Mission Trip: Romania

Dear Friends and Family,

Despite great hopes and plans we are unable to schedule a teleconference until after our visit. It may be weeks later. Unfortunately the final pieces of equipment have not yet arrived. I’m so sorry for raising expectations. We still plan to make a video of the signing and bring that back. The actual signing will take place Monday morning in Oradea. After that we will drive to Cluj.

Yours in Christ,
Pat Noga

Dear Friends and Family,

We are strengthening ties here. As a team we are getting to know each other better and work even more closely as a team.

Yesterday we went to the service at First Presbyterian Church of Easton’s partner church. Afterward we enjoyed a delicious Hungarian dinner prepared by the Pastor’s wife. We would love to learn some of the recipes to share. The Pastor’s daughter, who will start school soon, just went through extensive heart surgery in Hungary. Except for the zipper scar , I would never have imagined that she had been in the hospital several weeks ago.

Yours in Christ,
Pat Noga

Dear Friends and Family,

Today we visited the print shop that money sent from the Worldwide Ministries Care Team of the Lehigh Presbytery helped to reopen. We met five of the employees and saw some of the church publications they are now able to print. The editor shared with us his hopes for the future.

Yours in Christ,
Pat Noga

Dear Friends and Family,

This afternoon we visited the Ecumenical Church shared by the Reformed Church and the Catholic Church. It is located in a small village beyond the paved roads. The Reformed Pastor preaches to about 70 people at a regular service. Later we met with the local church administrator who is also a Pastor in a small village. His church has a commemoration to a former pastor who was murdered by the communists and a monument to the village that was eradicated by the Communists. The scars from that time are still very deep.

Janos Antal has been studying the Communist files recently released. Many discoveries are painful. Janos was able to get us copies of his book, Coping with the Past, even though it is out of print. Some of us plan to do a book discussion on this and I am looking forward to sharing with you.

Yours in Christ,
Pat Noga

Dear Friends and Family,

Today we did the official signing in Oradea and it was an historical event. Our partners have been such gracious hosts and it was evident that this Covenant and this mission means a great deal to them. There was a worship service first and then the signing. Jack Ferlino made a short speech and gave a prayer. Then Bishop Csury said a few words. Near the end Bishop Csury presented us with a copy of the Varad Bible saved from the burning city when the Hungarians were under attack. Janos translated everything and Joel Scheirer taped it. Afterwards, I had a chance to speak with Bishop Csury. He asked that we pray for the small congregations struggling for survival. I asked him to pray for our small congregations struggling for survival too. We made plans to pray for each other regularly and share prayer concerns.
Naomi had us all over for coffee and cookies.

Many of you may remember when Bishop Csury’s daughter, Agnes who visited us as a global intern and worked at Brainerd. She is now married and has an eighteen month old boy. The baby is starting to walk and is into everything according to the Grandfather.

We just arrived in Cluj. It had been raining but the drive was lovely. Tibor came with a driver to pick us up. It sounds like he has a full schedule for us starting with the radio station. We stopped part way here to have something to eat but resisted shopping. We passed some gypsy houses, sheep, mountains and beautiful farmlands. The hospitality is a ten on a scale of one to ten, ten being the best. We need to reciprocate this summer when Janos Antal, Bishop Csury and Tibor Kiss come to visit us.

Jen Smalling and Austin Sullivan got off safely.

Please keep us all in your prayers.

Yours in Christ,
Pat Noga

Signed Covenant Oradea District

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