Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Romania - Maranatha Baptist Church in Bucharest

This is our team in front of Maranatha.  Maranatha is the "Mother Church" we worked with the first week.  Actually, we did outreach ministry with them the first week, but they provided the translators for the entire two weeks.  

Senior Pastor Nalu Tone his wife and seven kids

Associate Pastor Aurelian, his wife Amelia (who's expecting a baby!), and his mother-in-law Tanza.
Praise the Lord for Pastor Aurelian!  He was our taxi driver the entire two weeks.   

Worship service.  The young people rotate in leading the band/ orchestra and once a month the mandolin orchestra accompanies the congregation in worship.  

Their times of gathering together for church, truly were times of genuine worship and praise to the One true God, Jesus Christ.  Our team was so moved during their services and truly sensed the presence of the Lord.  With no exaggeration, they are a church of prayer.  Throughout the service there were specific times set aside for prayer.  Prayers of praise, prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers of intercession.  All of the prayers were out loud.  Yes, out loud.  So when the pastor would ask the congregation to pray for something specific, you would hear the soft voices across the congregation speaking to the Lord.  It was special to know that God was hearing everyone of those prayers in that moment.  I wish everyone could've been there to experience the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit.  Pastor Jerry said, things happen in Romania because they are a people of the Word and a people of prayer.

Their testimonies and spiritual walk with the Lord challenged each one of us to examine ourselves. 

Building relationships with Christians in other countries brings a special bond.  The culture is new and the language is different, but the moment you meet a fellow brother or sister in Christ, there is immediately a common bond that penetrates the language and cultural barriers.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Romania - Flight and Arrival

This past week marked the end of an amazing two week trip to Romania.  My church, Parkway Baptist Church has sent a mission team to Romania for at least the past 10 years.  This year I praise the Lord for allowing me to be a part!  
Meet the 2011 team:
L-R : Jessie Saenz, Wendy Benners, Betty Saenz, Diane Edgeman, Melissa Feeny, Myself, Rebecca Parham, Linda Halbrook, Pastor Jerry Halbrook

The dates of our trip were June 17th-July 3rd.  Throughout the whole trip we saw God work in many ways... one being our flight to Bucharest.  
Here's the story: 

After getting our baggage checked in, we got a bite to eat at Fuddruckers then made our way to the gate.  Not too much time passed before the following was announced "Flight 192 will be delayed as there are a few repairs needing to be done on the engine... sorry for the delay"  We were sorry too, but by all means wanted them to fix the engine! Since we had time to spare, we walked the terminal, took pictures, and ate some treats from Auntie Annies! 
After an 1 1/2 hour delay we were off on our 10 hour flight.     
The way things were going we were going to miss our connection in London.  So far I've told you about the bad news, but here comes the good part!  Right when we landed in London a lady met us at our gate saying "All those headed to Bucharest follow me!" We didn't question, we just followed.  She led us through the fast lanes of security and straight to our gate, telling us that our original flight was waiting  for us and a few others that were also headed to Bucharest.  Can you believe that?  In waiting for us, the flight was only delayed about 15 -20 minutes, but still that is amazing!  Praise the Lord for orchestrating that to happen!
This is us... after 13 hours of being catapulted across the globe.
So we landed in Bucharest just about on time, but one slight problem... in the rush from one flight to the next, our luggage didn't make it =(  But no worries, we managed just fine for one night, then happily welcomed our luggage the next day. 
Pastor Aurelian and Helga and Beni Tone greeted us at the airport.  From there we drove straight to a wedding reception at Maranatha church.  You're thinking what I'm thinking... so I'll go ahead and answer your question :  yes, we went dressed as we were.  We really had no choice, but at least we all wore the "airport" look together.  Actually, we were so thankful to God for landing us safely in Romania, we really didn't care how we looked... we were just glad to be there!

Look for more posts to come!   

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vacation Bible School

Be prepared for a long post ahead!  Now that my schedule is slowly falling into place, I wanted to take the time to share a few of my spring and summer experiences with you.  The first will be VBS...... 

This past summer I enjoyed helping out with VBS at Parkway Baptist Church.  My family and I have been members there since January of this year and we have enjoyed becoming a part of the PBC family.  When the first announcement was made about the upcoming VBS, I immediately called to get on board!  Believe it or not, this was the first VBS that I had helped out with, so I was excited to learn the ropes.
VBS ran from June 7th -11th, 9am-12pm each day.  The theme this year was "High Seas Expedition" with the station leaders and youth workers all a part of the Crew on the adventure.  The director assigned me to three kids, of whom I was in charge of throughout the week.  

