Sunday was an exciting day here in Reghin! We had the dedication service for Dani, Attila and Adel's new little boy! He grew so much while we were in the states!! Most of Attila's family came to town for the service, and Adel's brother Csaba performed the dedication, so it was a special family affair! We love being a part of their family too, and we were so honored that they waited to have this special day until we were back from the states!
Here is Csaba praying for Dani in the Reghin church
The beautiful Toth family and busy, busy Kaleb :)
It was also an exciting time to reunite with our church families here in Reghin and Apalina, and Paul and I even made the trip to Filpishu Mic for Attila so he could have the extra time with his family. So, we got to visit with lots of special people! Of course, Paul's time was in high demand after church in Apalina! He was flocked with people bringing him requests for trips to town or other favors, and it was a little overwhelming, but it's good to know he's so... appreciated :) Thankfully, we made it out alive to get home in the cold, snowy night and rest up from all the day's excitement!
One of my new year's resolutions is to have more structure for the time I spend at home. A couple of days a week, Paul is gone with the car for a pretty long stretch of time, and I want to do a better job of being intentional about how I spend my time, whether it's working on ministry tasks, studying Hungarian, or keeping the house running. So, I arrived back in Romania with neat and tidy expectations for how this was all going to play out - perfectly, of course, even from the beginning :) Well, I told Paul (after a very crazy Monday that ran complete circles around me and my tidy new plans) that Monday felt like a total mockery of all my new schedules and systems. Of course, everyone (even me) knows that ministry, and especially foreign ministry, doesn't revolve around our preferences for convenience and order. And that's a good thing! Because we're not here for convenience and order. We are here for the people around us.
As the week progressed, I ended up sick in bed and Paul was called on a prison trip and this and that and this and that... and now here we are on Friday, and nothing this week has gone as planned, but it's actually completely ok and good because it means that we have been available to the needs presented to us, and that's a blessing for us in and of itself. As for my new and neat little schedule... well, I am saving it for those days that I just happen to be home and wondering what I am going to do with myself all day. I'll let you know when one of those days ever happens again :) (but, seriously, I need to find some time to study Hungarian SOMETIME :) )
Paul has been back at after-school, and the kids are so excited to have him there! He dove right in to all the cooking and cleaning, but thanks to a very generous donor through Teleios Ministry, we will soon have a brand new dishwasher in the kitchen in Apalina!!! Paul will get to spend less of his time cleaning up and more of his time working with the students and teachers!! Thank you so very much!!! We can't wait to pick out the dishwasher... maybe even this weekend! :) Here are some pictures from Apalina this week.
Snowy (and icy!) winter
Busy child working on his writing
One big happy moment that occurred this week was when Paul and I drove for the LAST TIME to the immigration office in Targu-Mures. We had a little scare at passport control when we entered Romania last Friday. I had to stay behind while Paul went ahead, because the officers had to confer and make calls and be 100% sure I was ok to enter the country. We had called the immigration office while we were in the states to be sure my residency permit had officially been issued, which it had been, so we knew I was in the system. But, I didn't have the physical card yet. Well, they did eventually let me in (obviously), so on Tuesday, we picked up the card! It's really official this time, I can stay here in Romania until 2019 :)
One last bit of fun happened last night when we got to spend some time with our friends Lucian and Cristina. They are a young Romanian couple that we have enjoyed getting to know. Lucian is an assistant pastor and a kindergarten teacher, and Cristina is a music teacher here in Reghin! We love hosting each other for dinner and games and great conversation. We had them over last night for a make-your-own-pizza night, and I also made a new recipe for an amazing Hot Fudge Cake that you can find here (it's like MIRACLE cake!!! And so perfect for winter!!). It was so good to be together again after a long six weeks.
Thank you again for your love, support and encouragement while we were at home in the U.S. I want to reiterate what Paul said last week - your care means so much to us, and it keeps us going in the harder moments of being so far away from our families and the familiar life of America. When you tell us that you enjoy reading our updates or that you're praying for us with your children, we feel built up (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and enabled to keep doing what we are doing here (Hebrews 10:24). When you think about it, leave us a comment or send us an email! We love staying in touch, and in fact, we need that very much. Thank you!!
P.S. In case you missed it, check out Wednesday's post for a link to an informative article about the history and lives of Roma Gypsies!
P.P.S. One more thing! While we were at home for Christmas, my very amazing mother made us some new throw pillows for our apartment! Thanks Mom!! Here are the ones in the living room: