Romania November 13

Romania-nov-13 rsThis was a very satisfying day. Both morning and evening sessions on praying in the Name of Jesus went well. There was a real connection with those who were involved. It is great to be able to look at the faces of those who are listening and know by their expressions that they understand and appreciate the significance of what they are hearing. To see tears in the eyes of some as the significance of some of the Names of Jesus impact their own situation.It is always interesting to work with a translator. I tend to speak rather faster sometimes than I should. I get so excited, sometimes, about what I’m talking about. The translator I have is excellent. He was pretty much by my side and keeping up, though he did ask me to slow down a bit so he could be sure the congregation could get everything.

Tomorrow we start on Praying the Text of Scripture–using the Bible as a source of prayer. Pastor Dan, my host pastor, was very pleased with what his people received today and is looking forward to tomorrow.

One problem is we do not have the entire evening group during the morning as many work, etc. It means I have to do a recap of about 3 hours of training in about the first 15 minutes of the evening session.

I slept well last night and appreciate your prayers for a good rest tonight. We have to start a bit earlier in the morning as we have about a 35 minute drive from where we are staying in Zalau. The roads have been very much improved since 2010. Makes it much easier and safer to travel back and forth.

Thanks and Blessings!

Romania November 12

Romania-nov-12 rsTuesday was another fantastic day. I was teaching on what it means to pray in the Name of Jesus. After about 2 hours, The pastors began to ask questions about not only what I was saying that morning, but how things tied together as regards how they minister. We had about a 2 hour discussion of a number of issues that were very personal and relevant to them. It was a great opportunity of intense sharing as various pastors talked about what the Lord had done in their lives and ministries. They also wanted to know how to maintain the integrity of their denominational ties and yet expand into new areas.

Paul and I had lunch with two of the men. Then after the evening session, we had a time of prayer with the young pastor of our host church in Zalau. Then afterwards we went to dinner in the home of another of the pastors, meeting his lovely wife. I had had dinner at their home in 2010 when I was first in Romania. It was a time of sharing and prayer as well.

This morning, Weds., we drive over to Simleau to start sessions there. I’m really looking forward to being in Pastor Dan’s church again. Paul and I are holding up well. It was a very late night last night, but I did get fairly good sleep once I was able to fall asleep.

So appreciate your prayers.

Romania November 11

Romania Nov 11Pastor Paul and I are on this trip together. He is from Romania and knows those we are ministering to. So on Sunday, combined we touched 5 congregations.

Monday turned out to be a great day. We had a very attentive group of pastors who listened and asked quite insightful questions. I was teaching on the nature of God. If you don’t know who God is, you really can’t get anything else correct. After the morning session several pastors commented that what I had taught would transform how they did ministry. The young pastor with whom we had lunch, pastors the largest evangelical church in Zalau. He, his wife and their 4 young children joined us for lunch. along with two other pastors. He is keen to be able to minister to his congregation in a loving and effective manner. He has asked so many questions. He wants to be able to pray with us on Tuesday.

When we finished up around 9 p.m. we were invited to eat at the house of the most senior pastor in the group. He was pastor of the church where the young pastor mentioned above replaced him when he retired. He is a very interesting man. It was lovely to be in his home with his wife and have further opportunity to discuss various important matters. Before we could leave, he and his wife asked me to pray blessing on their home. It was a very touching experience. He is such a humble man. However, you can imagine, perhaps, the situation the younger pastor faces as he tries to minister in the shadow of the older man. This does bring challenges.

I did get a good night of sleep last night. We didn’t get to the hotel until almost 11:30, so I didn’t get opportunity to make a posting. The pastors had asked for a change in what I was going to teach today, so I needed to go over the material that I wasn’t planning to use at this church. It will be O.K. I’m here to serve them in any way they need and to discuss topics of most interest and need to them.

Thanks for your prayers.


Travel and Teaching in Romania November 9

Fall-in-Romania rsPaul and I left for Zalau, Romania this morning. It was about a 6 hour drive, with only one instance of taking the wrong road when one of the signs was not clear. We noticed immediately and got back on track within about 5 minutes, so no real damage. After 6+ hours we were in our hotel, about 20 minutes before all the pastors arrived for our dinner meeting to discuss details of the week.

It was great to see these 5 pastors who are leaders in the church here in this area. We sorted out details for the week. There were some interesting discussions on a variety of questions they asked. They are a really interesting group of men.

Tomorrow I will speak in 2 or 3 churches. That will be finalized after the first service. Anyway, Paul will be speaking in 2 different congregations at the same time. That allows us to interact with a wider group right from the beginning.

Our training sessions on prayer begin on Monday. Monday and Tuesday we are in Zalau with a number of pastors–40 or so we think. Sessions are from 9-12 and 2-5 both days. There will also be individual meetings with some of the pastors each day as well.

Weds-Fri we will move to Simlau to follow the same time schedule, but with mostly members of one particular congregation. Some pastors might also be there as well.

Saturday will be a down day. Then we have to determine whether we stay in this area and speak in more churches, or move to Timosara on Sunday. Mon-Weds will involve meetings with other leaders to determine future ministry opportunities. I might speak at a seminary on one of those days. Then back to Budapest on Weds. p.m. so I am there for my flight back home on Thursday.

We have a 9 hour time difference from CA time. I’m tired and will soon head to bed. Early start tomorrow and busy day.

Thanks so much for your prayers. The picture is of the pastors we met with today.


