“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…..” James 1:27a
Letter From Carl Fox
June 20, 2006
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
I apologize that it has taken me so long to communicate about the work in Romania. We had a great trip (April 19 – May 2). The Romanian Gypsies seem to be able to let the cares of the world fall to the ground and continue on. Gas is nearly six dollars a gallon. Food has doubled in price because of all the floods last summer and yet they continue to move forward. One of the ministries we support while we were there planted one church and did baptisms in another. For Gypsies, getting baptized is the second most important event in their life next to getting married. This particular baptism, they were so blessed that they walked around the village beforehand singing and praising God and where there were only about 25 people in their church, ended up with about 100 people to watch the baptisms which really opens the door for them to speak about Jesus Christ! This particular ministry has had 6 churches destroyed by the flooding. In fact, we visited a village where they were working to restore a building from flooding and within 6 hours of our leaving it was flooded again with 6 feet of water. They literally had to run for their lives, leaving everything behind! We continue to move forward with our brothers and sisters even though there are many obstacles. God is faithful and shows us the way!
Our work with the street children and families is going very good. We are taking care of more children now than when we had an orphanage. The following is a portion of a report conducted by Ed Johnson during this visit. I believe his words will give you a clearer picture of this particular ministry.
Report on Ministry to Widows and Children by Ed Johnson
When given the assignment to investigate the work Roxana is doing with the children in Bucharest, I had this picture in my mind of what it ought to look like. I was not prepared for the diversity of situations, the severity of needs, the love, the thanksgiving to God, or the manifold benefits that this work brings. Hopefully the following examples will help you to experience these aspects of this ministry:
On April 17, 2006, Denny Landmark, Lee Camacho, and I went to Roxana’s apartment and met with her, Paol (Paul), and Mano (girl’s name like Emmanuel). We spent a good portion of this meeting just getting acquainted. Paol and Mano are student volunteers who receive part time pay from CFIM to help them with their college expenses. (A workman is worthy of his hire.) We then went to a Gypsy family: mother, grandmother, and 3 small children. Both the father and grandfather had died. They live in a one-room apartment. Mano led the children to sing a couple songs. The youngest of the children, a girl, was diagnosed with a heart valve that did not close. The mother had some impaired brain function caused by an accident. After we prayed for them, the mother’s hands clasped tightly and she prayed with tears for many things including her children, which are all she has and that they would not be taken from her. Mano and Paol presented them with the food they brought. There was much rejoicing and thankfulness to God and the mother walked with us back to the bust stop. This took about 4 hours. The “house” was in a village out in the country.
We went back to the apartment. Roxana said we were too many to visit the other places. I went with Roxana. Mano and Paol went to the next place since I was assigned to evaluate the work. It was on about the 4th or 5th floor of an eleven-story apartment building in Bucharest. This was a good-sized apartment sparsely furnished. The father, mother, 4 of the 9 children, and 2 guests, relatives I think, were present. It was apparent that had we all come and if the other 5 children were present, there would have been standing room only. The father did not have a job. They make money by selling small towels. The father works for the Lord by going out to Gypsy villages and starting churches. He then goes on to other villages. The oldest son present played an accordion while they sang praises. Paol presented the food, which was received with much thanksgiving to God. (Paol had told us before that he believed this was a worthy family. A factor in his discernment was that they never ask the team for anything. They pray to God for their needs and rejoice when the team brings them food.) Before we left, the father prayed about many things and for us.
In the morning of April 18, Carl, Fred Goff and I went to meet the team at Roxana’s apartment. Paol showed records they keep on each of the families. They look like standard social worker forms with CFIM letterhead at the top. They keep these records so they can give account in an acceptable manner to such as government or church authorities. When asked how they select which families to help, Paol replied, “…as we are led by the spirit.”
In the afternoon, I went with Paol and Mano to an apartment in Bucharest where two sisters live. One, in her nineties, is blind and can no longer get around. Her 82 year-old sister takes care of her and has to feed her as she cannot see to feed herself. The 82 year-old sister cannot hear well and does not leave the floor for fear of falling. Her knees bother her. They thank God for taking care of their needs. We visited for quite a while. The older sister did most of the talking and asked a lot of questions first about the well being of Paol and Mano. She asked me if I was rich. I said no but we believe that if we give of what we have, God will make sure we have what we need. She said that is true. Before we left, she asked what I thought. (Mano had told her I was there to evaluate the work they were doing for their sponsors.) I told her I believe that they are God’s children and that they bless God every day with their praise and prayers. She said this is true. After we prayed, Mano and Paol gave them the food and they praised God.
We went back to Roxana’s apartment to get food for the next place, which was that of a widow in her seventies. She was overjoyed to see us. You could tell she loves Mano and Paol very much and looks forward to seeing them as do all the others we visited. ( Paol and Mano always listen with compassion and gives everyone time to release and experience their love and company.) The widow spoke blessings over each of us. I requested permission to speak a blessing over her, which she granted. I blessed her with softening of the tissues around her neck and shoulders where she had had surgery, strengthening of her bones and her heart, and continued joy in her life. They gave her the food and we left.
From these and other visits, I concluded that this is truly a mission of love. It is a ministry of “visiting the widows and orphans” (fatherless children). But it is more than that. It is a ministry of holding families together so that older children and young adults do not have to be put out on the streets to fend for themselves, vulnerable to all sorts of predatory assault. It is a ministry of love and companionship to the forgotten and lonely. It brings much thanksgiving and praise to God. It affords opportunities for young people to experience ministry while preparing for a lifetime of missionary work. It even supports a low profile outreach to the Gypsy villages. As evidenced by a recent report from Roxana, it is becoming a ministry of signs, miracles, and wonders.
End of Report
We continue to work hard in many areas of the US and in Romania. We support seven ministries that are winning people to the Lord daily. We have gained 30 plus churches in the past year in areas where there were no churches at all! Praise God! Your help and prayers and encouragement and financial support is being well invested. We thank you. Please stay with us as we strive to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. We give all the praise and all the glory to God this work and for allowing us the privilege to obey His Word!
I thank God for each and every one of you. I love you. I pray for you. I am here to serve you. Please contact me if I can help you in any way.
Your brother in Christ,
P.S. We just learned today that one of the six churches that was destroyed by the flooding is being restored!! Hallelujah!!
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction……” James 1:27a
Note: May 2007 this ministry work continues on with the Christians in Romania who work in this particular ministry, even though, as many know, Roxana is now married and in the US.