Monday, 30 November 2020

Fall 2020 Update (We're in Canada!)

Hey friends!

Surprise! We're in Canada! If you don't follow us on social media you might not know that we took a last-minute opportunity to travel to Canada for 3 months this fall. In this update we'll share all about the summer at Pdf, the Ascent Adventure Bible School that took place in August and September, and what we've been up to since we've been in Canada.


But first, Tuesday December 1st is Giving Tuesday #givingtuesday! It's a global generosity movement that encourages people to give generously to transform their communities and the world through giving to local and overseas non-profit organizations. If you'd like to find out more about our Giving Tuesday opportunity, please CLICK HERE for our Canadian page, and CLICK HERE for our American page. 


Ministry Update

Despite the quickly spreading virus in Romania and the high numbers of cases at the end of the spring season, the Romanian government ended the lockdown and imposed restrictions to limit the spread of the virus as the economy re-opened. The ministry team decided to go ahead with several of the summer programs in a limited manner and capacity, because many of the restrictions prevented us from running the programs normally. 

The participants ate their meals outdoors in the covered Foisor building and the Bible studies and teaching times were done mainly outdoors as well. There were efforts made to minimize contact between the participants (although this was very difficult!) and activities like sports and hikes were done in smaller groups with extra precautions. 


Generally speaking, the Romanian participants were very relaxed about Covid and all the restrictions, which made it difficult for the PdF staff to enforce the rules. The Romanian culture is a very social one - Romanians love their hugs and handshakes and don't always give a lot of personal space during an in-person conversation...these are things we normally love about the Romanian culture but during a pandemic it makes it very hard to avoid close contact and follow the health guidelines. 

This summer Jerry was a leader in the Max Bike mountain biking program for Romanians as well as the Bible School Principal for ASCENT, the adventure Bible School for international students.

The Max Bike program went very well. The weather was good and participants were kept safe throughout the program. And best of all the Word of God was preached by Jerry and Ebbe, encouraging participants in their walk with Jesus.






With all the travel restrictions we were not sure that the ASCENT program would run this year. We had 7 students signed up for the program, but 4 of them were from Canada. A month or so before the start date Romania decided to allow Canadian travellers into the country with no quarantine required which meant the students were able to attend! During the first two weeks of the program we were quite cautious and required the students to keep distance from each other, stay in tents and remain outdoors even for meals, and keep distance from the staff. It was a weird and different start to a Bible School than any of us were used to, but thankfully the students were cooperative and understanding given the current circumstances. 

During the first week of Ascent we found out that 2 visiting volunteers to Pdf tested positive for Covid-19 when they crossed the border into Germany on their way home from PdF. They had exposed almost all of the staff (except our family and one other family) to the virus, but the leadership decided to continue with the programs planned for the following weeks in spite of this. Thankfully, nobody at Pdf had symptoms and as far as we know none of the staff caught the virus from these volunteers. These were very, very difficult weeks for us. 

Because our family had been taking extra precautions knowing that we were preparing for the beginning of Ascent, Jerry had not been exposed and Ascent was able to continue with even stricter measures that kept the students completely separate from the rest of the PdF staff and volunteers during the 14-day period after those positive tests. The students were troopers and persevered through this tricky stage of the program, and we are so thankful for this. Each week the program had a different focus which saw the students biking, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and caving, and the program wrapped up with an extended 36-hour solo time in the woods. Throughout the program we also taught on a variety of different subjects from the Bible including, leadership, the parables of Jesus, fear, etc. Students seemed to have a great time and connected with each other very well.

2 of the girls from Canada who attended Ascent weren't Christians and had never been to church before, so this was a very stretching experience for them. It was amazing to see how God worked in their lives through the program as they read God's word every day, sang worship songs in praise to the Lord every morning, listened to lectures, and learned about what it means to trust God in challenging situations. We are continuing to pray for these 2 students, that God would continue this work He began in them at PdF!

Looking ahead, Jerry is excited to be scheduled to lead the first ever snowboarders camp in January! He has trained several snowboard instructors for this and is excited about how God is using snowboarding as a ministry tool to Romanians involved in the snowboard culture. At this point we're not sure that the program will actually run because of the climbing cases of COVID in Romania, and we're praying that God would give the PdF leadership wisdom in making decisions about the upcoming Winter Ski Camp programs, and that they would be committed to following the laws and recommendations of the Romanian Health Authorities. 

