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“You should do it!” Jason said. We had gone to a bigger city, Cluj-Napoca, for the weekend to look for a family vehicle, and in the city center they had set up for a 5K Color Me Run. I wanted to participate, but I was in jeans and dress shoes. Cristian, kindly, let me borrow his runners, and I figured I could run in jeans, so I signed up and threw on my free T-shirt. I found a girl who was going to be my pace person throughout the run and tried to keep up with her. Just before we came to the last corner, I had decided that I needed to walk for a minute, so I started to slow my pace. A voice came from behind me and said, “No, let’s go. You’re not stopping. You can do it. Come on.” It was my pace girl. She must have heard me talking to my kids in English. Soon, we could see the finish line in sight, and we pushed each other to sprint to the finish. She high-fived me, and then she was gone. I had tears in my eyes as I explained the story to Jason and the kids. I feel like this is the picture of what God has been doing. He has continually been placing people in our path, to encourage us, to come along side us, and to make it possible for us to run the race marked out for us. Whether it is Natalia at the library, who loves to see our family come in to check out books and always asks if there is anything she can do to help us, or Camelia our neighbor, who will take her whole morning to come help sort out documents for the school. The delivery guy who knows which Romanian words I know and is so patient to help us have a successful exchange. Jason’s physiotherapist, who tells us all of the ins and outs that we need to know. God gives us rest as we see Him provide what we need, just when we need it. He is humbling us as we receive help in so many ways and as we often feel like we aren’t as productive as we want to be as we seek to learn cultural expectations, language, and just a new way of doing things. We are learning in a very real way not to put our value or worth in what we can do or accomplish, to rest in His love for us and His ability to work in and through us even when we feel weak or unproductive, that it is not in what we are accomplishing but who we are becoming. We are learning that we are human with limits and that’s ok because He is the One who does the heavy lifting, He is the One who makes the impact.
August was a month of organizing and preparing for the fall season. We discerned our plan for schooling our children, continued to get to know our city and our neighbors, and also continued in our language learning. Jason and Dani joined Paul, Tanya, and the Szentkiraly youth on a four-day hiking trip in the beautiful Bucegi Mountains.
In September, we had a Thanksgiving service at the camp in the basement of the main lodge building. This was very exciting as we think about all of the ministry that will happen in this building in the years to come, and this was the very beginning of it. The main lodge still has a long way to go, but much progress has been made. There were about 600 people who came out to the service from the surrounding Hungarian Baptist churches.
We decided to put Dani in local school and homeschool the other three kids, so we worked with the school to get Dani registered and she began September 13. She loves school. Although it can be very overwhelming at times, she has made a great friend group and has been progressing in the language quite nicely. We hired a local to come to our house twice a week to help around the house, speak with me in Hungarian, and read in Hungarian to our children, who are learning at home. She has been a wonderful addition to our life here, and the kids really enjoy spending time with her. I have been homeschooling the kids. Due to medical concerns, Elsie, who was going to be helping with educating our children, has not been able to travel to Romania yet. We are discerning the right time as she undergoes medical treatment. However, she has been such a great support and resource for me over Zoom calls and email. Jason is working full time at the camp now and really enjoying the crew up there.
We led youth group for the Szentkiraly youth for a couple of weeks and had a blast hanging out with them and looking at the Word together.
Some of the girls from my cabin at youth camp invited us to come to their village, attend their church, and then spend the afternoon at their house. It was so lovely. We got to meet their family and get to know them better. Jason shared a testimony at their church service.
It is great to get to reconnect with those we meet in the camp season. We always hope to continue these relationships outside of camp.
A couple from France that mentors Youth for Christ Romania came to visit and spoke at youth group, as well as the church service in Szentkiraly, and Dani translated their testimony from French to English, and then another translator translated from English to Hungarian! They were an awesome team!
We celebrated three of our kids’ birthdays these past couple months and enjoyed making new birthday memories, celebrating with new friends. We also went on a day trip with our Hungarian friends and went hiking to a cave and a waterfall.
We are sad to be saying goodbye to some team members at the end of November. Vern and Gloria Wagner have been faithfully serving in Romania with Camp Falcon Rock for the last five years, and they will be heading back to Canada as they have prayerfully been following the Lord and His plan for their lives. They will be dearly missed by our team, and the many whom they have lived among during their time here in Romania. Thank you V and G for all of the love you have poured out in this place. It is evident you have made an impact in so many lives.
We wanted to thank you all for continuing to pray for us, send us messages, and love us so well. We are thankful for the community God has given us and continues to build around us. We hope you are well and would love to hear if there are specific ways we can be praying for you.
Jason, Erin, Dani, Cristian, Olin, and Keli Bergman