As the saying goes “time flies when you are having fun” – that is how this past year has been for us. As of the end of November we have been in Romania for one year. We can look back and see how faithful God has been. We are thankful for the work that has been done at the camp, the people and teams that have visited, the children/youth that heard about God’s love this past summer. We are so thankful to all of you that have prayed and supported us through all of this.
In November the CFR team spent one week in Hungary at Lake Balaton for a time of fellowship growing in God’s word and prayer. It was great to relax and spend time together. It was energizing on many levels.
Work continues at the camp, the farmhouse has heating, plumbing, drywall on the ceiling and the rendering is being done on the inside walls. We wait patiently for the permits to be in place so we can get to work on the water and sewage project. We are hoping to start this in the next couple of months. We pray God will allow us to complete this project and 2 duplex cabins this Spring so that we can run camps on the property this summer.
As good as it was to be home, we are glad to be back on the ground in Romania serving our Savior. We had our annual Camp Falcon Rock Christmas Dinner with the Board members and staff. So encouraging to see our team grow and we are thankful for each of them as they help to build Camp Falcon Rock.
Please continue to pray for the permits and also one of the CFR staff who is experiencing health issues.
We again thank you for your Love, prayers and support as we serve here, we couldn’t do it without you.
Vern and Gloria
Romans Road 8
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God. Romans 2:28-29
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” You were taught this as a child in order to differentiate between things that matter, and things that ultimately can’t hurt you. Your mother reminded you that the names that the other kids were calling you weren’t true and that you should just ignore them. Not only did this lesson help you to mature and develop a thicker skin, it taught you to discern differences of importance. You learned as you got older that there were things that could actually hurt you and responded differently to those then you would implied threats.
Discerning between the real and what you think is real is one of the more important aspects of your faith. Jesus made this fact very clear in his oft-ignored warning in Matthew chapter 7; “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you.” (Mt 7:21-23a)
How many people call themselves Christians but don’t follow Christ? How many people have gone through the motions of church attendance and baptism and some peripheral participation in the things of God and yet have never truly repented or committed their full faith to Jesus Christ? When Paul was addressing the matter of ethnic Jews, in the passage above, he was speaking bluntly to those who were depending on their bloodline for salvation before God. Physically circumcised, perhaps even obedient to the letter of the sacrificial system, they still didn’t believe in the power in the promises of Yahweh. They were not circumcised in the heart.
The church throughout her history has seen more than her share of people similarly un-gripped. They profess Christianity but there’s little evidence of it in their lives. They profess to be followers of Jesus but don’t do what he says as Lord (Luke 6:46). They have no desire to pray, little desire to worship and only a fleeting familiarity with God’s word. They may have been physically baptized but the waters of repentance have never reached their heart.
I pray that this doesn’t describe you, but if it does, I pray that you are offended and moved to action. The circumcision of your heart is an action that you can take right now at this moment. Go to the cross, see the loving and merciful sacrifice of Jesus Christ, see that “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). As you envision the Lamb of God slain to atone for the sins of the world, in repentance receive God’s grace and be saved (Ephesians 2:8 – 10). Be circumcised in the heart.
Grace and Peace to you.
Sunday, January 14 we will be commissioning the Texas Mission team. Pray for them to be prepared and we will all together send them out.
Summer Ministry!We had team of 11 here from July 22 – Aug. 2, they represented 4 churches from Alberta and BC. We did VBS in 4 more villages and saw around 200 children attend. We had a great time playing games like “Where’s Waldo”, doing crafts and hearing about God’s Everlasting Love through skits & bible stories. We enjoyed hearing messages and testimonies from the team that came from Canada and seeing the impact these messages had on the children and youth. One of the team members on this trip was a distant relative of Gloria’s – Thanks for coming along and sharing God’s word Josh Arnold – great to meet you. And of course we loved the Canada vs Romania soccer game!
Vern & Tamas have been busy at the camp preparing the ground & pouring cement for the retaining wall by the existing building. Work has begun on the “Old Farm House” - windows & doors have been removed and they are getting the inside walls ready for stucco. This is going to be an excellent building for staff to live on the property. It's important for us to get this done soon as the camp is getting busier and busier with work and groups.
Camp Falcon Rock was rented to two groups this summer through the Hungarian Baptist Convention. It was great to hear the laughter of children at the camp and to see lives impacted by God using this place already. The groups meant a lot of work for Gloria & Tunde as they had to clean and wash bed linen and get the camp turned around.
We have a lot of building projects on the go right now. Please pray with us that the permits for the water, sewage & cabins will arrive soon so that we can have more camps next summer. If we are able to get these projects done then we will be able to publicly open the doors of Camp Falcon Rock and run our own programs next summer!
We are looking forward to having our children with us this fall. Nathan, Stacey, Cache & Mabel arrive here on Sept. 3. They will be in the village with us until the 11th then Nathan & Stacey go off touring to Greece & Italy. Cache & Mabel will hang out with Papa & Grammie until Sept 30 when we will fly with them to Denmark to meet up with their mom & dad. We are looking forward to spending time with our family in Denmark—we haven’t been there since 1995 so will be fun to reconnect.
Nathan & Stacey fly home on Oct. 6 & we fly back to Romania on Oct. 7. We have a few days to get ready for Michael, Katrina & Jack who will arrive on Oct. 12. They will be here in the village for one week then they are off touring also. Darn, they said they are not leaving Jack with us!!!!! September & October will be busy months but so looking forward to showing our kids the village life & meeting all our friends here in Szentkiraly.
We were able to pick Blackberries at the camp – a new experience for us. They are sure yummy but very nasty to pick, we have the scratches to prove it. Gloria was able to make some jam, syrup, muffins and a very yummy blackberry cobbler.
It is amazing that we now live in a country that moves a little slower than Central Alberta, but the time goes by just as fast. Wasn’t it just May!?! Ecc.3:1 says everything has its time. When we look back and see the teens, the children and the leadership here this verse makes a lot of sense. You can see it in the response of the people that are eager to hear the good news as well as it in the love that is shared with these children and adults.
Thanks everyone for allowing us to be witnesses to God’s Love for Romania.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil-this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. Ecclesiastes 3:9-15
Till next time –
Vern & Gloria