Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Lord Provides...

"So Abraham called the name of that place, 'The Lord will provide'..."       Genesis 22:14a
Dear Friends and Family,
We hope and pray all is well for each of you there in the United States, and that God continues to have his hand of blessing upon you.
We want to take this opportunity to share with you some exciting news, and ways that God continues to work in our lives and provide for us here, as well as confirm the direction that we believe God is leading us in ministry.
As many of you know, one of the ongoing prayer requests for our family has been that God would provide a place for us to live, that we can also use for ministry. God has been doing mighty things toward accomplishing this for us in the last few months. Through circumstances that can only have been the hand of God, we now own a piece of property in Rusca Montana, and if the Lord desires, we will begin building a home / place to minister there next spring. 
We had been searching in Rusca Montana for several months (and even in some nearby villages) for some land to build on, or a house that we could buy and fix up. What we found was that there was little or no land available in Rusca Montana, and what was available was very expensive. Most of the options for houses that we found were also too expensive, and had next to no land by them (most of them had just enough by the house for a small garden).
We had gotten to the point of wondering what we were possibly going to do, when we heard from one of Geta's childhood friends about a piece of property that she had seen on a hill that she thought was beautiful and maybe what we were looking for (though she didn't know if it was for sale or not). We went to look for this piece of property, and thinking we had found it, were amazed - it was exactly what we had hoped and prayed for. We asked the owner if it was for sale, and after a day or two, found out that it was. Here is the stunning part that can only be God's hand: the property we went to see was not in fact the piece of property Geta's friend had told us about; we made a mistake on the location and ended up going to see another piece of property instead. The owner of the piece of property that we had mistakenly gone to see said that, "...yes my property is for sale, but how did you know, since I did not tell anybody?" Only God could have arranged all of these circumstances to work out when and how they did. On top of all this, the price was very low, and the owner even agreed to lower it slightly more to help with the cost of doing all the legal paperwork.
God alone is responsible for these series of events, which we believe are miracles. The way he organized each step in these circumstances, and they way he used his people here and back home - friends, family and Bridgeport Chapel, your generosity beyond measure - shows his handiwork, has his fingerprints all over it. This is a direct answer to our prayers and yours, as well as a confirmation to us that he does want us here in this village to do his work. Praise the Lord!  Through some other circumstances that can also only be attributed to God, we were able to get another smaller piece of property right in front of our property (as you go up the hill) which will allow us a much easier road access to the property. Again, for this second piece of property, God worked everything out, including the price being very low.
The property is in a beautiful spot, up on a hill in the village of Rusca Montana. It is roughly 1.25 acres (for the first piece), plus roughly .35 acre for a total of about 1.7 acres. When we are able to build there (again, hopefully starting in the spring), it will be a spectacular view, with lots of room outside for the kids (and others!) to run around in or have fellowship at, whatever God desires. We are looking forward to the day when we will live there, and people will come there to learn more about God, to have fellowship, and above all that God will be glorified in that place. 
We are so grateful for God's leading and provision. We also have so many people - all of you - to be grateful to as well; for your love of God first and your example, your friendship and love to our family, and your generosity that is beyond measure. We wouldn't be where we are today if it was not for God's sovereign hand upon our lives, and all of your love and generosity toward us. Thank you, with all our hearts.
There are many things yet to be done on the property, including making an access road, drilling a well, and getting everything in motion legally so we can build (more difficult here than in the U.S.); but God has shown his power every step of the way, and we are confident that his will will be accomplished, and excited to see what he does next!
With humility and gratefulness,
Andrew & Geta and family
Some prayer requests: please continue to pray for the church in Ruschita, that God will strengthen it, and bring more people to himself. Please pray for the church in Rusca Montana, that God would encourage the people there, and that the Sunday School ministry we have been a part of starting will continue to grow and reach many children. Please pray for the property, that God will work out all details and difficulties so we can begin working on the house next spring. Above all please pray that we will continue to seek his face and his will, and serve him with all that we are.
[Note: we wanted to put a picture of the property at the top of the blog post, but couldn't get blogger to let us do it.]

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

"Increase Our Faith!"

This picture of our family was taken recently,
in Rusca Montana, in a park near where Geta grew up

