potential for how the NAB community can work together with the HBC in advancing God’s kingdom here in Romania! This has already been evident over the last number of years, as we have been blessed to see the fruit of this partnership through churches, ministries and lives that have been transformed. We believe this is just a taste of what is yet to come!
Camp development continues to move along. As we mentioned in our last update, we’re focusing on a couple main building projects right now. One is finishing the existing building extension, two is preparing for our water and sewage system, three is preparing for a renovation of an old farmhouse on the property to become a staff house. We had an exciting event happen this past month at the camp. In needing to be equipped for the upcoming projects, the camp purchased a 2007 JBC backhoe!! Needless to say the guys are all pretty excited about the new camp “toy”! This has been an answer to prayer and a clear example of God’s provision for the camp as we have been praying for the right backhoe for the camp for months now! We are also extremely blessed to have Vern Wagner as part of the team, as he is a well-experienced backhoe operator.
Thank you for all of your prayers and continued support. If you think of us please continue to pray for us, the team and the ministry as we are stepping into an extremely busy time with camp development and hosting mission teams. We will be hosting a construction team here from May 11-25; please pray with us for this trip.
Tanya & Paul