Good day to each of you!
Overall July was a good month; I was able to do some fund-raising, work some odd jobs, and spend some quality time with wise and encouraging people. That is not to say the month has been without challenges, but I have been blessed by God's timing and provision. A few noteworthy moments...
Earlier this month, I was able to meet with a woman working at the university here in town. As a former missionary, she knows first hand the issues that can come with support raising. For her thesis, she set out to find a way to alleviate this burden, in a sustainable, biblical, and flexible way that could potentially be applied by any missionary. A daunting task indeed. However, after much research, she believes she has found a better way. The model is designed to provide support, beyond finances, in a way that empowers everyone involved. I received permission to try her model which is now in the testing phase. I'm not sure if I will be able to implement it, but I'm looking in to it.
I spoke on the 7th at a nearby church. This church began partnering with me over a year ago when the congregation--independently and voluntarily--funded my vision trip to Romania, without my, or others' asking. Furthermore, upon my decision to begin this journey long-term, their missions' committee called me and asked how the church could be a part of my ministry in Romania! I very much enjoyed worshiping with these brothers and sisters, they welcomed and encouraged me with hugs, handshakes, kisses, encouraging words, and prayers. It was a sweet day for me.
A week or two ago, I received an email from an acquaintance regarding the possibility of an upcoming summit for Roma Ministers in the spring. This individual has organized such events in the past, and has a wealth of experience working with Roma in Slovakia, the U.S. and the U.K. I was blessed to meet this man last June when we happened to be in Draganesti-Olt at the same time. I'm excited by the possibility of such a gathering, especially given I will be missing the conference in September which I had hoped to attend.
God has provided a variety of opportunities for me to minister to those around me this month. One friend of mine was blind-sided by a request for a divorce, another spent the month preparing for a vision trip to Cambodia, I can't say for sure if I was able to encourage either of them, but I hope that through practical things like: listening, or providing humor, packing assistance, or something else that they were able to experience God's love, and my love, for them.
Another unexpected opportunity was reconnecting with several of my former students in Macedonia. I met both girls in 2008—one a Turkish-Bosnian (Muslim), the other a (Christian) Roma—and maintained relationships with them throughout my time in Skopje. They are teenagers now, and our conversations are much different than they were the last time I saw them. I'm still in awe of the God that allowed our paths to not only cross, but to connect us in such a way that, years later, I am still able to be a presence of Christ in their lives.
It has officially been three months since I started this journey with correcting my neck! Two weeks ago I had new X-rays taken. I was quite nervous about the re-evaluation, though I am still not sure why. The results were overwhelmingly positive! Though I do not have complete normal function, there is significant improvement—better than was expected by my doctor. Praise God! That being said, I plan to continue treatments, on a reduced frequency, in order to gain mobility and increase stability. Thank you for your prayers!
- For more opportunities to share with individuals and congregations about Roma Hope, as well as more partners in the Gospel, in prayer, and in finances.
- Continued Healing
- More opportunities to minister, learn and grow here “in the mean time”
I will soon(hopefully by the end of the week) begin t-shirt pre-sales. I hope to offer a v-neck t-shirt and a hoodie or long sleeve shirt. Shirts will be $20, I'm not sure about the other options yet, but keep a look out!
Thank you for joining me in this adventure through reading, praying and giving encouragement and/or financial support!