Greetings! Below is an update on us these past two months.
New Apartment Adventure
We have had a tumultuous time with our living arrangement. The first week of August, our landlord lost her apartment in a messy fight with her daughter and ex-husband.
So she told us to leave our apartment so that she could move in. She only gave us 6 days to leave, which is illegal in Romania (since we have minors). But after praying and seeking counsel from our pastor here in Gyergyo, we agreed to leave rather than get involved in a legal battle.
We moved all our possessions out of our 4th floor apartment and into the old church building. Our pastor is allowing us to stay in the old church sanctuary until we move into a new apartment.
If you remember, the old sanctuary was made into a shelter for Ukrainians, but none ever came. So we are blessed with beds and a roof over our head!
Finding an apartment is VERY difficult in our town. Some people spend 6 months waiting for an apartment to become available. But God blessed us through a connection from church, and we signed a lease agreement. Praise God!
The new apartment is under renovation, and will be ready next week.
Until then, we are ‘sheltering’ in the old sanctuary.
Trip to Hungary
In August, we drove to Hungary to spend time with Karina’s grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins.
It was the first time Karina’s grandmother has ever seen our children (her only great-grandchildren).
We had a nice time reconnecting with them, and Genevieve and J.T. enjoyed establishing relationships with their extended Hungarian family. Karina also had the privilege of sharing who Christ is and the purpose of the cross with her grandmother (whose knowledge of God and Mary was much stronger compared to that of Christ).
Karina’s Relationship with Some of the Young Women
We attended two weddings in Gyergyo this summer. One bride was one of Karina’s old friends. She is not a believer, and the man is Roma and of a Baptist background. Because of his ethnicity and his faith, the bride’s family was too embarrassed to invite his family to the wedding.
It was an elaborate, beautiful, and traditionally Catholic wedding, but also heartbreaking to see such a rift within the family at the start of their marriage. Karina’s friend wants to draw closer to God but clings more to customs and good works for salvation. Please pray for their relationship and their marriage.
The second wedding we attended was also of dear friends that we made since we moved here, almost one year ago. In their case, the bride’s family was embarrassed that she is marrying someone who is not Catholic.
The bride’s parents refused to give their blessing over the marriage and didn’t attend. Here in Székelyföld, this is a common occurrence. Attending an evangelical church (or anything other than Catholic) is considered a cause for shunning and never speaking to each other again.
For most of our church members, family is ministry. So please pray that our friends can run the race well, be salt and light, and to be good witnesses for Christ.
Finally, please pray for Karina’s relationship with Anna*. She is a recently married young woman with a baby boy close to Josiah’s age. We got to know her and her husband just after they accepted Christ in July and our relationship is becoming stronger.
Anna faced challenges within her family before she got baptized, and also shared about some trauma in her life. Her son just got discharged from the hospital for respiratory issues and we blessed them with a care package (you have to bring your own food and belongings at the hospitals here) and Karina and Anna prayed together over a video call.
*Name changed for security.
Jacob’s Language Learning
In August, Jacob progressed from phase 3 into phase 4 of his Hungarian Language Program.
At this phase, Jacob is growing proficient in more complex grammar, more vocabulary, as well as through interacting with deep-life conversations/recordings, and developing meaningful relationships outside of class (a particularly unique requirement of this program). Jacob must ‘participate’ in the culture, and learn Hungarian in context of relationships built outside of class.
Missionaries using this program often refer to phase 4 as the ‘sink-or-swim’ phase, as it takes the most effort and relentlessly pushes you to the edge of your growth zone.
Please take a moment to pray with us for the requests below:
- For our housing transition to finish quickly.
- For brotherly love to mark our relationships within our church.
- God’s grace and wisdom for us in interacting with the lost.
- For strong faith and enduring joy in Christ for the newly baptized in our church.
- Thanksgiving for God’s provision in response to difficulties.