“...his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” -- Isaiah 9:6b
Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings from Romania, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior! It’s hard to believe how quickly time passes – how quickly another year has come and gone. We would like to take this opportunity to share with you some praises and some prayer requests from our family and ministry.
Even with the trying times we live in today – all the world’s problems, threats of oppression, threats of war – it is still really something to see that God is still at work around us; people are still hungering to hear His word and want to be in fellowship with one another. God is still speaking to people and calling them to Himself.
As God has been leading us, we have been working now for the last two years with a pastor from our local area. Pastor Nelu oversees several churches, and so we go where he has need of us on any given Sunday. The churches that we are working together to serve include churches in the villages of Dalci, Cicleni, Zlagna, and Turnu-Ruieni. Although we are not able to quite as often, we do serve when we can at another church in the village of Hobita.
This year we also made the decision to minister in another church in a small village named Ostrov, which has been both a joy and a blessing for our family. We have some wonderful missionary friends in the area who lead the church there, and we are able to be a part of serving there on a regular basis. It provides us an opportunity to help their family a little bit, but also to have some much needed fellowship as well. These missionaries also have a youth group in a nearby village which our older four children have enjoyed being a part of over the past year.
Most of these churches in which we have been serving are small rural churches, and have only a few believers each. They are in need of people to be there and serve, encourage, pray and fellowship together with them – and that is what we are called to do. Often, our family will lead the entire service including prayer, hymns, Bible study, singing music (including Elijah on guitar and Ammi on ukulele), and sharing from the Word. Something that stands out for us is the extraordinary level of joy present among the people in these small village churches; they have quite a hunger for God’s word, and for being together with other believers. They may be few in number, but they have such love for God!
We would like to also share about a great opportunity we had to host a missionary family here at the house during part of the summer. Many of you know and have met Iosue and Diana Bulande and their five children. They are missionaries in Mozambique, and are also supported by Bridgeport Chapel. They have been here in Romania since July, and it was a blessing for us to be able to have them come and live with us for a month and a half during the summer! It was a joy, the times spent visiting, having a cookout, sharing stories about ministry, or watching all of the kids (twelve in all!) spending their days together.
It is because of God’s mighty hand, and friends and family back home in the United States that we were able to have the space, a place big enough for this to be a possibility. Opportunities like having the Bulande family stay with us, and serving believers in village churches, is what reminds us why God has called us to be where we are here in Romania.
Since we already mentioned the house, let us continue by giving a brief update. Most of you already know that by the grace of God, we moved into the house in March of 2021, and it has not ceased to be a blessing. We still wake up every day and are reminded of the amazing providence of God, and the gracious generosity of so many people like you and Bridgeport Chapel.
We have been doing most of the finishing work on the interior ourselves. We have done drywall finishing, painting, and flooring, among other things. We have been able to finish the bedroom level and most of the attic area, and are looking forward to working on the downstairs level probably during the coming year. We have also done a number of projects outside, including laying tile, putting up part of a fence, and working on a wood/storage shed. There has been a lot done, a lot of progress made, but we still have quite a ways to go!
Prayer is the most important thing that you can be involved in for us. We know there are many of you who have been faithful in your prayers for our family and ministry. Thank you; and remember that prayer moves the hand that moves the world!
Here are some current prayer requests that you can bring before the Lord:
>> Please pray for Pastor Nelu (the pastor we are now working with), and the churches we are involved with; pray that God would give health and strength to Pastor Nelu; pray that God will bring more workers; pray that the believers will be lifted up and encouraged.
>> Next we would ask you to pray for our family, as we continue to seek God’s guidance and wisdom for ministry. We are praying that God will continue to use this time of working together with other pastors and missionary families in various churches as great opportunities to encourage, share the Word of God, and build the Kingdom of God.
>> Then we would also ask you to pray for our children, especially the older ones. Joseph, who is about to turn 20, graduated high school in 2021; and Ammishaddai, who will turn 18 in February, will graduate in 2023. They are at a point in their lives where they are looking ahead, trying to figure out and understand what God has in store for them, where He wants them to be. Your prayers for them would be appreciated.
>> Please pray for the political situation in Eastern Europe as well; pray that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia would be brought to a peaceful resolution soon, and would not spill over into any other countries.
>> Finally, we ask you to keep the believers in Romania in your prayers; pray for encouragement, unity, and hope. It is an ongoing time of testing for individuals in their walk with Christ, as well as a time of testing of unity between Christians. Believers are still hopeful here, but they need to hear and be reassured of God’s continued grace, work, and sovereignty in all of this. During the times that we as believers do get to spend together, there seems to be a heightened sense of fellowship and gratefulness between us because of the frequent reminders we have had (and continue to have) that what we have together is precious, and might not always be around.
May the Prince of Peace continue to bless you and keep his sovereign hand of protection upon each of you! Looking forward to eternity together,
Andrew & Geta Roby and kids:
Joseph, Ammishaddai, Elijah, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Jonathan, Timothy