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The cows have been coming home earlier and earlier each evening, and the wood boilers are up and running again. It can only mean one thing – we’re entering a new season! The village slows down late fall as everyone prepares for winter. Harvest slowly comes to an end, vegetables and fruit all get canned, the wood gets brought back from the forest and chopped, and just like that we’re ready for winter! Paul and I always feel like this is the time when we can finally catch our breath after the full summer calendar. This year it took a little longer to get to this point, but for some very exciting reasons!
One reason was because summer camps continued well past August and even into September. It was encouraging to see the camp being used by many groups and churches throughout September. We had 13 groups out to the camp this past season, which allowed over 1,300 people to enjoy the ministry of Camp Falcon Rock. One of the most encouraging events we had at the camp during this past month was the annual Thanksgiving Day service. We had over 600 people drive up to the camp to spend time together worshiping and giving thanks for all that God has done over this past year. The greatest highlight was the fact that we could host this celebration in the basement of the new main lodge! Even though we are still in the midst of building the main lodge, we can already begin to use it. Those who came were encouraged to see the progress on this building, and we kept hearing over and over again about how many people wanted it to be done so that they could use it now. The old movie saying from Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come” is more like, “just start building it and you will be surprised by how many come—and quickly”!
As with every year, the start of school means picking up village ministry again. Paul and I have been busy with serving in our local churches through preaching and leading worship, as well as we have been busy with youth group programs. One highlight from this past month was the opportunity to partner with Youth For Christ Romania and their youth conference called Impact. This is an annual conference they run that aims to disciple youth to be on mission for the Kingdom. Paul and I were able to serve on the planning team and were invited to be the speakers for the weekend. We brought some of our teens from our village with us for the event. We loved seeing our youth engage with the message of being on mission and even more seeing them all step out of their comfort zone and sign up for a breakout session on street evangelism. They first learned about how to share the gospel and then had to go out into a Romanian city called Sinteu and share the good news. They did all of this in Romanian, not their native language of Hungarian. We heard some powerful testimonies from them afterward and were so proud of them for stepping out in faith in this way.
The fall has been gracious to the camp construction crew as the weather has remained fairly warm and sunny. Work on the main lodge progressed a lot this past month, seeing the brick walls of the second level complete. Next up is the roof. The prayer is that we would be able to get it on before the snow, but the company that installs the steel beams is quite busy. We’re not sure they’ll be able to come in time. Please pray with us that something would open up for them. Other projects that have been on the go include caring for our new sports field by installing a sprinkler system and reseeding. The team also began digging ground for the boiler room that will heat the massive main lodge. Thankfully we had a generous donor give toward the project of upgrading the electrical infrastructure, so we’ve been able to install a new transformer, which will allow us to power the main lodge.
This new season is deeper than just the changing of the weather for us here in Romania. The Camp Falcon Rock team is sad to have to say goodbye to the Wagners as they look at transitioning back to Canada December 2021. Vern and Gloria are not only co-workers and friends, but have become family to all of us. Yet, having the opportunity to discern both the call to Romania and their transition back to Canada, we are confident that they are following the Lord’s leading. The Wagners were called to Romania for a “time such as this,” and the kingdom impact that they had will not be fully understood on this side of heaven. In all of this we want to thank the Wagners for leaving everything behind to follow God’s call, we want to thank the Lord for how he worked so powerfully through the Wagners, and we want to thank all of those who faithfully partnered with the Wagners. Together, hearts and lives have been changed, and the ministry will carry on for generations to come!
We love you all and are grateful for each of you!
Paul & Tanya Gericke
7336 149A Street Surrey, BC, Canada, V3S 3H3