The Spring Mission Bible School is also scheduled to run this Spring From March 28 until June 12. So far we have several students interested in attending (many from Canada again!) but our current problem is with securing teachers to come teach from abroad with all the travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place. We’ve already had a few teachers back out due to Covid travel issues and we are looking for replacements. Jerry is also in the process of developing two lecture series of his own for Bible School but he's finding it a really challenging task. The lecture series topics are The Book of John and Jesus the Missionary. Please pray for him as he spends these 3 months in Canada on study and lecture preparation. 

Planning for the Spring Bible School presents extra challenges this year because many of the program elements will be difficult to do safely and in keeping with the Health Authorities' regulations. The Cultural Encounter and the Mission Outreach will both need to be re-designed in order to keep the students and staff safe and to follow the Health Authorities' Guidelines. Jerry is currently working on a policy document together with the PdF leadership for the upcoming Bible Schools (rules and guidelines for staff and students so the program runs safely). This is a huge challenge because our perspective differs from the PdF leadership's perspective on Covid-related safety guidelines. Please pray for us as we navigate this. 

We are also planning to launch a new Fall Bible School semester. Up until now we have just been running Spring and Summer Bible School semesters but the PdF leadership has decided to launch a new semester this coming Fall (2021). Jerry is to lead the program and be the Principal. The idea is for PdF to have a year long study option for students who may be seeking this. It is planned that the Fall semester will be a more fundamental program while the Spring semester a more in depth missions-focused one. Please pray that students would be attracted to the program as well as the required support staff and teachers, and that God would prepare us all for the launch of this new program, as He wills it.


Family Update

Since the lockdown ended in the spring things have been tough for our family in Romania. In June Chrissie began having symptoms of vertigo and after a pretty scary episode and an exam by an Ear Nose and Throat specialist and a Neurologist (both of which happened in just days...thanks to the private health care available in Romania!) she was diagnosed with Vestibular Neuritis in her right ear. Chrissie has some damage in her right inner ear that's thankfully repairable, but requires her to be on anti-vertigo medication for a few months to repair the damage. 

Because of the swelling in her ear, Chrissie ended up with a few nasty infections during the summer, in her parotid gland and in one of her tonsils. This meant a lot of visits to the private hospital in the city, but we're so thankful for the good care she received. She is now on the mend, and has both her ENT doctor's and Neurologist's personal cell phone numbers! She may need to have her tonsils removed in the future to help with these issues.

The chaos of the summer with the threat of Covid looming over us more than once was very hard on us. We have been continually frustrated by the struggles on the staff team at Pdf and with the decisions the PdF leadership is making regarding health and safety measures at the centre to protect the staff and participants. We wrote in our last update letter in June that decisions were being made that we aren't comfortable with and that don't line up with our convictions in the area of safety, morality and biblical principles. We still feel this way, and we continue to struggle to know exactly how God is asking us to respond in this situation. 

Despite the stress of the summer, there were several highlights too. We were able to get away for 4 days to the Danube Delta in Eastern Romania where the Danube River meets the Black Sea. It was a short time of refreshment for us, and we got to celebrate Canada day on the beach and swim in the sea together. 


At the beginning of July Mary Ionescu moved in with our family for the summer. We've introduced Mary to you before - she's the daughter of the family we lived with in Bucharest when we first arrived in Romania. She often stays with our family on her school breaks and she moved in with us again for the summer to help with the kids. We're so grateful for her help and her friendship! She's truly become a part of our family.


The girls always have a blast with Mary and they enjoyed swimming in the PdF pond almost every day this summer! They did lots of reading together, went on hikes, and rode bikes. It was a great summer for the kids.





Our friend Ana Ghiran also moved in for the summer - she's a former Bible School student from PdF's first Spring Bible School back in 2017 and she's also become a member of our family. She helped Chrissie in the kitchen for the summer, creating new recipes for Chrissie's food blog, and acting as a nurse when Chrissie was sick with her ear issues (Ana is in her final year of Nursing School in the city of Cluj in Romania). Living so far away from family, it's amazing to have Mary and Ana living with us from time to time, acting as aunties to our girls and joining in our family activities. It has been very special for Chrissie to be able to disciple both Mary and Ana over the last 4 years, encourage them in their faith, and mentor them during these formative years of their lives. 