VBS Overview

VBS FinalThe Huejotzingo neighborhood VBS was a very successful event. A total of 31 kids participated in the Bible studies, skits, Bible memorization, crafts and games. One of the things that amazed me is how enthusiastically these children, ages 4-15, participated in all that was going on. What Abraham and Rachel did with their leadership team reminded me in many ways of the sorts of more simple things we used to do at such events when I was a kid. Nothing high-tech or slick, just simple, straight forward games using a variety of things at hand. They had a lot of games that used car tires or hula hoops and balls. They made crafts using toilet paper tubes, etc. A lot of thought and effort on the part of the leaders went into preparation. Everything was very hands on. There was a lot of individual attention to and encouragement towards each child. Each kid responded well. Many of these kids are in at risk situations.

At the graduation ceremony on Sunday, a few parents showed up to watch their kids repeat their memory verses, recap the stories of creation, fall and redemption, receive a certificate of completion, and eat cake. This is a great way for Abraham and Rachel to gain greater acceptance in the local community. One of the families invited Abraham and Rachel over to their home for the evening meal. This is very encouraging to them.

One of the girls that attended most of the week and on Sunday is a pre-teen of 11 years. She began coming to their house with her sister almost 2 years ago. Now she attends every event she can. She is a member of the English class and studies diligently. She also enjoys the Tuesday craft nights, and she recently opened up about a very difficult situation that she experienced and continues to struggle with at home. She and her sister come every Sunday afternoon that they are allowed, and they learn the Bible stories that Abraham and Rachel teach. She lives with her mother and grandparents. Her father is in the States, but he left her mother and now has another family. Her story is very typical of what many of the youth Abraham and Rachel are reaching with the love of Jesus.

Thanks for your prayers. Thanks for being a vital part of the ministry of Teach Us to Pray.




Thanks to all of you who prayed regarding my food poisoning. All I can say is the Lord has answered in a powerful way with what I deem to be a miracle. I am completely recovered without even beginning the course of antibiotics. To God be the glory! I have never experienced this kind of recovery from this type of sickness.


Day 3 of VBS

VBS Day 3Our third day of VBS is over. We are staying around the low 20’s in attendance, which is pretty good for the neighborhood. The kids are really into the stories and memory verses. Each day they learn a new verse and they go over the ones from prior days. They are asked to share the verses and stories with their parents at home.

The days have been quite pleasant. Glad to have the tarp over the courtyard, though, or it would be too hot. This evening it rained quite hard and the tarp pole collapsed. Will have to refasten it tomorrow morning before the kids arrive. About 6 of them come at least 1/2 hour early every day, sometimes even earlier. There is a lot of work for them to do at home, but not a lot of play time, so they are delighted to be with us.

Please keep us in prayer as we go into the home stretch.


Day 2 of VBS

VBS Day 2We have completed our second day of VBS in Huejotzingo. A few kids who were here yesterday were not here today, but a few came who weren’t here the first day, so things pretty much balanced out. The kids were very enthusiastic in their skits, games, projects and Scripture memorization. Today we focused on Adam and Eve and the creation of all the animals. Tomorrow we go to the fall.

One of the helpers from a local church where Abraham and Rachel serve is a professional clown. He was a great hit. He specializes in making balloon creations. Periodically we would be startled by an explosion as a balloon popped. Part of the fun.

We so appreciate your prayers.

Day One of VBS in Huejotzingo

VBS HeujoWe spent the weekend getting all of the supplies, handouts and crafts ready for the VBS. This included a walk into downtown Huejotzingo, where we are working, to go to the Saturday market. I absolutely love the outdoor markets I’ve been in all around the world–various African countries, Korea, Japan, etc. It is just plan fun to look at the variety of goods on sale and to bargain for purchases.

Today VBS in Huejo started. We actually had several kids come two hours early! Fortunately they live just across the street, so we could let them know to come back at noon. We were hanging a tarp over the courtyard where the kids would do some crafts and have their snacks. If the sun is out, the courtyard is very hot as there is no shade. And if it rains, as it did later in the day, the tarp provides protection. I had a metal ladder made that was delivered on Sunday, so we could get up onto the roof to hang the tarp. Everything worked out well.

We had 23 kids today, from age 4 to age 15. Everyone had a great time. Everyone learned the chosen verses. Abraham and Rachel put everything together rather than trying to buy a pre-made program. They’re doing the creation story. Lots of crafts, songs, skits and memory work.

The kids were all fully engaged in every aspect of what was going on. Most don’t get any Bible in their homes. Most don’t attend any church with any regularity. Most are “at risk” for various forms of abuse. So the love and attention they get here can be truly transforming.

Since I don’t speak Spanish, I’m the photographer, gopher and all-around handyman. I also talk with the students who are in Rachel’s English class.

We are trying to work out details that would allow a group (perhaps our youth) to come here from our church next year to help with VBS.

Rachel is our youngest daughter. She and her husband, Abraham, are parents to Judy and my only grandchild. So it has been an absolute delight to get to spend some quality time as a grandpa as well.

Appreciate your prayers that all will continue to go well. So far I’ve stayed fairly healthy–bit of stomach problems, but not as bad as has happened in the past. Also I’ve had a bit of a problem sleeping two of the nights since I arrived. There was a very loud party going on across the street one night until well after 1 a.m. Fireworks, a live brass band, etc.


Returning Home

Got home from Fiji yesterday. No sleep on the flight, which was quite full. Did get to be in the upper deck, which is much quieter. Slept well last night. To a graveside service today for the husband of my wife’s youngest sister. Great to see family, even though the occasion is sad. Will fly up to northern CA on Sunday for the memorial service.

The outreach in Fiji was one of the best yet. Thanks so much for your prayers.