Merry Christmas Greetings (December Update)

Hi friends!

Rather than a written update this month, we thought we'd record a short video message for you. You can watch it below, check it out on Facebook in our Facebook group, or watch it on our YouTube channel.

Merry Christmas everyone! We love you and miss you, and we're so thankful for your faithful support!!

If you'd like to make a year-end financial donation to our ministry, please click here.   

A quick message regarding year-end giving: financial gifts made online before December 31st at 11:59 pm will be included in your 2017 tax receipt. In 2018 the Great Commission Foundation (our sending organization) is consolidating tax receipts so donors will now receive one receipt at the beginning of the new year with donations listed to claim at tax time. 

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 ( 

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October 2017 Update

Hi friends,

A big hello to all you supporters and friends who read our updates, pray for us regularly, and support us in our ministry here in Romania! We're so grateful for your friendship and your support and today we're sharing our October update with you to let you know what we've been up to so far this fall and to share a little bit of what the upcoming months will look like. We'll also share about some of our upcoming needs and prayer requests.

Ministry Update

September is typically the beginning of PdF's slower season - there are a some retreats and conferences PdF hosts in the fall but the staff largely enjoys an opportunity to take a bit of a break from the crazy busy summer camps and catch up on office work, take some time out for family, and plan together for the coming ministry year. 

Jerry spent much of September beginning to plan for the Spring 2018 Bible School. He's been busy booking teachers for next year's bible school and will soon be arranging their travel and schedules. He's already fielding emails and calls from prospective students and he will be meeting with other PdF staff regarding logistics for the bible school (planning for meals, transportation, etc.), and recruiting some volunteer support staff to serve as RAs (resident assistants who will live with the students and serve as mentors) during the bible school in the spring. He's established another bi-weekly prayer meeting on Wednesday evenings for any PdF staff or volunteers who are interested in joining together to pray for the upcoming Spring 2018 Bible School and the PdF ministries in general. We would invite you to pray along with us on Wednesdays for the Bible School and the ministries at PdF. If you're interested in receiving a list of prayer requests twice a month, please contact Jerry at Jerry will also be doing a week of teaching at the Bible School this year, so he will be spending much of his time preparing for this teaching.

Since our neighbours and fellow PdF staff Stefan and Michi Sailer are in Germany this fall connecting with their supporters and family, Jerry has taken over the leadership of the high ropes course while Stefan is away. Jerry has served as the ropes course manager for the retreats and camps since mid-August, leading groups through the ropes course, doing the safety instruction and leading the debriefs and team building times. 

Jerry also helped plan and lead a German program for at-risk youth at PdF in September - the youth came from Germany, Romania and Luxembourg with their government support workers to participate in team building activities and wilderness adventure activities led by Jerry and a few of the other German-speaking staff at PdF. Jerry even had an opportunity to share his own story with the youth, which was a highlight of the program. 

Jerry also serves as the mentor for the male German volunteers who are working at PdF for one year. He has enjoyed getting to know them and spending time with them. 

At the beginning of October we travelled to Schladming, Austria to visit the Torchbearer's International centre there (Tauernhof) so Jerry could speak to their group of 80 Fall Bible School students on the topic of knowing God's will for your life, and give a presentation about PdF's Spring Bible School in the hopes of recruiting students for PdF and raising awareness about the ministry of PdF. We both attended Tauernhof 15 years ago and we have many close friends and supporters who live in the area, so we were thrilled to make the trip and connect with everyone again. We're also so very thankful to Chrissie's parents for flying us all to Austria for the week. We never could have afforded the trip on our own and we enjoyed sharing a week with them in Austria. 

Jerry met Tauernhof's Bible School Principal David Hines at the Torchbearer's International Staff Conference in England in June and so we spent some time connecting with David and his wife Deborah and their children while we were in Schladming. Jerry and David's jobs are very similar and since we work in the same organization we have much in common. It was wonderful to share stories and advice with one another and be a support to each other in the struggles of cross cultural ministry and running a Bible School. Please pray for the Hines family as they serve God in Austria and work hard to connect with local families and establish their life there. 

