TUESDAY-THURSDAY 11th – 13th NOVEMBER
Five of us left Cardiff on this 148th journey and had a pleasant run as far as Reading when our 3.5 ton van was involved in a collision near the Reading services. We were thankful that nobody was hurt although our van was badly damaged and could not be driven. Just after we had our crash the truck passed us with Graham, and Stephen. We kept in touch by phone. We waited over two hours for recovery but in the meantime were able to arrange to hire another van of the same size. The van was brought by Graham Gallagher to where we had been taken with our van and we transferred the load. We then had to collect Medical Items in Harrow before making our way to Dover. Graham and Stephen had gone on to Dover, but were delayed 6 hours because of ship problems – one colliding with the all of the dock and another one taken out for refurbishment. We were delayed 3 hours and eventually arrived in Belgium at the hotel – Graham and Stephen at 4.30 a.m. and the Allan L. and Alan P. and Albert at 5.30 a.m. After a short sleep we had breakfast and left around 10 a.m. That night we spent in Boheimkirchen in Austria and had a good sleep. The following day we were away by just after 8 a.m. and had a good trip to Romania arriving in Oradea around 4 p.m. We were so thankful for the prayers of so many people. This is always so important.
FRIDAY 14th NOVEMBER
We unloaded the boxes and spent time in the new Casa building. It was good again to meet so many of the families. Sponsored by people in the U.K. They are so grateful for the support they are given as salaries in Romania are so low – approx. £250 per month and pensions extremely low – £50 per month. Prices in the shops are very similar to ours and some even higher such as milk.
We delivered Medical Aid for Bethesda Medical Centre and were so pleased to be of help again. Meda, the pharmacist sent us this email which gives an insight to the needs today:
“Thank you so, so much for the medicines that you sent us. We are so grateful for you, and for all the help that you give us every year. Because of your help, a lot of people will be able to benefit of the medicines that they need to pass this winter. And I am speaking of the usual people that come to us (poor, old, helpless people, with or without children), but also the people that have no roof under their heads, and live in shelters. They are more and more coming to us, searching for a little help with the medicines. So, in everything you do, I wish you blessings, and joy, and peace from the One that loves us more than we can comprehend. Have a blessed Christmas.”
We then visited the new Hospice building and saw the work in progress. The building is being erected very slowly although Emanuel Hospice have now bought the steel required for the ground floor and have been given enough cement to complete this. They hope to have this finished by March/April of next year. Marinela told us a few stories of different patients but the one that really moved us was of a young boy of 9 years old who was suffering from a cancerous brain tumour and was nearly blind. He asked Marinela if he could be baptised and when Marinela spoke to the pastor of her church he said that they did not baptise anyone under 12 years of age. Marinela said that he would not see 12 years of age and after discussion with the elders they decided that he could get baptised. He gave his testimony and most of the people were in tears. When he finished he returned to Marinela and cried on her shoulder. Praise the Lord for this new convert – seriously ill at only 9 years of age but well enough to give his testimony. In the afternoon we went to visit some more of the sponsored families, in their own homes.
SATURDAY 15th NOVEMBER
We left Oradea early to visit Gherla prison in Cluj. We had a great time in the prison with five of us giving a short testimony. Stephen, one of the drivers, told the prisoners that this was the first time he had been in and out of prison on the same day! He was converted about 18 months ago and has a good testimony. A hard upbringing, with no mother and a father who beat him. He left home at 14 years of age and was well known in his village of Abertridwr. The people now in that village cannot believe the difference in him. We left the prison and went to Cornel Fedor and his family for lunch. Cornel Fedor is a pastor in a few village churches. He also runs summer camps for children and young people at Valea Draganlui. We were pleased again to support his work. After lunch we went on to Ludus to visit Delia Chitu’s mother (Delia and Alex live in Nottingham) and left some boxes with her. We then went on to Aiud to visit Ciprian Bogdan (Cipi). He is doing an excellent work in the Gypsy community especially with young people. His father and sister are helping him with the work. His father is a very good preacher and this past Saturday 6th December he was inducted as Baptist Pastor into this church. He is a very good preacher and also guitarist and the sister is very good with singing and speaking to the children. She has just taken a Bible Course in a college. Cipi has just become a father with a third daughter. We were able to leave Cipi with a gift for the work. We returned to Cluj where we spent the night with different families.
SUNDAY 16TH NOVEMBER
We were at the morning service in Iris Baptist, Cluj where Philip, the son of Beni Faragau was preaching. Pastor Beni Faragau was visiting Australia preaching in Cornel Ghita,s church in Melbiourne. (Cornel Ghita trained in Bryntirion, Wales and ministered in Chisineu Cris and then Arad, before moving to Australia a few years ago.
