It feels like we have been away from home for a while now. This past week we were in Romania, and after we went straight to Košice to get some things done for my permanent residence in Slovakia. In all these things though, God has blessed us, and given us strength. We are so thankful to Him for that.
We had been really excited about going to Romania for a while, but it always seemed far away, and then all of a sudden we were on the way. We had to drive for about 7 hours to get to Romania, which included a trip through the border crossing between Romania and Hungary. Fortunately we did not have any problems.
The conference we went to was for Precept Ministries, which is an organization based in the US. In Romania they have a conference center, which is where we stayed. It is so beautiful there. The center is in the mountains of Romania, in a tiny village. It was nice to be able to leave everything behind for a while.
During this conference we were studying the book of 2 Corinthians. Each day we would have several sessions where we would study the scripture in depth. We also had a minister from the Unites States who lead a few sessions each day.
It is hard to describe how amazing these sessions were. To be able to study the Word of God with other missionaries and pastors from different places was very powerful. It is amazing how God can bring people together.
We would begin each session with singing, which was done a capella. From this I figured out that to be a pastor in Romania, being able to sing must be a requirement. These people could sing! One person would start, and the rest would join in. After that we would pray. We would pray out loud, whenever we felt led to pray, and as we prayed the Romanians would shout out “Amen“. The spirit in this group of people was so refreshing and encouraging.
The topic of the week was “A Walk that Only Christ can Produce“. We talked about how as Christians, that we should only boast in Christ, and rely upon Him. Everything we do should be for His glory. It is something that is a simple concept, but is often forgotten. Wayne Barber, the minister, used an oven mitten (who was a fish named Bubba) to explain this concept. He explained that without a hand in the mitten it was unable to do anything. But, when there is a hand in it, it is able to move around and pick up things. It is the same way with us and the Holy Spirit. We are helpless without Him.
While we were at the conference we took a walk one day, to get some fresh air and to see a lake that was near the place we were staying. On the way down to the lake we met an older man from the conference, who only spoke Romanian. As most older people do, he began to talk to us, unfortunately we had no idea what he was saying. This did not discourage him, and he kept on talking. We knew that what he was saying was surely some sort of wisdom or advice, since he was pointing at Lenka and me. So, we walked for a while listening to him. Later we found a translator, and now we know he was trying to ask us if we were together and wanted to wish God’s blessings on our marriage and ministry.
Time flew by, and before we knew it the conference was over. Since we were going straight to Košice by train, we had to leave before lunch on the last day. We had arranged for one missionary from the US to drive us to the train station, and for another sister from Romania to translate for us at the train station.
Right before we had to leave, the sister who was going to translate for us told us she could not come because her plans had changed in the past hour, but her cousin would meet us at the train station, and he would translate. So, we hopped in the car and drove to the station in the closest town, which was 30 minutes away. When we arrived we met with the cousin, and he went to the ticket window to get everything straight. The lady told us that our train would be late, and that we would not be able to catch the next train, which was bad, since we would be stuck in Romania. Right then the man who we had just met offered to drive us an hour away to catch the next train. We asked him to make sure that it was ok and he replied, “I will go wherever God sends me“. So, we drove an hour away and caught our train!
It is amazing to see how God worked in this situation, that the whole time He had a plan for us, but we did not realize it. Even through the small changes, such as the sister having a change of plans at the last moment. God is always watching out for us!
While we were in Košice we had to go to the foreign police to get my fingerprints done, and a picture taken for my permanent residence card. They told us that it should be ready within the next month, and maybe even sooner. When I get that, I can be officially employed with the Baptist Union, as well as get Slovak health insurance.
We have a lot of things that are coming up. Next week we have a group from America that is coming over to lead sports missions and teach English in school. In two weeks we will be going to Budapest for the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope. We are also continuing to plan for other summer activities. Other than that we will also be having a movie night at DEPO, which will kick off the summer at DEPO. We hope that there will be a lot of kids who come that night, and that they will continue to come during the summer.
Please pray that Lenka and I will have strength and courage in all that we do here. Please also pray that DEPO will continue to be a place of encouragement, and that more kids will start to come during the summer. Also, pray that Lenka and I can find a way to reach the people of Hurbanovo who have not given their lives to Christ.