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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Acknowledgments for Sabbatical

For most of our Sabbatical, we traveled a lot, and learned what it means to be a guest. We want to use this chance and thank the communities, families, persons, that made this Sabbatical possible for us. All of you helped – praying, offering us a place to rest and food, providing for our financial needs.
First of all, we want to thank our Cuvantul Intrupat community (David, Lenuta, Paul, Ana, Fani, Anca, Claudia, Bogdan, Oana, Nicoleta) for creating this time and space for us, and for sending us into this Sabbatical. Without this community, we will have no chance.
Also, thanks to the community from Moldova, for their moral, financial and spiritual support.
Lots of thanks to our families, that helped us a lot – you had a room for us, you shared your food with us, you helped us financially. Thank you to Stefan’ family from US – Nelu, Olivia, Evi, Samuel, Daniel and Nadia, to Stefan family from Italy – Danut, Cami, Oliver and Ianis, to Mustiata family from Vienna, Austria – Dani, Bogdan, Rebeca and Nati, and to Archip family from Vienna, Austria –Estera and Diana.
Thank you to everybody that hosted us, all over England, Scotland and USA. We will like to mention Paul and Marcela Wainwright from London, Jill and Glenn Mills form Ardingly, Will and Catalina John from Eastborne; Frank and Ann Summers, Phil and Gemma Summers, Neil and Kate Summers. Thanks to all our friends from Wolverhampton and Perton, that took their time to know us, to share memories, experiences, to encourage us around the table – Eleine, Sue Gange, Val and Jeff, Eric and Betty, Alan and Eric, Bradleys. Thank you Katy Daniels, and to your church and pastor from Dundde, Scotland, David Clark, and his wife, for giving us the opportunity to share with your church about our call, also to the Emslie –Smith Family, Tori Mayers. Thanks to the Berea United Methodist Church, to Keith and Darlene Wasserman and the Good Works community from Athens, Ohio, for the way they welcomed us; to Jordan and Angelique from Dundee, Michigan – thank you for having us and introducing us to your families; to Josh, Robin and Lukas Fowler from Indiana; to Joel, Monica, Simeon and Abram Klepac; to Erin and Evan Schlossberg –( special thanks for moving to New York, so that we got visit you); to McAvaddys  from Omaha, Nebraska – Ron, Audra, Gavin, Avery, Kira and Collin; to Daphne and Caleb Coppock, in Omaha, and to all our friends there in Omaga – Jonathan Starkey and his family; Oanh Vu Heiser; Seth, Kari and Irene Allgire; Chris, Erin, Keyara and Elijah Harrell; Matt Harrell and his wife; to Elisabeth Day, Teri and Catalin Ispas. Thanks to Matt and Becky, and to Jesus People USA community from Chicago. Thanks to Bela, April and Sophie Ispas in Redlands, California. Thanks to Monica, Johnny and Zach Hanneman from San Jose, California.
Without any of you, and of others like you, our Sabbatical will not have been possible. We felt so blessed by and through all our friends and family, and by all the people we met during this time. You all left your mark on us, and enriched our lives.

Monday, July 9, 2012

what's new!

Three months had past since we returned to our community ( Lau and I),after being absent for nine months, when we had our Sabbatical. This time, (quite a long time, we recognize that) had been benefic for myself and for us, time we put aside to meditate on the past 12 years of service among those that are vulnerable. It has been a time when we sought to rest and to experience God in new ways- when I wanted to self-define my own identity not through my activism, but through who am I. Even if it is a long process, God is continuously teaching me to self-define my own identity based on what I am as a human being, created in His image.
In April we started our coming back transition into our community, and gradually we got involved in our community’s activities, while praying for discernment regarding taking over our responsibilities.
If for Lau the transition back was somehow easier, for me, Vali, it has been quite difficult, because I am trying to find a way to put together my desires for my life (to continue my education), my thought about who I am (wounded as I am) and what is God calling me to be. Even if I already got some of my responsibilities back, I still have a few months ahead of me to discern the position I am called to serve from.
Being back into community meant jumping into the last three months stream.
 In May, as we do every year, we as community had our community retreat. This year was a regional retreat for the Europa-Africa Word Made Flesh region, where our community from Galati, the community from Chisinau, Moldova and the one from Freetown, Sierra Leone, met together for times of solitude with God, and for sharing what God was speaking to each of us. This year retreat topic was reconciliation. We are all grateful about how we all confessed and witnessed how God’s Spirit was present working among us, bringing light into our broken relationships, into our discrimination toward other people living next to us,…we are praying that God will continue to work in our lives, in our communities and in the neighborhoods (countries)  where He called us to serve.
In June, when the summer school holiday started, we planned this summer’s activities, for they look different than during the school term. We are praying that God will lead our planning and realization of those activities. What we want is to bring the children and their families closer to their Father, to be aware of the signs of His Kingdom among us –staff, children and their families.
Eight months ago our community opened a new daily center, in a large village named Tudor Vladimirescu, with a lot of help from our board of directors president, Adi Buhai. In April, Mariana Camenschi joined us as staff, coordinating this center. There are many way to pray for Mariana, from developing good relationships with the children and their families, to obtaining all the paperwork needed for properly running this center.
In June we had a team of 12 (10 students and 2 leaders) from George Fox University, Portland. They served together with us for three weeks – one week in Chisinau, Moldova, and two weeks in Galati and Tudor, Romania. They brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm into our community, through their zeal and energy. God encouraged us by the way they got involved into our activities – doing almost everything, and by their testimonies on how God had changed their lives. We are praying that the seeds He planted into these young peoples’ hearts will grow, as well as the seeds planned into our hearts by what these young people did and said.