Friday, August 10, 2007

Fellowship, Blessing, and Preparation

Blessings to each of you -- family, friends, and others! We pray that this blog entry finds each of you in good health and enjoying this summer.
It had been quite hot here for awhile, although now it has cooled down noticeably which is very nice (but it's still pretty warm). We've also recently had some rain, which is good for the crops, since very hot and dry conditions had been predicted for this summer.
As many of you know, we have been without a driver's license since the beginning of May. Through the wonderful observatory skills of the local police, we came to realize my license had expired last year on my birthday and we didn't even catch it. Needless to say, we can't believe we didn't notice until May, and I (Andrew) feel like somewhat of an idiot. However, immediately after we discovered the license had expired, we sent renewal papers to Oregon DMV, and hopefully we should be receiving the renewed license in the mail anytime before September (although why the Oregon DMV sent it third class, we'll never understand -- it can take three months or longer to get here!)
So we have spent these last three and a half months up until now without a driver's license, which has been frustrating mostly from a ministry standpoint, but also from a going-to-the-store-across-town standpoint. Sometimes people look only at the negative side of a situation like this, but we have learned (and are continuing to learn) to look at the positive side of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.
These months without the driver's license have been in fact, a great blessing in disguise; there are so many more positive things that have come of this situation than negative things, too many to list here.For example, if we had had the driver's license these past months, we would have been constantly going in ministry to the area we believe we are called to move to (which of course, would be a good thing); but we would not have had the opportunities we have had of going to and serving in a church here in the city on a regular basis.
We have had the opportunity to attend Smirna (Smyrna) church here in Turnu-Severin, and get know the people from this church. They are wonderful people, brothers and sisters in the Lord; and through many times of worship and fellowship together, they have become great and sincere friends for our family. We have made many close friends, and we know that they are willing to help us in our ministry later when we live in the village.
There have been other opportunities to serve as well. In one instance, A friend and his wife came and drove us to Caransebes for a weekend of ministry in the village of Zlagna, and we were also able to have a nice time of encouragement and fellowship with their family. In another instance, Geta's father came to drive us to the country village of Rachitova, where Geta's grandparents live. We stayed there for two weeks, and the kids especially had a great time. On the weekends, we went to the village of Hobita where we had opportunity to take part in the services there morning and evening (see picture above). We also had the opportunity to go to the village of Clopotiva, where we were for one service.
We are one hundred percent convinced that God had a reason for the timing of these circumstances, as He has reasons for everything. More than being as simple as 'I forgot to renew my license on time', it is very evident that God ordained and has used this time to accomplish many great things. God knows what we need before we ask Him; God knows that each one of us needs friends and fellow believers for fellowship, encouragement, and help in the work He has called us to do. This has been a remarkeable time of fellowship, blessing, and preparation for our family.
Almost everyday, we are finding new opportunities for ministry; almost everyday, we see new reasons why God has allowed this time for us. Even without a driver's license, there are still so many opportunities for us to serve and minister: to serve Him whom we are called to serve, and to minister to those whom He has called us to minister to. God is everywhere...just look around!
God be with each of you, and we pray that we may see you again -- perhaps soon!
In Christ,
Andrew, Geta, and Family
p.s. The picture above was taken in the village of Hobita on July 15th. I (Andrew) am on the far left, Geta and the kids are toward the center. The others in the picture are the believers from the church -- nearly all of them. Pray for the church and the village of Hobita!