Alumni Welcome | A Morning Devo| Past Semesters| Other Stuff
We are excited to finally send you this newsletter and hope it finds you doing well and still growing in the Lord. Our goal with this letter is to keep you connected with what is going on here at PdF and to open up a door for us to be connected with you and what you are doing. We also hope that this newsletter will be an encouragement to you as you walk with Jesus through the ups and downs of the road He has you on.
If you are receiving this letter, it means that you have attended at least one of our 3 Bible school semesters (FBS, SMBS, Ascent). Some of you have attended all three semesters and for that we commend you - sorry, no special prize or anything!
We would also love to hear from you! It would be great if we would know a little bit about what direction your life has went since Bible school. Please take a moment to fill out our feedback form You can also tell us what kind of content you'd like to see in this newsletter as it develops.
Thank you for your continued support of PdF. We hope that this newsletter will be a blessing to you.
Close your eyes and picture yourself back at PdF. You just woke up and it is 7:58…you have two minutes to get to breakfast before you get a "friendly reminder" from one of the RAs! So you do a quick "Tash Dash" (a SMBS 2023 reference) to the dining hall and you are at the breakfast table. You've eaten your lovely breakfast of sliced cheese and salami, you've drunk your sweet tea or watery coffee, all the while resisting the temptation to fubb. Now it is time for the debrief - it’s Jerry's turn, and he shares the following devo:
Almost every time I read "My Utmost For His Highest" by Oswald Chambers I think about you guys. The reason for this is because I remember, kind of, what it is like to be in the stage of life where you have graduated high school, maybe even gone through some post-secondary training, done a Torchbearers semester and are ready to 'do something' for the Lord. For some of you it is clear what you are supposed to do and you have known it your whole life, and for others you still have no idea what you should do and are just going step by step (that's me, by the way - I am still trying to figure out what I am going to be when I grow up). And it happened again this morning, I read my daily dose of "Utmost" and thought, "man, the students probably need to hear this!" Here is a piece of what Oswald wrote (you can also find the whole article on August 4th of the book): "As long as you think you are of value to Him He cannot choose you, because you have purposes of your own to serve. But if you allow Him to take you to the end of your own self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him 'to Jerusalem' (Luke 18:31). And that will mean the fulfilment of purposes which He does not discuss with you." He later goes on to say, "The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain..."
I remember before Chrissie and I stepped into full time ministry we often struggled with figuring out where we should go and what we should do. I was prideful at the time, and often thought "I have so much to offer God, I can't wait to be of use to Him." How prideful-sounding is that!? Little did I know that this attitude of seeking out the where and the what for serving God with our skills was the very thing that was getting in the way of what was most important...my relationship with Jesus and walking in obedience to Him. Jesus says it in Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
When we seek first his kingdom, which means expressing obedience or allegiance to him first before anything else, then the other things will fall into place. That is my prayer for you all, that as you go about your days, seeking to serve and honour Him with all you are, that you would seek Him first, not the where the what or the how.
This Past Bible School Season
Fall Bible School 2022
Our FBS 2022 semester saw 18 incredible students come to PdF! 4 of the students attended our Ascent Adventure Bible school the summer leading up to it. It was pretty much the noisiest group of students we ever had. IF there was every any down time (happens once or twice a semester 🤣) the students would just hang out and chat so loudly! But we loved it. It was amazing to see how God was challenging and using them here in this unique cultural pocket in eastern Europe. This was only our second ever Fall semester - our first FBS saw 4 female students attend. The Fall Bible School is a little bit different than the Spring Mission Bible School semester in that it has more lecture weeks and fewer adventure weeks. It’s designed to give students a more biblically fundamental start to their Bible School experience so that when they step into the Spring semester, or some other ministry setting, they hit that ground running.
The students participated in local outreaches which were a great experience (street evangelism, Budila, and a new Roma village ministry called Hetea). Hetea was a big challenge because it was a new outreach opportunity in a rough community. But the students persevered through the challenges and Jesus worked through them.