Right after we returned from Austria was the annual CAMP conference at PdF (CAMP stands for Conferența Anualâ de Mulțumire și Planificare, or Annual Conference of Thanksgiving and Planning). This was a very busy weekend for us since Jerry was involved with leading worship in Romanian for the sessions (Chrissie helped with this), giving presentations about the Bible School, attending the PdF Board of Directors meeting, leading a Sunday morning meditation, leading activities, and even helping out in the kitchen!! It was a wonderful time of celebration of what God has done at PdF over the last year and we all enjoyed re-connecting with friends who came for the weekend conference. 

Jerry has also spent many hours this fall in language study. We've been able to get a decent handle on the basics of the Romanian language which helps us in social situations and when we're grocery shopping, etc. but for Jerry to be effective in his position at Pdf he needs to become fluent in Romanian. It's a constant struggle for him as many staff meetings and Bible studies are all conducted in Romanian and he needs to find a way to understand and keep up. We're preparing for Jerry to take a 2-week language course in Bucharest in November in order to develop his Romanian language skills further. Please pray for his language development and that it would be financially possible for him to take this language course in November.

In November Jerry will be working hard to get many of the details for Bible School finalized. The winter is very busy for us with Ski and Snowboard Instructor Training in December (Jerry will be developing and leading the Snowboard Instructor Training program this winter), Christmas retreats at PdF in late-December, and Ski/Snowboard Camps almost every week for the months of January and February, which will keep Jerry very busy!! Please pray for our health (especially for Jerry) so that he is able to instruct at all the camps. 

Family Update

This September for us saw the girls returning to kindergarten in Rasnov (they attend a German kindergarten class 5 mornings per week), which was both challenging for all of us and a welcome return to a routine after the summer. The girls' language skills are improving slowly but steadily and they're both more adventurous with using German and Romanian words at school. Miriam especially is understanding a lot of German, which is exciting. We're praying God will prepare her for her first year of real school here next year in the German education stream, but for this year she'll enjoy one more year in the same German kindergarten class as her sister Eden. 

The girls regularly have misunderstandings with other children at school and struggle to communicate with their peers. This has been a challenge especially for Eden. Please pray for their language skills to develop quickly this year so they'll be able to make friends and fit in with their peers a little better, handling the challenges of school with grace, understanding, and wisdom beyond their years.

Chrissie's parents flew to Romania at the beginning of October for a visit and we have been enjoying our time with them. They flew us to Austria with them for a week so Jerry could speak at Tauernhof and so we could visit friends and supporters and spend time together as a family away from PdF. We had a wonderful week of hiking, seeing sights in Vienna and Salzburg, enjoying delicious Austrian food, and visiting dear friends we haven't seen in several years. 

Our friends Joel and Tanja graciously allowed us all to stay in their guest apartment and we had a great time with them and their boys.

Another highlight of our time in Austria was re-connecting with the family Chrissie worked for as an Au Pair back in 2002-2003. The girls she worked with are all grown up now and it was so nice to see the family again and enjoy a meal together with her Austrian sister, Anja and Anja's mom Traudi.

We've also joined a small group at our church, Biserica Harvest Metanoia Brasov, this fall. We have felt the need to become more connected to the local people here, and Harvest Church has been so supportive of us since we started attending a year ago. We've enjoyed getting to know the pastor and his wife, Cristi and Simona Cherechean, and they have become our dear friends and have walked with us through some very challenging situations this year, faithfully praying for our family and ministry here at PdF. 

Our small group meets on Monday evenings and while it is a HUGE challenge for us to even attend with Jerry's crazy ministry schedule, the 45 minute drive to Brasov, the financial hit of paying a babysitter once a week, and on top of all that the language barrier, we have felt SO supported and loved by the people in our small group and already they are becoming our friends. We're so humbled by how earnestly our Romanian friends live out Jesus' call to discipleship and how earnestly they seek to be Jesus to one another in a hurting world. It's truly inspiring and something our hearts have been greatly impacted by. 

