Thursday, September 20, 2007

First Day for The Ruth School

It was a sunny, warm day as the children dressed in their best clothes made their way to the big white building in the run-down, drab, gray neighborhood called Ferentari in Bucharest. It was a happy day with little hands clutching flowers for the teachers and pre-teens giggling as they entered the gate. The Ruth School was beginning the 07-08 school year with close to 180 students ready to learn.

The students lined up to be welcomed by the director and received a few words of encouragement from me (Tammy). Then they filed into their classrooms eager to begin the new year. The first grade classroom was the expected mix of smiles and tears (most of the tears being the mothers dropping their little ones off for the first time).

All is well as Project Ruth continues to make a difference in the lives of the Roma families in the Ferentari neighborhood. Praise God for the new year and the opportunities it brings. Please continue to pray for the school as it offers hope through education.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ruth School & Gypsy Smith School Begin

Monday, September 17th, will be a big day for the Ferentari neighborhood of Bucharest. There will be lots of scurrying around and excitement in the air. It is the first day of school for the Ruth School, the beginning of their second year in the new building. There will be an opening ceremony with words of welcome, gifts of flowers for the teachers, and the hustle, bustle of children making their way to their classrooms. I imagine there will be smiles of welcome as school mates greet each other and tears as first graders begin their official school lives. (at least tears from their parents!) Please pray that all will go well and the school year will start off on a positive note.

Monday also marks the beginning of a session of the Gypsy Smith School of Evangelism for the Roma leaders of Romania and Moldova. Teachers this session are Greg Barr from St Andrews Baptist Church, Columbia, SC and Charles Qualls from Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, Atlanta. Please pray this week for the teachers, their translators, and the students.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Be Careful What You Say or How to Start a Trend

Tivadar (left) with Jozsi Csuhai (right)
Ralph and Tivadar, a retired Hungarian pastor now mentoring Roma layleaders, recently traveled to northeast Hungary to visit a few of the Roma missions and churches. While in one small village they heard the story of a split in the church because of misspoken words and hurt feelings.

Ralph and Tivadar went to the offended party's home and talked with him. They prayed and listened. Eventually healing began and the split factions agreed to once again meet at the church. It was definitely an answered prayer, however, as Paul Harvey would say, there is the rest of the story....

When Ralph and Tivadar returned to Tibour, the other leader's home, and began to report what had happened, Ralph began by shaking his head and saying, "Ah-h-h-h, the devil cried today....". He then told the story. Tibour liked the way Ralph described what had happened and the thought of putting Satan on the run by bringing healing. We now enjoy when Tibour calls on the phone and begins by saying, "Ralph! The devil cried today!" He then goes on to relay the good news he has called to share.

Just a day in the life of Roma missions here in Hungary...

Monday, September 3, 2007

Families, Good-Byes, Tears, and Hugs

As I sat on the front step of the Gandhi School waiting for Glen and Clista, I enjoyed watching the people around me. The Gandhi students come to school in shifts over the weekend before the first day of classes. Many of the students were moving into the dorm that day and they came with parents and a sibling or two in tow.

As I watched them I noted that some things are the same the world over. When the time for good-byes came there were hugs, tears, and "I Love You" 's being said as the parents prepared to leave. I watched it over and over and was reminded of having just said good-bye to our daughter at the airport as she returned to college. I knew what those parents felt. Even though our language is different, our cultures vary; I felt a bond between us. Parents are parents no matter where they are in the world and letting that young one go is always a bit difficult.

Now I feel like I should break out into song "The circle of life...." (Those of you that know me personally know that is a scary thought!)

Daniel's Dedication

It is customary here when an infant is six weeks old to bring them to church for their "introduction". Sunday night we were privileged to be present for Daniel Csuhai's introduction and dedication. Daniel is special to us because his dad is our partner in ministry. Jozsi and Ralph often travel together to visit the Roma missions around the country. They confide in one another, seek counsel from each other, and have become close friends. They serve on the Hungarian Baptist Roma Missions committee together as well.

Daniel's grandfather, a retired pastor, held him before the Lord and prayed over him during the service. It was a touching moment as Bro Pauly introduced his grandson to the congregation.

We were glad to be included in the family celebration.

Adkins Apartment

Praise for this answered prayer! We had prayed specifically for an apartment not far from the Gandhi School - either walking distance or an easy bus ride. We asked for two bedrooms and a modern kitchen. Not only did we find all of this but the landlords are very accommodating and all the appliances are brand new. The apartment will be a great place for entertaining and a refuge on stressful days. Thank you for joining us in prayer! Glen and Clista are now settling in and finding their way around Pecs.