Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ruth School - Preschool Class Begins

Project Ruth was founded to serve the needs of the Roma neighborhood called Ferentari in Bucharest, Romania. This year they took a new step in their quest to break the cycles of poverty through education by beginning a preschool class. This class is designed to prepare these 5-6 year old children for 1st grade. Tuesday morning 11 shiny, newly scrubbed faces made their way to the original Ruth School building to be in the first class. They were accompanied by mothers and younger siblings eager to meet the teacher and see the classroom. After words of welcome, snacks of cookies, a look at their brand new coloring books, and picture taking, the little students walked home with smiles in anticipation of what the next day would bring.

Please pray for their teacher as she prepares and teaches. Pray for the students to have open minds and be eager to learn. Pray for the needed funds to have the preschool as a continual program - to purchase supplies, food, and provide for the teacher. Pray for the safety of the children. Pray for the mission of Project Ruth, making a difference in the lives of Roma children. Pray that through education the cycles of poverty can be broken and that Christ will be seen.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"To Live is Christ! Learning to Joyfully Lead Like Him"

268 participants from 38 schools in 14 countries gathered this past week at a former communist camp in the hills of Budapest for 3 days of leadership training. The students and their chaperones were from Christian high schools and eager to learn how to be effective leaders.

It was my privilege to return to Hungary to serve as one of the camp nurses and we were blessed that there were no serious illnesses. We dealt mostly with sore throats and headaches that come with late nights, early mornings, lots of talking, and afternoons of sports.
It was amazing to see so many young people committed to their faith with the desire to share it in their schools. The students soaked in the messages of the speaker as he spoke from Philippians. It was encouraging to see them in their discussion groups and hear the reports of their plans to impact their schools. The room was quiet as one Romanian young man shared how he had survived serious heart surgery through God's grace and the prayers of many in the room. There were cheers as different students talked about how this conference changed their lives. There were tears as some shared heartbreak and asked for prayers as they try to work through them. There were praises offered to the God that loves us all.
I am hopeful for the future...

Monday, September 20, 2010

We're In!

The truck carrying all of our household possessions actually made it across the border quicker than we did. Ralph and I had to stop while our American passports were registered. The truck driver only had to pause long enough to pay a road tax. Thank you for praying. It was certainly a great relief to watch everything go smoothly.

A crew from the local church was on hand to help unload and soon we were crowded into our little apartment with a sea of boxes. The unpacking has begun and we are slowly making finding spots of things.

We appreciate your prayer support as this transition continues...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moving Day!

It's finally here! Our possessions are loaded on the truck and we're off to Romania. Please pray all goes smoothly at the border and we all arrive safely. Bucharest here we come!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

**Prayer Request**

Our final move day is Wednesday, September 15th. On this day the truck comes to pack our household goods for transport to Romania. Please pray that all goes smoothly and safely. The journey is long, 14 hours by car, and the roads are not always in good shape. There is a border and a mountain range to cross. Then upon arrival there are 6 flights of stairs - not everything will fit on the tiny elevator. We are grateful for friends who are helping us on the Hungarian side and the Romanian side to make this move. Thank you for praying.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Five Guys

Maybe when you read the title of this entry your mouth started to water because you thought of one of our favorite USA eating places - "Five Guys Hamburgers" - definitely the best hamburger you'll ever eat! These five guys are our favorites too and they are all partners in the Roma ministry here in Hungary.

When we began our ministry here over 15 years ago we ask God to bring us along side others to partner with. As time passed these four men crossed paths with Ralph. With each having his own set of strengths they began to work together from their love of God and devotion to seeing the Roma come to know Him. They became the committee that oversaw the Roma ministry among Baptists, the sounding board for ideas, the counselors for problems, the accountants for offerings, the trainers for Roma leaders, the providers for the basic needs of many families, and so many more things. These five guys worked together for several years through the ups and downs of ministry. We feel blessed to have served with them.

Last week we had the opportunity to gather with the Five Guys and their wives for a farewell dinner. It was a chance to think back over the years and look how far God has led the Roma mission work. It was also a great opportunity for Ralph and the Guys to express their thanks for each other's dedication to the ministry. Thanks Guys! We thank God for each of you!

Picture Left to Right: Balint Kovacs, Vince Lovas; Ralph Stocks; Tivadar Szegedi; Jozsef Csuhai

Monday, September 6, 2010

Amy is 23!

Our first born, Amy Lee, turned 23 yesterday. We were on the road traveling back from Bucharest and didn't get to post this. We did talk to her by phone and she was having a great celebration at Atlantic Beach with her friends. Isn't she lucky to always have a holiday weekend to help her celebrate? :)
The first picture is bringing her home from the hospital - not sure who those really young people are with her! And the second picture is Amy with her boyfriend, Tyler, when they recently visited Budapest. She's holding a yummy Hungarian pastry called a Kurtos Kalacs.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Bucharest Apartment - Prayers Answered!

We saw 10 apartments in two days. Some were laughable with lime green walls and 24 outlets in the living room (it had been a computer business office). I learned quickly not to judge the "books by their covers." By Friday afternoon we had made our choice. The above pictures are of the outside of the building (our apartment is the 3rd set of windows counting down from the top) and the kitchen (yes, it's orange). I will post other pictures of the inside once we are moved in because right now they are just plain white rooms with wood floors.

Thank you for praying for us to find the right place. We feel it is perfect with space to have guests; in the center of Bucharest yet, off the main street enough not to be noisy; near public transportation; a bath and a half; modern kitchen; and an easy-going landlord.

Now we return to Budapest and finish packing. We hope to move our things on September 15th. Please continue to pray for us and the ministry among the Roma of Romania. Please ask God to guide us.