We used to visit Drumul Taberei every week, but over the last year, we’ve been concentrating more on planting the church and working with English-speakers (whom we can at this point more effectively disciple). So by the time Christmas came, it had been a number of months since we last visited the families living along Drumul Taberei.
We came this year with some small Christmas gifts for the kids and plenty of love, prayers, and encouragement for everyone.
I think the pictures at the end will do a better job at expressing the feelings all around than I could ever say in words, but let me just give a quick update on some important things to help in your praying.
When we visited, Vasilica described herself as “all alone now but God does not forsake me.” Her husband Mircea and daughter Rebeca are in jail now for drug use, but Alberto (read more here) is still free from heroine and Samuel is still HIV-free (read more here). Carmen is living in Spain with her older sister and doing well there. Andrei is still as wild as ever but also full of infectious joy. Join Vasilica in your praying, and ask God to use Mircea’s and Rebeca’s time in jail to bring them to repentance, freedom from drugs, and new life in Jesus. He can do it!
When we went to find Bobi and Verisoara and their slew of kids and grand-kids, we discovered a fence around their old home in the vacant factory and the walls torn down. But God sent us at the right moment, because just a bit later, we ran into one of the neighbor girls who directed us around the block to a white door with stickers on it. Behind, we found a number of families living in the remains to another old factory and shortly discovered our friends. What a joy it was to see them again! (The poor give the best hugs!) Praise God they found a nicer home, although there’s still no bathroom, and they’re still squatting on property they don’t own. They have an oven now, a decent wood stove, and a cleaner home in which to raise their family. The kids are all growing well, mostly healthy (considering the circumstances), and most likely causing just as much (if not more) mischief. Pray for God to stir their hearts towards Him. Also pray that He would give us wisdom to know how best to serve here.
And with that… Enjoy the photos! (None of them are from me, by the way.)