Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Looking Forward To The New Year And A New Season In Life

Well...It's been quite a while since our last blog. For those of you who don't know, we were in the States for about 3 months visiting with friends, family and enjoying some time off. It was a rough year with lots of new adjustments so the vacation was much needed. We have been back in Romania for about 1 month now and we are so happy to be back! We really missed life in Romania and are ready to get back into ministry!

It has taken some time to get adjusted...Kylie was sick before we came back and was sick for what seemed like forever, then Matt got sick, then we were all fine for about a week then Kylie got sick again and I got sick. So now after about a month of being sick and just trying to get back into a new routine...I think we're finally back on track.

Some things have changed since we've gotten back but we are confident in God's leading in all of it. For now we will no longer be serving in the gypsy village of Sabolciu. The Lord gives and He takes away. Just as sudden as the opportunity to serve there was handed to us...the Lord shut the door on us serving there. It was sad of course, because we had invested so much time and energy there but ultimately we want to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and His leading and we as a team all believe that for now, the Lord is leading us in another direction. We still hope to visit there to see the friends we made and just to stop in and say hi but will no longer be doing ministry there.

But as one door closes another door opens as they say...the church we have been serving at has a gypsy village that they serve at and they are in need of volunteers to help serve. It makes sense to begin serving with them there since we have really been trying to meet needs and serve as much as we can there.

In this new year I definitely see the Lord moving and changing things up a lot...so we are just trying to hold on to our hats and follow His leading. We want to serve more in our church and with them serve more in the community. It's not always common for christians to evangelize so we really want to begin to do that more. It's just hard because everyone here knows about Jesus so we need some wisdom on how to approach evangelism and the importance of a relationship with Jesus that is personal not just religious. We also want to start reaching out to the youth of Oradea as it seems they have been sort of going under the radar.

And not too mention I'm having a baby!! Ha ha! That will certainly be new! And just in case you didn't know, It's a BOY! YAY! We are soooo thrilled! We plan to have the baby here in Oradea because we feel it's very important for us to share our lives with our friends and church family here. Family is very important and having a baby is a very intimate thing and we are blessed to get to share it with our new friends and family here in Oradea. People have been surprised that we would choose to have our baby here but this is our home now so of course we would have our baby here.

So to sum it all up, our vacation was great, and much needed to help us refocus and get rejuvenated for all the changes that will be coming in this new year. We both came back feeling so refreshed, closer to the Lord and ready to hit the ground running. Plus it was nice to be away from Romania because absence makes the heart grow fonder. And that was really true for me. I missed Oradea...which is something I wasn't sure would happen just because adjusting was so difficult for me. But getting away I was able to get a better perspective and I think that Matt and I realized just how precious our time here has been and will be. This is where God has us and even though sometimes we struggle, there really is no place else we would rather be.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Quick Update On My Health Issues

Thank you all for all your prayers and support! The past few months have certainly been trying to say the least BUT I finally have good news!
Just to recap:  part of my frustrations were because I was getting so many different answers about why I was in pain, and why I was fatigued. First the Dr said I had no infection but there was inflammation because of the cold weather we were having unexpectedly. Then another Dr told me I may have an infection but would have to wait a week to get antibiotics and the pain was because I had a cyst...then the next time I saw her she said I did have an infection and I had two cysts. One was dangerous and filled with blood but the other seemed to not be an issue. So she put me on antibiotics and anti inflammatories and basically told me I just had to sort of wait it out. This was a little challenging because at this point I had been in pretty intense pain for about 2 months. The pain coupled with extreme feelings of fatigue and exhaustion made doing any activity extremely challenging.
After a few weeks on the medicine I began feeling better until I eventually felt like myself again. And at my last visit with her the dangerous cyst filled with blood was gone! There is still another cyst on the other ovary which she doesn't seemed to be concerned about (thank God) but she wants me to come back in for another check up just to keep an eye on it. In fact I am going to try to make another appointment with her for either this week or next so I will make sure to give an update when I get one. Also she doesn't seem to think there should be any problems with us conceiving in the future...but for that one I suppose only time will tell :)
Seriously, thank you to everyone who prayed for me...I felt it! Your prayers helped me make it through and incredibly difficult situation that tested me in many ways. It means a lot to know that there are people who care and are praying for me, my family and this team...thank you!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Trust is Hard

The past few months have been good. Lots of changes and transitions as we welcomed two new team members and said goodbye to another. We also had several visitors come and stay with us which is always fun! We've been getting more involved with our church Viața Noua which has been great for us and hopefully a blessing for them. It's been nice for me personally to be establishing deeper relationships with the women there and Matt and the guys got to go on a men's hike with the men from church. There is a great need there for people to serve so there have been lots of opportunities for us to step in and get really connected. It's been really great!

