As a Christian community, (for every Christian, actually) one of our greatest challenges is finding a healthy rhythm when it comes to work and rest. We don’t want to be idle – we do care for what is happening around us, while we do know that we can’t do everything – we are not all-powerful. As a result, we encourage everyone to find a good rhythm for serving, giving, and also for resting, for getting filled up again. We encourage practicing a day of rest each week, taking time for personal retreats and for participating in our one week long community retreat each year. For those involved for long term, Word Made Flesh offers a longer time of rest (after 6 years of service, one year of Sabbath).
We (Lau and Vali) are just finishing another 6 years of service, of work with Word Made Flesh Romania, and last Monday the Cuvântul Întrupat community just sent us in this year of sabbatical. We have 9 months ahead of us when we have a chance to stop, and rest and get refreshed. Since neither of us has any other responsibilities in Galati during this time, our plan is to be away from Galati for the majority of this time. Wherever we will be doing during this time, we want to look back, to the last 6 years of service and to recognize where God was at work, how He provided. Looking back we will find moments of joy, moments of sorrow, things we did manage to get done along things we regret, and our prayer is that looking back to find strength for the future.
Planning this time has two parts: a dreaming part, when we find out what our desires are for this time, and an action part, when, depending on the resources available, on the doors that are open for us, will accomplish some of the things we dreamed about. In order to be able to be away from Galati we need to raise some extra 200-300 Euros each month. We also have to raise the funds for travelling and for other activities. We are praying that God will provide, and that we will be open to the unexpected.
We will spend some time with our families, and beside this we have 2-3 other activities we will love to do. Vali has been invited and she accepted to write a chapter for a Christian College textbook on practices in mission – her plan is to focus on this first two months of this time, after which she hopefully spend some time in a Christian community, where she will bring together daily activities, practicing spiritual disciplines and practicing hospitality. I (Lau) will love to take some programming classes with a university in Scotland (this is something else I am looking for financial support) – I will like to finish at least the first semester attending the classes in person, and I will see what are the options for a second semester.
We appreciate a lot this time offered to us by our community Word Made Flesh Romania, we appreciate the sacrifices they are doing in order for this to be possible (finances, time for doing our responsibilities while we are away, ...) and our hope is that this will be a time of renewal and refreshing for us and a time of growth and development for our community, a time when each one of us will go deeper in discovering our gifts, our talents, and the way in which these strengthen our call to serve.
We anticipate this time with joy, and our prayer is that each one of us, regardless where we are in our life’s journey, to find a good rhythm, and to receive from God his rest and his peace.
Lau & Vali Archip