Posts filed under ‘but Not Alone’

The Miracle

While taking this photo through the glass window in my office, the light fog on the mountain brought to mind, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: Now. I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." I Cor. 13:12

Dick van Geet, my Dutch neighbor for 5 years in Utrecht, and now good friend for over 50 years, said, “Some people come to Austria and say, ‘You speak of the beauty of the Alps?  I don’t see any beauty in them at all.’ ”  Dick went on to say, “They may come here 10 times, but they never discover any beauty in these mountains.”

(I can’t imagine how anyone can have scales over their eyes that keep them from seeing the magnificent beauty of mountains.  But, then, we are not all the same.  It might be a very boring world if we were identical in thoughts and feelings.)

Dick says, “It’s that way with the Word of God.  Some people read it and find nothing in it for them.”  As we discussed this, we spoke of how others study it, and a miracle happens. The Holy Spirit helps them discover God, grace, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, salvation…and peace.   I pray that you may be one of the latter who is now finding peace in your soul because you know…and follow…our Creator and his Son. — Anne

Storm clouds were gathering as I walked alongside the North Sea in Holland, Aug. 29. Gale force winds expressed my feelings as I worked through another phase of being Dan's widow.

Yet, God always reminds us that He is with us.

To the intentional followers of Jesus, He makes this promise, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

September 16, 2010 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

And God Multiplied It 10 Times

July 7, 2010, the first donation to help the flood victims here in Covasna County, Transylvania, Romania, was sent to God’s Children by a 12 year old Christian boy who has stepped out in faith to form Mission Ice Cream.  Maybe one day I can tell you that story.  But the important thing here is that Mission Ice Cream sent God’s Children $354.42, to help the flood victims.  (That was the amount his friends and relatives donated instead of spending it on ice cream the previous month.)

I have to admit that when the floods hit, I felt so helpless.  All that happened to my house was rain damage that took just 5 days to repair, and then my life was back to “normal.”  (Did I hear someone say, “Anne, your life is anything BUT normal for a woman almost 76 years old!”)

Well, anyway…That $354.42, sent by Mission Ice Cream lifted me out of the doldrums inspiring me to let you know about the needs here.  God is multiplying that donation almost 10 fold.  It has grown to $3,150. A BIG Thank You to those of you who answered the call. Adolf Papp, Pres. of Covasna Red Cross, is working through the Mayor of Belin now to meet specific needs there – food, concrete and lumber to repair houses still standing, etc.  But refrigerators are desperately needed to keep food from spoiling in the summer heat.  The Red Cross can buy refrigerators for $100 each.

We still need your help!  Tax deductible donations can be made online at gods-children.org by clicking on “How You Can Help” in the blue line near the top, or you can mail your check made out to God’s Children to:

God’s Children, c/o Mrs. R.Vali, 1409 Berne Ln., Lewisville, TX 75067

OK, I can’t get the underline to stop.  So, I’ll close before this line gets much longer by saying, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Acts 20:35   Be Blessed!  — Anne

A typical village street before the floods came

The force of the raging water was so powerful...tearing up bridges, roads, houses, crops.

At Red Cross Meeting - bottom row - Magda Bedo, Reka and Adolf Papp, top row - Joco Bedo (husband of Magda) and Istvan Szekely. They ALL give tirelessly to help their people.

Red Cross Volunteers and Adolf, President of Covasna County Red Cross, planning the "next step."

August 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

Special Times with Special Friends

God continues to provide special opportunities to “be there” for people while receiving a blessing myself.  Here are a few photos that explain this.

Bea, LST Reader for 2 years, and Zsombi exchanged wedding vows last Saturday in ancient Hungarian church (I see it from my east windows).

Beautiful music by the flutist and a keyboard musician accompanied the reception dinner.

The "first meal" was served at 8 p.m. The "second meal" followed around 11 p.m. It is a fine tradition that guests attending the wedding reception dinner give a gift of money to help pay for the dinner!

Bea and Zsombi dance their first dance as man and wife.

Boti, LST Reader, and National Triathlon Champ of Romania, said, "I hope Eva catches the bridal bouquet!