We also went on several hikes as a family this summer, and enjoyed lots of campfires in our yard. 



We celebrated Miriam's 8th birthday at the end of July with a small, outdoor gathering with a few of the PdF staff kids. It was a cool, cloudy day but we celebrated with a water fight anyway, since that was Miriam's wish for the day. The kids all had a blast, and it was a very special day for Miriam!




We continued to enjoy our garden through the summer and all the fresh vegetables we picked almost daily. It was a fun project to have and the kids loved caring for the plants, watering them every day and watching the zucchini grow and the tomatoes become bright red, pulling all the carrots and eating all the fresh chives and green onions. 






One of Chrissie's summer highlights was having fresh flowers on the table all summer long. Our little flower garden that we planted in the spring blew us away! We had so many beautiful roses, tons of lavender and other flowers that the girls enjoyed picking for Mama every day. 


When mid-September hit it was time to begin school again but because of the Covid-related restrictions in Romania our girls' school remained closed and the girls began another year of homeschooling. As we've said before this isn't exactly what we'd have chosen for the girls, but given the current situation we respect the decision made by the girls' school administrators to keep the school closed and we certainly appreciate the support the girls receive from their teacher weekly on Zoom. 


Of course the homeschooling has had the biggest impact on Chrissie, since she's responsible for the girls' schooling every day. But we're all adjusting to this new lifestyle and choosing to focus on the good: we've been able to slow our life down a little bit, the girls have a lot more time for playing outside and doing creative activities around the house, we've saved money that we'd normally spend on gas driving the kids to and from school every day, and we've focused on strengthening our relationships with one another as they've evolved from just parent-child to teacher-student relationships.

Once the ASCENT program ended in mid-September we saw a window of time for us to finally get back to Canada! We had credit with the airline from our cancelled flight in July (due to Covid) so we made a last minute decision to re-book and leave as soon as we could. It was a much needed trip for us after the stress of the spring and summer, and we flew to Winnipeg on October 5th - it was the smoothest, easiest transcontinental trip we've ever taken!!


The airports were ghost towns and the flights were less than half full. We even received a complimentary upgrade to Business Class on our long-haul flight from Frankfurt to Toronto because Air Canada was doing their best to keep passengers as far apart from each other as possible. It was a huge blessing to have extra space, footrests, reclining seats and big TVs! As for wearing a mask for 24+ hours straight? It actually wasn't as hard as we thought it would be!


When we arrived in Canada we quarantined for 14 days at Chrissie's parents' house in rural Manitoba (they moved out so we could quarantine alone), which meant we could be outside as much as we wanted without leaving the property or breaking quarantine laws. We had some beautiful weather and we actually really enjoyed these 14-days of rest.




Our friend Cole from Riverwood even delivered Tim Hortons on our first day of quarantine! He must have known how much we missed it!


Since our quarantine ended the Manitoba government has increased the Covid-related restrictions, which means we haven't been able to see many friends or extended family members. Thankfully, we're getting lots of quality time with Chrissie's parents since we're living with them for our time in Canada. The girls have so enjoyed re-connecting with their grandparents and they were able to play with their cousins outside for a few weeks before the most recent restrictions which limit socialization with anyone outside of your household. 


Thankfully we were able to visit Chrissie's 95-year-old grandma when we were fresh out of quarantine. It was a lovely visit, and we're so thankful we got to see her in a way that didn't compromise her safety. 


It's been difficult for us to be back in Canada and not have the ability to meet with the friends and family we've missed so dearly, but we're trusting that God knows we need rest, solitude, and quiet work & study time.

We've enjoyed fishing on the banks of the Red River, going on walks and bike rides, having campfires, and getting dressed up for Halloween.







We also took the opportunity to help the girls observe their first ever Remembrance Day in Canada.


And of course we've continued with homeschooling, and it's been nice to have Grandma as a teacher every now and then.



