Voices from the Field Paul & Tanya Gericke Get to know Paul & Tanya

Winter Wonders!

Published on February 12, 2024

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Happy New Year everyone! We pray you all had a wonderful holiday season celebrating the Good News of Jesus with friends and family. For us here in Romania, it was a busy and blessed season.

For Christmas this year, we engaged in a lot of the usual Christmas traditions. Paul and I bought a pig from a local farmer in our village and got to be a part of the traditional pig butchering celebration. Our freezer is now full! Another yearly tradition that continued was our annual Agape dinner with our young adults, where each person brings a dish over for a potluck. We always have way too much food, and it is always delicious! What is unique about this time with our young adults is that many of them return from working abroad to be home for the Christmas season. This meant a number of the young adults who normally Zoom into our Bible study were able to be with us in person. It was a rich time having them join us around the table as we ate together and continued to dig into the Word as a group.

Christmas continues to be a time when we have a lot of opportunities to connect with our communities and young people. Over the Christmas holiday season, we have about three weeks where we are involved in church services at least once a day, and sometimes even up to three or four services. This year on Christmas Eve, we were a part of three services where we brought our junior youth to three different churches (our Baptist church, our neighbouring Reformed church, and our sister Roma church). Miriam, our junior youth leader, organized a Christmas play and songs for the junior youth to share with our church communities. It was powerful to see this young group of people engage with the message of Christmas and be on mission to share that within our community. Even more, it was an impactful way to serve as they helped bring greater unity with a number of different communities. Throughout Christmas and New Year’s church services, we were able to serve through preaching, worship, and sharing along with our young adults. Another special aspect of celebrating Christmas in Romania is being invited over to our nieghbours’ homes for delicious meals!

A new opportunity came up for us this Christmas. We were able to be a part of a ministry event led by a local organization called Mission M. They are a group of passionate young people who are on mission to reach the next generation through creating spaces for worship, teaching, and mission to happen. One of the initiatives they have started is an outreach to some Roma villages in their area. We were able to partner with them through making care packages for kids, youth, and families in one of the Roma villages they are connected in. Miriam worked with the junior youth in our village to collect donated items from those in our community and to assemble gift boxes for the kids and families. It was encouraging to see our junior youth be in engaged with this mission, as well as to see our village community come around this project through donating items. Between Christmas and New Year’s, we took our junior youth and the care packages and went to the Roma village to hand everything out and run a day kids program. We saw God work in and through everyone who was involved!

The final program we ran was our annual young adults winter camp at Camp Falcon Rock. This is a unique opportunity to connect with many of the young people we see come out to our summer camps, as well as connect with a lot of young people who return home for the holidays from university or working abroad. This year we saw over 50 young people out! We were able to get two well-known and loved local speakers to come speak for the camp, and they dug into an important theme of what it means to live in light of the “Kingdom of God.” On top of powerful worship and teaching sessions, we had a lot of fun as we hosted a winter Hawaiian all-nighter, had a traditional s’mores campfire night, and had a lot of rich hangout times!

One aspect of our winter camp this year was having the Bergman family share with everyone about the new season they are stepping into. The Bergmans will be transitioning back to Canada at the beginning of March. The Bergmans served on the Romania field for the past three years helping with construction at the camp, hosting mission teams, and helping lead summer programs. We are grateful for the ways the Bergmans have been able to serve with the NAB mission in Romania and help raise up the next generation of Kingdom leaders through Camp Falcon Rock. At winter camp, we were able to have a couple of young adults bless and pray over the Bergman family to celebrate their time in Romania.

We want to thank all of you who were journeying with us throughout the month of December as we looked to raise $100,000 USD for the main lodge project before the end of the year. We are excited to say that in total $135,000 came in!! This is a huge blessing to the camp as we look at stepping into our spring projects on the main lodge, including electrical, plumbing, and insulation of the building. Thank you to all of you for continuing to support the development of the Camp Falcon Rock centre and its ministry!

Grace and Peace.

Paul & Tanya Gericke