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We have lived in Romania for 16 years now. We have 6 kids.

Friday, August 31, 2007

A really good read!

I have read a lot of good books in my life but I just finished one that will quite possibly be one of my top favorites for the rest of my life: Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper was so convicting. Many times I read a book and think oh that was good or encouraging but this one at times made me cry b/c I was under conviction. I hope that my life is forever changed and I will now make much of Christ with my every breath. If I could challenge you all to read a book it would be this one. I want to quote some of the last chapter which is a prayer written by Piper.


"Oh, what a grand design! To make our joy the echo of your excellence. To make our pleasure proof that you now hold the place of Treasure in our lives. To make the gladness of our souls the essence of our worship, and the mirror of your worth. To make yourself most glorified in us, O God, when we are satisfied in you. How could I, Lord, have ever been so blind to think that being loved by you means making much of me and not yourself? How could I put my eye to some great telescope, designed to make me glad with visions of the galaxies, and notice in the glass a dim reflection of my face and say, 'Now I am happy, I am loved'? How could I stand before the setting sun, between the mountain range and the vastness of the sea, and think that everlasting joy should come from making much of me?
No, Father, love is this: AT great expense you made yourself my glory and my boast. The cost was infinite by which you made yourself the Treasure of my life. You sent your Son, the blazing cneter of your beauty and your love. You gave him up to mockery, betrayal, thorns, the whip, the rod, the fists, the nails, the shame, and death. For what? To swallow up your wrath, and satisfy your righteousness, and bury all my sins as far as east is from the west and in the deepest sea, so that I might come home and see the galaxy. This is your love, O God, not to make much of me, but do whatever must be done so that I waken to the joy of making much of you through all eternity.
How then shall Christ not be my only boast! Not only that he bought yourself for me, O God, but is himself your perfect image and the blazing center of your radiance. What do I have that does not come from him? What gift of life or breath? What promise ever made did not receive its Yes in him? What one sweet thing, or hard thing you will soon make sweet, did I receive except that it was purchased by his blood? Not one thing I deserve, but hell. Yet everything is mine in him, and by his sacrifice alone. O god, forbid that I should ever boast save in the cross of Christ my Lord."

"...Forbid O Lord, that while the world is filled with need we would sit down and say, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be mreey.' A terrible reversal awaits such lovelessness...O God, such riches are a wasted life. Protect us, Lord. Grant us to hear and heed another call: 'Lay up your treasure not on earth, but in the place where moth and thief will never come. Make treasures for yourself that cannot fail.' But then we ask, 'What treasures, Lord?' We see you smile. 'I am your Treasure and your great Reward. I am your food, your drink, your festal garments and your everlasting gain. I am your life and your allsatisfying Joy."

"...O Father, grant your church to love your glory more then gold-to cease her love affair with comfort and security. Grant that we seek the kingdom first and let the other things come as you will. Grant that we move toward need and not toward ease. Grant that the firm finality of our security in Christ free us to risk our homes and health and money on the earth. Help us to see that if we try to guard our wealth, instead of using it to show it's not our god, then we will waste our lives, however we succeed."

"...Let every wavering heart remeber this: You promised, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So may we say with death-defying confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'"

"...Let love flow from your saints, and may it, Lord, be this: that even if it costs our lives, the people will be glad in God. 'Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the naitons be glad and sing for joy.' Take your honored place, O Christ, as the all-satisfying Treasure of the world. With trembling hands before the throne of God, and utterly dependent on your grace, we lift our voice and make this solemn vow: AS God lives, and is all I ever need, I will not waste my life...through Jesus Christ, Amen."


I hope that maybe reading these exerpts will wet your appetite for reading this book and seeing what it means to not waste our lives as Christians. I plan on re reading this book each year to remind myself of my purpose in life...to make much of God...to find my joy in Him alone...to make him my Treasure above all other earthly treasures!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Random pictures

Me and my baby!


















First week of 3rd grade for Zach. First week of 2nd grade for Spencer and his first loose tooth!













Nate loves to smile for the camera and he loves chocolate chip cookies!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Miracle!

I have been praying about our permanent residency paper work. It usually takes the whole 6 months to hear back from them and then after that you pay the taxes and wait an other month until you get your official card. So, we were looking at November before we were going to be official and be able to take in kids and I thought for sure Iona would be gone by then. Well, I had given it to God and really wasn't worrying about it. I had let God know whatever he had planned for us was ok with me. If He wants to hurry our paperwork I knew He could (and I knew it would be a miracle if the paper work got done quicker b/c everything takes a long time here) and I knew that He wanted me to trust Him. We got home from Timisoara today and Baron and I each had an envelope waiting for us from the police station....we are in the next phase...we have been accepted and have to pay the taxes and turn in something else within 30 days! So, God has hurried our paperwork a long much faster then we expected! We will be going to the hospital Saturday and I am wondering if God has also kept Ioana there for us. I know He knows what is best and look forward to seeing what child God has picked out for us. So, all that to say we could have a child in our care by the end of September! We are just excited to see what God has in store for us.
Today we went to a day center for street kids in Timisoara. My battery went dead so I didn't get very many pictures. It is really sad because even though these kids/young adults come from rough backgrounds most of them choose to be on the street and think they are "free" and don't want to work or live productive lives. Many of the young mean and women in their 20's have major problems due to sniffing glue. They can't walk very well, they have no life in their eyes, and they shake (kind of like someone with Parkinson's Disease). It is really sad. I saw one young boy, Elvis who is 14 and I still saw light in his eyes. He said he was planning on finding out if his grandma would take him in and trying to go home. I just kept letting him know that I thought he was a smart boy and could make something of his life. Working with the street kids is very hard and challenging. Most come to the center just to get a meal, a shower, and some clothes they don't really want help. We are praying about what God has for us and our church here in Lugoj.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another Funeral