When we decided to come to Canada this fall our plan was to go back to Romania at the beginning of January for the beginning of the Ski/Snowboard camp season. At the moment we are unsure as to whether or not that would be wise or even possible, given the Covid situation in Romania and the current restrictions both there and here in Canada. Our flights home to Romania have been cancelled or changed over 20 times since we arrived in Canada. Please pray for us to have wisdom and guidance from the Lord in this regard. We will keep you posted!


Prayer Requests:

Please join us in thanking God for:

  1. a safe and successful summer ministry season.  All the summer programs and camps went fairly smoothly and we are thankful nobody got seriously injured or sick, and that there were no Covid outbreaks in any of the camps! Many young people were encouraged in their faith and some heard the word of God for the first time.
  2. a safe and successful ASCENT program. We're thankful for every student who came, and for the positive, uplifting, and challenging experience it was for both students and staff.
  3. the improvements we've experienced in our marriage and family connection through this Covid season and the time we've been able to set aside for counselling since being back in Canada. 
  4. our health and safety. We're so thankful for God's protection from Covid-19 so far, and for protection from other sicknesses and injuries this entire year. 
  5. His financial provision. We have had our immediate needs met each month, even during the economic instability of this time, and we're so thankful to God for His provision. 
  6. The ability to fly to Canada this fall so we can see our family and have a season of rest.
  7. the fact that there are many students who have applied and been accepted for the Spring Mission Bible School in 2021!
  8. The progress that's being made on the new Guest Lodge building at PdF! Construction on the second wing is well underway.

Please join us in praying for:

  1. God to send the right students and the right number of students to the Spring Mission Bible School in 2021, and that God would prepare us for the upcoming 2021 ministry season too.
  2. God to prepare the new Fall Bible School program we plan to start in 2021. 
  3. The upcoming Snowboard camp and Ski/Snowboard camp season at PdF. For safety and provision, and time for preparation. 
  4. God's continued blessing on our marriage and family; that we would continue growing closer as a couple and making time to nurture our marriage even in the midst of full time ministry.
  5. Our children; that God would continue drawing them closer to Himself every day, that they would learn how to love God in the way He calls them as children, and that they would love each other in a way that pleases the Lord each day.
  6. Our girls' language learning; that they would continue to grow in their Romanian language skills and have great courage in using the Romanian words and phrases they know. That they would continue understanding more and more of the Romanian language being spoken around them.
  7. Continued health and protection from Covid-19 and other sickness and injury.
  8. Safety. Please pray for safety for Jerry, the staff, and participants for the upcoming ski camp season. Please also pray for protection and safety for Chrissie and the girls as they go about their winter activities.
  9. Open Borders between Europe and North America in God's timing, so students and staff from Canada and the US can come to Torchbearer Centres throughout the world for Bible School. 
  10. Chrissie's health. She continues to struggle with issues related to hormones (she has PCOS) almost every day, affecting her sleep, energy, and general health. She also has had a recent issue with her right inner ear causing symptoms of vertigo.
  11. Staff relationships at PdF; we continue to struggle with some cross-cultural relationships at PdF. Please pray for peace among the staff, for heaps and heaps of understanding and love despite the cultural differences, and for us all to learn to serve one another better. Also, for wisdom for us to know how to manage difficult interpersonal conflicts and challenging issues over cultural barriers, especially during this Covid season.
  12. Wisdom for the PdF leadership as they navigate delivering programs this year (2021) amid many restrictions and safety concerns. That they would be led by God and demonstrate care for their staff.
  13. God to bring more North American staff to PdF, or staff from other cultures to round out the team.


If you'd like to join our Facebook Group for more regular updates, request to join HERE


If you'd like to become a member of our Prayer Network and receive more regular prayer requests via email or Facebook Messenger, please send Jerry an email (jerry.baker@pdf.ro). 


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Thursday, 25 June 2020

Spring 2020 Update (Covid-19 Lockdown Edition)

Hi friends!

We realize it's been several months since we last sent an update - we apologize for the silence...it was hard to know exactly what to share with all of you. These last several months have been pretty challenging for us (more on that in a minute), but we hope you enjoy reading all about what we've been up to in the last 6 months or so and about how we've been managing life here in Romania post-Covid-19.



