Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Love That Knows No Limits

 To all our friends, family members, and fellow servants of Christ, Greetings in the name of the Lord! We hope that this entry finds you feeling well, and loving Jesus more with each passing day.
 We miss each of you and think of you often; we pray for you, and we are encouraged because we know that you are praying for us. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you again so much for all your praying; your prayers are greatly needed, and appreciated. Thank you for coming into the presence of God on our behalf; what a remarkable and exquisite privilege! Remember, "prayer moves the hand that moves the world" (E.M. Bounds). How awesome to serve the One to Whom this quote refers!
 This picture of our family is the latest one that we have, taken on January 23rd 2007. We had to go into Serbia for a couple of hours and then come back into Romania to get our passports stamped, and while we were there we spent some time at some old Roman ruins. It was interesting and fun to see the ruins, and the kids got to run around too. We also had a surprise encounter with the Serbian border police! (don't worry, they were very nice).
 On January 28th, Geta and I celebrated six years of marriage together; time sure passes quickly; we know it will only seem to pass more quickly as time goes on.
 Speaking of time passing quickly, our children are growing faster every day. Joseph, our oldest, is now 4 years old; our daughter Ammishaddai will turn 2 on February 10th; and our youngest, Elijah, will turn 1 on February 26th.
 Thank you again for praying, and being such a blessing to us; now let us leave you with what we hope will be a great encouragement for you. A song that has meant a lot to us and has spoken to our hearts in a special way (and which we sang at the mountain churches we were recently in) is the song "Redeeming Love"; we'd like to put the words from the chorus here for you: "Redeeming love, a love that knows no limit; Redeeming love, a love that never dies; My soul shall sing throughout the endless ages, the adoration of this great love on high".
 May God bless you today, and everyday.
 In Christ, Andrew & Geta & Kids


In February

 On February 3-4, Geta and I and the kids were able to go together to the mountain villages of Obarsia Closani and Marasesti for ministry. We stayed at the house in Obarsia Closani that is owned by the church. They are able to build a fire in one room only -- that is pretty normal here in the villages during the winter -- but it was a pretty good sized room, and we didn't spend too much time there anyway.
 Normally they have a service at the church in each village Saturday night, and then one at each church Sunday morning and evening. We went with the pastor from Orsova, and because he had some business to attend to, we did not arrive in the villages in time for the church services Saturday night. Sunday morning, I drove the pastor to Marasesti, and our family stayed at the church in Obarsia Closani where we participated in the service with singing, encouragement and the message from the Bible.
 In the evening we first had a service in Obarsia Closani again, where we sang and encouraged the people, and then we went to a service in Marasesti, where we also sang, and encouraged the people, as well as had the main message.
 Our family was able to experience again over the weekend the warmth, hospitality, and generosity of the believers in those villages. The friendship they showed us was sincere; in a way, our family was part of them already. Even our kids had a good time, having a chance to play a little after the final service in Marasesti with some of the children from the church.
 We are looking forward to this next weekend, February 10-11, when we will be again going to these villages for ministry. Please pray for me (Andrew) as I prepare to speak in three services this weekend; please pray for Geta as she translates each time for me (and keeps an eye on the kids!) -- she is doing an incredible job translating, and she is such a blessing; Please pray for the kids, that they will have calm and quiet spirits during each service -- it can seem such a long time for them sometimes to sit through these services, but they are doing very well. Finally, Please pray that God will use us in special ways to touch the hearts of people for His glory!
 Also, coming up on February 18th, we will be in the village of Hobita, where one of our relatives has invited us to come and be involved in a service and speak. We are excited about that as well! Please pray for us that weekend as well, that we would be an encouragement to the believers in the village of Hobita, and a testimony for Jesus Christ.
 Then on February 25th, we are looking forward to being in Bailesti again for a day of ministry, as well as possibly another village in the area, one named Giubega. Please pray that we would also be an encouragement to the believers in Bailesti and Giubega.
 We included a picture here from February 4; it shows Joseph and Ammishaddai in Obarsia Closani -- yes, there is a little snow!


3 Days, 8 Services

 On January 19, 20, and 21 (a Friday, Saturday and Sunday) I (Andrew) went with a pastor from the city of Orsova, and a couple other guys to two mountain villages about one hundred kilometers away for a weekend of evangelization. Evangelization is a time in a village or villages when the people of the church invite their friends, family, neighbors -- anyone unsaved -- to come to the church. There are usually guest speakers during the evengelization, and usually the church is pretty full. This can be a great opportunity to present the Gospel to those who have never heard it before, and for peoaple to come to know Christ. In fact, my wife Georgeta was saved during a week of evangelization in the village of Rusca Montana where she grew up.
 The villages that I went to with the pastor and the other guys were named Obarsia Closani, and Marasesti; they lie in a beautiful, rather isolated setting, with high mountains rising on each side to overshadow them, and a rough road winding it's way through those mountains to each village. In one of the villages, Obarsia Closani, is a house owned by the church where we stayed at night over the weekend.
 There were two services Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night, as well as two services Sunday morning, that we participated in. At each service, we sang songs, encouraged the people, and spoke from the Word of God. I was privileged to have the main message during three of the services, and short encouragements in several of the others. It was a blessing for me to see how receptive the people were to us, and how eager they were to hear a message from God's Word.
 The people were also very generous and kind, which was a blessing as well. Each night, a family from the church in Obarsia Closani would prepare us a meal; Sunday after the morning services we were also invited to a family in Marasesti for lunch. It was amazing how God took care of us while we were there, and provided everything we needed (we had not taken any food with us!)
 Sunday night after the final service, we all drove home to our families. I was fairly tired after all the services over the weekend, but I was also felt very blessed because I had gotten to be a part of such a wonderful experience over the weekend. Please pray that God will continue to work in and bless the villages of Obarsia Closani and Marasesti.

 Picture: this is a picture of me in the church of Marasesti with some of the children (from L-R: Emil, Gabi, Andrei, Me, Ionuti). We had some fun before one of the services, talking and playing games. They were very friendly, and reminded me of some of the children from our home church of Bridgeport Chapel.