We support the Christian Aid Foundation which Rodica and Peter have been running for many years. We also support Philip Faragau’s wife – Violetta who work with children and young people trying to prevent drug and drink addiction. The charity is called Preventis. Both organisations we left with a gift.
We then left Cluj for Oradea where we attended Providenta Church with the Matiu family. We then had a fairly early evening.
MONDAY 17th NOVEMBER
We left on Monday morning and called at Salonta where we left parcels from Neil and Aura Thorpe. Aura had sent them for her grandmother who made 100 pancakes for us!! We also had parcels for a very heavily pregnant cousin of Aura’s. Cost of baby items in Romania are very high.
We then went on to Arad calling at Chisineu Cris and leaving some sweets for the children. We had lunch at the watchmaker’s family home and met the family. They are very active in the Metanoi church where last April they had a baptismal service of 18 people and at that service 26 people were saved. Praise the Lord! We then motored on to Timisoara and met our friends at The Areopagus Centre. This is where Graham and Stephen met Deb and Steve who run a charity in Jimbolia and took them to deliver new clothes which had been donated from Tesco. Deb is from Brecon and they work with children from very poor families. There is much work done at The Areopagus Centre. Some is caring for poor families and meeting of professionals to discuss Christian living in a worldly environment. We then travelled on to Otelu Rosu to spend the night with friends there.
TUESDAY 18th NOVEMBER
It was good to be at Otelu Rosu and to meet Dr Vali, Jeni his wife and all the other people. The elderly people’s home is running well and the building has been transformed by Vali’s son-in-law. We slept in Otel Rosu in the refurbished rooms around the parking square. They still have the farm at Resita and we left money for the work at Otelu Rosu and Resita. We then travelled on to Hateg where we met up with Brenda from Aylesbury who works with children from the Pentecostal Church. We left sweets for her work with children. We then drove on to Deva where we met Dariu and his father. His Dad, Lucian Marian still ministers in 2 churches and we left gifts for him and sweets. We also left gifts and sweets for House of Hope where children are looked after. We then motored on to Brasov. This is usually a long journey but from just outside Deva there is a motorway (Autostrada) to Sibiu which saves about one and a half hours. We arrived in Brasov and had a meal with Pastor George Stanciu and his family. They made us very welcome. We left after leaving them a gift for his ministry and some sweets for the children of his church. We motored on to Ploiesti where we again stayed overnight in the small bungalow in Gageni. It was nice to relax on our own.
WEDNESDAY 19th NOVEMBER
Pastor Cornel Negoi came across to the bungalow to have a chat. It was good to hear that this bungalow which had now become a church was progressing. Last year two people were saved and baptised and they are praying that the Lord would move again this year. We left a gift for his work and some sweets for the children. We then motored on to Bucharest where we visited a family in Pipera who are supported by a family from Heath Evangelical, Cardiff. The husband was killed some years ago in an accident at the factory where he worked and there was no monetary compensation and no enquiry. It was good to see the children, some now married with children of their own who are so grateful for the support.
We also met Heinz Maracine in Pipera although we normally visit the family in Tirgoviste. He brought us sad news. His Mum had an operation for a cancerous growth on her brain in Switzerland but was told that she only had days to live. Heinz and his family were flying out to Switzerland to be with his father and brothers and sisters.
We then went on to the Bible League where we are always met with wonderful hospitality. A meal had been prepared and we were grateful for it. We then looked at Bibles and were able to purchase 100 for Children and 100 Adult Bibles. These will be distributed on our next trip in April 2015 and we leave them in Oradea. We already had some Children’s Bibles and we were giving these to different pastors on our journey around the country. We left the Bible League and made our way to Mihaela’s Flat and her mum and Dranka. It was good to see them again. We left boxes from a lady in Great Yarmouth who has been supporting Mihaela since she saw her on the ‘Anneka Rice’s programme when they refurbished an orphanage in Siret where Mihaela was living. We also left some money from a family in Winchester who have supported her for more than 20 years. We thank the Lord for these supporters. Please pray for the three of them.
We then had a difficult drive through heavy rain to Galati where we stopped to meet Anna Birtea – Heart of a child. Adrian Norton is chair of this organisation. We were able to purchase tables for her and delivered them together with sweets. We then travelled on to Tecuci where we stayed the night.
