May-June Prayer Letter

Winter, Spring, Winter, Spring

After an extra long winter this year we were really looking forward to spring. When the weather began to warm, we were thankful to be able to get into our tiny backyard and begin to plant some flowers and a miniature herb garden. It was quite a disappointment when after a couple weeks of beautiful spring weather, winter decided to take one last pass and dump some more snow.

sienna wearing glasses

No, Sienna doesn’t need glasses . . . yet, she found Mommy’s and was trying them on. Usually she puts sun glasses on upside down.

It was not long lived and the second return of the warm weather, coupled with the extra moisture, transformed the landscape in a garden-like wonderland. Everything was blooming – it was absolutely gorgeous, and the air was honey-sweet. For people with bad allergies it sounds like a night-mare, but for us it was truly delightful.

Rain Brings Opportunity

Sunday morning a few weeks back, mid-way through the morning service, it began to rain. The rain continued to intensify over the course of 10 minutes. The clamor of the rain on the roof became so loud it actually drowned out the preacher (no pun intended) speaking over the PA system. He just had to stop and wait for it to subside. Paul spoke to a friend sitting next to him and she could not hear over the din. It was as if a swimming pool had been inverted over the building. Thankfully by the time church was over, it had calmed down to a light sprinkle. Some of the streets were literally rivers. After we got home the power went out.

Paul went out to investigate, and found that our neighbor, who lives on the same property, had just discovered his basement had filled with 6-8in of water. He had expensive electronics there and a lot of it was sitting under the water. We had been looking for a chance to reach out to them and God provided it. Paul spent the next few hours helping them bucket the water out and April brought out some goodies she had baked. It turned out to be a great opportunity to get to know them and to be a testimony. Please pray for them their names are Nicu and Olivia.

Prayer Requests

  • Continued understanding for language studies
  • Guidance in our lives
  • Nicu & Olivia
  • Five international students
  • Margit, language professor
  • Pania and boys

Easter picture in our backyard.

More Opportunities

Paul had a great opportunity to share the gospel with five male international students that are attending the university here in Cluj. He was invited to the group by someone who has been trying to do a Bible study with them. They were from several different religious backgrounds, but the Lord gave great liberty for him to share the gospel message with them. They asked a lot of questions and they spoke at length for nearly three hours. None made a decision, but he believes a couple were very close. Please pray for these five gentlemen that they will come to Christ soon.

The Monday after Pentecost Paul went to his language class. They began talking about Pentecost (Rusalii in Romanian) and she asked Paul why there was a group who called themselves Pentecostals (to remind you – she is Catholic). He explained what they believe and that led into discussing other things about the Scriptures. He carefully turned it to a discussion about salvation, and was surprised about how open she was to talking with Him about her spiritual condition. They spent the whole time discussing spiritual things. He shared the Gospel with her and just before they ran out of time together she told him that she doubted that she would go to heaven if she died, and that she wanted to talk more about it at a later time. Paul left her house and practically skipped home like a school boy. He could not wait to tell April what had happed. A big thanks to all who have been praying for her. Further more Paul has been working with her in translating some sermons relating to salvation. So he is getting to preach to her, and she is getting paid to listen.

April has been enjoying working with, and sometimes teaching, the international ladies Bible Study group here. One of the ladies who attends it has a very troubled marriage and two boys that spiral out of control easily. She asked advice from April. Please pray that the Lord will give her wisdom in working with Pania.

Praises

  • Ministry opportunities
  • Progress in the language
  • Opportunity to witness to Margit

Taken the 24th of April in Sienna’s Sunday school room before it started.

Bits and Pieces

If you would pray for April, she has had a bad cough for the past 8 weeks or so, and is now on her 2nd round of antibiotics trying to kick it.

Sienna’s language ability is growing with every day. We are amazed at how much Romanian she understands. We’ve been concentrating on English at home and in the month of May she learned part of Isaiah 53:6. We were thrilled.

We were greatly encouraged to have a supporting pastor come visit. He was in a city near us and we were able to go pick him up, see some sights on the way back, and see some sights in Cluj. We are thankful for each of our supporting pastors, churches, and supporting individuals. We know that economically times are tough all over. We continue to trust the Lord, Who cares for us and provides for us in His providence.

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March-April Newsletter

Five Years and Ten Years
January 14th we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. March 1st we ended our 5th year in Romania and began our 6th. Over the years here and the years we’ve spent together we have seen the Lord do so much. We are thankful that He is in control and has a plan for our lives and our ministry here.

Prayer Requests

  • Continued understanding for language studies
  • Guidance in our lives
  • Irina, divorce and husband’s salvation

Ministry Opportunities
When we moved to Cluj to study Romanian, we knew that we would need to find a church to attend. But we didn’t want any ministry responsibilities to overshadow our learning process. Things were pretty quiet last fall; we quietly attended church, listened and tried to put into practice what we were learning. In January, the church we’ve been attending started a Sunday School class for children ages two to four. Sienna fits right in there, so April has become involved in Sienna’s class. She’s even taught a lesson or two in Romanian. Also in January, we learned of an opportunity for Paul to go and preach in a church that doesn’t have a pastor. He was able to do that in February. While chatting with the man that took him there he learned that there are several (maybe more than several) churches outside the city limits in villages that don’t have pastors. This may prove to be an open door for more preaching opportunities.

Praises

  • Ministry opportunities
  • Progress in the language
  • Safe trip to Targoviste

Targoviste
Burnetts have returned from the States and we were able to go and visit Targoviste and some of the brethren there. Most are doing well, some are struggling. We sat and talked with Irina who has been a great help with the ladies ministry in Sotanga and she and her unsaved husband are getting a divorce. He’s found someone else. Pray for her as she struggles with this sudden change. She has two young daughters and their father isn’t as interested in them as he was. Irina has prayed for her husband, Florin, for many years; may the Lord work in his heart even still.

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January-February Newsletter

Political News

Romania recently had a presidential election that consisted of two rounds of voting. The first vote narrowed it down to two men; Traian Basescu, the incumbent president, and Mircea Geoana, the challenger. The tension between the two parties could be felt while walking down the street. Mr. Basescu has been the only president to date to seriously attempt to eliminate corruption in the government and it has earned him plenty of enemies.

Mr. Geoana’s political support came from Ion Iliescu. Iliescu was Romania’s president after the trial and execution of communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu. Iliescu and Geoan? are essentially communists in sheep’s clothing. Sunday, December 6, 2009 Romania voted. By Sunday evening the media was claiming that Geoana had won, by a small margin. Monday morning brought contradictory news. Our language professor informed us that the media had reported Geoana’s win based on the exit polls. It sounded so familiar: there was a demand for a recount, but once the absentee ballots had been received and counted, Geoana conceded.

Prayer Requests

  • Opportunities to use our Romanian
  • Continued understanding for language studies

Sixth Month Evaluation

When we first made plans to move to Cluj for language training we said that we would evaluate our standing after six months. We have not been taking classes for six months, but we have been taking classes since September, a full semester. We know that we need this coming second semester. As we’ve looked at our situation we believe that we need more opportunities to use the language that we have been learning.

Praises

  • Housing
  • Romanian classes
  • Great professor
  • Healthy winter, so far

Thank You

Time and time again we are reminded to be thankful. We have had some hiccups with our apartment, even spent one night without our heating system, and it has stretched our faith. God continues to provide even when we have extra expenses to repair broken water pipes (of which there have been many) and other “projects” that are part of taking care of a home

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