In some other, more personal news, I have not been doing so well. I've been feeling out of sorts for about a month. I've been feeling very fatigued and tired as well as getting dizzy when I've been doing pretty normal tasks. I thought maybe it was allergies...we thought perhaps I was pregnant...then about a week ago I started having pain in my lower abdomen and after 3 days it kept getting worst. So we decided to go to the hospital because I knew something wasn't right. After an exam and an ultrasound the doctor told me I have a cyst on my left ovary ( it's still small, around 2cm I think) and I have some sort of inflammaion in my fallopian tubes on the left side which is causing me pain. So he gave me some antibiotics and an anti inflammatory for the inand I had to get blood work done to see if the cyst is cancerous and if the inflammation is from a bacterial infection. He said that the cyst isn't bad, but it's not good either and that he may put me on a birth control pill (which is supposed to help shrink the cyst). I don't really want to go on a hormonal birth control pill so I will have to see if there are any other options. And as for the infection in my fallopian tubes...well that's not so good either...

(Okay so I started writing the top portion a week ago but didnt finish and now have some new information.) After some blood work the dr said that I do not have a bacterial infection in my Fallopian tubes but that the inflammation was probably caused by the cold...which seems odd to me but my Romanian friends say this is a very common thing here in Romania. I've been off the antibiotics and the anti inflammatory for 4 days now and still feel terrible. I'm still having pain in my lower abdomen (mostly on the right side where ther is inflammation) and i feel absolutly exhausted all the time still so today I'm going to go to another dr to get a second opinion. The dr was reccommended by a friend from church and she really likes her dr so hopefully I can get some answers and figure out what the deal is.

I'm really struggling with all of this since Matt and I would really like to have more children one day. Everything I can find online about inflammation of Fallopian tubes says that it's bacterial and cause infertility if not treated promptly...and since I've been feeling bad for a month now and have had pain for about 2 weeks...I'm getting a little nervous. Plus it's just hard because medicine and drs in Romania are very different than what I am accustomed to and it's hard to be having these issues and be so far from home and the familiar. However I will say that it is causing me to trust in The Lord more than I've had to for a while. I know that He is with me in this and I daily sense Him calming my fears...but it's still hard. Please for us as its been hard for Matt also. It's hard for him to see me feel so awful and feel so out of control about it all. Not too mention he's been cooking meals, doing laundry, and watching Kylie on top of all his other responsibilities! He is truly amazing and I'm so thankful for him! Please pray for healing and wisdom and good doctors etc and for us to continue to rely on The Lord for strength trusting that he works all things for the good of those who love Him!

 

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A little gypsy village called Sabolciu


(My wonderful husband wrote this!)
We have had the sweet blessing of leading a church in a little gypsy village called Sabolciu. When we arrived in Romania the pastors that were shepherding the church had both left and moved on to other things. In other words, it was just about dead.  We were given an opportunity to take over and to continue the work in the village. We saw it as an opportunity to meet God and engage His beautiful Glory in a place where it didn't seem to be and for the past nine months that is what we have been doing. We have been laboring in God’s great mercy and grace in what we called an opportunity to serve. 

It has not been easy or even come with much encouragement that what we were doing really even mattered. But whenever we got discouraged, God in His goodness would give us a ray of hope that He was, is and will always be there at work.  I would be lying if I said that it hasn’t been stretching for us all because it was more than I think any of us would have ever guessed. Being in the village stretched our love, our patience, and our faith but most of all it opened up our spiritual eyes to see Jesus Christ move through each one of us.  It was humbling to truly see where I was and how much farther I needed to grow to be like Jesus. I can say I understand His love a little more but only a little more because I have not suffered and or sacrificed what He did to reveal His love for me.
               
