Monday, March 21, 2022

Brief Update March 2022

    "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. SEE THAT YOU ARE NOT TROUBLED; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."  -- Matthew 24:6

    Dear Friends and Family,

    Some of you have been asking about things here, and about us, so we wanted to send a brief update from here in Romania.

    Praise the Lord, we are okay here. The current situation and actions in Ukraine are (at least for the time being) hundreds of kilometers to the east, so we are not currently in any danger, and we are able to carry on with our lives and ministry pretty much as normal. We are all aware though how quickly things can change in such an unpredictable situation.

    While the political situations in eastern Europe are not quite as the western media are trying to convince people they are, one thing is for sure - refugees coming into Romania from Ukraine is something that is happening on a daily basis; they are streaming into the country by the thousands. The government is working to relocate many of them to different cities across Romania, as many churches and Christians here have been doing what they can to help them. The churches have been involved with things such as transporting and distributing food to Ukraine, as well as to refugee shelters near the border. They have also been involved in helping with needs such as housing and feeding the refugees in churches across Romania. There has been quite a mobilization among believers here to help those in need.

    We have been in contact with some friends of ours who are involved with helping people during this time, and there may be opportunities to serve in the coming days. We are looking into what we can do to be involved in different aspects of the relief effort - really anything to help purchase, transport or distribute food or other items to those who have needs. 

    We are praying and looking forward to see which opportunities God will give us to help people and families who are in need. At this time, there are not any refugees in our area, but since that could change at any time, we are prepared to do whatever we are able.

    Please keep the situation in eastern Europe in your prayers - the nations in conflict, the refugees that are in need, and the believers doing what they can to help. 

    Please also pray for God's hand of protection over Romania, as well as other nations in the region. Thank you also for your prayers for our family during this time and always. God bless each of you!

    Andrew & Geta and kids

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

September 2021 Update


       “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. 

        Building Project:

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 Requests

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

Sufficient Grace

“But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you...'.” – from 2 Corinthians 12:9

 Dear Friends and Family,
 It's hard to believe that the year 2019 is almost half way over! We would like to take a few minutes to share with you some praises – ways that God's hand has been seen at work here;  and some prayer requests – things on our heart for which we would ask for your prayers alongside ours.

 God continues to be at work here, in many churches and in many people, and in us as well. Sometimes we don't understand or see clearly what God is doing or why, or for what purpose. But that is okay, because God is still God, He is in control, and … His grace is sufficient for all of us.
 As you might remember, God had provided a pastor for the church in Rusca Montana, a faithful man with a heart for the people and a strong biblical foundation. It was an amazing year and a half with this pastor – the church growing and becoming much more full of life, the best evangelization time in years, a growing children's ministry, etc. God's leading and blessing were so clear in the church during this time.
  But the level of spiritual warfare and attacks during this time increased dramatically as well; to a point where a minority of three or four people have allowed themselves to be used by the enemy to create a hostile environment and effectively force the pastor to resign. We had to make the difficult decision to step back from ministry at this church for a time, while it is refusing to confront sin and covering over it, allowing itself to ignore God's clear direction and blessing.
 We are confident that God is not finished with the church in Rusca Montana. He will put things right and do what needs to be done in his own time, and we look forward to resuming our ministries there at the first possible moment.
 There is such a need for ministry in so many churches here, so we have been going to some different churches in the area, doing what we can to help the need. One of these churches is in the village of Hobita (pronounced “Hobeetsa”). It is quite a small church of 10 people or so, and has been close to our hearts for a long time. Just this last week for example, we were there with a small group from our village, and it was awesome! We sang, our son Elijah played the guitar, and I spoke passionately from Acts chapter 2 (it was Pentecost Sunday, after all!) The people responded well; they are always so gracious and thankful when we are there with them, and honestly it is a joy to be with them!

Building Project
  We are very excited to announce that on May 21, 2019, construction of the house officially began. We have a local construction team, who are also believers, building it.The framing has moved along quite quickly – it has been amazing to see so much progress in so short a time!
 Although we had hoped to begin construction on the house last summer (2018), God used a number of circumstances to show us He had other plans for us – namely to wait a little longer and have patience. We have seen so many times in our lives that God's timing is perfect and worth waiting for!
 We are continuing to pray for God's leading in this project, and for wisdom in decisions that will need to be made. We were originally hoping that we would be far enough along with the house (even if not fully completed) that we could move in this fall. As we continue this journey of building, it is looking likely that we may not get that far along this year. On the other hand, God is always full of surprises, so we'll see what he has for us as the summer progresses! 
 As you know building a house is a big undertaking that involves a lot of decisions, time...and nerves of steel! It also takes a lot of investment from a financial standpoint. God has always provided for us, and we believe He will continue to do so now – He has been so faithful!

Prayer Requests
 We appreciate with all our hearts your love for God and your love for us; and your constant faithfulness in prayer. As we have shared with you today, there are some things on our hearts for which we would ask for your prayers alongside ours.
 >> First of all we would ask for continued prayers for the church of Rusca Montana. Pray fervently against the ongoing spiritual attacks; pray fervently for God to work in the hearts of people there – for God's restorative work, for healing, unity, and gratefulness.
 >> Next, we would ask that you pray for our family, that we would be continually open to God's leading in ministry, and willing to serve Him at any time and in any capacity. We desire to be a blessing to all those around us!
 >> Finally, we ask you to pray for the building project. We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go! Pray that God will give safety to the team building it, and give us wisdom and peace amidst the storm of craziness during this time of building this house and place of ministry!
 We are continuing to entrust the needs of this project into the Lord's hands, and we are rejoicing in the thought that God will complete that which He has started!
 His grace is sufficient!
 Andrew, Geta and kids

Monday, November 13, 2017

Put Your Trust in Him

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” – Psalm 9:10

Dear Friends and Family,
As we approach the last little stretch of time we have left in this year, we are taking the opportunity to write to you some of the things that have happened over the months since we last shared an update from our family.
This year has seen a number of challenges, prayers answered, and fulfillment of some of our dreams. We are always grateful and humbled by the things God does in and for us, the way he takes care of us, and the way he answers prayer.
During February and March of this year, I (Andrew) had a number of physical issues, from problems with my gallbladder to a hernia that had to be operated on, to an infection a couple of times, to possible heart issues. In February, my gallbladder decided to cause me problems, and I even ended up in the emergency room in Caransebes. Fortunately with some medication, time, many prayers from you and from people here, and God's mercy, I was able to get through that problem. I have had to be a little more attentive with respect to food, so as hopefully to avoid those issues in the future. But God is good!
I was healed from that issue just in time to (three weeks later) go back to the hospital for surgery on a hernia which had been getting steadily worse over the past months. They also told us at that time that I potentially had a heart issue(s). Now, we won't tell you any of the worrying stories from the hospital (or things we wish we wouldn't have seen there), just that they let me go home after eight days. That's right, I stayed for eight days in a hospital in Romania – yikes! To tell you the truth, God is so good to us; all went well, the people were very nice, and I came home and recovered the rest of the way over the next few weeks.
Because they had told us at the hospital in Caransebes that I potentially had a heart issue or issues, I was scheduled for the middle of June at a specialized cardio hospital in Timisoara for an angiogram. Again, God had mercy on us, and the doctors there said that I had no issues, and that I could go home the following day! We have often thought about that time, and how so much could have changed in our lives that day, had the diagnosis been different.
Those first months this year were trying times for all of us, but God is so merciful; God truly is the great healer! We know that so many of you prayed for us during those challenging times; our family is so grateful to you; we are blessed by all of you and your prayers for us. We know that there are many of you who have prayed faithfully for us for many years; you are appreciated beyond what you know.
This year during the first part of July, we were able to participate again in Camp Little Bit of Heaven, a youth camp near the city of Fagaras. This year Geta stayed home with our three youngest children – Nehemiah and Jonathan, and the baby, Timothy. I (Andrew) took the older four kids – Joseph, Ammi, Elijah and Jeremiah. We were blessed to be able to take two other kids with us to the camp, their first time there – Vali, a boy from the church in Rusca Montana, and Abigail, the oldest daughter of Diana and Iosue, who are missionaries in Mozambique (Bridgeport Chapel supports them as well). There were around 70 kids there this year, and I was blessed to be a member of the staff and a cabin leader, which is always fun...and challenging! It is always wonderful to see the kids attentive during the Bible lessons, learning and asking questions about God and the Bible – it really makes any kind of effort put into the camp truly worth it! It was also a lot of fun this year for our kids to get to go to the youth camp that the Thomas family puts on in Rusca Montana. Again this year, several of the children from here in Ruschita went down to the camp as well.
We have been teaching Sunday School in the village of Rusca Montana this year, which has also seen it's share of challenges. Early in the year, the heating system gave out in the room where we have Sunday School, so for the rest of the cold season, we could not have Sunday School, which was really a letdown, especially for the kids. Then came the summer season, and we usually take a break during the summer because so many people are gone on vacation, etc. But on October 1st, we were able to start up again, and we are very excited about the Sunday School! The heating system is fixed, there are more kids than before, and they love the stories and being there – praise the Lord! We also have a young lady who is coming to do music with the kids, which is an answer to prayer! Please pray that God will use all of us to make a lasting impression in these kids' lives for his kingdom!
