Hello loved ones! After a long drive, we have made it safely to Bucharest. We arrived at our hotel around 7pm, dropped off our bags, and then went to a mall for a little souvenir shopping. We had a lovely dinner there and then came back to our hotel to settle down for bed. Our flight leaves Bucharest around 8:30am (Bucharest time), so we have an early morning ahead of us. It is hard to believe that our trip has come to an end. It has been such an amazing trip! Reports are coming in that our team's visit to the churches have been like fresh air breathed in to them! We may have been the instruments, but this was only made possible because of God. And of course, we could not have done this without your prayers! So thank you so much for your prayers and support. I cannot express enough how necessary they were!
We love you all very much, and we look forward to seeing everybody soon. We will be having a reflection service before too long, so be on the look out for that announcement at church. We will be posting this on the blog as well. Finally, at some point we will be compiling all of our photos and video clips to make a nice presentation, so we will keep you updated on that! Again, thank you so much for all you have done for us. We love you guys!
1. That we would have a safe flight back to Dallas
2. That we would get rested up and readjusted to Dallas time.
Hello loved ones! So, today was our last full day :(. We drove up to the church plant in Gogosu (a village south of Drobeta Turnu Severin) a little before noon. We took to the streets and handed out invitations to church, and then after lunch at the church, we put on our final VBS. We had well over 60 kids in attendance, it was remarkable! Again, we sang songs with them, told them a bible story and how Jesus loved them, made witness bracelets, played the straw game, fed them, and then handed out candy They were truly loved on and told of the great love that Christ has for them. It was a successful afternoon!
Around 5pm, we had a church service there. Roger, Casi, and Jen gave their testimonies, Emily, Casi, and I (Mark) sang a few worship songs, and then I got to preach again. It was a beautiful service as another 6 people came up to give or rededicate their life to Christ!
We then went back to Drobeta Turnu Severin to have dinner with Pastor Aliyn at one of the restuarants, and now we are all back at the hotel settling down for bed. We will be leaving here around 10am and hope to arrive at Bucharest around 7pm. Our flight leaves Friday morning and we willl be arriving back in the states Friday afternoon.
1. Pray that we would have a safe drive to Bucharest.
2. Pray that God would help us proces everything he has shown us this past two weeks.
Hello blog followers! Emily here. I was dubbed "blog writer" for today. Happy to do it, so here it goes. :)
Today started off at Pastor Alin's church, Baserica Dominica. We had some sweet worship in Romanian and English. Alin and his lovely daughter Estera, sang a duet that was absolutely beautiful! Afterwards, Pastor Alin shared his testimony and heart for the church's ministry. This man has an incredible heart for the Lord and it is truly inspiring.
We headed to lunch, then afterwards went to a village (which we are not sure of the name) about an hour away from Turnu Severin. There, we did more of the street evangelism via passing out invitations to come join the church worship services. It was great to meet more brothers and sisters in Christ who are missionaries to these villages. They are such a beacon of light there.
Dinner was a treat tonight! We had the pleasure of eating with Alin and his family at their house. They fed us the very best, chicken and mashed potatoes. For dessert, ice cream and homemade cakes! They also gave us 2 CD's each and a music video of one of Alin's songs. We thanked them multiple times and headed back to the hotel.
We are now back and soon going to sleep. Tomorrow is our last day of mission work before we drive back to Bucharest on Thursday. Thank you for all the continued prayers, we all appreciate it so much. Love!!
Hey loved ones! We're back! Sorry about missing yesterday's post, but the internet was down at our hotel yesterday :(. Now it is fixed! Hooray!
Well, let me try to fill you in a little for each day!
We started Sunday by taking part of the church service here in Drobeta Turnu Severin. Casi, Kathy R., and Jennifer shared their testimonies, Casi and I (Mark) both led a few worship songs, and then I got to preach! God was truly working at the service as 5 people came to receive Christ that morning!!! It was SO awesome! We then went to lunch at our favorite lunch spot near the Danube River, had a little time for a quick nap, and then went to an evening service at a church service plant at a village about 30 minutes away. There, Liz, Kathy L., and Jennifer gave their testimonies, Casi and I led a few worship songs, and then I got to preach again. God was really working at this service as 6 more people came to accept or rededicate their life to Jesus! What a humbling experience! We then came back into town, had dinner at our favorite pizza place, and then called it a night. Oh ya, this was the day that we got to move into AIR CONDITIONED rooms!!! This was the first time during our entire trip that we had AC. It has been unusually hot here, in Romania, so AC is a real treat!
Hey loved ones! Well, we had another great day! I (Mark) spent my morning off of my ankle. I did not get much sleep last night, so I decided to stay at the hotel for the first half of the day. Sabin and our driver/translator Nicalus went to the pharmacie and got me a brace and some anti swelling creams. Around lunch time I was able to walk enough to rejoin the group. It is still pretty swollen, but it looks like it is just a bad sprain. I think I will be just fine!
So the rest of the group went up to the church around 9 to have some worship and then put on a VBS that we had invited people to earlier. There was a good turn out...close to 30 kids! Ryan told them a story from the bible, sang songs, made the witness bracelets, played the straw game, and were fed. It was a wondeful VBS.
