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Celebrating Together

Since in the early days of our church many who were a part of our church family had no natural family to celebrate with, we began a tradition of having a festive meal together as a church on Christmas night. Once we purchased our house and began having services there, that meal moved out of restaurants and became an intimate potluck meal shared together, along with carols, pingpong, and sharing of the spiritual blessings we have in Christ. This year, although our church attendance has been shaky, God surprised me by still filling our home with 43 guests, not only members, but our loving Christian friends in the community as well as some brave unsaved family of our members. We trust God used the time for His saving purposes and for His glory.

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A chapter has ended in the life of ourchurch. Sunday, August 23, 2009, Biserica Betesda had their last chance to say goodbye to Joey, Miha and Katie as they were about to bring their years of ministry here in Valcea to a close. I videoed the church’s comments for Joey and Miha to treasure and though for some of you they will sound like “bla bla bla”, at least you can see the faces of the people who remain, and perhaps they will be more real to you. The 3 short videos are  a mixture of English and Romanian, laughter and tears, prayers and appreciation.

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 Angi and Ovi are now gone. Joey and Miha are on furlough. Cornelia and Cami have just left to live in Spain and England respectively and Ileana will be gone to Canada to join her husband just as soon as her papers are completed. I think to most of our church, what’s left of the church might look a little like the stumps of trees left here in Valcea after the brutal hand of the mayor’s office’s pruning crews get done with their early spring pruning: a little maimed and pitiful. There’s not a lot for the undiscerning eye to rejoice in. But is that the reality? (more…)

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Loss

Catching the bus for England

This past Tuesday, October 28, 2008, our friends and colleagues, Angi and Ovidiu Pandurasu (former worship leader and co-pastor), left Valcea and our ministry for a new life in England. We did not want them to go and I personally felt like I imagine someone must feel whose legs have just been amputated. (You know God is near, but you also know how hard walking is going to be for as far as you can see into the future.) (more…)

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Saturday Cornelia and Florin were married. Cornelia is one of the original orphans that Tim and I came to Valcea to help establish in the faith. Tim remembers so clearly the day at the girls’ orphanage when Cornelia prayed with him to receive Christ. Later he had the privilege of baptizing her and we watched her grow into a competent and caring young woman as a faithful member of our church. Florin had also grown up in the local orphanage. Saturday, they were a cute pair. They had matching smiles and matching faiths. Their love was plain to see and we were so happy that they had not compromised like so many others, but had chosen a partner that would truly help the other live for Christ. (more…)

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Proven Worth

 

“For I have no one else of kindred spirit…but you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.” That was Paul speaking of Timothy..but by changing the pronouns we could say the same of any one of our three ministry workers, Ovidiu and Angi Pandurasu or Anca Potoroaca. That’s why we were so dismayed (more…)

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