We’ve got some great news to share...
but you’re going to have to wait!
We Are At The
Youth For Christ Romania
General Assembly This Weekend!
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
We're meeting with Youth for Christ Romania board and staff members for our General Assembly in the place this crazy ride all began—Poarta Oilor! It’s a campground YFC Romania has plans to purchase for reaching youth for Jesus in the future, even as we use it now. We are busy planning and forging relationships as we look to the future of Youth for Christ here in Romania. The last time we saw any of them, we’d conveyed the great passion we had for Slatina, Romania... but also the strange discomfort of not yet knowing what God was doing in our lives, and if He’d make it possible for us to stay. Sure enough, He did, and we were amazed by how easily we both relaxed into the thankfulness of our working life with these people. Now we’re seeing many of them again, meeting others for the first time, and watching God connect us with people who we are excited to serve with in the future. I love the process of dreaming ways to make Jesus known and glorified with these people!
We’ve had good, long conversations here, met people who serve with youth through sports, arts, and rescue efforts from sex trafficking. We’re dreaming about how we can serve together in the future. And I also met a missionary guy who is from Longview Texas and now lives a stone’s throw away from the Black Sea! I am excited about the possibilities in ministry in the coming season!
TIME TO BUILD
The New Year started for us as just another day, and ministry continued the same as it had the week before. We fell back into the rhythm of great time with the family (ours and Rebeca’s parents’ and brother’s families); with the church and church friends; with YFC Romania staff prayer times; with meetings with YFC Romania and YFC International staff; and all the kids and youth time we could want. All of this was wonderful.
We also dealt with the pain of going from wondering about the new baby to dealing with the fall-out of a miscarriage. David sought to do what he could so Rebeca could relax and heal leading up to (and following) the D&C. But unfortunately life doesn’t stop, even so Rebeca can fully deal with this new normal, and we had to again make sure we had all the paperwork done for my residency here in Romania. Life just kept going for us, and led toward this weekend in Poarta Oilor.
So what is this good news you're going to have to wait for? It's this: Youth for Christ International (basically, my “employer”) and Youth for Christ Romania (my local team of co-laborers) are united in wanting to equip us for great work here in Slatina! In the space of a week, both “sides” of YFC were saying they wanted our family to have some rest after this taxing time of travel, grow in my language abilities, and support our fundraising and ground ministry efforts. See, they both know the success of this work isn’t just about what we are doing here, but the support we receive from people here in Romania and around the world. This was so encouraging to me! My conversations with staff here and in the States served to confirm again what God had already made clear to us—We are where we’re supposed to be right now!
Please don’t miss how good this news is! Our leaders in Youth for Christ International AND YFC Romania were distinct and yet in agreement that we are to be spending our time right now learning, rather than building: me learning Romanian, us learning about the YFC youth practices that work in this area and visiting their programs, and learning more about the people we're going to be working with here in Romania. So, my Romanian friends, I want some links to some of your favorite Christian music great videos, and all things Romanian to help in my learning — and thank you!
And yet... this learning IS a way of building! We’re doing these things to build the ministry and our ability to serve here. Even better, doing what we’ve been doing since moving here, and adding language and coworker and youth program learning to that, frees us up to focus on fundraising for this work. There was a time when fundraising, finances, and funding were uncomfortable words for me. Now I’m more excited than anything! God has shown me in a number of ways that I can’t see what He’s doing and so I need to trust Him. If He can bless me through someone I’ve never met in real life, even someone I only know through the Bible app, then one thing is clear: I don’t have to be afraid of this process of seeking the funds He’s got for this mission either!
Time to build our faith again.
And that includes sending out a newsletter that mirrors that expectant hope we have in the Christ who WILL return, even though we don’t know when He will! This is our February Newsletter. It is both done and unfinished. You can find a reason to praise with us, pray with us, and stay with us until the spotlight on “people” comes through.
This is what I mean...
Prayer, Praise, & People
Here's a snapshot of the ministry right now:
Find out a little more about each of these by visiting our website/blog here!
* Partly because I didn’t give him enough time to share his thoughts, and partly because this man had A LOT of prep work to do for this weekend’s General Assembly, you can see his Spotlight toward the end of this week on the online newsletter. Until then, we get to wait patiently with expectant hope of what’s to come!
SPOTLIGHT: Jean-Philippe Sébastien Longeron
JP Longeron is the National Director for Youth for Christ Romania. Meeting him, local staff and board members at Poarta Oilor, and discussing our passion for ministry in Romania led us to work with Youth for Christ International here in Slatina, Romania. I have been greatly impressed by his leadership and life with his family as they serve the Lord together. It was only fitting to give him the spotlight for this first edition of the series, highlighting the work we’re doing in Slatina. To learn more about him, you can go to his website here and order a devotional he wrote here.
JP, tell us a little about your life, family, and passion for youth in Romania.
Thank you David. So My real name is Jean-Philippe Sébastien Longeron. I am French and I came 13 years ago to Romania to serve God. I really came to this country because I had no other option at that time. I was actually hoping to do some ministry in tough neighborhoods of France but doors were not open for that to me. I was so impatient to be in ministry that I prayed, telling God: "If you do not show me where I can serve You before the end of the month, I will sign to any ministry offer and go there – with your approval or not."
Thanks so much for your service for the Lord, JP! And again, since you’re the first Spotlight for us, you’re also the guinea pig for the UNITY QUESTIONS each person will answer, each month, to bring us all together. No pressure!
hahaha That's great JP! Thanks for participating here, and for your work and leadership in Youth for Christ Romania!
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