In the Mission Outreach week during the Fall Bible School we went to the town of Micești with the organization 'Somebody Cares'. It was a powerful week of ministry where students did a lot of practical work (repairing roofs, painting walls, fixing floors, gardening), as well as several outreach programs for kids, teenagers and even a married couples conference complete with dinner, dessert and drinks! This week was definitely the highlight for many of the students and we plan to make this a regular destination each Fall.
We had some excellent teachers come through this semester. The teachers and their subjects were as follows:
Florin (God's Father Heart)
Frank Cirone (1 Peter)
Cristi Cherechean (Book of Nehemiah)
Ebbe (Salvation History)
Otniel Murza (OT Survey )
Jonathan Bird (NT Survey)
Jerry (Book of John)
Alex Mihai (Biblical Ethics)
Maurice Sykes (Church History)
Eis van Dijk (Spiritual Life Principals).
This year we had a few students who expressed interest in getting baptized! It was later in the program so the weather was pretty cold. There was fresh snow on the ground and the lake had a thin layer of ice on it! Even though we had to break the ice, it was incredible to see students take this important step in their walk with Jesus. It was worth the minor frostbite.
Spring Bible School 2023
Our 2022 Spring Bible school semester saw 11 full-time students (from The Netherlands, Ukraine, Canada, USA, Romania and Germany) and two and a half part-time students - a married couple and their cute baby daughter. It was a unanimous decision that there should be a baby in every semester because both the students and the BST loved having her around so much!
It was a quiet start compared to the Fall Bible school dynamic, but it didn't take long before the students started to come out of their shells, especially during the challenge weeks!
The Cultural Encounter week was an incredible time of challenge and growth for the students. They all came back with amazing stories of God's provision. One group went from almost being kicked out of their village to staying the night in an ancient castle! Others found themselves running a youth ministry program in the town square, where some of the youth had never played a group game before. The hunger for sharing the Gospel seemed to grow with each passing day and we are thankful for how Jesus used the students during this week.
During the Mission Outreach week the students went to two different regions: Călărași and the Black Sea (Mangalia). In Călărași the students split into two groups: one went to Vali and Emilia's ministry in Roseti, Romania, and the other to the Gateway to Hope ministry in Rasa, run by Reinhard and Darcy Neufeld. Students prepared several creative outreach sessions for the children, teens, and Ukrainian mothers, including sports events, door to door food packages, fireside testimonies and worship. In Mangalia we reconnected with the local Emmanuel Baptist Church and the Anderson family. The students hosted youth events and seaside street evangelism, even on a beach nicknamed "the gates of hell" (Vama Veche). After connecting with a musical street performer, Jerry and some of the students sang worship songs in the streets of Vama Veche for locals and tourists.
The Outdoor Team Challenge was a great week of getting the students outside, camping, biking, hiking, and into the ropes course, all while teaching them from the Word of God. Yes, they did have to do that 'painfully long' bike trip, but camping by the creek with perfect weather made up for it. The next day they hiked up to the Diana Refuge where they did some repelling. They escaped the week with only one student injury and a lot of learning opportunities.
It was also a great line up of teachers this last Spring:
- Dave and Jorge
- Vlad Criznic (apologetics)
- Greg Jenks (Philippians)
- Jonathan Bird (Ministry of Hospitality)
- Maurice Sykes (Jesus Ministry)
- Florin (ministry Tools)
- Ebbe (Intro to Missions, Personal Calling).
Our Ascent 2022 semester was a great time of challenge and connection. Some students came with extraordinary physical capacities, while others came with big needs for spiritual support and discipleship. 4 of the students liked it here so much that they decided to stay and attend the Fall Bible School semester! We are thankful for the Lords protection throughout the entire program and for the work He did in each of their lives..
Right now, there’s a group of 11 students participating in PdF’s Ascent Adventure Bible School Program! They’re at the beginning of week 3 of the 5-week program and they survived Survival week last week in the mountains. Please pray for the students as they complete the program, as they grow in their relationship with God and with one another, and as they’re challenged physically in the coming climbing and biking weeks.
