Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Unu, Doi, Trei...

Și noi, dar, fiindcă suntem înconjurați cu un nor așa de mare de martori, să dăm la o parte orice piedică, și păcatul care ne înfășoară așa de lesne, și să alergam cu stăruință în alergarea care ne stă înainte.
Să ne uităm țintă la Căpetenia și Desăvârșirea credinței noastre, adică la Isus, care, pentru bucuria care-I era pusă înainte, a suferit crucea, a disprețuit rușinea, și șade la dreapta scaunului de domnie al lui Dumnezeu.
Uitați-vă, dar, cu luare aminte la Cel ce suferit din partea păcătoșilor o împotrivire așa mare față de Sine, pentru ca nu cumva să vă pierdeți inima, și să cădeți de oboseală în sufletele voastre. - Evrei 12.1-3
No, you haven't stumbled across the wrong website, nor are your eyes misleading you. This is one of my favorite passages in Romanian. It is Hebrews 12:1-3. I memorized this as a sophomore in college. This was back in the day when my room was decorated more in scripture-covered note cards than framed art and pictures of family and friends. For those that haven't memorized Hebrews 12:1-3, here it is below in the NIV:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin which so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
This passage has helped me get back to the "basics" many times. In times of trial, I look at verse 2 and realize that my plight is nothing compared to that Jesus had to face. In times of great perseverance, I've meditated on verses 1 and 3. It is a go-to verse for me, and is perfectly positioned right after Hebrews 11 in which the writer recounts numerous "heroes of the faith." Reading through Hebrews 11 and then 12 always lifts my spirit and helps me remember what God I serve and what he can do.

This verse is certainly coming in handy as I learn Romanian. That's right, I'm learning Romanian stateside. Romanians are everywhere these days. There's even a Romanian church here in San Antonio. However, it's not from a stateside Romanian that I'm learning the language. Instead, I am learning through the use of a tutor via Skype. You see, there's this brilliant little invention called the Internet, which has enabled people to communicate no matter where they are in the world. With the use of Skype, I'm able to see, talk, and write to my tutor who is thousands of miles, and 1 very large ocean, away.

So far it's going well, and while the opening script of this post may look impressive, I assure you I am no where near that fluent. In fact, "fluent" isn't even a category that I would be anywhere near right now. However, it is coming. My tutor, Laura, says that I am learning quickly and that once I am in Romania, it will come even faster. I pray that is true. For now, I'm sticking with simple phrases like:

Question: De unde ești? (Where are you from?)
Answer: Sunt din America (I am from America)

Romanian is Latin based like Spanish, French, and Italian. Therefore, those that have studied those languages would recognize some similarities among many words. However, you would also notice what I say is a Russian influence in the language as well. The result is a beautiful language that I cannot wait to be fluent in! Here's to getting my wish....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round...

Since being back in San Antonio I've been steadily working at raising support for my time in Romania. So far I'm 60% funded and it's been quit a ride up to that point. In the last 3 weeks I've visited 10 Lifegroups from my church to share with them about my ministry in Romania. (Side note: Lifegroups are fellowship groups that meet throughout the week at different church members homes. Our church has about 40 Lifegroups.)

This past Friday I also had an opportunity to share with a group of women from Northern Hills United Methodist Church. My hosts, John & Alvina Mitchell, attend NHUMC and invited me to the event. I got the opportunity to speak with many women about the work I'll be doing overseas. While I didn't see immediate fruit from this visit, the executive board voted that I receive the proceeds from this event. In reality, none of the "fund-raising" I do produces results on its own. It really is the Lord that does the work for me, in the hearts of people, as I am obedient to follow where he leads. So while it may feel as though my wheels are spinning sometimes, I know that he is in control of it. My job is to just walk through the doors he opens.

I still have a few weeks left in San Antonio until I hit the re-evaluation mark. I'm trying to get to Romania by mid-March...which means all of my support really needs to be in by yesterday. However, I'll take whenever the Lord wants to bring it in. I would appreciate any and all prayers throughout this process. Pray that God continues to open doors and that people continue to be drawn in to this ministry.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Hunting We Will Go....

Apartment hunting that is. No, no, no...don't worry, I'm not moving back to San Antonio. Instead, preparations for Romania are moving full-steam ahead! It seems my friends in Romania have found an apartment that is worthy to be called my home. The BEST news is...the contract was signed on Friday! Thanks Tresha and Tony!

The apartment where I will be living is about 3 miles from the ministry in Resita. It is in a fairly new building with new metal doors, security windows, locks, etc. Mostly families and foreigners will be my neighbors and apparently it is a pretty quiet neighborhood! The best the cost. Only $150 a month!

While my friends have been hard at work at apartment hunting, I've been doing a little hunting of my own. I'm on a hunt for supporters. If you've read my previous blog entry, you know that I'm 60% funded, but am still looking for people/families to commit to praying and giving toward my initial 18 month commitment overseas. There's about $1300 a month out there that I still need to locate and I'm praying the Lord helps me find it quickly. Please join with me in praying about how you can be a part of my ministry. $1300 a month breaks down to 13 people/families committed to giving $100 a month for 18 months, or 26 people/families committed to giving $50 a month for the next 18 months. It's simple to understand how that works. Just give up going to Starbucks a couple times a week, or give up going out to eat at least once a week. $50 is not that hard to find when you're looking for it ;-)

No, it's not all about money...but that is one side of it. The most exciting part is that you and I enter into a grand partnership. We enter into a partnership with the Lord when we choose to follow the great commission of going and preaching the gospel to all nations. That's exactly what everyone who prays, gives, or goes to the nations does. We all contribute, we all play a part. We are all helping to usher in the coming of Christ as the gospel reaches the nations of the world. Do you know what it says in Matthew 24?
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him priavately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

Jesus answered, "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it tha tyou are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdome against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."

"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

It is happening before our eyes. The end is coming. Whether we see it in our lifetime is not what it is about, it is about joining in the greatest "hunt" there is. The hunt for hearts. The brilliant part is that God will lead us to the hearts of those that long to be his if we are faithful to heed his voice. That's why I go. I long to be a part of this great "hunt." I long to be a part of something greater than me and what I see as important. The most awesome thing can go with me by being a part of my prayer and/or financial support team. Will you?

I'm Still Here...

I guess at any other time, these words might offend me. "You're still here?, " is a question I'm being asked each week by people at my home church in San Antonio. I guess it's a good thing that people expect me to be in Romania already. Others ask, "When are you leaving for Romania?" To which my answer is always, "Hopefully, mid-March."

You see the answers to these two questions depend heavily upon ONE thing....funding. Okay, who am I kidding? It REALLY depends on the Lord, but it does take a host of people responding to the Lord to get me to Romania. So far I'm 60% monthly funded, which I'm ecstatic to be over half-way...but I still need 40% more. That equates to 13 people/families willing to give $100 a month for the next 18 months, or 26 people/families willing to give $50 a month over the next 18 months. So my question back to those that ask is, "What are you going to do to help me get there?"

My question to you is: "What are you going to do?"

Contact me at to be a part of the process.