Voices from the Field Ian Smith Get to know Ian

Halfway Already!

Published on February 14, 2023

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The kids’ identity cards were finally approved.

November began with an unexpected visit to Bucharest to visit the Canadian Embassy. Karen and I received our Romanian identity cards with relative ease, but it was far more difficult for Nathan and Kendra. God was answering prayer requests that we didn’t even know we had. Thankfully, after jumping through a number of hoops to satisfy the Romanian government, we sat in an immigration office when out of the blue, because we were non-EU citizens, the officer asked us to ‘prove’ that we could financially care for our children over the upcoming year. He wanted to see a sizeable amount of money in our bank account to validate that support. Normally, we would not have that kind of money sitting in the bank, but just a few days earlier, the sale of our house in Mayerthorpe had cleared and we had yet to move that money elsewhere. We were able to offer the needed ‘proof,’ and about two weeks later the children were finally approved to stay. We have been so thankful to see God frequently answer prayer on the mission field and are excited to see how He will continue.

Christmas drama

December was a very busy ministry season. The Bergmans, the Modis, Miriam, and all of us reflected with Elsie Lewandowski just before she returned home to Canada. At a staff meal, Elsie shared stories of God’s faithfulness through the years, and we were blessed by her testimony. Our team doesn’t feel the same without Elsie, and we are very thankful for her season of ministry here in Romania. We also spent a lot of time involved with junior high, young adult, and preaching ministry in December. Arguably a highlight was the drama conducted by the junior high ministry that shared the story of the birth of Christ through the lens of a contemporary newscast. They shared the Gospel this way in two of the churches in our village. It was exciting to see the teens serve through this creative medium.

Winter Camp 2023 at Camp Falcon Rock (was a highlight to starting the new year)

Ian has been preaching a lot in a few churches in our district. He loves to preach but could not do so in this context without our translator, Miriam. They have become a good team, and people have been appreciative of the ministry. Karen has frequently been serving through special music, hosting families at our dinner table, and serving with Winter Camp as she is able. Together we are enjoying serving the NAB missionaries here and seeking to building connections with HBC pastoral families. Both Nathan and Kendra have been good leaders in the youth ministry programs, and we are thankful to see friendships developing for them. Of course, school is still the busiest component of their week, and it continues to go very well.

Jordan River in northern Israel

We did take the opportunity to be away as a family for ten days in January. We travelled to Israel, Jordan, and a bit of Western Europe. We are excited, as Karen’s mom is visiting us for the next month and a half, and we have already been involving her in sharing at junior high ministry.

Teams from Canada will soon be arriving, as will one from the US this summer. We are so excited to share this ministry, this people, and this nation with those God is calling on to partner with us.

Thanks so much for your prayerful support, and thank you for your interest in what God continues to do in Romania.

The Smiths (Ian, Karen, Nathan, and Kendra)