There are many special sunsets to bless our lives in the midst of challenging, changing times. Sunsets and love go on and on. God is still with us!

Blessings, Anne

July 16, 2010 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

Shock Waves

Being so high up in the Carpathian Mountains, Sfantu Gheorghe escaped flooding until early this morning.  Though my house was not damaged…just a little water in the basement, the little creek down the mountain from me, turned into a wall of water rushing from the Sugash Mountains…flooding 110 homes across the city that were on the banks of the creek, washing two cars clear across town, tearing up streets that cross over the creek, and causing the death a 36 year old man with heart problems  – the son of Jutka, one of my co-workers at Pro Nobis Counseling Center.  They were trying to rescue their animals when his heart gave out.  So sad….

Words fail me…I’m still missing my Dan.  I have been told by many that a mother never gets over losing a child.  My heart goes out to Jutka, in her great loss.  May the God of all comfort be with those who are suffering because of the widespread flooding here in Europe, or because of the loss of loved ones.   — Anne

Our Father owns cattle on 1,000 hills. He can provide for us. Cast your cares upon Him.

Beautiful sunset over Sugash Mountains...little did we know those clouds held disaster for Sfantu Gheorge before morning.

Sunset made a nice backdrop for my green house.

Every few seconds, new colors displayed God's creativity!

Fading quickly, the changing colors held us there, fascinated by the beauty.

Turning, turning, the earth took us farther away from the sun until there was nothing but the black of night.

July 4, 2010 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

Reasons to Give Thanks

My Green House in June, 2010 - the pile of small rocks near the center bottom of the photo are being used to make a path around the side and back of the house all the way to the garden as well being placed around the back foundation to deflect rain from going into the basement.Clouds formed well before rising up to 3,500 ft. elevation begin to cover the mountain ridge.

Have you ever been on a mountain high enough to experience the clouds rising from below the ridge across from you?  In Texas, where I went to school, when the clouds touched the ground, it was usually a tornado destroying everything in it’s whirlwind path.  But these clouds today are so beautiful, billowing, quietly rising from behind the neighboring mountain top, enveloping the land as they ascend higher and higher.

For days now, construction AND the daily rain makes my road impassable, a big mud field.  Most of the way from my car up the mountain side, there is a solid path to walk on…just now and then there is nothing but soft mud to step into.  Living on the NW edge of town, I am experiencing what Romanian village life is like.   Wednesday evening I visited  Zsuzsa to help her with 4 yr old Agoston while Anna got her 4 months shots, and I comforted everyone.  Unable to drive up my road, I parked my car down near where 1 May joins Canepei.  Walking home, I was very thankful to be wearing my gardening shoes.

As I trudged up the muddy path, I saw in front of me a young mother and a middle aged grandmother walking with their family.  The ladies had on sandals.  I wondered if the shoes would withstand the wet mud.  I couldn’t help but think about their cold, wet feet.

God gives me something special to pray about every day…and much for which to be thankful.  I pray continually that He will show me the way, helping me to be a blessed tool in His hands.  — Anne

Joco (in English pronounced something like Jutso), my gardener and handyman is a jack of all trades and a Master of Many. The vegetables ready to harvest now are onions, lettuce and radishes. As you can see from the small tomato plants to the left of Joco's feet, it will be awhile before tomatoes appear.

In my entrance hall, Joco is putting together the Bosch electric lawnmower that Guzsti selected for me.

LST Announcement posted at the street entrance to the free Advice Bureau on 1 December 1918 Street, in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania

Eva and Bea, Young Professionals, Red Cross Volunteers, are reading with LST for the 3rd time right now.

At Red Cross Camp, when the rain broke up the running games outdoors, the kids moved inside. This young camper accompanied them on some songs.

June 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm 1 comment

Challenges Come

Precious children of Romanian, Roma and Hungarian ancestors play at Covasna County Red Cross Camp located up in the Carpathian Mountains

Extremely strong winds are blowing again today.  Though it rained in the night,  clouds are heavy with rain.  The shepherd brought the sheep down from the top mountain pasture across from me around 7 a.m.