So as I said we have been having church for the last nine months and we have had ups and downs. The biggest problem we have is that the village is split into two sides and neither side really likes the other. They tolerate each other but that’s about it. So getting them to come together to hear about Jesus and grow has been a struggle. We come throughout the week as well to spend more individual time with them through Bible study, joining them in their daily life and through prayer and worship. We have seen slow growth in them individually but not as a church. The team then had an idea (which I believe now was inspired by the Holy Spirit) to basically start over, which meant that we stopped meeting in the existing church in the village. We decided to ask two ladies if we could have church in their houses, one on either side of the village in a house that both sides would feel comfortable and willing to go to. The first two weeks went surprisingly well but the third Sunday, something different happened. First, a man in the village who has never been interested in anything we were doing asked us if we wanted to have one of the church services in his house. This came to us as a great surprise. Second, we had the most people come to church, more than we have had the entire time that we have been here! Not only that but they were more loving and inviting than they had ever been. The Lord has moved some huge mountains.  There are still many more to be moved but this was definitely a huge answered prayer and we know that He will continue to move even more mountains. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

God is abundantly GOOD!

Sometimes, most times, I am overwhelmed with the goodness of God. To be honest I don't understand it. It doesn't make any sense. I haven't done anything to deserve it, yet He continues to shower it upon me!
Here's what I mean:
So a few weeks ago we got the opportunity to go on a mostly paid for European cruise! The pastor of the church we have been attending is a travel agent and he approached us on a Friday afternoon telling us that he, his family and some other pastors and friends of some sister churches throughout Romania were all going on a cruise out of Italy for 11 nights and 12 days. The kicker was the cruise was on the following Wednesday which meant we would have to leave on Tuesday to drive for 14 hours or so to get there by Wednesday. Some of his friends that had booked it were not able to go at the last minute so he offered their room to us and the price was SUBSTANTIALLY lower than the regular price. We were sort of taken back and unsure of what to do. While it was a great opportunity and like ridiculously cheap for a trip like this, we still didn't have the financial resources. So we just offered it up in prayer and asked the Lord what on earth to do and asked for Him to make a way because it was the opportunity of life time. Then He made a way! We had someone donate money to us that wanted us to specifically use it for that purpose!
It really came at such a good time for us. Honestly the past year and half or so has been a little tough to say the least. We had had a baby and were still figuring out how to be parents when we moved to a foreign country to lead and live with a team of people we had only known a few short months. The chance to get to go on a trip like this as a family was seriously just what we needed. The Lord had really been speaking to Matt and I both about the importance of our marriage and our family and the necessity to make it a priority over ministry which has been hard for us. It's hard to live with people, lead them in ministry and still spend time together as husband and wife and also with Kylie as a family. We really needed this.
The ship was beautiful and it was really sweet to get to spend time with another married couple who also has a child (our pastor and his family). They are so sweet and worked so hard to help us to get to go with them. Since our cars are old and would never make the drive there and back he worked it out so that we could drive his company car!
Words just can't express how thankful we were for such an amazing opportunity. Without the Lord's help we would have never been able to experience something like this. I mean our room even had a balcony! Trips like this can easily cost around 5000 dollars! It was such a great reminder of how important our marriage and family is the Lord. That He will spare no expense to ensure that we remain strong in Him and that our marriage remains strong as well.
It was soooo much fun and so amazing to get to see so many beautiful places! Plus Kylie had a blast. She was the most popular girl on the whole boat. She made friends with everyone, made sure to say hi to everyone she happened upon, she held peoples hands, gave hi 5's and blew kisses. She is definitely not shy and LOVES being around people. It was so fun to watch her and see her little personality shine. Our friends were calling us the Hollywood family because of Kylie. People were taking pictures and videos of her everywhere we went! It was hilarious!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Where to begin? So much has happened in life and in my heart in the past 2 months.

In a nut shell: we moved, Kylie turned 1, I turned 31, Matt turned 27, I weaned Kylie, we were blessed with the opportunity to go to San Diego to be with our family for Thanksgiving, Kylie took her first steps, came back to Oradea, been enjoying time with my good friend Beth, we had a women's BBQ in Sabolciu, and today we are enjoying the first snow of the winter season!