Another way God has been working in the church of Rusca Montana is that he has provided a new pastor for the church. The church had been desperately in need of a pastor for many months; Geta had even organized a group for prayer and fasting so that each day of the week would be covered. We know that many of you also were in prayer for this need as well. After nearly six months our prayers, the church's prayers, were answered; God has provided a great pastor, one who has a strong biblical foundation, who genuinely loves the people, and who doesn't shy away from speaking God's truth. The church has been absolutely changed since he came – people are happy to be there, so much more enthusiasm is visible – God is definitely at work! Praise God for his answers to prayer!
As we mentioned in our last update, most of you probably remember that we have been working toward one of our dreams of building a home for our family and a place for ministry. This year, by the grace of God, we were able to make some progress toward the fulfillment of this dream! In the middle of May, we started construction on a road up to the property, also laying water, electricity and internet lines under the road at the same time, all the way up to the property. What is extraordinary about this is that only a week after we resolved the problem of being able to build a road up to the property (after almost two years of trying), we found out that another family had decided to build a house up on the same hill we are, on some property next to us. They also needed a road built; they sought us out (in the same time we were trying to contact them) and we were able to share the cost of the road, whereas otherwise we would have had to pay the whole cost by ourselves! Not only is God's providence amazing, but so is his timing!
During this same time, we were honored to have Kyle Padilla here visiting us; he spent many long hours working up at the property and on the road! Thank you Kyle! We also had Naomi Morgan visit us a couple of weeks before this, and she is always such a help with the kids – thank you Naomi! It was such a blessing to have these two come and visit us – it was great fellowship, and great memories!
In the middle of June we were able to begin building the foundation for our home and place of ministry. That was a long process as well with it's own set of challenges to get through, but God always provided and made a way, and finally in the middle of September we were able to finish the foundation. (You can go online to our facebook page to see pictures of the foundation being built, as well as construction on the road!) We also got camp as a family up at the property for a month during the building of the foundation, which the kids especially enjoyed...and together with the kids' help, I got to build my first outhouse!
We are praying that next spring or summer, God willing, we will be able to continue construction of the house. We are planning to build out of wood, “American” style if you will, so we are asking for prayer for wisdom to be able to get that done right! Please also pray with us that God would provide funds to be able to continue this building project – it is a big project, and there is a need for more funds to complete it!
This year we have gone through some challenging things, but we have also seen God's hand of mercy upon us. We have also seen God's hand of blessing at the church and Sunday School, and his providence as he allowed great progress toward building our home and place of ministry. God is so good, and we are again aware of how blessed we are as a family.
Thank you for being a part of our lives – thank you for your generosity toward our family, your friendship, and your faithfulness in prayer for us; you are a part of our ministry! May "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:25) Amen!
Andrew & Geta Roby and kids

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Far More Abundantly

     “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

      Dear Friends and Family,
      As the year 2016 draws to a close, we realize again how blessed we are as a family, and we are grateful for the moments we have together, and for each one of you who continually and faithfully pray for us and support us - you really are a part of our lives and a part of our ministry.
      This year has been one adventure after another, and we are looking forward to what God has in store for us in the new year! Here is an update on how the Lord has been working in our lives recently, since our last blog/update in May.
      Most notably, we celebrated the arrival of Timothy Isaiah Roby on September 4th. He was 9 pounds or so, and about 21 1/2 inches long. He was born at a private hospital in Timisoara, and everything went well, an answer to one of the prayer requests in our last update. He is just over 3 months and 3 weeks old now, and doing very well! He has enjoyed celebrating the twins' two year birthday, and his first Christmas, and is currently not enjoying his first tooth coming in! We never dreamed that the twins would be big brothers, but now they are and they love it!  God is good, and we are blessed to have Timothy in our family! (and I'm sure there will be plenty of "Tiny Tim" jokes around the holidays in the future!)