It appears that the road may be open…I’m going to try to drive out soon to work at the Pro Nobis Counseling Center from 2:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Minute by minute, life as we know it is changing.  Only deep faith in God will help us deal with the many challenges that come our way.   The apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:10 – 19, “You are like servants who are responsible for using God’s gifts.  So be good servants and use your gifts to serve each other.  Anyone who speaks should speak words from God.”

Continuing on, Peter says, “The person who serves should serve with the strength that God gives.  You should do these things so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ.  Power and glory belong to him forever and ever.  Amen.

My friends, do not be surprised at the painful things you are now suffering.  Thses things are testing your faith.  So do not think that something strange is happening to you.  But you shuld be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings.

You will be happy and full of joy when Christ comes again in glory.  When people insult you because you follow Christ, then you are blessed.  You are blessed because the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is with you.  Do not suffer for murder, theft, or any other crime, nor because you trouble other people.

But if you suffer because you are a Christian, then do not be ashamed.  You should raise God because you wear that name.  It is time for judgment to begin, and it will begin with God’s family.  If that judging begins with us, what will happen to those people who do not obey the Good News of God?  “It is very hard for a good person to be saved.  Then the wicked person and the sinner will surely be lost!” (Proverbs 11:31 is being quoted here by Peter.)

And, in this, Peter speaks directly to me 20 centuries later…”So then, those who suffer as God wants them to should trust their souls to him.  God is the One who made them, and they can trust him.  So they should continue to do what is right.”  To that, I say, “Amen.”  — Anne

Beautiful people at the Thursday night LST party

Beautiful Romanian Alps (Carpathian Mountains)

June 22, 2010 at 10:28 am 1 comment

Some Who Help My Work

Jim & Lyn Gattis visited us. Here you see them & the group at Agape who make it possible for Let's Start Talking to come to Sfantu Gheorghe. Americans, Hungarians, Romanians who love the Lord work together to do good things for this city.

Take a look – here are photos of just a few who make it possible for me to help in this little city.  May God bless the many who assist through prayer, tax deductible donations, and hands on help  in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania.

Coming to get acquainted with my work, I gave Jim a "hands on" opportunity! (We won't say who spilled the water in my kitchen, but...)

Adolf, Pres. of Covasna County Red Cross, comforts a homesick child at the Red Cross Camp last week.

Reka, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Step by Step Classroom Teacher, helps in all areas of my life - arranges counselor training, recruits LST Readers, helped select things for my home, makes sure I am well/have food when the road is closed/etc.

The entire Tofalvi Family, my next door neighbors who built my house, take care of my every day needs. Today, Guszti and Aranka went to Brasov to select an electric lawn mower, pump for the septic tank, and solar lights for the front yard for me. (At 7 a.m. he parked his car on the other side of the blocked road down the mountain. In the morning, I am going to do that. After that, a 10 minute walk on a muddy, rocky road will get me to my car. No one knows how long installing the sewer line may take.

Lilla's parents, Zoli and Andrea, help me with anything and everything. Here Lilla is reciting a poem at her Kindergarten graduation ceremony.

Judy, 2nd from the right, with 3 of her LST Readers. She is a repeat LST Worker greatly loved by the people here. To the left of her, is Blanka, a 4th year repeat Reader. On the far left is a famous Hungarian graphic and textile artist, a first time Reader! Tibor, on the far right, as well as Blanka, was in Dan's very first English Bible Discussion Small Group. Tibor recruits Readers for us, reads with the Monday evening English Discussion Group in my home when LST is not here, and stands ready to assist me at all times.

God is with me, not in some far away place, but right here...helping whether I realize it or not.

June 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm 1 comment

Joy in the Midst of Pain

God continues to give me joy by offering opportunities to mentor special people who serve others in this land.  In the absence of my earthly family here, these fine people gather around me to help, to protect, to advise, to pray for me…even to help with the heavy work of my big vegetable garden.  Some asked about my garden…

Every morning, I first gather fresh lettuce, radishes and onions to eat with my free range eggs and peasant potato bread.  After the vegetables are in the kitchen, I set up the sprinklers to water the garden before the scorching sun appears.  Theoretically, I can set the two sprinklers (that are on spikes that I stick into the ground) and leave them running for 10 minutes.  Piece of cake!  as we say in the U.S. about something that is easy to do.