Ministry Update:

As we're sure you already know, Covid-19 exploded worldwide in late February and Romania was no exception. The Romanian government began implementing safety measures at the beginning of March, including closing schools, and by mid-March the whole country was on a military lockdown until mid-May. Citizens were prohibited from leaving their homes other than for essential reasons and couldn't leave home at all without a legal declaration document. Between the two of us we left PdF only 3 times during those two months and our children didn't leave at all. Romania's reaction to the virus was quite strict and understandably so; the health care system here is not equipped to handle a large influx of cases and hospitalizations and it's still very overburdened. As we write this Romania has currently had over 24,000 Covid-19 cases and just over 1500 deaths, which means that the spread of the virus here has been slower than in many other countries thanks to the severe restrictions. Because of the lockdown we were able to stay safely at home, here at PdF with the other staff members and live a relatively "normal" life, going outside daily and enjoying living in the mountains. We have been SO thankful to be living here in rural Romania during this crazy time and that we weren't cooped up in a small apartment somewhere like so many Romanians were. 


Because of the lockdown and the ban on non-essential travel across the globe PdF was forced to cancel several main programs including the Spring Mission Bible School and several of the summer camps for kids and teens. The staff team here at PdF has also struggled greatly under the burden of the lockdown and restrictions (more on that in a moment). 

It became clear to us quite quickly that there was a chance we'd have to cancel the Spring Mission Bible School as many of the students come from North America, but as soon as Romania closed its borders to European countries it was clear we'd have to shut things down completely. 

But it wasn’t all bad! In an attempt to help out and encourage the students who had signed up to the 2020 semester, I (Jerry) sent them copies of lasts year’s lectures, hoping to give them something to do while in lockdown. Several of the students enthusiastically thanked me for the files and it was at that moment that I thought “why don’t we do an online version of the Mission Bible School?” It made perfect sense because we already had teachers lined up who could teach, students were stuck in their homes, and I also had time on my hands! We advertised the program online, expecting maybe 10 or 15 students but we ended up receiving 40 applications for the course! In the end we had 36 students who attended from all over the world: Romania, Germany, USA, Canada, Switzerland, England, Hungary, Albania, and even Columbia! It was an amazing time!



We weren’t sure how the program would actually go, knowing that nothing could replace the personal face-to-face connections that make Bible School so meaningful. But God answered our prayers in this area in a BIG way as the program was a HUGE blessing for all the students who attended, and for the leaders as well. The students experienced deep fellowship with one another and learned a lot from God’s word. Each day started with an icebreaker game (to help break the awkwardness of being on Zoom), followed by a student or staff devotional, live worship, 2 live lectures, and small group sessions to finish the day.  We even had a "spirit week" during the last week: most colourful shirt, stripes, favourite hat and sunglasses, and formal wear for the final night.  The students were so enthusiastic about the program and we are praying about the possibility of launching another online semester this Fall.


Chrissie was also a leader in the Online Mission Bible School so for 4 weeks of the lockdown period our evenings were spent on separate computers with Jerry upstairs in his office and Chrissie downstairs at the kitchen table on Zoom with the students. Chrissie really enjoyed leading a girls' prayer and share group and leading a discussion group too. 


To productively use some of the down-time created by cancelled programs, the PdF staff ended up concentrating a lot of time and energy on the ongoing construction projects that we have here at the centre, namely the new guest house/dormitory building and the children’s playground project. 




As many of you know, I (Jerry) was a journeyman carpenter in my former life so it was strange to be back on the tools after basically not touching them for almost 4 years! It was as though I had a secret power that I forgot I had! Some of the staff members seemed to be quite surprised at how much I was able to do.  




I (Jerry) also had the privilege of attending my first European Director’s Conference with Torchbearers International. It is an event held each year for the Directors and Bible School Principals - this year 's conference was supposed to be at the Torchbearers Centre in Albania but because of travel restrictions it was moved online. Even though it wasn’t possible to be in-person with all representatives from the other European centres it was still an encouraging time to connect with principals from other Bible Schools around Europe. A highlight for me (Jerry) was that one of my prayer partners for the week was Peter Reid, the general director of Torchbearers International and one of my favourite Bible teachers from when I was a student. 



