On January 18th we left our beautiful old mini-mansion on 2301 S Lawndale in Chicago and moved a few miles north to a small bungalow at 4637 W Deming Place also in Chicago. What a big change that was! We came from a house next to a crowded park full of chattering kids in a boisterous neighborhood near the tracks with trains screeching and cars turning the corner blasting loud music . . . to a bungalow on a small, quiet street that dead ends at some old train tracks not in use anymore. Our new three bedroom/two bath house was full to the brim with all six of us, our dog Teddy, and most of what fit in our big house. We added a cement pad where two cars can be parked next to our new one car garage (our boys are very happy to work on cars inside rather than in the snow, rain and mud) and a gate so Teddy could play in the yard without running away. The first snow in March turned our new house into a winter wonderland.
It took about two months, but we are finally just about unpacked. This is our new home… at least, it was our new home until…
First, Mike moved to Arad, Romania on February 15th. Then, Elizabeth and I joined him on March 15th. Once again we downsized, but this time to a two bedroom/two bathroom furnished apartment on the sixth floor of a 7-story building. Romanians love bright colors as you can see from our yellow kitchen and orange living room.
We bought Elizabeth a used bike so we can run and bike on a nearby trail that leads to downtown Arad. Once again we live near tracks where we hear the clickety-clack of trains and trams going by. Mike was given a few days off to help Elizabeth and I settle in, and is now back to work in the Training Center where seven men from the Ukraine, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, Cameroon, Greece and Romania will return to their homelands to plant Harvest churches in a few months.
Now that jet lag is just about over it’s time for Elizabeth to return to homeschooling, and to learn Romanian. It is very dangerous to only speak a few words in Romanian at the checkout counter . . . someone may think we can speak the language and quickly rattle off a few questions and comments when we haven’t the slightest idea what they are asking or saying. We quickly respond that we don’t speak Romanian . . . but one day, if the Lord has mercy on us, we will not only speak but also understand Romanian including whatever they are telling us.
Spring has already arrived here as the trees are budding, and garden plants and flowers are for sale in the stores. The Romanian people have welcomed us so graciously and are always willing to lend a hand or help out. We are very thankful to Alpar and Lily for renting us their apartment. It is truly a privilege to be here in such a beautiful place among such kind and generous people.
How is Lydia, you all probably want to know? She had radioactive iodine treatment to ablate the nodule on her thyroid on March third. She is doing quite well with no side effects. In three months she will return for a check up to the endocrinologist after she spends her spring break in April visiting with us and Dani, a friend she met at camp last summer. Pray for her continued health and guidance for the future.
Elizabeth has been accepted into five of the six colleges to which she applied. She is waiting to hear about scholarships and grants. Please keep her in prayer for where to go to school. Our goal is for her as well as all our kids to graduate debt-free. Pray for the Lord to provide the money for college.
Our boys, Mike and Matthew, will graduate from North Park University in December at the end of the fall semester. You are all invited to Mike’s senior recital at North Park on April 25th at 7:30pm. It promises to be the most diverse musical concert you will ever attend. Don’t worry about us! We won’t miss it… we will be watching it at 3am Romanian time as it is live-streamed to us. Mike is in the process of starting his own business called M K Fine Instruments. Matthew has the perfect part-time job playing piano for a church choir. He will have a senior recital in December 2017, to which you are also invited. Pray for strength to finish college and guidance for where to work when they are done.
Finally, continue to pray for us to have wisdom, strength and guidance as we transition to help train new pastors, encourage new Harvest churches in Europe and learn how to support and encourage the Romanian people.