God is faithful.
One of the most profound and truthful statements we can make. The Bible is full of examples, and evidence abounds in each of our lives. Those words can seem so simple, and if were not careful, they just become just words with an absence of proclamation and a void of true gratefulness in our heart.
God is faithful.
Today I can proclaim those words with deepest heartfelt emotion, praising God and giving all glory to Him. God showed up today in countless ways, but here are a few that really standout in my mind:
1.A chance encounter with a precious girl and her grandmother while waiting outside the mayor’s office in Creaca. Kitty, as we would come to know her. Divine encounter indeed. She was not on our “schedule,” but God graced us with a chance meeting and reminded us how He is at work all around us. Kitty has finished college, but she is searching for a job. God, thank you for letting us hear Kitty’s words of, “I know God has a plan for my life.” Yes Kitty, He does, And today, we are grateful that plan included meeting us.
We would ask that you pray for provision of employment for Kitty, but even more so for continued surrender of her life to Jesus Christ.
2. A powerful testimony from Mardian. We met Mardian and his wife Rosalia, when we stopped to deliver food to them. We had already given the bag of groceries and prayed for them and were headed out the gate when Mardian stopped us. He wanted to tell us a story. Listening to Mardian talk was like hearing one of the many miracle stories out of the Bible. Mardian had an encounter with God that led to his baptism and to salvation for his whole family. And, in the process of surrendering their lives to Christ, Rosalia was healed of cancer. God, thank you for not letting us get out of that gate without hearing Mardian’s living testimony of Your goodness and faithfulness.
We would ask that you pray for Mardian’s continued boldness in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
3. A little girl named Delia from the gypsy village of Varsolt. Delia adopted Katie instantly. She would spontaneously just come and hug Katie’s leg. God, thank you for reminding us how easy it is to love others. Katie’s genuine smile and the light of Jesus in her eyes drew Delia like a moth to a flame. Yes, loving others is the first step in leading them to Christ. It’s no wonder it’s in the greatest commandment.
We would ask that you pray for Delia and every gypsy child we encounter that they might know the love and salvation of Jesus Christ.
4. A woman name Donna. Donna is a member of Bethany Baptist Simleu, where Katie, Kelly, and KeLe did women’s ministry tonight. After hearing KeLe’s testimony, Donna sought her out to visit with her and express her gratitude. When we later debriefed at the end of the day, Jeff asked us all how we were doing spiritually. KeLe was quick to say how overwhelmed she was with God’s goodness. God, thank you for richly blessing us as we attempt to be obedient to you and bless others. KeLe’s cup is full because of your faithfulness.
We would ask that you pray for Donna’s continued obedience to be a blessing to others. She does it in such a beautiful way.
5. An agape meal of sandwiches. Filthy faces and clothes, but bright eyed and full of energy. The gypsy children of Varsolt hadn’t seen a good bath and clean clothes in quite some time. Cha Cha warned us to watch our hair, and we quickly knew why. It would be easy to look at the raggedy-ness of the children and the deplorable living conditions from which they came and just be completely overwhelmed by a task far too big for us. God, thank you for allowing us to serve these children an agape meal made by Laura and Kelly on the floor of a tiny one room church. You have shown us what YOUR provision looks like.
We would ask that you pray these children would not only have the provision of food, but the knowledge that their meal was Heaven sent.
I could go on and on, but since it is 12:23 am, I’ll share just one more example of how God increased our faith today. Susan Brown and Penny Wiethorn, this one is for you.
6. When we were in Romania in October 2012, two of the homes we visited in Simleu were Stephen and Susanna Vargas and Rosalia. Stephen was attacked by co-workers, and multiple stab woulds left him paralyzed. We met Stephen and Susanna after climbing to the 5th story apartment. Susanna received a scarf from Susan Brown. Susan has been praying for this family ever since. And Rosalia, a precious Hungarian widow who has been abandoned by her family because of her faith, received a scarf from Penny Wiethorn. Penny has continued to pray for Rosalia, too. Guess what?! God, in His amazing goodness, allowed us to receive an update on both the Vargas family and Rosalia. Stephen has recently had surgery and is doing well. Rosalia continues to do well also. God, you have shown us that the least of these are never forgotten in Your kingdom.
We would ask that you pray for the Vargas family and Rosalia to continue to see how much God loves them!
Although this post has broken every rule about length of a blog post, let me just make a brief recap of God’s divine appointments today and how He has increased our faith:
- Pastor Jeff spent 3 hours leading a pastors’ conference for 18 pastors. We know God used Jeff’s teaching to strengthen and encourage these men.
- The remaining six delivered food to 9 homes in Creaca. Please pray for the homes of Florica with five children under her very small roof; Nelu; Adrian, Dorina, and their 6-year old daughter, Naomi, who has a severe heart condition and cannot walk; Donna whose hands shook like a leaf as I prayed for her, Mardian, Rosalia, Donna, Eduardo, and Samuel; Hotica, who recently suffered a severe shoulder and arm injury caused by a water buffalo; Rodica and her husband, Nelu, who is paralyzed from the waist down after a recent fall; and Lutensia, a precious widow whose voice quivered with tears of loneliness as we visited with her. And a tenth home were we to deliver food, but the three children who reside there without their parents were not home.
- Children’s ministry in the gypsy village of Varsolt where we served 14 children
- Katie, Kelly, and KeLe ministered to 18 women at Bethany Baptist in Simleu;
- Marvin and Jeff led a revival to an absolutely packed church in Simpetru. Five non-Christians were there; please be in prayer for their salvation.
- Laura and I ministered to a small, but faithful group of 6 at First Baptist Zalau. Two women in particular captured our hearts. Please be in prayer for Veronica, a widow who is heartbroken for her children who do not know Christ, and for Maier, a healed and redeemed alcoholic who desperately wants to see her husband saved.