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It is hard to believe, but eight months is quickly coming to an end. We returned to North America back in October, where we took some time to be with our families and catch our breath before a very busy church visitation schedule. From the 1st of January until the 15th of May, we had the opportunity to visit at least one (sometimes two) churches each and every Sunday. We put in over 12,000 kilometres as we drove through both the States and Canada. As busy as our schedule was, it was incredibly encouraging and life-giving to meet, update, and share with many of our partnering churches. Sadly, it was not possible to see all of our supporting churches – however, our hope would be to touch base with those we missed in the near future!
In the midst of these travels many new individuals have signed up to receive our updates, so if that is you, we want to thank you for partnering with us on this journey. We thank you for your prayer, encouragement, and support going forward.
In addition to visiting our supporting churches, we had the privilege of speaking at a number of children’s programs, youth events, and even a Christian school – where we had the opportunity to highlight the ministry in Romania and at the same time encourage the next generation to consider how God may be calling them into future missions work. Of the countless youth events and children’s programs, two events stick out. Back in October, Tanya had the privilege of speaking to close to 150 youth in Edmonton at the northern Alberta missions conference, inviting them to think about how God may be calling them into ministry – in the same way God called Samuel. Later in the spring, Paul had the chance to speak to around the same number of youth in Winnipeg, Manitoba, about what it means to truly follow Christ and how God is faithful when we step out in faith.
Although we have truly enjoyed our time in North America, it certainly has been difficult for us to be away from Romania for so long. Despite our extended time away, we are so encouraged to hear how the team in Romania has carried on. Village ministry has continued as the Smith family took over youth and young adults this year. The team hosted two mission teams from Canada, who served both in the villages and on a number of construction projects at the camp. The Bergman’s have been busy discipling, running programs, and working on construction projects. The camp also carries on as it continues to host conferences, retreats, camps, and pastors conference. This past weekend, there were close to 140 young people at the camp for a worship/teaching conference.
As our eight months wraps up this month, we will begin to make our way back to Romania. As wonderful as it has been being back in North America, seeing friends and family and visiting our churches, we are looking forward to returning to Romania. It will be a quick turnaround as we look forward to summer camps. Please be in prayer for the team, who are already making preparations for summer camp, and for all the children and youth who are eagerly waiting for camp.
I want to end with this – being back in North America this past season reminded us of the large community of support that surrounds the ministry in Romania. The reach of the camp, village ministry, and the transformed lives speaks to the larger story of all those involved around the world. Thank you for being a part of that story!