The week of traveling along in the High Seas Expedition brought a new adventure and Bible point each day.  
-  Monday we learned that God's Word is True
-  Tuesday we learned that God's Word is Comforting
-  Wednesday we learned that God's Word is Surprising
-  Thursday we learned that God's Word is Life changing 
-  Friday we learned that God's Word Gives Direction 

Anytime a group leader would mention a Bible point, all the kids would shout "Let's Go!", meaning: let's go on the expedition with God and and discover more truths about Him. 

Each day our color group would travel a certain path around the church, making sure not to miss each of the special stops! We traveled to the following places each day:

                   Bible Voyage

Esther Hulkenberg and her helpers did an awesome job capturing the kids attention.  As we followed the life of Paul, each day the small room was transformed into a house, a boat, a jungle, a birthday party, and then the city of Jerusalem!


Mrs. Tracy Culberson did a great job at preparing all the crafts.  The  kids went home with a pillow, pop-gun, bird, and journal.  

This is my team!!  Red A2

This cutie is listening attentively to the instructions.

Hannah Culberson and Sarah Kate Brooks holding their decorated journals.

        Sail-away Cinema

These sweet people did great leading the cinema time.  After we watched a short video clip, we would discuss how it related to what we were learning.  Each day before we left we posted our God-sightings on a poster.


While the kiddos released their energy outside, the crew leaders rested in the break room=) 

These are my fellow Red crew leaders!  Hayley Speck, Hannah Koehn, Rachel Robbins and Mrs. Hunt

    Goodies from the Galley

This snack represented the story of Paul shipwrecked on the Island of Malta with poisonous snakes. We of course ate vanilla wafers and gummy worms!

              Mission Clip

Mrs. Dianne Edgeman shared with the kids each day about life in Romania.  Throughout the week each team worked to complete a small blanket, one that Mrs. Edgeman would pack and deliver to the kids in Romania!
        Group Time 

This was a time where the kids learned the Scripture Memory verse, Bible Point, and new songs!

                       Sarah F. and Sarah B.

It was such a blessing getting to know all the crew members and to have the opportunity of teaching young kids about God's Word.  I look forward to next year!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

College Plus Advertisement=)

Hello to all!

This post is for those of you who are looking for a way to further your education.  Many people, old and young alike, are realizing the importance and necessity of have a college degree.  On one hand they want to have a college degree, but on the other hand they have no desire to spend 4 years of their life studying to get one.  This was me.

I am so grateful for College Plus.  They provide a way to get an accredited college degree that is fast, for less, and for sure.  Students gain the credit needed for their degree by CLEPing (college level examination program) out of the required classes.  All the learning and studying can be done from home and can be done to fit your own personal schedule.  My favorite part about the whole program is that they provide coaches.  A personal coach is there for you and will help you schedule and plan out the path for obtaining an accredited degree.    

As you probably saw in my recent post, I started College Plus just a week ago, so I am still learning all the ropes.  

I will sign off here, but be sure to check out the following link to get free info about College Plus!


The gift of TOMS

My birthday gift arrived in the mail today!  I am SO THRILLED!  Lately I've heard a lot about TOMS and now I am excited to own my own pair.  Thank-you cousins for being so generous!

Have you heard about TOMS?  You should check out their website:  www.toms.com   For every pair of shoes you buy, they give a pair to a child in need.  

As you wear your own pair of TOMS, be reminded to daily walk in the ways of the Lord!  

"Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight."  Psalms 119:35 

Monday, August 9, 2010

College Plus!

Today is my official start date with College Plus!  I'm excited about getting back into the routine of a school schedule, but I'm more excited about starting with this new form of education that's faster, for sure, and for less!!  And this day is special and unique because it's 8-9-10, a day that will never again pass by the calendar.  

Thank-you Lord, for the blessings of education!

 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above..."

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Discipleship Class

 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" 
- Colossians 1:10 -

I am so excited to introduce to you my discipleship students!
            Michaela & Donelle
Back in April of this year I started a discipleship class that meets at my house twice a month.  My students, Michaela and Donelle, are best friends that both live about a mile from my house.      
Above are some of the goodies I gave them at the first class.    
 My main focus in this class was to encourage the girls to deepen their walk with God and learn to love and devour His Word.  The Bible is our guide for life, and one of the first things we must do as a Christian is develop a desire for it. 
1 Peter 2:2 "As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby;"   

I was blessed by the cheerfulness and enthusiasm both the girls demonstrated each time we met.  

Michaela and Donelle are both so sweet and I love them dearly.  I look forward to seeing how God will use this Discipleship class to grow each of us closer to Him.