Click here to view this newsletter as a PDF.
“Opening up,” the words we’ve been waiting to hear for a long time around the world, are finally being used more authoritatively in Romania. Recently, the health minister said that Romania was on track with its vaccination program, allowing the country to begin to reopen more fully come July 2021. Though we know the process will take time, we are encouraged to see the Romanian government working toward removing more and more restrictions. The main reason we are excited about this development is that it greatly impacts summer camps at Camp Falcon Rock. As of now, we are planning to run our own programs in July and then have churches come to run their own programs at the camp in August! We have been encouraged to hear from many churches who want to send their kids and youth to Camp Falcon Rock this summer! With this, the team has been eagerly planning this year’s theme and activities. We can’t wait to see young people on the property of the camp again soon!
Throughout April, we were able to continue with our weekly youth program in our village of Szentkiraly. Over the last season, youth group has been pretty restricted to only meeting at our house, but this last month we were able to get out twice with the youth and explore the world again! One night we took advantage of the local restaurants opening up and tried out a new one in the city of Zalau that serves burgers – a rare find in Romania, but a delicious experience! The second outing we had with the youth was heading up to Camp Falcon Rock to hang out with a youth group from Targu Mures. We got to know this youth group through our work with Youth For Christ Romania. Two staff a part of the YFC team have been developing a Hungarian mission in Targu Mures to reach the youth there. In 2019, the staff asked us to come help them run a youth event in order to help gain interest in their programs. We drove our youth to Targu Mures (three hours away) and led a fun night of games, worship, testimonies, and a message. We had been waiting for a long time to reconnect with this group, so the teens were excited to hear that they were making the drive to Camp Falcon Rock to hang out with us. We had a great afternoon hanging out at the camp with them – but made sure to get back to the village before the government’s 8:00 p.m. curfew!
Last week, we had the privilege of being part of one of the Hungarian Baptist Seminary graduate’s ordination/inauguration services for his new pastoral role. We got to know Tamas over the past five years of our English camp partnership with the seminary and through having him volunteer with our summer camps. Paul was asked to take part in the morning service by being one of the pastors to ask Tamas a doctrinal question that he had to answer in front of his new church. As well, Paul got to preach an encouraging word during the afternoon service. After two three-hour services and a celebratory lunch, we were excited to see this young pastor be prayed over and anointed for his calling in his new church. It was such a blessing to see this young man grow and develop and now begin his new role. Four of the other seminary students we have come to know through our English program were also at the celebration. Paul and I cherished the image of seeing all of them now newly graduated and newly married, sitting in the congregation with their wives. It was so encouraging getting to chat with them and hear all that God is doing through them and their new pastoral roles in the Hungarian Baptist Conference. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the HBC seminary and to be part of the students’ lives.
In other news, the Bergmans are set to arrive in Romania in just a couple of weeks! We have been blown away by the generosity shown to the Bergmans in the midst of the pandemic as they were able to reach their support goal and make their way over to us before summer camps, just as we had hoped. Right now, they are in Colorado at a missionary training centre receiving some good teaching to prepare them for the life-changing move they are embarking on. Would you be praying for them as they soak in all of the wisdom provided by this incredible program? Would you also join us in prayer for the shipping container currently making its way from Canada to Romania that is full of their stuff? Our hope is that it will arrive the third week of May if all goes according to the plans.
Construction continues to be fruitful at the camp! We are set to finish the root cellar renovation in the next week. Have I mentioned how much I love this little home away from home? The timing of this project has been perfect as it will be done right when the Bergman family arrives, allowing them to quarantine there. This also means it will be ready for summer camps, providing an additional cabin to allow more campers to come! On top of this fun little project, Tamas and Tunde’s house is under renovation as they are currently building an extension off their kitchen to make more space for a living room area. The construction crew is also working on converting a shipping container into a laundry facility (Gloria is beyond excited about this!), which should be done in time for summer camps. And work has begun again on the main lodge, preparing the basement level for the second floor. This property continues to transform in exciting ways, which is making more space for campers to experience the transforming work of Christ this summer!
We love you all and are grateful for each of you!
Paul & Tanya Gericke