One of the new parts of our ministry this fall has been working with music and worship in three different churches. Because we arrived back to Romania shortly before school started, this was something I couldn't give much attention to right after we got back. In the last week, though, we have started worship team practices in two of those churches. One of the things that we have really seen a need for is to have our practice times also be a time for talking about and praying about what we do in leading worship. In the past, we have just gotten together to rehearse for the upcoming worship service. Now we are trying to prepare ourselves for worship and to be thoughtful about the songs we choose. Additionally, I also want to teach more about music. For example, we have worked on skills like reading music and running sound. This week in Apalina, it was also great to sing with some of the new people in the community. They are excited to learn and be a part of the worship team too!
Church service in Apalina
In our after-school program, we are still having a lot of kids come every day. While this is still a lot of work in the kitchen, I have found time to be with the kids and see what they're learning. I am happy to say that many of those children who were struggling with the alphabet have already begun to show improvement! On Friday, one of the groups performed comedy sketches they had written themselves! It was so fun to be in the kitchen and to hear the laughter of the other kids as they watched.
One of Friday's skits
While I don't get to teach much in the after-school program (many of the kids speak Romanian and I don't speak Romanian well enough to teach...yet!), I have had opportunities to teach in Hungarian in our children's meetings in Apalina. This was only the third week since we started back after summer, and the kids are excited and are remembering the lessons we've taught. It's also fun to teach in Hungarian! Katie has done a great job of helping prepare lessons that have hands-on activities. The kids even help create visuals that remind them of what they've learned. These visuals are on display in the church, so our children as well as our church members can admire them throughout the week. We are proud of our kids!
Making trees and eating apples on Creation Day 3!
On a family note, we had two major accomplishments this week! On Wednesday, we started the paperwork for Katie's residency permit. We were able to get two papers we needed to begin the application. After visiting several different offices in one building (and being passed from one to the other and back again), we finally found out that the type of government insurance we need no longer exists. We will have to visit the immigration office in Targu-Mures (the closest "big city" to us) to find out what we need to do next. Please pray for us as we continue to work through this process. Our second big accomplishment this week happened on Saturday. It wasn't Katie's first driving lesson, but it was the first time she drove me home!!! What started out as a simple driving lesson turned into Katie driving all over town. I'm so proud of how quickly she picked up driving a stick shift! Once she's ready to drive alone, she will have more independence and flexibility to focus on her ministries while I'm at work.
Please keep praying for our work with the worship teams, after-school and children, as well as for Katie's paperwork. We will feel better when we know she has permission to stay here in Romania after the 90-day limit.
As we say here in Romania, "békeséget!" ("Peace" in Hungarian)