We're receiving more and more opportunities to use our Romanian language skills all the time and so they are growing, albeit slowly. We still feel like beginners, speaking what we affectionately call "Caveman Romanian", but it's nice to be able to communicate basic information and understand what people are saying to us.  Chrissie is getting to know a Romanian woman from Rasnov named Dana who has two young children just older than ours. Dana lives a very difficult life and she is a new Christian, and so it has been Chrissie's joy to minister to her and her girls and to work to develop a friendship with her despite the language barrier. Please pray for Dana as she struggles to find work and provide for her daughters.

This week marks one year since we moved from Bucharest into our home here at PdF. It's been such a reminder of God's faithfulness to our family. He has provided a wonderful home for us and we are still so thankful each day for our comfortable home and how He knows just what we need even before we ask Him! 

Needs and Prayer Requests

We are so thankful for each and every one of you who is financially supporting us and our ministry here in Romania. We're also thankful to be able to share with you all that our current financial support is at 85%. Because we're required to pay Canadian taxes and fees to the Great Commission Foundation (our missionary sending organization who processes our donations), purchase expensive health insurance required for our family to live in Romania, pay fees associated with our Visa here in Romania and other foreign country-related costs, our income is still slightly below the amount required for our living expenses. We are praying for an increase in our monthly support and one-time donations to help cover these expenses, but mostly we are just praising God for His faithfulness to us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to each of you who sacrifice monthly to help provide for our family's needs. We appreciate each and every one of you so much.

Looking down the road at the remainder of 2017 and 2018, we have a few financial needs that are upcoming. First, Jerry needs to be able to take another Romanian language course, which costs about 230 euros ($345 Canadian dollars), plus the cost of transportation, and renting a room in Bucharest for two weeks while he studies. The course takes place in mid-November (one month from now) and as it stands right now we do not have the funds for this. If you feel led by God to support us in this way we would appreciate it so much. 

Second, it is our plan to return to Winnipeg and the Vancouver area (Jerry's hometown) in the fall of 2018 to re-connect with family, friends and supporters, to speak at churches and to hold a few fundraising events for our ministry here in Romania. As it stands right now, we have no funds with which to buy airline tickets or finance our trip back to Canada, and so we're praying for God to provide for our family in that way. 

Third, our current Romanian Visas expire in November 2018 and so we will be responsible for renewing them before we return for our visit to Canada. The costs associated with this are between $1000 and $2000 CAD. 

If you'd like to make a financial donation to our ministry, please click here.

Prayer Requests

Please pray:

- and thank God for a wonderful fall season and refreshing time with Chrissie's parents this October.

- and thank God for a successful CAMP weekend this month!

- For God to raise up some new monthly and one-time supporters for our ministry here in Romania so we're able to cover all our living expenses. 

- For safety for the upcoming ski camps, both for the staff and instructors and for the participants.

- For wisdom and an extra dose of patience for us as we continue to navigate the Romanian culture.

- For Bible School students to apply for the Spring Bible School. We are praying for God to bring 20 students this year!

- For health for our family during these fall and winter seasons; that we'd avoid ear infections and bronchitis this year, and any other illness that would interfere with ministry.

- For our Romanian language skills to develop quickly and that we'd have many opportunities to grow our language skills.

- That God would continue to equip our children with all the patience and skills they need to thrive at school; that our children would continue to grow in their faith and love for Jesus. 

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 ( 

If you'd like to make a financial donation to our ministry, please click here.       

If you'd like to sign up for our email newsletter to receive an alert each time we share an update, please sign up using this form:

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Summer 2017 Update

Hi friends!

