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Hello Friends and Family!
We had our first ever Camp Falcon Rock Christmas party! Tamas led us through a devotion on Psalm 90:15-17 calling us to look back at God’s provision of the camp even in our time of waiting as well as to recognize that it is God who establishes the work of our hands. We spent some time in prayer thanking God for his provision and praying into the next year of development. It was a beautiful time to be together as an entire team and encourage one another as well as reflect on God’s faithfulness.
We are so pleased to announce that Vern and Gloria Wagner have moved into our village of Szentkiraly!! They arrived November 28th to their new home. We spent the first couple of weeks getting them settled into the old pastor’s parsonage house and running all around Romania looking for house furnishing things. In no time, they were both given job lists of things to do at the camp. It has been incredible having them here to support both us and Tamas and Tunde.
For our usual ministry, in November we helped lead a training conference for the YFC Romania staff to build their skills in event planning and leading as well as organizational systems. Paul continued with preaching, though this year during Christmas he had a lighter load only preaching 8 times over the 2 week celebration 😉 I continued with English class and hosted a Christmas party for the kids and teens classes. I took this opportunity to share about Jesus as the light of the world looking at the significance of the star that appeared above Bethlehem and tying it into our VBS message this past summer. Again, this was a unique opportunity to share the Gospel with kids/teens that do not attend the Baptist church yet come to English. We finished the night with the teens watching the movie “Elf” in English, which none of them had seen and they LOVED it! For youth group, we did a number of activities these past months including a serving night in helping prepare the Wagner’s home, a Christmas potluck dinner, and a skating night in Zalau. This Christmas break we challenged our teens to lead a kids’ Christmas program. We worked with them in brainstorming ideas for the program and then released it into their hands to lead. They did an incredible job! They came up with the theme of Jesus being the best Christmas gift. They had fun paper Santa party hats for all the kids, they led some funny ice breaker games, created a nativity craft, wrote a puppet show, and even shared a teaching with the kids. We were so impressed and proud to see them lead in this way! In January, we organized a larger youth event and invited youth/young adults from our surrounding villages to come out to the camp for a day of sledding! Vern and Gloria had the idea of buying some old truck and tractor tires so the teens could try tubing. As I was driving my crew of teens to the camp, I was trying to explain to them what tubing was because they had never heard of it. They were all certain there was no way they would try it. Yet, very quickly they all ditched their sleds and tubing took over—it turned out to be quite the hit. After, we gathered inside the camp to eat some Canadian chili Gloria had made for us. It was the first time they had ever tried chili and everyone seemed to love it. We ended the night with a youth program full of games, worship, a message, and response time. We love seeing events and discipleship happening at the camp!
I was deeply moved this past month as I was chatting with one of our teen girls. Her father works in Germany most days of the year. She and her whole family kept telling me how excited they were for him to come home for 2 weeks at Christmas. Once the two weeks were up, she was pretty upset about her dad having to leave as it would be months before she would get to see him again. But then the week he was supposed to leave, she came to English class with a big smile on her face. She said, “Tanya, a miracle happened! My dad doesn’t have to go back Germany yet because there is too much snow right now and no work.” All in one moment, my heart was so moved by her love for her father and yet so broken for the situations lots of the families face here. Not only do the churches struggle to provide kids and youth programs because pastors have to shepherd 5-10 churches each, but on top of that many youth miss out on the daily love and guidance from their fathers because there are little job opportunities for the men to earn a good living. It was a reminder to me of the blessing it is for us to get to be youth leaders to these teens and how huge the camp will be for providing a way for the youth to experience all the love and guidance from God our Heavenly Father.
As Paul and I have been looking back at this year, we can’t help but feel that the years are getting fuller and busier. We are praising God for this! It would be easy to feel tired by it all, but we are feeling extremely encouraged by what God is doing here in Romania and the ministry opportunities He is inviting us into. God continues to open our eyes to the ways He is moving here and the ways He is opening doors to His work for His Kingdom! We are so grateful that you allow us to be here to do this. We are grateful that your prayers continue to be the heartbeat of encouragement and momentum for us. Thank you for your involvement in this life changing, Kingdom building ministry! We truly hope you know the incredible impact that you are making on us, and the people of Romania.
Tanya & Paul