We then all met up for lunch at that same restuarant near the Danube. It seems the chef there is well known. He even used to cook for the Romanian President and communist regime leaders. He is truly a wonderful chef! We headed back to the hotel for a little rest and then went back to the church to have the first ever chuch youth gathering! We had some awesome worship and then I got to give a lesson on relationships and sexual purity. It was a wondeful gathering!
Hello guys! Well, today was our first full day at Drobeta Turnu Severin. We got up for breakfast at the hotel around 9 am and then drove over to the Baptist Church to meet the pastor and his staff. This was a very special treat as they had never met an American team before! They are a very young and new church as they only started less than a year ago. They are running around 15 official members, but often have 90 in attendance on Sundays. They were SO EXCITED to meet us!
We began our time together with some worship and prayer. We then took to the streets to hand out invitations about church on Sunday and a VBS that we will put on tomorrow. After an hour and a half of this, we left for a wonderful lunch about a stone throw from the Danube River! After lunch, we were given a little time to rest, and then we gathered back together at the church for some worship. Casi, Roger, and Randi shared their testimonies and did a wonderful job! We then left for a wondeful dinner, Pizza! College students love pizza!
After dinner, we drove back to the hotel, met up with the pastor and his wife, and walked to a beautiful square with a really sweet water fountain. We then came back to the hotel and settled down for the evening. It was a great end to a wonderful day. We feel so blessed to be working with this new chuch. It is such an honor to be the first American team to visit and encourage them. They are such Godly and wondeful people, and they have been so welcoming to us.
Hello everyone! Sorry we did not post yesterday evening, it was an interesting day! Let me explain.
We were just about to head for Drobeta-Turnu Severin in the morning when one of the vans broke down before we even left Sighisoara. A mechanic came out and determined that the van would need at least a day or two to be repaired. This process took several hours, and we finally came up with the solution of taking the other van and Sabin's car. However, we were still not able to leave for another couple of hours as the trailer carrying our luggage was not signaling properly. After this was all fixed, we finally were able to begin the 8 hour drive for Drobeta-Turnu Severin around 5pm.
We finally made it to Drobeta-Turnu Severin around 1am and found our hotel. We were sad to learn along the way that Sam (our 11th team member who was stuck in Africa) was denied a transfer visa by the U.K. So it turns out that Sam will not be able to join us after all. He will be flying home to the States soon, but he is in good spirits.
This past day has been quite tricky, but we are all in good spirits knowing that God is in control. And on a positivie note, the part of the drive yesterday that was in daylight was very beautiful! And we even got to eat dinner at a KFC! This was definitely a fun treat!
1. That we would recover from the long drive and shorter night of sleep.
Hey loved ones! Today, we got to have some down time to recover a bit from the busy days we have put in! We got to sleep in 'till 9, and then we went to the Peles castle. It was a bit of a drive, so we got back around dinner time. We had some good pizza and then returned to play some Legretto (a fun card game). Now, we are packing up and settling down for bed. We leave for Turnu Severin in the morning!
So since today was more of a rest day, we thought we would treat you to a few video clips shot earlier in the week. Also, you will find a few pictures from today at the bottom ;)
1. That we would have a safe drive to Turnu Severin tomorrow.
2. That Sam would get to join us soon.
3. That God would continue to grow our team closer together.
4. That God would begin to prepare us for our work in Turnu Severin.
Thanks for all your prayers thus far!!!!
Day two of our VBS' found us in two more Roma villages. We began our day in Saes with a modest group of 28 children that quickly became over 65 children in no time! This afternoon we traveled to Laslea where the children were waiting and we served about 40.
Today Ryan shared the bible story with the kids and the day proceeded much the same way it did yesterday. Men and women of the church at Saes had tea, coffee and biscuits for us and shared their kitchen table as a place to prepare the sandwiches for the children. You have no idea how nice it was to use a cutting board & real sharp knife as we prepared what seemed to be an endless number of little salami sandwiches.
Today we were joined by Rebecca and Vicky from First Baptist Garland who are here in Sighisoara for 6 weeks this summer. Together with Liz, we made quick work of the sandwich prep and by the time the crafts and games were over we had plates of little salami sandwiches ready for the kids. It is amazing to think that this simple sandwich is the only meal these little ones may have had today!
Today was awesome! We fed well over 150 kids, told them about how much Jesus loves them, made gospel-bead-bracelets with them, played games with them, and even handed out close to 100 of the witnessing dolls that the ladies with the WMU from First Baptist Richardson had made for us! It was truly a fantastic day!!!
So here is how it all went down. After breakfast, we headed to the grocery store to pick up supplies and then drove out Archita, the village that half us went for church yesterday. As we got there, more and more kids kept showing up! After some of the team went to round up more, we had at least 120 kids packed into the church! God had truly drawn his children in Archita there! We handed out little Texas stickers (who doesn't like stickers!?). I then got to tell them about the bible and about how much Jesus loved them (we specifically told them the story of Jesus healing Jairus' daughter and the sick woman who touched his garments). We then went outside and began the gospel-bead-bracelet craft. And yes, we got all 120+ kids to make the bracelets! (We definitely had some help from above!) We then went inside and fed all of the children and then we handed out the witnessing dolls and explained what they stood for. The children LOVED them!!! (Check out all of the pictures below).