Where We've Been and Where We're Going
Here's a quick overview before we dive into the details of this newsletter:
Our visit with Grammie/Boppie
Christian's visit to Harvest University in Chicago
Our Upcoming Furlough over the holidays
Our family's new vision / plans for future ministry
Dear Family and Friends,
We were blessed to have Bonnie (aka Grammie or Boppie) come visit us and spend some time with her kids. Granted, the trip didn't start out so well - we spent the first week passing the Moldovan flu to each other. (*insert embarrassing picture of ill Bonnie*), but after recuperating, we had a great time. We spent time in the city, visited the Zoo, took a few days in Romania, and got to eat in the Princess Castle! Saying goodbye is always tough, but it was good to know that we'll see her again in just a few weeks when we're on furlough to the States!
A week after Bonnie left, Christian also headed to the States (leaving Marie Home. Alone.) He traveled with a team from our church to Chicago, where Harvest Bible Chapel is based, for a training seminar called "Harvest University" (or "Harvest U" if you're one of the cool kids). The team had some time to visit the city of Chicago, was treated to a Chris Tomlin concert, and experienced a great time of training, fellowship, and worship with the folks at Harvest Bible Chapel.
After the conference, the team flew down to Phoenix, AZ to visit with out partner church, but Christian drove to Indiana to spend some time with cousins that we haven't seen in quite awhile! It was wonderful to reconnect and share stories of missions work.
Christian got home safely, and it's almost time to start packing again! In just a few short weeks, we'll be boarding our flights to California to spend time with family and friends. In fact, if we don't get this newsletter sent out soon, we will be heading to the States tomorrow! We were home earlier this year for Sarah's wedding, but we didn't even have a chance to meet with all our supporters. It was a great trip, but very busy! This time, we're hoping to connect with many more people. Although if we must be completely honest, Christian is hoping to connect with a few plates of nachos and Marie is hoping to connect with a (very) large bottle of (hot) salsa and the girls are hoping to connect with a lot of frozen yogurt. We will be spending the majority of our time in Northern California, but we'll be in Thousand Oaks as well!
Finally, we wanted to share with you what we believe God is leading us to do here in Eastern Europe. We had always said that we felt called to help the church here in Moldova get up and running and be stabilized. The church here is doing well. We've baptized 10 people this year so far, we have a good weekly attendance, and our financial situation is fine. God really has blessed this church, and we believe Jesus is doing as he said, "I will build my church." For those reasons, we believe our time here is shortly coming to an end.
A dream of ours (for more than a decade - yes, longer than we've been married) has been to do some hands-on orphan work. An opportunity has presented itself for our family to move to Bucharest, Romania and work with an organization helping orphans - Anchor of Hope. We will be spending some time in a hospital for abandoned babies, a small/young child orphanage, and an orphanage from 6 yrs-18. A long-term goal is to open a transition home for kids that "age-out" of the orphanage in order to help them gain some life skills and prepare for the world around them.
We have prayed and fasted about this transition, and we believe this is where God is moving us. When we visited Romania a few weeks ago, we felt the Lord confirmed it in our hearts. Romania has more resources for our food-allergy ridden family, and all our time learning the Romanian language will be put to use! We are excited about this new season, even while we're saddened to leave the people we've come to know and love here in ChiÈ™inÄƒu. We are hoping to get together and share our vision in person when we are in the States - stay tuned for more information about that!
We are really blessed to have such a supportive team in the US and all over the world. Thank you all so much - we love you!
Christian, Marie, Addy,and Mercy