But this is ME, and this is Romania!  Theoretically, if I place them in 8 specific areas (2 at a time), I can be finished with watering the garden in an hour. Then there’s the front yard with grass, 2 rock gardens and 12 rose bushes. Actually, the time required to water depends upon how many times the connections come apart, how many times I get totally drenched by the water shooting from the hoses!  It’s an adventure.

However, at this moment, seeing the beautiful plants thrills my soul – bush yellow beans, cucumber, cabbage (both green, and red), broccoli, strawberries, a few carrots, radishes, onions (both yellow, and red), 12 tomato plants, parsley, pole beans, spinach, etc. grace my back yard along one side fence and the back end of the yard.  Eating the fruit of our labor almost makes up for the dowsing I receive most days!

The plums are growing plump.  Miniature apples are appearing on branches.  Tiny cherries and pears are beginning. I sure can use some help with freezing and canning all this at harvest time.  Any takers???

“…he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  2 Corinithins 9:12

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, it produces a harvest .” Hebrews 12:11

Think about these words.  Is there a message in them for you?  There surely is one for me. — Anne

First, the beds had to be dug, and prepared for planting. Jozep, Guszti, Sisi, and Marti all helped.

Aranka came over to inspect the new bed Sisi dug. If you look closely, you can see little cabbage plants to the right of Aranka.

June 19, 2010 at 8:05 pm 1 comment

Laszlo and Suzanna and family help in so many ways. They will escort Judy, Karen and Melissa Friday and Saturday on a tour of the Salt Lake area in the mountains 3 hours NE of here.

CLEAN UP DAY AT AGAPE –

Monica and Marioara clean all the benches with mild bleach water

Having painted the auditorium inside and out, Stefan attacks the dirt on the bookscases.

Isty (Istvan) saw we were there and stopped in to help Marti and Stefan while he talked with all of us.

Camelia cleaned the windows in the auditorium

Maria cleans the window glass that serves as our White Board in the auditorium. Mimi was cleaning furniture. Vasile was repairing broken locks but I somehow missed getting photos of them. And me, I did not get photos of me cleaning those dirty white plastic chairs that someone had put outside instead of leaving them in the auditorium. Things are looking so much better at Agape.

Adolf, Pres. of Covasna County Red Cross with his mother. We appreciate her - she gave the world Adolf!

Sisi helps in my garden after work as a Pet Groomer.

June 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm 1 comment

The Sun Will Set

The clouds announced that day's end was approaching

Just as you cannot hold back the sunset, neither can you turn back the clock of Time. “Oh, to be young again…” or, “Remember the good ole days….”   What days were those?  Which would you really choose if you could?  Some days were better than others, but each period of life is full of challenges.  Accepting “what is” and letting God help you through the difficult times, heal the pain, and carry you until you can find your way again…that is a gift.

It has been nearly one year since my Dan went Home.  I celebrate his victory on June 11, 2oo9, when he answered the call of God to let go of this life…and go Home.  But, oh, how I miss him.  Even though the pain has been intense, I’m surprised that today is here so soon – the first day of the last month of Dan’s life one year ago.

Seconds later, everything was different.

I love the work God called me to do here in Transylvania.  I love the good people both here in Romania and half way around the world in the U.S. whom God has brought to me because of this work.  I am grateful beyond words for the beautiful home, garden and neighbors God has gifted me with here.  As I write this, suddenly I’m hearing the old song, “Dark, dark has been the midnight.  But dayspring is at hand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Emmanuel’s land.”  Thank you, oh Holy God, for carrying me through this time…and for promising to be with me to the end.  — Anne

The sun will not be slowed down or stopped.

The earth keeps turning nearly blotting out the view of the sun.

But the sun seems to rally in the last minutes.

Rich are the colors right before the sun disappears completely.

And, then, the sun is gone...it is night...but dayspring is at hand."

June 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm Leave a comment

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