“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
Dear Family and Friends,
We would like to take a few minutes to share with you some praises and some prayer requests. As we’re sure you’ll agree, this last period of time has been different and unusual in many ways. Different “rules” by which we are supposed to live our lives by; unusual times for ministry.
As a family, we are amazed at the way God continually holds us in His hand, providing for us on a daily basis as He always has; the way He has worked (and is working!) to overcome difficult circumstances and provide opportunity for ministry; the way He has fulfilled dreams and moved the building project forward.
In the last year and a half or so, even in spite of the continued pushing of fear and control by governments, we have seen that God is still at work around us; people still long to hear His word and long to be in fellowship with one another.
Last November, after prayer and consideration, God led us to officially begin working together with a pastor from the area. He oversees several churches, and so we go where he has need of our assistance. The circle of churches that we are working together to serve include churches in the villages of Dalci, Cicleni, Zlagna, and Turnu-Ruieni. We have yet to serve at Turnu-Ruieni, but there is plenty of need at the other three villages. We also go when we can to the village of Hobita.
These are, for the most part, small villages with churches that have only a few believers each. They are in need of people to be there and serve, encourage, and minister together with them – so that is what we are called to do. Generally (but not always), we lead the entire service including prayer, hymns, Bible study, singing music (including Elijah on guitar and Ammi on ukelele), and sharing from the Word.
Something that stands out for us is extraordinary the level of joy to be found in these churches, as well as the hunger for God’s word; they are few in number, but they have such love for God! Let us share one story from earlier this year. We went to the church in the village of Dalci on a Sunday in January; it was just Geta and myself because several of the kids were sick, but it was still a great service. The thing that really had an impact on us was that after the service, as we were visiting for a few minutes with the three people that had come that day to church, one of the older ladies said, "we are so happy when you come here; you strengthen us and encourage us." It was a very humbling moment; we didn't know what to say. But it is those moments that really affect us and remind us why we are here.
We have been blessed beyond measure by God and the generosity of friends and family, and Bridgeport Chapel. We are thrilled to report that we were able to officially move in to the house on March 1st, 2021!! Every day that we spend in the house is a reminder of all those who have given so much to this project (and this dream!), and the fact that God has opened so many doors and moved so many mountains to make this a reality!! There is still so much to do, especially on the interior; but we are here, we have running water and heat – praise the Lord!! We live everyday surrounded by reminders of God’s amazing providence!
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 will bring more workers, and more people will turn to Him; pray that the believers will be lifted up and strengthened, even in the midst of trying times.
>> 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 new time of working together with the other pastor in different churches as opportunities to further teach His word and share His love and encourage as many as possible. We are also praying that this new period of ministry would open doors for more fellowship with other servants of the Lord. We also continue to pray for leading and the opportunities God will bring now that we have moved into the new house and are able to use it for His kingdom.
>> Finally, we ask you to keep the believers in Romania in your prayers; pray for encouragement, unity, and hope. It is a time of testing for individuals in their walk with Christ, as well as a time of testing of unity between Christians. Because of the events of the last year and a half or so, there have arisen some differences of opinion between people here (and even between some Christians) – about what one should and should not do. It certainly creates tension in some cases where there was none before and frankly where there should not be.
We are happy to say that the people of God continue to gather together in His name, longing for fellowship, hungering for the Word, and also, we believe, looking for hope. It’s not that people are despairing or have lost all hope, 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 here in Romania, 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. We pray this is also true for you back home.
May God continue to bless you and keep his sovereign hand of protection upon each of you! Living each day with a spirit not of fear,
Andrew & Geta Roby and kids