We are praying about the upcoming planned programs in summer and fall and asking God for wisdom as we walk in obedience to the current laws and restrictions in place by the government and health officials. Since we won't be coming back to Canada for a visit this summer like we had originally planned (our flights have been cancelled and international travel for Canadians in Europe is still very difficult, if not impossible) Jerry is scheduled to help lead the Max Bike Mountain Bike Camp for adults in July, the Outdoor Challenge Camp for adults in August, and he'll be the Bible School Principal for the 5-week Adventure Bible School called Ascent that is scheduled to begin on August 17. 

Although the Romanian summer programs are already almost at capacity, the registration for Ascent is more tricky because some of the students signed up are North American. Although travel is now allowed with some restrictions for European citizens around Europe, Canadians and Americans are not currently allowed to travel in Europe so this may affect the Ascent program. 

The government here has lifted many of the restrictions that were in place but since there has been a large increase in Covid-19 cases since the lockdown ended (especially in the county of Brasov where we live) there are still many restrictions in place that affect PdF and our ability to hold camps and host guests. Staying here in Romania during this season has been a very challenging road for us to walk; we are a multi-cultural staff team with very different ideas regarding health and safety and very different approaches to situations like this one. There have been hurt feelings, frustrating moments, and many disagreements, which isn't surprising. Now that programs have started up again we expect more conflicts and challenging situations will arise, and we'd appreciate your prayers for us and for the whole staff team here at Pdf to walk in unity.

Family Update:

This season of Covid-19 has had both positive and negative effects on us as a family. We really appreciate your continued support and prayers as we have decided to remain across the ocean during the pandemic instead of heading back to Canada as many overseas missionaries have done. Every situation is different and we felt called to stay here in Romania instead of returning to Canada for many reasons- and we're glad we did despite the challenges we've faced. 

The most positive thing has been all the time we've had to spend together. Jerry has never been home so much in the last 4 years and we have thoroughly enjoyed spending time together, going on hikes, working in the garden, and watching old shows together on the laptop in the evening (Jerry introduced the girls to his old Survivor Man DVDs and Crocodile Hunter videos, which they both really enjoy). We've been eating all 3 meals a day together as a family at home which almost NEVER happens during the spring time because of the Bible School.  







A few days before the lockdown the girls had their very first Ballet recital in Brasov. They worked so hard learning the choreography to several dances for their Ballet Studio's production of Cinderella. They had the added challenge of learning the dances in Romanian, which was difficult for them. But they did so well and had a blast! 



Since the girls have been home from school for the months of March, April, May and June this put a lot of added stress on Chrissie. The girls' class met on Zoom each morning for one hour and then the girls had several hours of school work to complete every day. Unfortunately there wasn't much flexibility in the program so this became a big burden for us  - we're thrilled that school is out for the summer, although it's been announced that school may continue online in September for the kids, depending on how the summer goes with Covid-19 cases in Romania and depending on what the restrictions are for schools.




One positive now-or-never project we decided to take on this spring was the formation of a garden. Up until now we've been far too busy every spring to even think about starting a garden, but with the down-time that the lockdown created for us we decided to go for it. It was one of those projects that snowballed a bit, starting with digging up a small 8-foot patch, then extending it another 6 feet, then realizing a greenhouse would be necessary because of the weather and growing season here (which required a foundation), leading then to the installation of a fence to protect everything from the wild animals that roam the property. 








It was quite a project for us to take on but ultimately we’ve been so blessed to have a family project to focus on during this season. It’s been really exciting to see our plants growing, especially in the greenhouse! And the girls are SO thrilled with their white picket fence - it was a special request from Eden and although it was a TON of work, it turned out really well!


We're growing lots of tomatoes and salad, kale (with seeds from Canada), sunflowers, cabbage, potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplants, chives, beans, carrots and lots of herbs in pots in the greenhouse. We also hope to plant beets and broccoli once the seedlings are big enough. If you're into gardening, especially if you have experience gardening in a more humid climate than Winnipeg, please send us all your best tips!


The negative effects of this crazy season have definitely come from the struggles within the PdF staff team. Because we are the only permanent staff members from North America we’ve often come up against a lack of understanding and support for our views and convictions.. Decisions are being made that we haven't been very comfortable with and don't exactly line up with our personal convictions regarding healthy and safety, morality, and biblical principles. Some of these issues were pre-existing and we were already aware of them, but this Covid-19 season has really brought these issues to the forefront and we are seeking God on how to best navigate them in truth and love.   


