Sorry it's been awhile since we last posted. Even though we may have seemed silent, rest assured we have been very busy behind the scenes, working toward our move to Romania (if this is news to you, click here for more information about this big change in our lives!).
First of all, thanks to all of you who have reached out to us since we first announced our commitment to working with Torchbearers Romania. We so appreciate every email, every Facebook message or comment, and every question that has come our way. We love that you're interested in our lives and we love sharing this part of our lives with you. As we move forward, we plan to share much more often on this blog to keep you all up to date on everything that's happening. Thank you also for praying for us! We know that many of you have been praying for us over the last few months - we have felt your prayers and we appreciate them more than you know!
Since we wrote last we've been busy figuring out some logistics around support raising, specifically to do with making sure our donors will be able to receive Canadian tax receipts for their donations. We've also been busy listing some of our possessions on Kijiji (a Canadian online marketplace, for any of you who have never heard of it before) and selling some of our things to friends, or friends of friends. We've also been in conversations with our church about how they'll support us in our ministry, and we're so thankful for the support they'll be providing for us, both financial and spiritual.
We've also been taking some time as a family to enjoy our favourite Canadian activities while we still can! We went to Festival du Voyageur (a French-Canadian festival) together this weekend and had a blast enjoying Maple Taffy and some awesome French Canadian music.
We also took advantage of this mild winter we've been having and went skating on the Red River at The Forks with the kids. It was a great time!
It was Eden's first time on skates and it turns out, she's a natural! We have a feeling she may have inherited Jerry's "naturally good at all the sports" gene!
Another highlight of this winter has been welcoming our new little niece into the family. We're just in love with her and we're soaking up all the snuggles we can these days!
Aside from family time, we're working on two big things at the moment and the first is language learning. We have hired a young Romanian woman to give us private language lessons a few times per month to help us as we attempt to grow our Romanian language skills. Andrea is wonderful and she has been so kind and helpful to us, creating documents to help us learn vocabulary and pronunciation (Andrea is fluent in 4 languages and she has a degree in linguistics from the University of Manitoba). Miriam is sitting in on the lessons too (while Eden naps) and our dinnertime conversation now often turns to the Romanian numbers or seasons or animal names. It's been quite a challenge for us to make time for these lessons and for language practice by ourselves but we're having fun with it.
The other big thing we're working on right now is our application to become missionaries with The Great Commission Foundation, a Canadian missionary-sending organization that promotes Christian ministry and humanitarian aid, contributing to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. The fact that Torchbearers Romania is a European organization complicates the whole fundraising process for us (not to mention insurance, etc.) and so it's important that we are sent by a Canadian organization who can process donations for us, issue tax receipts, help us with the complicated tax process that comes with living in another country, and provide us with the appropriate insurance for a family in our situation.
As a part of our application we're required to collect donor pledges so The Great Commission Foundation can begin their planning to take us on as missionaries. We need to collect monthly donor pledges that amount to $1000 (Canadian dollars) per month before The Great Commission Foundation will accept our application, and so we're asking for your help with this. $1000 is only part of the total amount per month we have to raise before we leave, but this is the minimum amount in pledges we must collect during the application process.
If you already know that you plan to financially support us on a monthly basis, we would appreciate it very much if you could fill out THIS FORM and give it back to us as soon as possible so we can include it with our application. This is just a preliminary step and it's simply a pledge, not an actual donation. The Great Commission Foundation requires that we do some of the hard work of support raising before they will approve our application, and until our application is approved we're unable to move forward with any other support-raising or travel plans.
To keep things simple, here's a list of things we need help with right now:
1.) We need monthly support pledges so we can complete our application with The Great Commission Foundation. Please click the link above to download a PDF of the form if you'd like to pledge.
2.) We would love some financial help to pay for our language lessons. Our teacher charges $50 per hour and right now we can't afford more than one or two lessons per month. We need to learn as much of the Romanian language as possible before we leave and we would love to be able to increase the frequency of our lessons as our moving date approaches.
3.) We plan to have a fundraising event sometime in the late spring to raise money for our travel expenses. We'd like to have a silent auction at this event, so if you're able to donate a silent auction prize we would be so grateful.
4.) We need to sell our stuff! If you or anyone you know needs furniture, baby items or clothes, household/kitchen items, a piano, tools, camping gear, kids' bikes, a Flysurfer kite for kiteboarding, a snowboard...or if you just want to come over and have a look at our stuff, please let us know!!
More than anything else, we need your prayers. We would love to have a group of prayer warriors surrounding us as we prepare to enter in to full time ministry. If you'd like to commit to praying for us, please CLICK HERE to be added to our email list. You'll receive an update whenever we post on the blog, including regular prayer requests and praise reports both before we leave and while we're in Romania.
Right now, please pray:
1.) That we'd be able to develop our Romanian language skills as much as possible in the coming months.
2.) For courage as we make these big decisions and plans.
3.) For spiritual readiness; that we would commit ourselves wholeheartedly to spiritual growth, avoiding temptation, and that God would prepare us for this ministry He has planned for us.
4.) For our little girls; that God would prepare them for this transition and give us wisdom as we parent them through it.
5.) For our financial needs to be met as we plan for travel expenses, language lessons, preparing to place our home up for rent, and for raising monthly support.
Thank you so much for journeying with us as we prepare for our time in Romania! If you have any questions for us, please just CONTACT US anytime!
As they say in Romania, la revedere!