A big hello to all of you, our amazing supporters! First, we want to say a big THANK YOU for you all and for your continuing support of us and the ministry that God has blessed here in Romania. We think about each of you often and we're constantly amazed and thankful that people like you continue to support us, even though we're so far away. Because of the intensity of our ministry schedule over the last few months we haven't exactly been keeping you all up to date as much as we would like, so we're sharing an update with you today re-capping the last few months of ministry here in Romania. We'll be sharing about the last half of the Bible School which ended on June 17th, sharing about Jerry's trip to Capernwray Hall in England for the Torchbearers International Staff Conference, and updating you on what's been going on at PdF this summer!

Ministry Update: 

First of all, we want to thank each and every one of you who were praying for us during the time of the Bible School. Looking back we know it was God who sustained us during that incredibly busy season, and we know He heard and answered your prayers for us. The Bible School went incredibly smoothly and it was a huge success. The students enjoyed the program and it was such a privilege for us to watch them grow in their understanding of God's word and in their relationship with Him. The students were challenged daily with local outreaches, Bible reading and Bible memory assignments, book reports, fitness requirements, and outdoor and cultural challenges. Of course, there were many small matters that came up each day that required Jerry's attention and so a large part of his job became "putting out fires", so to speak, with students and logistical situations. This is to be expected the first time a program runs, so we took it in stride and trusted God to work out the details - and He did. We learned so much during these three months and feel much more equipped to handle the Bible School program next Spring. The planning for next year's Bible School has already begun with meetings and planning the weekly schedules, booking lecturers, and accepting student applications. Please continue to pray for the Bible School next year - for many students to register and for the planning and decision-making process as it unfolds over the coming months.

It's hard to believe that 4 months before the Bible school began we had no students signed up. Jerry began a bi-weekly prayer meeting for PdF staff and volunteers to pray for the Bible School, for students and teachers, and for God's will to be done with the program. Looking back it is SO obvious to us that God heard every one of those prayers - and He answered them! We will be starting regular prayer meetings for next year's Bible School in September and we look forward to seeing how God works in next year's program!

There were so many highlights of Bible School for us, and one of our favourite components of the program was Wednesday night Family Group. On Wednesday evenings, the students would visit one of the staff families in groups of 3 or 4 and enjoy dinner with the family with the purpose of getting to know the staff and experience their culture. We had the pleasure of hosting all the students in our home for dinner many times and it was always a highlight of the week for us.

We also enjoyed taking students to church with us each week. Our church in Brasov, Biserica Harvest Metanoia Brasov,  was so welcoming to the students. On the last Sunday of Bible School we led worship at church with the students and the church prayed over the students and hosted us all for a pizza lunch and ping pong tournament after church. It was such a great opportunity for the students to experience a Romanian church family and learn about the mission field of Romania, specifically the Brasov area.

Other Bible School highlights included the 3 challenges of the program - the Cultural Encounter Challenge, the Outdoor Team Challenge, and the Mission Outreach Challenge. Chrissie and the kids weren't able to attend the challenges with the students, but of course Jerry went along on each trip. Each challenge was a time of learning and growth for the students, where they could apply everything they were learning in the lectures during the week. Getting them out of the classroom and into challenging situations really helped to develop their relationships with each other and with God, and this was a very inspiring thing to witness.  

The Mission Outreach was a highlight for many of the students as they had to completely plan and prepare a day camp for 50-60 youth. They prepared skits centering around the life of Queen Esther, several personal Bible devotions that they shared in small groups with the youth, they lead interactive songs and games, prepared food, and gave personal testimonies. At the end of the event we saw several youth invite Jesus into their lives for the first time, which was amazing to be a part of!

We are so excited to continue keeping in contact with the students and hearing all about how their lives unfold going forward. Because the Bible School at PdF is a Mission Bible School, the goal is to disciple students and equip them for future ministry in the context of missions. Since many of them are young and only beginning their post-secondary education, it might be several years before God calls them to local or cross-cultural ministry. Please be praying for the fire that God has started in their hearts during their time at Bible School, that it would continue to grow stronger and not be snuffed out by the world. And please pray that one day God would use each of these students in ministry to further His kingdom, and that He would be preparing them for that time in their lives.

It was very sad for us to have to say goodbye to so many of the students we'd developed close relationships with, and truthfully it felt a little lonely here at PdF without all the Bible School students around all the time.

But we weren't lonely for long - one of Jerry's main responsibilities for the summer is to mentor and disciple the Summer Team volunteers who come from all over the world to work at PdF in the kitchen, on the housekeeping team, and on the construction/landscaping team for 6-8 weeks. The Summer Team volunteers have been working hard at PdF and it's been fun getting to know them. We host them in our home once each week for a bible study and prayer time, and Jerry has enjoyed working alongside them in the summer programs. Since the Summer Team volunteers come from Canada, the US, Germany and Romania, Jerry finds himself speaking English, German, and Romanian at any given time, which he enjoys.

For those of your who aren't familiar with Torchbearers, there are 25 Torchbearers International Centres all over the world (PdF is one of them) and every 4 years as many staff as possible from each of the centres gather at Capernwray Hall (the original Torchbearers Centre) in England for a week-long staff conference. Jerry was fortunate enough to be able to attend this International Staff Conference this year and it was an amazing time of refreshment for him. He was able to meet many of the Bible School staff from other centres and connect with them, sharing stories and advice with one another. Jerry also helped to organize a Principal’s meeting (for Bible School Coordinators) mid-way through the week which was a special time for them to learn from each other and build relationships that will continue for many years to come. Jerry also gave a presentation about the Bible School at PdF in one of the main sessions, and showed a short video of our first Bible School's highlights. 

Now that summer is in full swing Jerry has been busy again, not only with the Summer Team but also with his High Ropes Course training (he'll be taking over leadership of the High Ropes Course for the next 4-5 months while some of the other staff are away in Germany on a short sabbatical) and leading groups in the ropes course. Jerry really enjoys being in the ropes course, but to be responsible for the safety and management of everything regarding it is quite a big challenge - especially when he's giving instructions in German or Romanian! The Ropes Course is an excellent ministry tool - participants are stretched to their physical limits while they complete the course and once participants  come down from the course they participate in an in-depth debrief to help them draw parallels from their experience in the course and relate them to their understanding of who God is and how He works.

Jerry was also a leader for the Outdoor Challenge camp that finished last week. The Outdoor Challenge camp ran for the first time this summer, so Jerry worked hard with Ebbe and Stefan to plan and run the program. They had over 25 participants who came from all over Romania. It was a fantastic week full of outdoor adventures, spending time in God's word together in the book of Joshua (Jerry preached a sermon on their multi-day hike in the mountains), and even competing in an outdoor adventure race on the last day of the camp. The participants had to complete a course in teams with challenges like climbing, biking, running, swimming, running upstream in a river and climbing over a large dam, all while carrying an 8-kilo watermelon. It was a great way to end an adventurous program!

As we look forward to the slightly more relaxed fall season, we'll be re-focusing on our Romanian language learning. Jerry hopes to take another Romanian language course this fall, and he'll also be working hard on planning next year's Bible school program. He'll also be working as a leader for a correctional program happening at PdF in September for troubled teens from Luxembourg. He'll be sharing his testimony with the youth in German and sharing with them how God redeemed his life. 
Jerry will also be leading groups in the Ropes Course this fall, and the PdF staff will come together at the end of September for the 2-day yearly planning meeting.

Family Update:

After the crazy spring season we experienced with Bible School we knew it was important to re-group as a family and take some time away from PdF at the beginning of July. Although the Bible School was a huge success, it was an incredibly stressful and strenuous time for our family unit. With Jerry working very long hours and going for weeks without a day off, our family life suffered quite a lot. It's no surprise that the last year of our lives has been an incredibly challenging one for us - re-locating our family to Romania and all the stress and preparations that preceded our move, our first 3 months dealing with constant illness, food poisoning, and the stress of language learning, and all the other challenges of settling into a new life in a foreign country that have continued since our move to PdF last November. Our family life has begun to show a few signs of strain, which is very common for new missionary families, and we know we need to do something about this by making family time more of a priority. We spent a few days in the nearby city of Sibiu, absorbing some Romanian culture, and then drove a few hours to the Black Sea in Bulgaria for a few days of rest as a family. 

While Jerry has been busy this summer with the volunteers and the summer programs, Chrissie and the kids have enjoyed playing outside as much as possible, jumping on the trampoline, and visiting the local farmer's market each week.  We've also had Mary Ionescu living with us for most of the summer (she's the 16-year-old daughter of Manu and Feli Ionescu, the family we lived with last fall for 3 months), and the girls have loved having Mary around. She's been a big help around the house and has spent lots of time with the kids, and it's been so nice for Chrissie and the kids to have Mary around when Jerry's schedule keeps him away from home so much.

This week we celebrated our one-year anniversary of our move to Romania. It's so hard to believe that it's already been a year since we left Canada, but at the same time we feel like we've lived here for years already. Romania has definitely become our home and even though we'll always be foreigners here, we couldn't imagine living anywhere else at the moment. We've been through some incredibly challenging situations in the last year - acquiring a reliable vehicle, getting our visas, Miriam's sickness and hospitalization last fall, ongoing food-related health issues, Chrissie's broken shoulder, managing cultural differences in both work and in life, experiencing ethnic isolation as the only North Americans at PdF, language barriers, etc. but there have also been many times of incredible blessing as God comforts us with the assurance that we are walking in step with His plan for our lives and His will for us, that HE prepared far in advance of our understanding. We trust Him and know that we don't need to worry because He is enough for us and His grace is sufficient for us because His power is made perfect in our weakness (1 Corinthians 12:9).

Despite how difficult the last year has been for us, we are more sure than ever that this is exactly where God has planned for us to serve Him. We have never experienced such a strange combination of stress and God's peace all at the same time, and in spite of the challenges and difficult times, our desire to be here in Romania is stronger than ever. We know without a doubt that this peace and confidence in our calling is a gift from God and we are more thankful for this than we can even express. Now that we've hit the one-year mark we are really settling in to life here, and it is so so sweet. We're so thankful!

Prayer Requests:

- Please pray for the yearly planning meeting in September to go smoothly and for many details to be worked out effectively for the upcoming programs in 2018.

- Please pray for our language learning this fall, for God to provide a way for Jerry to take another language course and for sufficient study time. 

- Praise God that He has provided financially for our family over the last year through our amazing supporters. 

- Please pray for our kids' language development as they begin to attend school again in September, that God would continue preparing them for their future years in public school here in Romanian and German, and that they'd begin speaking with ease to their German and Romanian peers.

- Praise God that our food-related health issues seem to be over!! We haven't had food poisoning or food-related illness in many months and we are SO thankful our bodies have adjusted to the food here. 

- Please pray for our continued health this fall as the school year begins again, and for us to find a reliable family doctor and dentist here.

- Please pray for the upcoming Bible School in the Spring of 2018 - for many students to apply and register and for all the preparations for the program.

- Please pray for volunteer staff for the Bible School next year - we're praying for an RA couple (or a single guy and girl) to help Jerry with the day-to-day running of the Bible School and overseeing student life for the duration of the Bible School program.

- Please be praying for the fire that God has started in the hearts of the Bible School students during their time at Bible School this year, that it would continue to grow stronger and not be snuffed out by the world. And please pray that one day God would use each of these students in ministry to further His kingdom, and that He would be preparing them for that time in their lives.

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 ( 

If you'd like to make a financial donation to our ministry, please click here.       

If you'd like to sign up for our email newsletter to receive an alert each time we share an update, please sign up using the form below.