THURSDAY 20th NOVEMBER
Costel and Rodica, who run the Medical Centre and the Church in Tecuci were away, so we were well looked after by their two daughters. We were shown around the medical centre and the dental surgery. The two daughters work at the Medical centre. When the doctors see the patient they ask what is wrong and then ask if they would like prayer. They then go to the prayer room where the doctors or Costel will pray for the patient before giving them medication. How wonderful if that could happen in this country with Christian doctors. We were then taken to the Kindergarten where about 50 children were present. It was well equipped with a wonderful kitchen and dining area for the children. The children sang some Christian songs to us and we were blessed. We left a gift for the centre and made our way to Vaslui to the ‘Little Angels trust’. There are a couple of Christians who have been doing this work for many years and were supported by Spurgeon’s Child Care. We used to bring some boxes of goods for them from Cheltenham. However Spurgeon’s Child Care no longer support them. They work with handicapped children and have this building in Vaslui which is currently being re-furbished. We prayed with them and left a gift for their work.
We then travelled on to Iasi to meet Nelu Anton and family. Nelu travels in to Moldova to give aid to very poor families and people from Cardiff have been supporting him for many years. Whilst at Nelu’s home we met Mihaela Gheorgetta and her husband who have been supported by a family from Litchard Mission, Bridgend for many years. We had not met the family for some 20 years so it was good to meet up again. We also met Maureen Wise who had come from Moldova with Liliana and some friends to collect some parcels which we had brought. Albert especially enjoyed meeting old friends from Moldova and we all enjoyed good fellowship with them. After we had prayed together Maureen and her group left. We then descended the steps outside of the house but on the last step Alan P. fell and cut his forehead and nose! We all went back into the house so that the wounds could be treated before leaving for Suceava. We arrived at Simona’s apartment for a lovely meal before going to her Mums apartment for the night. Salomica was away in the USA so Simona was looking after us.
FRIDAY 21st NOVEMBER
We had breakfast which Simona prepared at her Mums apartment before going to Bethesda Christian Hospital to have my wounds treated. The nurse who treated me was Simona’s friend and she took great care in cleaning and putting new plasters on the wounds. We then went to meet Gabi Antonese who runs the Iochebed Centre in Suceava. We met with 3 Mums who had their 3 Babies with them. How we Praise the Lord that these babies were saved from abortion because of the ministry of Gabi. They talk to Mums about not having an abortion but that they will help with Baby Milk and all the necessary things that are needed for a new baby. Many of the Mums have come to know the Lord, as Gabi and her team share the gospel with them. Even some of the Dads have been converted and we do indeed Praise the Lord for this ministry. We left a gift for them for baby Milk and other items that are needed. We then went out to Siret to meet Simon who has run the farm project for many years. We had boxes for him from his Mum but were disappointed that he was not at home. He had returned to Wales to see his brother-in-law who was ill. We will catch up with all the news about the farm at Siret when we contact Simon. We then returned to Simona’s apartment where we had an enjoyable meal before resting for the night.
SATURDAY 22nd NOVEMBER
We left Suceava fairly early as we had a long run to Oradea. We stopped in our usual place at DRACULA’S HOTEL on the top of the Carpathian mountains before travelling on to Cluj to meet Peter Moraru who once again had coffee and cakes for us! We collected the honey he had for us before travelling on to Gilau to meet Tim and Jenny Gooding. They are from Essex and we used to take boxes to Romania for them from Medical Missionary Society. They are still supported by this organisation and they had been in Essex for two weeks on deputation work. Tim had remained in Essex as his mother had died but Jenny returned so we were able to have English tea, coffee and cakes. We heard about the continuing work amongst the gipsies and how they lead a gypsy church. They are also involved in a school nearby where they will take shoe boxes they have been given from Essex. They have wonderful freedom to share the gospel at this school so we continue to pray for their work. We arrived in Oradea to another good meal at the home of the Matiu family before retiring to bed.
SUNDAY 23rd NOVEMBER
We spent the day with the Matiu family attending Providenta church in the morning and Emanuel Baptist Church in the evening. It was a good day.
MONDAY-TUESDAY 24th – 25th NOVEMBER
We left at 730 a.m. in the morning and had a very good journey with arrival at Wurzburg at 8 p.m. and in bed by 8.30 p.m. The next morning we left Wurzburg at 4 a.m. and had an excellent journey home. We delivered the calendars in Calne, Wiltshire, which had been printed by Romflair in Oradea and then arrived in Cardiff about 8 p.m.
It was an excellent trip and we thank the Lord for all who prayed for us. I believe it was the prayers of many people who, despite the accident to the van and the accident in Iasi the Lord provided his care. The van was provided free of charge by the insurance company and the Enterprise rental company, and my injury, despite cuts and bruising on my head and eyes, cleared up before I arrived back in Cardiff.
PRAISE THE LORD FOR ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL TRIP. WE DISTRIBUTED £30,000 and 6000 PACKS OF SWEETS TOGETHER WITH VARIOUS OTHER ITEMS.