Romania: Calarasi – Oct 2017

Romania/Calarasi: My travel blog

20171018_112409.jpgWed 10/18/17 – In Bucharest with missionary Becky Pertzborn, enjoying a nice day together.  In the evening we shared with the women (a few guys came too) at the new church she serves in. A precious group of people lead by Pastor Marius. Please pray for Armondo, a 14 y/o who received prayer and now desires to commit to God’s purpose for him!

In Bucharest: I met up with a young 20171018_132505friend, Emanuel Contac, whose family we knew while living here in 2000. Emanual is a professor of Greek at the Pentecostal Bible Institute in Bucharest.  It was so wonderful to see him again and to hear of all God is doing through his life.  He is part of the team working for the Romanian Bible Society currently updating the most popular version of Romanian Bible.

Rasa Family CetreThurs – 10/19/17  Arrived at the Rasa Family Center, with Reinhard and Darcey Neufeld.



Fri – 10/20/17  Visiting the orphaned babies at the hospital today. Please pray for these dear abandoned children.20171020_095224

20171020_200553Visiting Monica, a beautiful believer with stage 4 cancer, Dr’s sent her home after radiation treatment without future hope. We are all praying for a miraculous healing. She has 14 children, youngest is 7, and she is trusting the Lord day-by-day. Please remember her in prayer if you would.


Sat 10/21/19 – Children and mothers from the 20171021_120755.jpgvillage came to the Family Center for Bible teaching and activities. Emelia, my interpreter, and I spoke with the mothers. We prayed with Anda and Lilly for new life in God’s Kingdom.20171021_120722.jpg

The children had a good time with Vali and Becky playing outside games after crafts and Bible lessons.


Afternoon visitation took us to another village, Chirnogi, to encourage a young mother, Mirella, 7 months pregnant, we took along a gift of groceries.

20171021_1746091.jpgIn the evening we attended a service in Chiselet, where Missionary Brad Hayes preached a message on the power of the Holy Spirit. A beautiful church family there planted about 6 years ago.



20171022_142952.jpgSun 10/22/19 – Monica’s girls, Naomi and Andrada, came to watch the orphan babies while we had a worship service. Please continue to pray for their mom who has stage 4 cancer (began in her thyroid).


20171020_094644.jpgMon 10/23/17 – In the morning we again visited the orphaned babies, and two handicapped children. We held them, rubbed them, and comforted them. A little boy is 2 1/2, blind and physically damaged from his mother beating him with a metal bar. He smiles though when we sing and talk to him.  Another boy is 6 1/2, and was born with spina bifida, and has hydroencephaly. We can hold him like a large doll, but he is stiff. God loves him and uses his life to speak to us.

received_10211239288719072.jpegEarlier in the afternoon, Emelia and I met with Lily and Anda to give them a Gideon Bible and begin Bible Study. They gave their hearts to the Lord on Saturday and are glad. Please pray for them to hunger always for God’s Word.


We gathered in Adriana’s village home to share the gospel with her neighbors.   She has outreach to their children at her home weekly. Tonight we were able to clearly present the gospel. There are several believers, and the remainder listened attentively as we shared of God’s purpose to redeem them. It was an amazing open heaven for a couple of hours.



Tues 10/24/17 – Vali, Emelia, and I are visiting some of the women in our village here today inviting them to come to the Center for a ladies gathering tomorrow evening.  While Vali does the children’s activities, I will teach the women about God’s Kingdom and His plan and purpose for them.  Many live in destitute conditions, often with 20171024_1455000.jpgabusive, alcoholic, or absent husbands and struggle daily to provide for the family.  There is much pain among them and I am thankful that we have a sure Word from God to give them. Please continue to pray for us that we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction. Thank you.

Vali’s Testimony

I sat this afternoon with Valentin (Vali) and asked him to share his testimony with me.  He was orphaned as an infant and ended up in an orphanage near here in the south of Romania.  He grew up with much abuse and pain as a child.  But God kept within his heart a desire to achieve in life.  At age 18 he was turned out of the orphanage and was homeless for several years, trying to work, yet there was little work to be had. Finally, after months of discouragement and hopelessness on Sunday, January 7, 1995 at age 20, Vali decided to end his life.  On the way to the place he was to accomplish this, a women stopped him and invited him to come into her church.  He decided to stop and listen for a while, and God reached him with hope.  The next day he made another effort to get work and God opened the door, he was able to find a good job and a small room was provided as well. Since then he has been serving God, attended Bible School, and he and his wife, Emilia, serve here at Gateway of Hope.  A testimony of how God can take all our sorrows and pain of the past and make something beautiful.  Emilia serves alongside her husband working with the children and interprets for me.

As I consider the many ways in which God is at work here among the people, I am reminded that no matter where we live and whatever difficult circumstances we may face, God is faithful to us.

Wed 10/25/17 – AM: Visitation – We visited the hospital this morning. It was a delight to see each of the 5 children receive a bath today.

Our ladies meeting this evening was very good. It is such a delight to be able to present Jesus to some of the neighborhood women.  Two were ready to step into the Kingdom.20171025_204800

Thurs 10/26/17 – Met up with Nora Hayes at a nice coffee shop for pastries to catch up on the past 2 1/2 years since I was here with her.  The Lord has been doing so much through their many years of ministry here.

In the evening we had dinner with fellow missionaries.  John and Doris Storey are missionaries with Reinhard and Darcey here at the Rasa Family Center and such a delight to know.

John is a chef and created a wonderful meal for us.

Fri 10/27/17 – I missed visiting the hospital children today, came down with a headache/illness that was going around here.  Thankfully after a full rest day, prayers from many of you and some cold meds, I was feeling well by the evening.  I attribute to God’s intervention, I’ve never recovered that quickly from some thing like this before.  Amen.

Sat 10/28/17 – Children came to the center for activities and Bible stories, and snacks.  Vali and Emelia host a children’s morning of activity on Saturdays.  Often the mothers come along and gives opportunity for the ladies to meet together.  It was a rainy morning and the women didn’t come for teaching today.

Ladies Meeting – In the evening we went to a large gathering of women in Negoesti village.  We had a very good meeting there and the women were attentive.  Since they were from the church, I was able to share some deeper things from Hebrews chapter 12 about knowing God’s Word for themselves and sharing the gospel with others and the purpose of glorifying God through their lives.  In these villages, many people are fearful of coming to Christ because of the influence of the priest from the Orthodox Church.  Fear is a big factor concerning leaving the religious system and becoming a repentant (pocaiti).

 Sun – 10/29/17 – We have visiting missionaries coming from Brasov for a couple of days. Had a quiet day here with the babies (Doris holding Ana) and had two of Monica’s girls visiting and helping with childcare.

John is quite the chef so he is working on a big dinner for tonight. Wow, did we have some wonderful meals!

Mon – 10/30/17 We visited with Simona and her daughter Ana, who attended our 20171030_161451ladies meeting on Wednesday night.  20171030_155258.jpgSimona heard and responded to the invitation to invite Jesus into her heart.  They are precious ladies.  Please pray with them for protection and provision for their family.


Tues – 10/31/17  20171031_101128.jpgStaff and visitors final photo as we part ways today.  I fly north to Suceava this evening to the Bucovina Region where our family lived the year of 2000 while adopting our children.

I am looking forward to reconnecting with friends and our children’s family over the next 10 days.  I have fond and some difficult memories of my time here. It is a priveledge to return at this time.  I am hoping to be inspired to write many more chapters for My Book after my return to the U.S. having all of this fresh in my heart and mind.