If you ask Nicu when his relationship with Jesus began, without missing a beat he’ll tell you, October 22nd, 2012. That’s when he prayed a prayer of surrender to Christ in front of me and several other volunteers after a Bible study. But Nicu’s journey toward knowing the Savior began long before that night...
When he was eight years old, Nicu’s house burned down. That’s when he and his five year old brother were moved to an orphanage after Child Protection realized the boys had suffered years of severe abuse from an alcoholic father and a mother with psycological disfunction.
For years, my sister, Dina, had been organizing special holiday outings and summer camps for children from the orphanage where the boys were sent and she met Nicu during his first summer there. In the years that passed, he heard little bits of the gospel during summer camps. Then, in the summer of 2011, Dina invited Nicu to serve as a volunteer instead of just attending camp. That also meant being a part of team devotionals every morning and group prayer every evening. Candice and I where there that summer and remember how uncomfortable he looked. You see, before that time, Nicu had never read the Bible or been around people praying out loud. It was all very foreign to him, but he was drawn in by the feeling of family and community that came with being part of the volunteers he had looked up to for years. And he was most definitely being drawn by the Holy Spirit!
Later that summer Nicu and his brother were one of a few children moved to a smaller group home near the edge of town. The boys were happy to get to move from the big institution style orphanage. The group home director has allowed Nicu to continue volunteering with Pas cu Pas for weekly ministry and attending Bible studies.
That night, October 22nd, I taught on what it means to be born again and, as usual, wrapped up with an open time of prayer. It was silent for a moment before, to my surprise, I heard Nicu begin to pray out loud. I wish I could remember his exact words that night. They came unscripted from a heart longing to know God. He said something like, "God I know I'm a sinner like Dinu says. I know I need you and I want to be born again! Please save me and be my Lord."
The compassion, encouragement, and practical help Pas cu Pas gave during Nicu’s growing up opened his heart wide to the love of God! He says the desire to please God and do His will has been growing in him since surrendering his life to Jesus. And, as a kid who's had such a hard life, he told me once that one of the most valuable things he's learned this past year is that he doesn't have to wonder what he did wrong when bad things happen, that he knows bad things aren't from God! It is exciting to be a part of Nicu's life as he is learning to read and study the Bible for himself and how to open up to his Father God in prayer!
Would you take a minute to pray for Nicu right now? Unfortunately, kids like him have very few people praying for them! Pray that he would understand God's Word, have boldness to follow Christ in his daily endeavors and that he would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in the decisions he faces.
This month we re-vamped the playground at one of the children's homes we help...
Catalina and one of the girls trying out the new tire swing!
Handmade heavy duty swings, hardware and bearings!
Time to test it out!
What a joyful second Easter (it was May 5th here)! We spent a few days at each of the orphanages and also shared the Great News at two nursing homes and an care center for mentally disabled adults. All with a super group of young people who come along side Pas cu Pas for two weeks each May!
Loving on some ladies at a nursing home.
Mc Donalds for Marie's 3rd birthday, with Petronela.
Sand box construction led by our talented Timo!
Vegan cupcakes for Claudia's birthday:-)
We moved Bible study to our house and eat together every week. We're not sure who likes it more, us or the kids!
Story time with Daddy
Sarah enjoying strawberries, raspberries and black current from her grandpa's garden!
If you'd like, you can click our family photo to download a full-sized copy:-)
The kids from Beclean with their beloved "May Team!"