                  Nehemiah and Jonathan, with new baby brother Timothy. December 2016.

     At the end of June and first part of July, we were able to participate again this year in Camp Little Bit Of Heaven, a youth camp near the city of Fagaras. There were around 60 kids there, and it was a blessing to be a part of it again this year, being part of the staff, being a team leader, speaking to  the kids during a couple of the Bible lessons, and seeing kids learn and ask questions about God and the Bible. Again, it is such a blessing for our whole family to be a part of this camp! It was also a lot of fun this year for our kids to get to go to the youth camp that the Thomas family puts on in Rusca Montana; plus we were able to get several of the kids from here in Ruschita to go, and they thoroughly enjoyed it, so that was great!
     As many of you know we have been trying to run Sunday Schools in two villages, both in Rusca Montana and Ruschita. That went pretty well for a good portion of the year, but attendance dropped off sharply during the summer months, and in the case of Ruschita, kids stopped coming altogether, probably because of vacations and other interests. Attendance has picked back up during the winter months in Rusca Montana, but we are considering and praying about taking a little bit of a different approach in Ruschita. Please pray with us as we seek wisdom and God's plan for how best to reach the children here in Ruschita! We will let you know how God works this out in a future update! We have also been involved in the speaking and scheduling of speakers in Rusca Montana, which has been a help to the church, as it has brought a little more order to the church especially on Sunday mornings. We have also had opportunities to go to other villages and speak, whether in a team or just a couple of people; but it always an encouragement for us, and it is humbling to know from others that we have been an encouragement to them as well. May God always be glorified!
      Most of you probably remember that we are working toward one of our dreams of building a home for our family and a place for ministry. The process is long and sometimes quite frustrating, but of course, God is in control of every detail. We finalized the plans for the house in June and they were legally approved, and we also were able to get official authorization for construction. We still need to run electricity up to the property and have a well drilled before we can start construction. We also need some kind of access road, which is a problem right now, but again, we are confident that God will resolve these issues in His time and in His way.
      God also blessed us with a new (used) van this year, near the end of August. We had many ministry adventures with our other van (a 1993 Volkswagen Transporter) that we have had since 2008, but with increasing major problems and being stranded repeatedly far from home with small children, we decided we should replace it. It took a lot of patience, and a lot of looking, but we finally found our family's next van, a 2006 Volkswagen Transporter. We took a train 16 hours to the other side of the country to the city of Iasi (with Geta nearly 9 months pregnant!) and drove 12 hours back across the country to get home, but it was worth it. God has provided a very nice van for our family and ministry, with enough seats for all of us. We are very blessed, and we were able to give our other one to someone else for their use. Praise the Lord for His providence - He has provided so much!
      The last thing we will mention in this update is something that we think is close to many of our hearts. Many of you take the time every year to pack boxes for children all across the world for Operation Christmas Child, and for many if not most of you, this is quite a sacrifice. This year the church in Rusca Montana received shoeboxes for children and gave them to us to give out to the children here in Ruschita. In the end, we gave out 18 boxes to children here, many of whom probably didn't get much at all for Christmas. It is always amazing to see the reactions of the children, and we usually have to fight off tears, having been able to see both ends of the operation from the packing of individual boxes with such love, to the joy in the children's faces when their eyes light up as they receive their very own Christmas box. (We have included a picture below so you can also see the children as they proudly hold their boxes). This is truly one of those moments that sticks with you as life goes on.
      The work you do filling these boxes, and the generosity you show may seem at the time you are packing the boxes that it won't amount to much, but believe us when we tell you that it does make a difference for these children. When we see the end results here in Romania, the joy in the kids and realization that people around the world care for them, it makes every expense, every box packed worth it in the light of eternity.
      As you can see, your love and generosity affects so many lives; you are a blessing - to our family, and to so many others. Thank you for all the lives you impact, ours as well as countless others. May God continue to bless you in the new year! Let's see what adventures God has for all of us with Him in 2017!
      Andrew & Geta Roby and kids

 Children in Ruschita, Romania receive Operation Christmas Child boxes. December 26, 2016.