Monday, October 18, 2010

Better answers for bitter times

I’ve asked my good friend and ministry partner Ovidiu Patrick to right this week’s blog. Ovidiu is the pastor of Susani Baptist Church. He and his wife Adina have sacrificed greatly the last few years to remain in Susani in an effort to reach the future leaders of Romania, the youth of Susani and the surrounding villages. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by those around them and hundreds of Americans. God blessed Ovidiu and Adina with a vision for the House of Joy, a community center that we are in the process of building. This community center will not only serve Susani but also a number of villages surrounding Susani. Within a 25 mile radius there is an estimated 30 villages with approximately 2,500 youth under the age of 18. Red Page Ministries is honored to partner with Ovidiu and Adina in an effort to complete the HOJ pilot project, a project we pray will one day stamp out rural poverty in Romania.

When God says “No” it does not mean that He doesn’t love the person that receives this answer, it only means that He has a better plan. With God everything is better in life. I have received that answer from God in the year of 2000 when I was applying for the US visa to travel to America. But I was denied by the US Embassy in Bucharest. Then I tried again. And then again. And again…until I reached nine applications. I went from anger to joy and through all the feelings in-between. Then I let God give me the answer that I was waiting to receive for more than ten years. When I applied for the first time for the US visa I tried to go to an American Seminary and God’s answer was negative. He had something better. He opened the door for me to go to a Romanian Seminary. I do not mean that Romanian schools are better than the American ones; in my case it was better because there I met my wife Adina and that was definitely better! (By the way, tomorrow on October 19 we celebrate our 7th anniversary.)

What a great gift from God through our friends to be able to visit America in a month. That is another example of a good answer with good timing. But leading up to this time the number of our US friends increased greatly and now He has surrounded us with an army of loyal friends that pray for us, love us, support us, and dream big with us when we await even better answers. We were denied 9 times by the US Embassy. Now I love the “coincidence” about our trip to America: we will be in 9 cities in America, all cities where we have friends that we would not have had 9 years ago! Did you notice how God works? When you think your present circumstances are bitter, wait for God patiently and He will sweeten it with His plans (which I have found are always better than my plans) and answers to your prayers.

We will be in America for three weeks visiting with friends, preaching, celebrating Thanksgiving Day, shopping for Christmas, and attending a mission conference. We will have the opportunity to meet new people, talking about Red Page Ministries and the House of Joy Association. We are so excited to present our ministry in Romania to friends both old and new.

I know we will see many of you in person. However, I wanted to give you a quick update on the House of Joy. For more than a month and a half the construction site has been on standby. Though we are eager to see construction start back soon we are thrilled that the walls of the first floor are finished (ahead of schedule). Our desire is to add the concrete platform over the walls of the first floor. This has not taken place yet primarily due to timing and resources. But we are excited about 2011. We pray next year we will be able to complete the exterior of the first floor, dry it in and possibly start working on the interior. We continue to dream of the chance to dedicate the building in 2012 and ask you join us in praying for this miracle.

Though construction has probably ended for the remainder of 2010 we hope we can finish the year strong. Our desire is to show our appreciation to the construction company for allowing us to use credit for a portion of the construction costs by paying them back before the end of the year. We also hope to drill a water well before the end of the year and to connect the House of Joy property to electricity. Please join us in praying for a great finish to 2010. Our ministry continues to help people both spiritually and physically. Every weekend we bring the teenagers in many villages around Susani to be part of our activities, to be equipped with the Word of God or to hear the Word of God through our programs. This fall we identified several poor families with many children that will receive our help along with the Gospel. Adina is doing a great job as a social worker in this area. People love her and she loves the people.

In everything we do here we try to show people Christ’s love and to give them His truth in love. Thank you for all your prayers. God continues to work in Romania and to answer our prayers. His answers are always better than what we expected.

As you process this wonderful update from Ovidiu we hope you will consider joining Red Page Ministries in completing the construction of the House of Joy. If you have any interest in supporting this ministry financially or if you have an interest in travelling to Romania feel free to shoot me an email at Aspire to new heights, Jon, Ovidiu, and the entire Red Page family.

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