Greetings everyone, from here in Romania!
Now that we have been back in Romania for nearly three months, things are settling down a
little bit from how they were when we first got here, as far as routine and things go. We
pretty much finished up all the things we still had to do where we used to live in Drobeta
Turnu-Severin, and after being an additional three weeks or so without our van in early
May, we have definitely come to appreciate even more the van that God provided us a few
years back (remember it's a 50km round trip for shopping from where we live!). We remember
that it was largely our family of Bridgeport Chapel that provided the funds so that we
could purchase that van! It has been a good van, and always a blessing for our family.
In the last couple of months, we have stayed in the area in churches that are close by,
mostly in Rusca Montana and Ruschita (where we live for now). We have also gone on
occasion to other churches in other villages a bit farther away to minister, such as
Hobita, Rachitova, and were most recently invited to speak at the church in Turnu-Ruieni,
about 60km away from here. It is always good to be with other groups of christians, and to
get to know and have fellowship with them.
It has also been very good to stick closer around here and get to know the people in our
immediate area again. The church in Rusca Montana is a larger church, but there are needs
there, including working with the children and the youth, not to mention opportunities for
Bible teaching. The church in Ruschita is really just starting up, with just a handful of
people - three or four - that come on a regular basis in the afternoon when the service is
held. There is definitely a need for ministry and encouragement for the few believers that
there are here! Thankfully, a small team from the church in Rusca Montana comes here most
Sundays, and on occasion, a small team from another village, Marga, comes to be a part of
the service.
We have gotten to share in several churches about how God has worked in our lives in the
last year or two, and about God's miraculous preservation of the twins, and all they (and
Geta) had to go through. Several people actually wept during our sharing at various
churches, and let me say, that made it more difficult to continue the sharing. Whenever we
have shared about Nehemiah and Jonathan, it has been a powerful example of God's love,
mercy, and grace to us, and really, to us all.
Thank you all for being a blessing to us, and thank you for praying for us so faithfully.
Prayer requests that we have for right now: for the people in the churches of Rusca
Montana and Ruschita, that they would be encouraged; and that God would move among the
people in these villages and bring many to Himself. Also that God would use us in whatever
ways He sees fit to accomplish His will here. Also please pray for us as we are preparing
to go to help with children's camps next week near the city of Fagaras - that it would be
an awesome time to get to know kids there and spend time with them, as well as encourage
them in the Lord. May we be a blessing in their lives!
A big praise for us is that the twins have been healthy since shortly after the last blog entry, thank you all for your prayers! Also, as many of you know, we have been praying for God to provide a place for us to live, and thanks to his grace and through His people, it looks like He is doing some extraordinary things on our behalf. We hope to give you all an update on this in the not too distant future! Suffice it to say for now (although really no words are sufficient here) that God's people are beyond generous, and that our God does the unexpected....or maybe we truly need to pray as the disciples prayed: "Increase our faith!" - Luke 17:5.
We love you, and hope to give another update before too long. May the Lord's mercy and blessing cover you!
In His Love,
Andrew, Geta, and kids

Friday, April 17, 2015

Readjusting to Life

                                    Geta holds the twins, Jonathan (L) and Nehemiah (R),
                                              on their 5 month birthday, April 15th, 2015.

Dear Family and Friends,
it's been just over a month since we returned to Romania, and it sometimes seems like we are still settling in. Life has been somewhat hectic, between trying to get settled in here in the apartment we are using as a temporary home, and going to different places to catch up with insurance and taxes that need to be paid; picking up some things we needed from our stuff that's all packed away at Geta's father's house, and trying to do some shopping for supplies needed where we live. It's a 50km round trip from where we live right now to do shopping, so we really need to plan ahead! If only they would build a Waremart Foods five minutes from here...
We have also been enjoying visiting friends and relatives here and spending time with them, as well as going to some different churches. We went to the church in Hobita on one of the first Sundays we were back in Romania, and that was wonderful to see people there, and get to share a little bit about the amazing ways God has worked in our lives over the past year and a half.
Also, Easter Sunday was just last week (a week later than in the United States), and that was a weekend full of comings and goings and lots of ministry opportunities as well. Sunday morning we were at the church in Rusca Montana, where Geta grew up and where we were married. I had the message during the service, and Geta translated - it was a great to be back at that church and to have Geta at my side translating! That afternoon we visited many relatives, and went home ready for rest.
Monday morning was what the Romanians call the second day of Easter, and we were blessed to be able to spend the day with our good friends Cosmin and Mari. We went to church in the village of Dalci in the morning, and then the village of Zlagna for the evening service. I had the message again at both of those services, and it was great to have Cosmin translate for me both times. In between the services we went and saw another village (and small church there) in Cicleni, and also enjoyed fellowship with Cosmin and Mari at their home. That evening we arrived tired again and ready for bed. But we had a wonderful couple of days, and thouroughly enjoyed our time in ministry with others.
Please continue to be in prayer for us. Our prayer requests currently are: The twins Nehemiah and Jonathan - they have been sick with a pretty bad cough for over a week (it's especially bad at night) and it just seems like it's taking a long time for them to get better. Place of ministry and place to live - we have been praying that God will show us just the right place that he wants us to minister, where we can best serve him; also we have been praying for God to provide a house for us to live in. Many of you know this already from talks we've had or times we've shared in church. Please continue to pray that we will see and understand his will for us!
Thank you for your continued prayers and support, we love you!
Serving Christ together with you,
Andrew & Geta Roby and family