Wondrous Works: My Year in Review
Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men, for He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.
Yep. One year. Kind of hard to believe that it has already been that long! Yet, when I look back on all the work our Lord has done in me, on my team, and in our community, it astounds me that it has only been that long. I will spend this e-mail, then, raising my Ebenezer, of sorts, at the one year mark. Join me in praising the Lord for His wondrous works to the children of men (that’s you and me).
I walk across the gravel courtyard on a cold morning with a Bible, a copy of Frankenstein, and a stack of pages on ancient Egypt. My Romanian neighbors have come to know and greet me as “Domn Profesor” or Mr. Teacher. Not only have I greatly enjoyed my latest year as a teacher, but I and my students all learned a great deal and had fun during the process. Thank the Lord that he can use even this scattered and oft-distracted man to grasp and profess His supremacy in all areas of life and learning.
From “Nu inteleg nimic” to “Inteleg un pic”
I am looking through my journal from my first few days here in the country. It appears the first words I learned to say were: how, Mrs., wander, what, with, and bear. By God’s grace, after one year, I can already speak as well as most two year-olds, so I am a little ahead. While the Lord has broken me of some pride in the area of communication. Give thanks for my increasing ability to converse with some Romanian friends, and especially for the opportunities I have had to take the conversation to a deeper level, centered on Christ.
The Lord has placed me on a team of people who love Him dearly, who desire to be faithful servants, and who have greatly encouragedme and taught me in my own faith. Those of you who know me know how much encouragement and teaching I need. Paul wrote much about how we were not meant to function as Christians individually, but as a body. Certainly our team offer each other many diverse gifts. So. Thank the Lord for Ed Hartman and his family, for the Ebbers family, and for Darin, my co-laborers in the Lord.
I mean, my teammates are fine and all, but sometimes a little local flavor is nice as well. One of my early prayers was that the Lord would provide for me Romanian friends to be encouraged by and to encourage. He has been faithful to provide in this way. Give thanks for my friends and brothers in Christ: Steli, Adi, Danezu, and Razvan.
Books? What is that about? Well, books are a major part of my life as a teacher, but the true praise is how the Lord has directed our team and provided for a book translation and publication ministry to get up and running. Even now we have three books and several articles translated, and we eagerly await their editing, publication, and binding. Praise God for being in the details and for “leading the blind in ways they have not known.”
Ultimately this is why we are here. Everything, even my teaching American kids in English, ties into this calling. We have watched the Lord accomplish three things that will advance us towards this end: the International Presbyterian Church has agreed to work with us and with the churches we either assist or plant; we have formed strong relationships with Romanians already doing ministry and teaching solid biblical Truth; and out of the Bible study we have been conducting weekly, many young Christians are growing in their faith and a couple of the young men are embracing leadership roles. It is the Lord who binds us together in unity and who works transform hearts. Praise him for his work in building relationships between us and many Romanians and for leading us forward in a church-planting movement.
Y’ALL!! (Being the correct second person pronoun referring to all of those who pray for me, send me frequent [or not so frequent] communication, and support me financially)
I want you to know, all of you, how encouraging you have been to me over this last year. I have re-ceived countless encouraging e-mails, and I know that many of you have been praying faithfully for me and for my team. In addition, I am reminded that I could not be here if it were not also for the financial support many of you are contributing. Know that I am grateful. Praise the Lord that he uses His little children in many different roles to advance His kingdom in every language and every tribe on this terrestrial ball!