An update from Ebbe on the currently running semester: Ascent is two weeks under way with 11 students from Germany/Romania, Canada, the US and Australia. JoJo is one of the students – some of you know him as he has been visiting at several Bible Sshool semesters. Matt Malone from Italy and Ebbe were teaching the first weeks.
As you know this program has a very different character than a regular Bible school. Life lessons are often triggered by experiences in the outdoors, and the students need to find solutions to challenges. We reflect our experiences which leads to revealing discoveries. In a very short time, the group got to know each other well and grew together.
There are still 3 weeks of adventure ahead, and I am sure Jesus is speaking to each of the students personally. You can support us by praying for safety and receptive hearts.
All the other Semesters:
All the other Semesters:
If I had the time, and you had the attention span, I would have liked to have written an update on each semester. Every semester we’ve been blessed to be a part of has been so unique and special in its own way: from the very first Fall Bible school semester of 4 young ladies, to the Online Mission Bible school which saw almost 40 students connect with one another over zoom during quarantine. Each program, each semester, each student, and each RA and staff member have all contributed to what Jesus is doing here and so we thank you for attending the Bible School program at PdF and for your ongoing support through prayer. We have not forgotten about you and we hope we can, at least in some small way through this newsletter, stay connected to you.
For whatever reason we are running very short on volunteers for the coming 2023-24 season, we really need some help, especially in kitchen, house, and family care. If you or someone you know of is free for the next 6 months to a year, please send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
There was one major staff change and that is with Christina Mihai leaving. She worked as the Bible School Registrar/ Bible School Assistant as well as taking on responsibilities in accounting/ reception and leading the Volunteers. She will be missed and we pray God's guidance on her as she goes out from here.
Taste and See
Don't forget, you can always come back and be a student for a week or more! Would be great to see you! Some students have already done it and its been incredible how the experience was for them, us, and the current students. There is a lecture schedule on our website at https://www.pdf.ro/en/fall-mission-bible-school/
We would really appreciate your prayers in the following areas:
- we are needing a Bible School Registrar/ Assistant:
- a full time person to handle registrations and other admin duties while being a full time support for the Bible school semesters
- the upcoming Fall Semester:
- for a few more students (currently at 13)
- that the students would truly experience the transformation presence of Jesus in their lives
- for the Bible School Team to be unified, spiritually protected and filled with the Holy Spirit!
- that the PdF staff would find the time and energy to invest in the lives of the students
- Spring semester
- that God would be preparing the hearts of those students who will be coming
- that he would draw the right students to the program
- for the outreaches to be effective in reaching people with the Gospel
We do have a few practical financial needs:
- student scholarships
- we are looking for donations for student scholarships
- 9 square set
- we are looking to buy a 9 square set for students to enjoy in their down time (google it, it is fun)
- Disc golf
- we would really like to purchase some disc golf nets and discs to install here on campus, would be really fun!
- if you want to donate to any of these items please just indicate it somehow throughout the process.
- Outreach Supplies:
- we are looking for support that would enable us to purchase needed items for our outreaches (i.e. groceries for house visits, needed supplies for community members or missionaries)
- Vali and Emilia:
- hopefully you had the chance to meet Vali and Emi, two of our past students. They are full time missionaries now in southern Romania and are often in big financial need. The latest need is for Vali's hearing aid replacements.
- You can donate directly to him via email at email@example.com
We are thankful that we were able to finally purchase two more pieces of land for expanding our current campus. This land will be used for more staff housing as well as for constructing more infrastructure that is needed.
We hope you have enjoyed this first edition of the Alumni Newsletter. Please let us know if there’s something more you'd like to see in these letters (using the feedback form link above). It would be really great to hear from you as well about what the Lord has been doing in your life since leaving here.
May you experience more and more of the presence of Jesus in your life as you continue to be rooted in His Word while you share the Good News of Him with those around you.
Blessings In Him,
Jerry and the PdF Team
Colossians 2:6–7 (NIV)
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.