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It has been a full fall for us, with many big and exciting things that have taken place. The first thing to announce, which many of you may already know, is that we began our home assignment in October. Every four years, the NAB has their missionaries take a year of rest to connect with family, friends, and supporters in North America. With that, we transitioned back to Edmonton at the beginning of October and will be in North America until the end of May 2023. It was a whirlwind of a time preparing for our home assignment! We spent a lot of August preparing the ministry and our team for us being away for a year. One big aspect in this was preparing for an interim field director to come to Romania to fill our roles for the year. Ian and Karen Smith, along with their two children, arrived in Romania at the beginning of September in order to continue our work in the village and with the camp for the next year. It was remarkable and only by the work of God that allowed this connection and provision to happen. Ian and his son, Nathan, came on a mission trip to Romania last spring, and it was during that time that God started a stirring in their heart for what else they might be called to in Romania. After some time of prayer and discernment with the Smith family, the NAB, and our local team, we all felt God leading in the direction of an interim field director role. Within just a few months, the Smiths were able to prepare and fundraise all that they needed to serve in Romania for the next year. We had three weeks of crossover with them where we were able to give them a crash course in ministry and life in Romania. During that time, we saw how perfectly the Smith family suits this unique role and the life in Romania. Our friends and neighbours in our village were so excited to have the Smiths move into our house, and we’re pretty sure they’re already loved more than us! We are grateful for the Smith’s years of ministry experience and their hearts for Romania, as it has made our transition to home assignment fairly smooth and allowed us to step into a season of rest and connecting with those here in Canada. Over the next month, we will be working through our home assignment schedule and determining when we will be traveling and to where. We’re really looking forward to the opportunity to see many of you over the next few months, as well as getting to travel throughout Canada and the States to connect with all of you who have been so faithfully supporting us and the ministry of Camp Falcon Rock!
Ministry will continue on while we are away from Romania! Tamas and Tunde, along with the local camp crew, are continuing construction on the main lodge. We’ve got windows and doors on, which means they will be able to do interior projects throughout the winter months. We are excited that parts of this building will be ready for next summer’s programs. It’s also exciting that the camp is increasing its bookings throughout the school year. The camp will host conferences, retreats and training weekends over the fall–winter–spring months. The Bergman family continues their work in supporting the camp development. On top of this, a major project the Romania field has taken this year is developing missionary housing just five minutes from the camp. The Bergmans will continue to renovate the house on this land and prepare it to move into in the next few months. With that, they will also begin to do regular ministry in the villages surrounding the camp through beginning kids and youth programs. The Smiths, having moved into our house, will continue the usual village ministries leading junior youth, young adults Bible study, and preaching/worship in church services. The whole team will also continue to help organize and host mission teams throughout the fall and spring. We’re looking forward to hearing all of the stories of impactful ministry that will happen over the next few months!
A couple highlights from the last couple of months. One is from our good-bye moment with the young adults from our village. We knew this was going to be an emotional moment for us as the nine young adults from our village that we have been discipling over the past eight years have become such a rich community we are blessed to be part of. We planned a special day, as we wanted the opportunity to connect with them before we left. We also wanted a time to celebrate and send them off into the many exciting things they are doing this year. It’s incredible that four of the guys are going off to Bible school this year, two of the girls are going to university, and two others have jobs with Camp Falcon Rock and the NAB Romania ministry. As we spent the day together BBQing and hanging out, we were able to celebrate all the good work God has done in their lives and pray into all that God is going to do in all of our lives over this next year. It was such a rich time of connection and celebration!
A second highlight from the past couple of months was the opportunity for us to see family that we haven’t been able to see since before Covid-19. Tanya was able to fly back to Vancouver for Canadian Thanksgiving and spend the weekend with her family – including meeting her new niece! And Paul was able to have a weekend with his family, as his siblings, along with their kids, all flew in from BC to Edmonton for a fun family weekend. It’s been a great blessing to get to spend time with family after such a long time away! After the busyness and uniqueness of the past three years since the pandemic, it has been so good for us to be able to rest and visit with family. We are looking forward to slowing down and getting into a rhythm while we are back in North America. We plan to be in Edmonton until December and then we will spend two months in Vancouver and then we will begin our traveling across Canada and the States. We’re looking forward to all that this home assignment season has in store for us.
Thank you to all of you for your continued love, care, and support of us and the ministry. We have so enjoyed getting to reconnect with many of you already and look forward to seeing the rest of you over this next year while we are in North America.