Liz was a youth club leader and served in the Sunday School at Kent Street Community Church before going to Romania to work with a charity called FAST (Foundation for Social Assistance for Youth).
Liz started working in a Roma village in Brasov in 2009, helping and sharing the gospel with families living in poverty, before the Lord called her to a different part of Romania in the summer of 2016. Liz is now based in Campina, where she is based 3 days at tje charity Mana Deschisa (Open Hands), a Christian residential centre, which works with ladies/mothers who are homeless, or are in danger of becoming homeless, due to dependency issues. Her part-time role here involves supporting the project as well as leading some activities with the ladies and children. The other part of the role is helping at a local church, Centrul Crestin Nehemiah.
She has recently got involved in visiting a ladies prison, to meet with ladies who were addicts upon entry to prison and who are in the rehabilitation part of their sentence. This involves sharing the Lord with them together in a group setting.
She continues to return to Tarlungeni, the Roma village that she worked at in Brasov, to continue with the ladies meeting. This is still something that is important and a great opportunity to share the Lord and bless and encourage them.
Her role at the local church involves overseeing one of the Sunday school groups, visiting Roma villages with packages and visiting another Roma village to work with the children and share the gospel.
Early next year, the church will be opening a canteen for the poor, which she will also be getting involved in.
She has recently become a part of the Ellel ministry team, after completing their 2year Modular school earlier in 2016. This ministry is so powerful for changing lives and she is pleased that the Lord has opened this door.
Liz still feel that it is still early days at the moment and that the Lord will be opening more doors, which she is excited about!
Subject: Romania Update Jan-March 2020
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust"
Sorry that there has been a while in sending out the next update! There is a lot happening as I know there also in the UK with the current situation and everyone is trying to figure out what is best to do. This week, I felt the Lord put on my heart about the importance of being anchored in Him. As things can change so rapidly in the world and people become fearful of their changing situation, we can take comfort in Him who never changes and is our refuge and anchor.
Here in Romania, with the virus everything seems to be changing quite quickly, with the advice or enforced laws to help combat the virus. Schools have been shut for over a week now and we are in isolation as an association (The Rehab centre). We have a couple of ladies in that given their age and their health problems, it could be fatal if they were to get it, so we are have been told by the person who set it up that we need to be in isolation. The government are also recommending similar, only to go out when necessary. It is known now that not everyone is being tested here even if they present with symptoms, so despite the official figures showing 184 cases, the real number is likely to be higher. Romania just doesn’t have the money to be able to test everyone. There is a strong link between Romania and Italy, with many people having relatives there. I think flights have been cancelled from Italy to Romania, but people can still drive over.
People have been panic buying as they have in other countries, but in general everything is okay and the Lord continues to be in control.
The church had to cancel the service last Sunday as have other churches, but many are also doing things online and you can tune in that way, with just a small number of people involved in putting something together. The government has banned the meeting of more than 50 in the last few days. It of course is an opportunity to spend that time with Him personally also, to really seek Him more in these days of isolation and to study His word and to hear from Him.
The girls are making progress, which is always so good to see.
One of the girls (33) who has been in prostitution for many years, after leaving the orphanage she lived in, is very damaged emotionally and whilst she listens to worship music and tries to pray at night, she still hasn’t fully committed her life to the Lord. Every time she tries to pray at night, she has nightmares, which then makes her afraid to pray. When she first came, she was saying things like ‘Satan was her Father,’ so whilst she is seeing and experiencing the love of God whilst she is in this place and making small steps, she is afraid to fully commit to the Lord. I was encouraged to have such a great talk with her a couple of weeks ago as we went out for a long walk for sports session. She had told me in the morning that she had had a nightmare that night and I suggested that if she wanted, we could talk more on the walk. It was so good to be able to share with her things that I felt the Lord was saying and explain more about salvation and healing. She was also asking about why God would permit certain things, which she asked as though for a third person, but I know that she has experienced this named trauma as a child and she was indirectly asking why God hadn’t stopped it. So she has a certain wrong perception of who God is. I prayed with her that evening too before bed and bound the enemy and praise God she didn’t have a nightmare. I actually had a vision of a tunnel of small angels over her body as she was sleeping. I really felt that the Lord was protecting her. Please pray for her, as she has so much baggage that she needs to be freed from. The fight is very real and the enemy is bringing fear into her heart to stop her from giving her life to the Lord, so please pray for breakthrough her.
Prison news: I had already sent my last update in December, so I didn’t get the chance to say that it was a delight to have the girls from the prison, come to visit us. 3 from 4 of them as one were in hospital. They were brought by 4 staff and we had a really nice time together with our girls. They listened to a testimony from a girl who had been in the prison where they are and who is now with us and she was able to encourage them by telling them what the Lord has done in her life since prison and how He guided her to the rehab centre, it’s a great testimony! We also did some craft with them. They enjoyed it so much and told is this when we visited them the next time a few days later, taking with us the presents that we had not been allowed to give them when they visited (but we tried!).
Two more girls joined the group from the beginning of Feb, taking the total number to 6. One of them still has 7 years after being there already for 2. We are encouraged and really feel the Lord’s presence and recognise that He is stirring things in the girl’s hearts during the worship and talk. The girls are very encouraged by our visits and we can see the power also of giving them a hug. We recognise the rejection that they have faced, from families and others and we sense that even though a hug is something small and simple that we can all do, it communicates to the them love and acceptance and we see that in their faces. Occasionally they are open to us praying with them individually and one lady we recently prayed with just continued to cry as we prayed.
We found out this week that unfortunately there has been a restriction on visitors going into the prison until the end of the month, but it is highly likely that that will be extended. This will be a difficult period for the girls as they will not receive visitors either from family members, for those that have.
We had our first Kids party in February with once again 60 children attending. I was responsible for doing the bible verse and we learned it through a giant game of pass the parcel, which was a lot of fun with so many! Children from all over Campina and the Roma villages were invited.
I preached earlier this month (a Wednesday evening), something that I haven’t done for a long time for different reasons, but the Lord spoke to me clearly that I was to start doing it again. It’s always good to obey! I spoke on ‘surrender,’ which God clearly put on my heart and I was thankful that I could see the Lord guiding me during the preparation.
I was recently able to help the pastor’s wife with counselling ministry with someone at church; a lady who has recently given her life to the Lord. I was encouraged to see how the Lord gave me a vision and the lady that we were counselling said that the Lord had given her exactly the same vision on the Sunday. The lady was encouraged and could feel how the Lord had worked in her.
The courses in February and March were great and I was really encouraged to see how the Lord was leading our group and how He was bringing up memories to one particular person, into which we prayed into for healing. It is always best to let God take control and see what He does! The course and healing retreat at the end of March of course have had to be cancelled, so many things are being disrupted, but God is in control of it all.
Thank you for your continued interest and support.
May the Lord richly bless you and protect you!
A few main prayer points
Breakthrough in the heart of the girl I mentioned above
Thanks giving that one of our girls was able to be employed recently, it is not always so easy to find a job here in Campina
For continued wisdom with working with the girls and the decisions that need to be made regarding their personal programmes.
For a new staff member, ideally a social worker, Romanian and can handle working with the girls. (We recently had someone lined up to do a trial and then she wrote to say she didn't think that she would be able to handle the girls.) Yes, it isn't always so easy, so we need the right person prayed in.
For the girls in prison, to feel the Lord close to them and to desire to seek Him personally