Voices from the Field Ian Smith Get to know Ian

A Busy End

Published on August 10, 2023

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Hello everyone. It’s been a busy few months since we sent our last letter. We have worshipped with and served in many different churches in Romania. We have finished up school for Nathan and Kendra. We have seen the return of Paul and Tanya and transitioned our role back to them as the team lead. We have had many meetings and done much planning. We have been to Ukraine to provide aide. We have had training sessions and meals with friends. We have served at three weeks of Bible camp, and Ian has hosted a sister-church partnership team from the USA. We have shared God’s Word through words and His love through action.

It has been a rich time of seeing God work in Romania, especially through the weeks of camp. Each week, youth and children accepted the love and forgiveness that Jesus offers. Each week, people gained freedom from some of the darkness of sin in their life. We would love to sit down with you and tell stories of all that God has done!

We have encountered so many people over this year, and especially these past few weeks of camp. Our hearts are full of their stories and their struggles, and we feel blessed to have met them.

I am very thankful from a nursing perspective that there were no major injuries during the camp weeks. I credit that to God, and I am feeling very thankful.

One unusual camp experience happened this past week. Due to a storm, we found ourselves without electricity for the better part of three days. Our phones and computers died . . . and yet camp continued. A generator kept the toilets working, and the cooks could prepare food on the gas stoves. We worshipped together by candlelight, undistracted and unplugged.

This will be the last letter that we write, as we are leaving to return home to Canada on August 15. From our perspective today as we write this letter, there are two weeks left in our time here in Romania. The time will go quickly, as along with farewells and meetings, we will be packing and sorting and cleaning. It seems like it was just yesterday we were headed to Romania, and now our time here is almost over.

We would like to thank you all for your faithful support of our ministry. We have developed a love for the Hungarian Baptists in Romania and are sad that our time here is over. Each of us has learned so much this year and have grown in our relationship with God. Lifelong friendships have been built, and we have had our eyes opened to how God is working here in Romania. We trust that God will use the seeds that we have planted here to draw people to Himself.

We have accepted a call for Ian to be lead pastor at a church in rural Saskatchewan in Canada. When we return to Canada, we will start the process of packing up our home and moving. We have more goodbyes to say, and so I ask for prayers for all of us as we transition. We are pleased that our previous church in Alberta has just called a pastor, and we look forward to seeing what God will do through them.

Please continue to pray for the work of our NAB team here in Romania, with the Hungarian Baptist churches. There is so much potential for these young people that we have met to be used by God to grow His church. Pray for those who are being drawn away from the church. Pray that the youth will choose to follow God’s call on their hearts and their lives. Pray that they would be positively mentored and encouraged in their faith. Pray for the many young men we have met who are in Bible schools and seminaries. Pray for the young women who have a heart for ministry and to serve.

God is always at work. We trust that He will continue to work in Romania, just as He will work in our lives and your lives as well.

Thank you for all you have done.

Ian & Karen Smith