Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Meet Toma Maris...

Meet Toma Maris, a Roma man, currently enrolled in the Baptist seminary in Bucharest, Romania. Toma has a dream, a calling from God, to minister among the Romany in Bucharest. He became a follower of Christ in 1990 and participated in the Gypsy Smith Leadership School through Project Ruth. Toma's vision is to start a church for Roma with worship in the Romani language in the Ferentari neighborhood - the location of Project Ruth.Pray for Toma as he studies to have a foundation for fulfilling his calling. Pray for provision for Toma and his family (wife, 2 children) to have their daily needs met. Pray for the hearts of the Romany in the Ferentari area of Bucahest to be softened and open to hearing God loves them. Ask God to provide fellow believers to walk along side Toma and assist him in his vision of a church plant. Praise God for this Roma man committed to following God wholeheartedly.

pictured: (L) Ralph Stocks (CBF Field Personnel) (R) Toma Maris

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring is Here!

All over Europe trees and flowers are blooming as the earth awakes from the long winter... and a long, nasty one it was! It is a time of rebirth and renewal. A time for cleaning out and letting the warm breezes blow in. Please pray for the Roma ministries as they too rev up after the slow down of winter. Pray for leaders as they guide their congregations to a time of renewal of following Christ. Pray for CBF personnel as they minister along side the Roma believers bringing the Good News of New Birth to the Romany.
Side note: This cherry tree is in our front yard and if it has as many cherries as blooms, we're going to have a bumper crop!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flying Update...

This volcanic ash has created havoc over Europe. Luckily it wasn't too bad for us. I just wanted to update you. Keith Holmes & Mary Van Rheenen, our CBF team members, made it back to The Netherlands by train. Hooray! Becky Smith, our supervisor and at the end of a month of meetings with teams in Europe, hopes to get on a flight tomorrow morning (4/22) as do Clista Adkins' (our CBF colleague) two sisters. Ralph, who is not an emergency case or a priority, got bumped for two weeks until May 3rd. Thanks for remembering us in your prayers.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ash Creates Problems...

Unless you've been under a rock lately you have to have read about the "ash" problem in Europe. Thousands of travelers have been stranded. Our Gypsy Team has been meeting this weekend in Pecs. Three of our members flew in and now find themselves searching rail and bus schedules trying to find their way back home. Luckily at our house we have extra mattresses and plenty of floor space as we wait. Ralph was to travel to the US and our friend Clista has two sisters stuck in Budapest. Please say a prayer for those waiting and for those whose health may be impacted by large amounts of volcanic ash covering everything.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rock Stars? No, FBC, Greensboro's Youth Choir!

This past week First Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC sent their youth choir to Hungary. The youth choir is extremely talented. They gave various concerts in song and with handbells. They were treated like rock stars where ever they went! The Roma churches enjoyed the music and soon the "Roma-telegraph" was buzzing as Ralph's phone rang with inquiries of the choir's schedule. To read more of their whirlwind week and experiences take a look at their blog: Thank you FBC, Greensboro! Praise the Lord for a wonderful week and the influence of Christian youth among the Roma.

**Personal note: Ralph did this group by himself (with a lot of assistance from colleague, Glen Adkins and great friend, Ellis Vaughan) - he doesn't blog. So that's why there are no personal daily notes from us. I, Tammy, traveled to the USA for my sister's wedding which was beautiful and fun. Then Ralph's mom had back surgery so I have stayed on to help her with rehab and recovery. Thank you for your prayers during this time. She is doing well.