Luke 9:18 – 20 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
Jesus died for my sins. How wonderful to know that.
We've really seen a lot of answers to people's prayers for us this last month. Some of you really pray for us (you know who you are) and we are very grateful. Especially as we have been seeing God respond.
Last update we asked prayer for Ilinca's eyes (that were seeing double and not moving together). We were able to go to another private clinic and have her checked out. After they did their tests and gave us their diagnosis, I showed them the results from the previous clinic. The doctor said that these numbers were not right. They were right, but Ilinca's eyes had been improving and the difference was measurable. Praise God! Thank you for praying with us. Also it looks like we have a plan of treatment, and Lord willing, she will get better.
One of the churches were able to present in (via a video call) has
been supporting us in weekly prayer. Andrea asked them to pray for extra
help with the kids, and almost immediately some help came. Two older
ladies recently helped out staying with the kids when Andrea needed to
go to go out when I was at work. Also another lady who does migrant work
and is in an out of the country asked Andrea how she could help while
she was here.
She stayed a couple of times with the kids so we could go out together.
This christian lady works so hard when she helps out we could never pay
her what she is worth. But she not only doesn't take money from us, but
actually gives some to us even after all her hard work. To say it
again, they prayed for Andrea to have help and God sent someone who came
to our house, took care of the kids, so we could go out (something that
happens far to seldom) and when we come home, she gets out a bucket and
brush and scrubs our rugs. And gives us money. I imagine for most of us
that is not a normal occurrence. I'll call it an answer to prayer.
Lately we’ve been so exhausted. Get up early, go to bed late, day after day after day. This Thursday, was my last day of work for the week. I just had to make is through and was really planning on doing some powerful rest. On Thursdays I teach 10 classes in one day. Believe me at the end of the day I really, really, really just want to go home. It turns out while I was at work, our oldest daughter was having severe abdominal pain. It was so bad Andrea chose to call an ambulance and take her to the hospital. Andrea thought she was going to need surgery. Now instead of going home, I’m driving in rush hour traffic (3rd worst in the world) past our home and on to the emergency room at the hospital. Many of you fathers can imagine how I feel. I’m really concerned for my daughter. I’m really concerned for both for her health and her safety. Not all, but some medical professionals here are monsters who should probably be locked up in prison for malpractice, extortion and abuse. You never know what you are going to get and I was very concerned.
Doctors will often (and I mean often) tell you you need unnecessary surgeries, and demand bribes. Going to the state hospital is horrible, and quite scary. And when it’s your child, you are so vulnerable. You would do almost anything for your child, and when it comes to medical care, not being able to trust the doctor is terrifying. Also if it is something that needs intervention, I want to take the best care I can. At that time I had budgeted just enough money for food until I get paid in a few days, certainly nothing for a hospital visit or surgery. Yes I prayed. I cried out to God. Yet I still was concerned about my daughters health, the trustworthiness of the medical system, my lack of finances. Add to that my exhaustion and the horrible traffic (about 17 km in and hour and a half). It was quite a burden. I get to the hospital and find my pregnant wife and daughter in the crowded waiting room full of sick people (we’re having a concerning outbreak of B flu in our area). I sent Andrea home and went with our daughter as we waited and she did some tests. The waiting room was filthy. At one time there was vomit on the floor. The bathroom had no toilet paper or soap.
There were tons of sick people everywhere. Our daughter was wearing a surgical mask because her grandma was concerned about all the disease in the waiting room. It was a long 4 hours. Neither of us had eaten since lunch. I sent a simple message out to a few people I know pray for us. Besides the waits, we got pretty good care. I was able to have a little discussion with a father who had brought his little girl to the ER. After I gave him a curved illusion tract, he asked me to show them to his family as well. So I was able to give out some more and watch them read them. In the end, we finally got in to see the doctor after our test results came in. I’ll just translate what the doctor said into “she had an upset stomach." We thanked the doctor and were able to go home (my state insurance covered it all and no one asked for any bribes). When we got in the car I called Andrea on the phone and said two words over and over.
Good news! Good News. How sweet were those words. How they alleviated our concern. How instantly they brought healing to us all.
I had also asked the church to pray that I would continue to be invited to preach in the prisons. While we certainly hold to the same gospel, I do differ on some secondary issues with the church that invites me. I try not to make them the issue and rejoice in the opportunities they give me to preach the word. I was a little concerned I might not get invited because of our differences so that was why I asked for prayer. God answered that prayer. Today I was an invited speaker at the Jilava Prison. In addition to preaching on the assigned text in Luke chapter 9. I was able to relate to the men what happened to our family and having to take our daughter to the hospital. I then told them how we are all sick with the disease of sin. (beside the fact that many of them were probably murderers) I mentioned how we lie, steal, hate, and are selfish. We are guilty before God. Just like it is often hard to trust the doctors, it is futile to put your trust in pastors, priests, or religion. How can we trust another man who is sinful like us, to save our souls. We are condemned. Yet there is good news, good news! The true Jesus Christ, without sin died for sinners like us. He did all the work and we must trust in him alone for our salvation. He commands us to repent and believe the gospel. Trust this good news.
One of the prayer requests we asked for over the years is that we would see God move churches to partner with us in prayer and support so we can justify continuing to live here. I rejoice to say that after our last newsletter, a pastor wrote us to say that they had voted as a church and decided to support us on a monthly basis. This is a first for us and is very encouraging and gives us a lot of hope. It really is an Ebeneezer moment that God has brought us so far.
Praise God with us for all this answered prayer.
- Please pray for our family. We really need more of God's grace and help.
- Please pray for Andrea, her body and our baby as she carries this child. Please pray especially that God would save this and all our children's souls.
- I have been exhausted for years. Please pray that I would have refreshing from God, and that He would help me to be the servant, husband and father that He would have me be. I really need more grace.
- Please pray for the church here in Romania.
- Please pray for God to save the lost, raise up laborers unto His harvest, and give us more boldness, grace, creativity and opportunities to share the gospel.
Jonathan, Andrea, Hannah, Demetrius, Ilinca, Lida and Baby DeSeno
1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
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