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Greetings friends and family,
We can’t believe it is already February. The holidays flew by, and here we are into the second month of 2024. Winter camp took place the first week of January, and it was great to connect with the young adults we don’t always regularly see, and those we do.
Some thoughts and news to share with you:
We were recently at a local family friends’ house over the holidays, and we wanted to share with you what we experience when we gather with them and what we love about our Christian friends here in Romania. We love how they weave God into our conversations, how they anticipate and frequently speak about the Lord’s return with an eagerness and joy, how they make it their ambition to lead a quiet life, minding their own business and working with their hands (1 Thessalonians 4:11), . . . and through this way of living they actually live very loud lives and herald the message that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). Their faithfulness and perseverance in everyday life have an impact that reverberates against the human ambition that so often wants to make a name and glory for oneself. It is refreshing. We often admire their hard work ethic and the way that they make the best of what they have and also generously share with others. I know Romania, just like any other country, has their deeply rooted issues and there is much need to shine His light and love in this place, but there is also so much beauty and community and the very fingerprints of God’s love and goodness that we have seen here.
Romania has been a place and a people God has allowed our hearts to deeply love and appreciate. We have truly felt blessed to be a part of this community and learn from them as we sought to “move into the neighborhood” and “dwell among them.” It is the example that our humble Savior has shown us and walked before us. One of our greatest needs as humans is to be seen and loved, and we hope and pray that is what was felt by our neighbors, friends, and strangers. Though we did this imperfectly, we pray that people were able to see glimpses and tangibly feel the love of our gracious God.
C. S. Lewis writes, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe and in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
And so it is with vulnerable hearts that we share that we will be leaving Romania this March. We will be returning to Canada for now as we seek what this next season holds for our family. We are so incredibly grateful for all of your love and support along the way in this journey. We are so thankful for the opportunities to share the Gospel with people the Lord put in front of us or beside us, for the camp programs we could participate in, the mission teams that partnered with us, those of you who faithfully prayed and encouraged us. Our lives have been deeply impacted, and we have seen God a little more clearly, learned a lot, and, we pray, loved people well.
We ask that you would pray for our family in this upcoming transition as we process, grieve, and celebrate all that God has done and will do.
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).
Here are some of our people.
With love and grateful hearts,