We went to the home last night of an Orthodox family. Crisina is a young lady who comes to our church and is saved. She is friends with an unsaved guy named Claudiu. Claudiu comes to church with her and Baron has shared the gospel with him and he sees that his Orthodox relgion is false. Claudiu's dad died yesterday morning after a long battle with cancer. When we got to the home the priest was there performing some ceremony. We waited outside the house b/c it made my stomach turn to know that this ceremony was pointless and that all the people in the room including the priest knew it was pointless and yet Satan holds on to the people through their religion. Most people we talk to say they realize that you probably can't really pray someone out of hell or do enough good things to show you loved them and to get them out of hell but they continue to do them b/c that is what they have always done. But yet, you try and show them something true and sound from the Bible and they almost mock you. You want to shout "Hey, I have something real, I have a purpose for everything I do, i don't do something b/c that is the way we have always done it!" They can't see that Satan is holding them in darkness. I see this and hunger more for God and realize how thankful I am that I am a sinner set free by the grace of God...that I could very easily be where they are, blinded by Satan. Only God can set them free and as we work, we realize we work for God and His glory and we don't have to be discouraged b/c the results are up to Him and when the results come He will receive all glory and honor that He is worthy of! We pray for this town, we want to claim Lugoj for His glory. We want the Light to shine so brightly here in and through us.
The darkness is so heavy and real that you can feel it. We know that the Light, Jesus, is greater and trust Him.

Monday, August 20, 2007

my new kitchen



My "new" kitchen...it was a real mess for a week but I love it now.







Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Olteaun family











This is a picture from camp. The boy in the red shirt accepted Christ at camp. His name is Viniciu Olteaun and the boy in the grey shirt is his brother. There are a total of 15 in his family. They are Pentecostal and believe that you are saved or keep your salvation by your works. 7 of the younger kids come to kids club regularly and we took three of them to camp. Their 55 year old dad dropped dead of a heart attack on Tuesday morning. Baron had just seen him in town at 10 am and talked with him. When he got home at 11 am he died instantly. The funeral was today. We pray that we can minister to these kids. They all asked Baron at the funeral when we were starting our teen Bible study again. Pray for this family. In the group pictre the girl with the word love on her shirt (2nd from the left) is also an Olteaun. Her name is Odette and she is 13 I think.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

VBS update

I noticed that I talked about 54 kids and we were packed out and then Baron told them to invite more friends but I never gave an update. Well, the next night we had 75 kids in our little church building. 20 kids had to share chairs and the kids were wild! It was great fun though. That night Baron did not announce for them to bring visitors back! We thought we were at our limit :).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Trip to Budapest Continued



We decided to save money and walk home from TGI Friday's. According to the map it was only about 6 blocks away...should have been a very short walk. Nate didn't mind since he had a ride and Drew ended up needing a ride also! I kept telling Zach when his feet were tired to be thankful that he has feet that he can walk on. His tired feet should remind him that he has the ability to walk and that we shouldn't take that for granted. So, we praised Him for our tired feet.








See my two front teeth coming in! I had a delicious bottle of milk at TGI Friday's. Zach said it was the best grilled cheese sandwich he ever ate! Baron enjoyed ribs. What a treat!




"Here kitty, kitty, kitty."




Nate was fasinated by the animals!

Our trip to Budapest



A family photo at Gloria Jean's Coffee.



We are thankful for the safety God gave us (gives us) on the road. The driving really is crazy. He protected me from a car wreck on Wednesday and protected us as a family from one on our way to Budapest.




The boys did well with all the walking. They were grateful to finally get to the zoo. We took a "shortcut" which looked like a shortcut on the map but put is in dead lock traffic. It turned out to be a blessing though b/c if we hadn't gone that way we wouldn't have spotted the Gloria Jeans' Coffee and we wouldn't have spotted the hotel right near the zoo with the parking garage (parking is murder in Budapest).



We had a good time at the Budapest zoo. We enjoyed looking at all the interesting creatures that God made.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nate walking



I need to explain why Nate is yelling: I missed the very first couple of steps but immediately after he took them all his brothers started cheering for him. Well, that is all it took. He thought that was great and started yelling and wouldn't quit! After this video was taken, he crawled to the kitchen and the boys followed him and there he just took off walking and yelling.