Because of the lockdown the church we attend in Brasov was forced to have services online through Zoom since the beginning of March. Recently, since some of the restrictions have lifted, churches have been able to meet outdoors as long as the attendees practice social distancing and wear masks when they're closer together than 1.5 meters so Pdf has been hosting local churches, including ours, for weekend services in the big tent (with open sides).  It has been such a blessing to be able to help our church connect again and host them at PdF. Jerry has led worship for the the first two services (Chrissie helped lead once), and then Jerry helped with translating the sermon into English for the PdF volunteers who've been attending the services. 





We hope that our church can continue to come and meet here at PdF and that PdF can continue to support the churches in the Brasov area in this way.

We aren't able to travel to Canada this summer as originally planned because of all the travel restrictions, which has been a disappointment for all of us. We are hoping to be able to recover the cost of the flights we'd booked and come back to Canada for a visit as soon as we're able to travel safely again. In the meantime, we'll be staying here at PdF through the summer and fall ministry seasons.

Prayer Requests:

Please join us in thanking God for:

  1. the improvements we've experienced in our marriage and family connection through this Covid season and the time we've been able to spend together. 
  2. our health and safety. We're so thankful for God's protection from Covid-19 so far, and for protection from other sicknesses and injuries this year.
  3. His financial provision. We have had our immediate needs met each month, even during the financial instability of the lockdown and we are so thankful He continues to sustain us each day.
  4. the lowering of restrictions that make it possible for PdF to run modified programs this summer!
  5. Open borders in the EU which enables volunteer staff to come from Germany for the summer and 2020-2021 ministry year. 
  6. the fact that there are already several students who have applied and been accepted for the Spring Mission Bible School in 2021!
  7. Two Romanian one-year volunteers who will join the staff team for the 2020-2021 year!
  8. Amelia (from the US) and Sylvia (from Germany), 2 new staff members who have joined the staff team this spring!


Please join us in praying for:

  1. God's continued blessing on our marriage and family; that we would continue growing closer as a couple and making time to nurture our marriage even in the midst of full time ministry.
  2. Our children; that God would continue drawing them closer to Himself every day, that they would learn how to love God in the way He calls them as children, and that they would love each other in a way that pleases the Lord each day.
  3. Our girls' language learning; that they would continue to grow in their Romanian language skills and have great courage in using the Romanian words and phrases they know. That they would continue understanding more and more of the Romanian language being spoken around them.
  4. Continued health and protection from Covid-19 and other sickness and injury.
  5. Safety. Please pray for safety for Jerry all summer as he helps lead programs on the mountain, and safety for all the guests and participants. Please also pray for protection and safety for Chrissie and the girls as they go about their activities this summer.
  6. Open Borders between Europe and North America. We aren't able to travel back to Canada until the borders are open for non-essential travel (we can't leave Romania at all until this happens), and prospective students for the 2021 Spring Bible School can't attend if non-essential travel isn't permitted. 
  7. The Students from the Online Mission Bible School, that God would continue working in their lives.
  8. Jerry's seasonal allergies. That they wouldn't be so bad this summer and get in the way of his work.
  9. Chrissie's health. She continues to struggle with issues related to hormones (she has PCOS) almost every day, affecting her sleep, energy, and general health. She also has had a recent issue with her right inner ear causing symptoms of vertigo.
  10. Staff relationships at PdF; we are struggling with some cross-cultural relationships here at PdF and it's continuing to take a toll on us. Please pray for peace among the staff, for heaps and heaps of understanding and love despite the cultural differences, and for us all to learn to serve one another better. Also, for wisdom for us to know how to manage difficult interpersonal conflicts and challenging issues over cultural barriers.
  11. Wisdom for the PdF leadership as they navigate delivering programs amid many restrictions and safety concerns. That they would be led by God and act ethically.
  12. God to send the right students and the right number of students to the Spring Mission Bible School in 2021, and that God would prepare us for the upcoming 2020-2021 ministry season too.
  13. God to bring more North American staff to PdF, or staff from other cultures to round out the team. It's difficult for us to be the only North Americans among many Germans and many Romanians, and to rarely be understood well by anyone because of our culture. 

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