It's been a very emotional and exciting time for the Loroña family to be sure!

My little baby girl is quickly becoming a toddler, which is crazy and exciting...next thing on the list is getting rid of the binkie and eventually potty training! Eeek! I just can't believe how quickly she is growing up. We were so blessed to be able to be home with our amazing family for Thanksgiving. It was a prayer of ours and Nana's that Kylie would take her first steps while we were there so Nana could see it. Not only did Nana see it, she got it on film!

We have so many things to be thankful for this holiday season...most of all I am truly thankful for the grace and love from my Father in heaven. It's no secret that it has been a very hard season for me, being in Romania. As someone who really enjoys structure and continuity moving 3 times (one being to the other side of the world) and living in 4 different places AND learning how to be a mom, I've had a hard time seeing God's goodness and blessings.

Ever since we moved into the house we are currently living in the Lord has been really opening my eyes to the reality of His goodness. He began showing me how Romania is my promised land, and how if I wasn't careful just as the Israelites didn't enter their promised land because of unbelief, neither would I enter into the promised land He had for me. He began to show me how like the waves are driven by the wind, I was also driven by the wind of my emotions (which has kept me from truly being firmly planted in my relationship with Him) and how I had allowed them to become giants in my promised land. Also I began to see how I have a hard time believing that He WILL do good things and that it's okay to expect Him to do good things. I'm not sure if you know this about me, but I'm sort of a negative nancy. I tend to be a glass half empty person. I'm good at hiding it most of the time, but it's there and it's been there for a very long time. Well I guess the Lord had had enough of my negative attitude, so He also began to show me how I do not trust Him...how I protect myself by not expecting good things to happen, that way I don't get my hopes up which keeps me from being dissapointed...

ugh

It was sort of alot all at once really...realizing I'm a debbie downer who is fickle and has a shallow relationship with the Lord. BUT these revelations opened my eyes to the reality of His goodness which I had been missing all along.

So right as I began to realize these things and I started to begin to expect good things, suddenly a surprise trip to San Diego pops up. It was a HUGE blessing and totally unexpected! But that my friends is how my God works :) Being able to rest and spend time with family really helped me to realize a few things:

  1. San Diego isn't really that far away. I mean it is, but it isn't at the same time. Even though we are far away, friends and family are still their. It was hard initially because everyone felt so incredibly far away. Before we left my sister in law Ashley encouraged me more than words could ever express. She told me that just because we were gonna be far away didn't mean that we weren't still family or that they wouldn't still be there for us when we needed. Going back home just really helped me to see the reality of that truth. Our friends and family were in fact still there and they were still supporting us! Imagine that ha ha!
  2. San Diego isn't home any more, Romania is. I was concerned that going back would make it harder to come back to Romania, but the fact is it just further confirmed in my heart that Romania is our home now. That doesn't mean that we will never go back to San Diego or that we will be in Romania for forever...but it does mean that we are right where we are supposed to be, and that is what makes Romania home.
It's been a long six months so far. I've already learned so much and am so thankful that the Lord loves me enough not to let me remain the same forever. I'm glad that He shows me where I need to grow and how I need to change. I'm learning so much more about how He created me and I know that I am becoming more and more the daughter, wife, mother, family member and friend that He has always intended me to be. I mean it's crazy but sometimes you have to move across the world, live with a little instability, and take a huge step of faith to realize that God is changing your heart so that home can really be where your heart is.

 

Thank you ALL SO MUCH for all your prayer support! We feel your prayers and need them so please keep them coming!!!!

 

Some things to keep on your prayer radar over the next few weeks are:

  • We have 2 new men joing the team in January/Febuary so please be praying for them, for finances and provision and protection from discouragement!
  • Christmas! It's hard to be away so my prayer is that our team would really come together as a family so that we would be lacking nothing this holiday season!
  • Sabolciu! We are planning a Christmas eve dinner/service. We want to make it a big deal and are planning to invite some of the women who regularly come to church to help us decorate and invite everyone in the village to come celebrate the birth of Christ. This could get a little crazy so pray that there would unity in the village. They easily divide themselves and then feel like one side is getting more favor than the other. So please pray for peace!
Luke 14:12-14 "Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (We are sooo incredibly blessed to be able to live out the Word!)