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2017 Spring Mission Bible School Video Update

Hi Friends,

We just wanted to share a quick video update with you - we put together a short video overview of the 2017 Spring Mission Bible School that wrapped up this weekend! We were so sad to see the students leave, but we are very thankful for all God has done over these last 3 months.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support of our ministry here in Romania. It has been such a privilege to disciple 11 students over these last 3 months and see them grow in their relationship with God and experience God through ministering to the people of Romania.

We hope you enjoy the video! Stay tuned for another newsletter from us in the next week or so where we'll share updated prayer requests, a family update, and more about the last half of the Bible school!

Mission Bible School 2017 Update

Hi friends!

After what may have seemed like 6 weeks of silence (we can assure you, it was anything BUT silent for us!) we're here with a mid-Bible School update for you!

Bible School Group Picture - L-R: Jerry (program coordinator), 11 Bible School students, 
Thomas (volunteer staff)

Bible School Update:

This ministry season so far has been amazing beyond words, but it has also been incredibly busy for us. We are thrilled to be developing relationships with each of the students attending the Mission Bible School program and the Bible School is going extremely well, considering this is its first year running! The students are enjoying the lectures, they're getting involved in several different local outreach ministries, experiencing the local culture, connecting with the staff and families here at PdF, and getting to know one another in a meaningful way as they grow closer to God. We're so thankful for the privilege to be able to watch them each growing in their individual relationship with God as well as in their relationships with one another, developing friendships that will last much longer than Bible School and having once-in-a-lifetime experiences here in Romania.

Jerry's days are filled to the brim with coordinating the weekly schedules for the students' activities, providing discipleship to each of the students, leading and managing all the day-to-day activities and connecting with students over meals and free time activities, planning and leading the 3 Bible School "challenges" along with Ebbe and Florin (the PdF director and Assistant Director), coordinating the bible school Sunday evening church services, coordinating the lecturers, and basically being available for any situation that might arise at any given time during the Bible School. This has meant a very, very full schedule for Jerry (and therefore for Chrissie and the girls as well!) and has given rise to some very interesting situations, including an all-night emergency room visit with one of the students (she's okay now!) and having to take all the students to church the next morning! On top of all this, Jerry is also preparing for the upcoming summer during which he will be coordinating the Summer Volunteer Team. He is handling all the correspondence with the applicants, and when they arrive he will be leading, instructing, and mentoring the team throughout the summer.

Chrissie has enjoyed connecting with the students on the weekends through social activities and worship and prayer nights, and also co-leading the discipleship, prayer, and share group for the female students with Ana (one of the Romanian staff at PdF who works in accounting).  Many of the Bible School students come to church with our family each week which has given our kids a unique opportunity to connect with the students and build relationships with them.  The Bible School students have shown so much love to our girls and it's been fun to see our kids interacting with students from so many different cultures and backgrounds.

In the first 6 weeks of Bible School the students have developed a routine with their weekly outreaches to local Micii Exploratori (Little Explorers) clubs for kids and after school programs in some of the surrounding villages. They've also enjoyed several prayer walks through the neighbouring towns, soccer outreaches to one of the local Gypsy villages, and visits to a few local orphanages, an Easter outreach event in Rasnov, and they even participated in an activity Jerry planned for the PdF staff and students to pick up garbage around the neighbourhood. Each of these outreach opportunities allow the students to work with an existing long-term ministry in action, to see how effective ministry is done in a cross-cultural setting and to experience what it's like to minister cross-culturally.

students on a prayer walk in "Shadow Valley"

soccer outreach - we had over 25 youth show up!

some of the students on garbage pick up day

Easter outreach event in Rasnov

Face Painting at the Easter outreach event in Rasnov

The students have also enjoyed lectures on Evangelism and Missions, the book of Acts, the book of John, the book of Ephesians, Apologetics, Evangelism and Youth Ministry, and there are still many more topics to come.

Andy Thomas, son of Torchbearers International founder Major Ian Thomas, teaching on the book of John, was a highlight for many of the students.

