Click here to view this newsletter as a PDF.
It is truly beautiful these days in the village! The sun is out most every day and everyone is in the fields turning, burning and planting seeds. Even my 9-year-old niece Kayte who visited this past month joined in the village life and helped our 11-year-old neighbour as she planted onions in her parents’ field! I still am deciding whether I’ll have time to plant and care for my garden this year. I always say my plants have to be pretty strong to survive in my garden as I generally have to neglect them when summer programs start. With the full summer we have planned, I may let my garden rest this year!
We’ve entered into mission team season already. We’ve started a lot earlier this year as generally we don’t see teams arrive until late Spring, but this year our first team came in February!! It’s encouraging for us to have so many churches and individuals interested in serving alongside the ministry. We’re blown away by how many people are willing to sacrifice their time and money to come support the development of Camp Falcon Rock.
In February we had a leadership team come from Bismarck Baptist Church (Bismarck, North Dakota). The team was a part of a vision trip, which meant they came to get a better sense of the ministry in Romania and how they could join in what God is doing here. We had such a fruitful time with them. We had many conversations with our camp team about our construction needs as well as we spent the weekend with a Hungarian Baptist pastor to get to know him, his villages and the ministries he is leading to see how Bismarck might support him. We call these partnerships, sister-church partnerships. These partnerships are extremely valuable as it helps extend the reach of the camp by providing support to the pastors who shepherd multiple churches and work at maximum capacity in their efforts to reach the next generation with the Gospel. This is of course the heart of the camp and so we are excited to see more and more sister-church partnerships established. We are also looking forward to having Bismarck Baptist back in August to help us in the construction of our main lodge—yup our MAIN LODGE!! (More on this later)
After Bismarck Baptist, we had a brief break before we welcomed Central Baptist Church (Edmonton, AB). Central brought a team of 19 skilled workers to help us in construction of the 2 duplex cabins. These buildings will allow us to increase the number of kids we can host up at the camp this summer. Construction teams are an incredible blessing to us as the amount of man-hours they pour out in just 10 days expedites our building in an unmatchable way. We saw this with the Central team and they have set us up well for completing these projects before summer camps begin. There were a number of powerful ways God was at work during Central’s time. One of the most powerful things we saw was not just how much work they accomplished on the cabins but the deep relationships they formed with our camp team, our teens and the people in the village. The timing of their trip was truly a blessing as they brought a lot of encouragement to us as we’ve just come out of difficult winter season when our team was struck with all sorts of sickness.
Construction at the camp is rolling right now. Any given day we have 10-20 local people working on projects. Right now, we also have Whitecourt Baptist Church (Whitecourt, AB) helping us with construction. What’s been really neat to see is how the camp development has provided many jobs for local businesses as well as for individuals. This includes providing an option for our teens after graduation. Most young men after graduating move to Western Europe to find work in construction or transportation because there are not many options for them here in Romania. But the camp has been able to provide jobs to the two young guys from our village who graduated last year. Both Obed and Beni are now working at the camp full time. They are an incredible help to the construction taking place and it’s neat to see how Tamas and Vern are mentoring the boys not only in trade skills but also in their spiritual lives.
We have a busy next couple of months. We are eagerly looking forward to the summer when we will begin the construction of the MAIN LODGE! This will be the largest building on property, which means it will require a significant amount of work to see it completed. Our goal is to dig the foundation and get the walls and roof up before winter so that we can continue with interior work in the winter. We are looking forward to having Bismarck Baptist join us in this project in August. But before we get to the main lodge construction, we have to finish our current on-going projects. The camp team along with Whitecourt Baptist is working hard to finish the water and sewage system as well as our duplex cabins. If we can complete these projects then we will be able to see 40 more kids come up to camp each week this summer! We are planning to run a full month of camp in July and have a different group of kids each week. August is already fully booked with church rentals, which means we will have programs running throughout the entire summer. We are looking forward with anticipation to how God will reach many young people with the Gospel this summer!
Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers!
Paul and Tanya