Back From Romania and Germany

Talk about an encouraging trip! After numerous hours of airtime on Lufthansa airlines (wow... so great!), we hit the ground running in Timisoara, which if you can remember, was the birthplace of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. I can briefly remember snippets of this happening in my life, then as a six year old in front of a TV showing images of masses of people and lights, guns firing, and mean-looking men giving speeches in a language I didn't know. But, to actually be in the place where many people, children especially, were killed, was pretty heavy. We spent the night at the Hotel Perla in downtown Timisoara and then proceeded to the conference center in Surduc the next day.

We kicked off the conference on Saturday morning with a group of near 30 pastors and support staffers. I use the term "support staff" fairly loosely, because many of them were not payed, they were just there to learn how to promote the Church and spread the Gospel more within their villages. We had a great and very attentive group who were incredibly excited to take and put into practice the church-planting and leadership elements that we were teaching them over the span of the day. They posited many great questions on our views of church planting and different ways in which they might make more of an impact, as well.

On Sunday morning, we woke up to attend church at one of our main contact's, Ovidiu's, churches. Ovidiu is a young pastor in the village of Susani, just below the mountains of western-central Romania. Filled with some of the sweetest people I've been blessed to get to meet, we had an incredibly great time of worshipping Jesus with the Romanians. I even led worship for the group, at one point; not much was understood, though, since I was leading in English and they were thinking in Romanian!

Afterwards, and over the next couple of days, we would be discussing and planning out our two operations there, next summer, from a logistical standpoint. Setting up hotels, places to eat, safety and security issues, transportation, and the like. We also met with both Ovidiu and our other main contact, Catalin, to hash out the future work we have to continue in Romania over the next few years.

On Tuesday, we flew to Munich for a brief bit of R&R in the Bavarian capitol. Tuesday night found us on the main plaza, beneath the Rathaus government building, mingling with mobs of tourists and Germans alike. The booths were already set up all over the square in preparation of the Christkindlmarkt, which begins in two shorts weeks. After schnitzel, roasted cinnamon-sugar almonds, and a Turkish shave for yours truly, we took the S8 train back to Rosenheimer Platz to bed down and get ready for the grueling plane-ride back to Chicago and onward, home to DFW.

Thank you all, so so very much, for the great prayers over the course of the past month. This LDC went so incredibly smooth and was so very relevant to the pastors we got to serve! We, as an organization, are so incredibly blessed to be able to work alongside men such as Ovidiu and Catalin. We (Carrie and I), as a couple, are so incredibly blessed to be supported and loved by so many of you!

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