Andy Thomas washing the students' feet as a part of his lecture series

The students have also completed their first "challenge": the Cultural Encounter challenge where they worked in groups to complete a series of tasks in an unfamiliar, remote village which included having to find a place to sleep for the night, finding food to eat, and finding transportation without any money or cell phone. Both groups of students completed the Cultural Encounter challenge successfully with some great stories to tell, both of their time connecting with the local villagers and sharing their faith, and of how God met them in their need and showed Himself to them as they completed their tasks and connected with each other.

The house where one group stayed for the night during the Cultural Encounter

Jerry riding a căruță during the Cultural Encounter

After the Cultural Encounter, the entire bible school group spent the night in a Fortified Church to learn all about the Saxon history here in Romania and enjoy some delicious Romanian food.

The whole group in the city of Sighișoara, after the Cultural Encounter
In the remaining weeks of Bible School the students will be completing the Outdoor Challenge, where they'll experience wilderness survival situations and be pushed to their physical limits. They'll also have 3 more weeks of lectures and they'll be completing the Mission Outreach Challenge. We're excited to see God's work continuing to unfold in their lives as they experience the rest of the Bible School program.

Family Update:

This Bible School ministry season has been a challenging one for our family, although we knew in advance that these would be very busy months. Eden turned 3 in April and so she now attends the German-Romanian Kindergarten in Rasnov with Miriam and several other children from PdF. The girls are enjoying their mornings at school and this has given Chrissie the opportunity to help out a little more with the Bible School alongside Jerry.

Heading to school with one of our German neighbours

We've struggled a little bit to set aside family time in this busy season, but we're trying to enjoy the outdoors with our kids as much as Jerry's schedule allows. We went on a beautiful hike just the 4 of us a couple of weekends ago and it was a much-needed time of refreshment. The opportunities to get into nature here are endless and the kids are really enjoying learning how to hike and climb.

Hiking in Piatra Craiului

Learning how to rock climb in Piatra Craiului

Even though this season has been busy, the girls have enjoyed spending time at the PdF center with the bible school students. We've made a habit of enjoying meals with the students as much as we can and almost every week we've hosted a small group of students for Family Group at our home. We've enjoyed getting to know the students more deeply as we enjoy dinner together and showing them what it's like to live as a Canadian family in Romania.

Chrissie's shoulder is continuing to heal nicely and we have managed to avoid any more viruses since the beginning of Bible School which is a huge answer to prayer. We also continue to attend church in Brasov at Biserica Harvest Metanoia and help out at the evening services at Izvorul Vietii in Rasnov. Jerry has enjoyed playing soccer on Tuesday evenings in Rasnov and going climbing at the climbing gym in Brasov with a group of guys from PdF and Chrissie is a part of a Women's Bible Study with a group of women from a church in the town of Codlea as well as a prayer and share group with the female PdF staff and staff wives.

Jerry will attend the Torchbearers International Staff Conference in England for a week at the end of June and Chrissie will stay here at PdF with the girls. This trip will be another big challenge for our family since Jerry will fly to England the day after the bible school ends, but we are looking forward to taking a week or two of vacation in July before Jerry's next busy season begins at the end of July with the summer sports and outdoor camps.

Prayer Requests

Please pray:

1. For stamina for our family to finish this bible school well; for times when we can connect as a family despite the busy schedule of this ministry season.

2. For the Bible School students; that they would have direction for their lives after Bible School and that they would finish the program well.

3. For students and teachers for next year's Bible School.

4. For the upcoming summer ministry season with many camps and programs (that many kids would come, hear the gospel, and put their faith in Jesus - that the staff and volunteers would have strength and endurance for the summer).

5. For Jerry's trip to England in June to be a great time of learning and connecting with other Torchbearers International staff.

6. For our children as they continue to struggle with language learning and communicating with their peers.

7. For our own language learning; that our Romanian language skills would continue to grow and for many opportunities to practice speaking.

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