Hello family and friends, 

We concluded our VBS week in Nadasd on Thursday and Friday, a village whose population has a high percentage of gypsies. We were blessed to have over 90 children attend VBS and learn about the Love of God. It was fun and chaotic at the same time! As this was our second village for VBS, we had developed a bit of a routine and were a little more confident in our roles. As the children were dismissed on Friday, our team was excited to hand out the teddy bears lovingly made by the church in Olds. 

Saturday was a holiday for us, at least in some respects. We slept in slightly, then drove to the nearby Roman ruins. That was a highlight for some of the team, and we enjoyed running, sparring, exploring, and taking pictures for a couple of hours. We sat in the middle of the amphitheater and discussed Nero’s plans to eradicate Christianity; this led us to ponder what lasts (the kingdom of God) and what doesn't (empires of this world). We had lunch in Zalau (the provincial capital), and spent some time in an old (and very fancy) Orthodox church. Then we had some time shopping in the supermarket, and picked up a few sweets and treats. 

Today we went to two different church services. The first was in the village of Erked. We were invited to attend here as we will be running VBS camps the next two days in this village. It was also a special celebration of harvest today in this town, similar to Thanksgiving as we would know it. It was a fantastic service with special numbers and a large brass band. Jireh and Josh shared their testimonies and Paul preached on John 4:34-39. What a humbling word it was to hear that Christ has sent us to reap a harvest we have not worked for. Knowing this, how can we not want to share His love with others? 

Following the service, we were welcomed into one of the church members’ homes, a man who happens to be the vice mayor. They provided us with a three course meal and a place to fellowship. Our afternoon service then followed back in our home village, Szentkiraly. Paul preached on Joel 2:12-15. He shared a message of love and encouraged us that just as we tell the children that God loves them, he also loves us. We cannot understand the magnitude of God's love for us until we understand the magnitude of our sin. He finished his sermon sharing 1 John 3:1 and reminded us that we are the children of God, and we are called this because of the great, abundant love that He has for us. 

We finished our day by heading out to the nearby restaurant to have dinner with our host families. After having them give up their homes, feed and serve us more than we could have them, this is the least that we could do. We have been overwhelmed with a sense of joy and gratitude by the family we have found in Romania as we are united in Christ. 

We are about to head into two very intense days as we will be doing double VBS each day. The weather is supposed to be VERY hot, so we ask that you pray for endurance and perseverance as we do our very best to finish well. As we have reflected as a team, we have also been overwhelmed by the fact that what we have done here would not have been possible without the support of each of you who has walked through this journey with us, be it through words of encouragement, prayers, financial support and more. Thanks you so much in being faithful by serving with us! You are all a part of the extended ministry here. 

In Christ, 

The Romania Team 2017