It's been too long since our last update and we're sorry for the delay!
Our Jordan Trip
As we mentioned in our last update we had the opportunity to visit my brother and
sister in-law in Jordan around Thanksgiving time. It was so good to spend time with Elijah and Ash. We hadn't seen them since their wedding more than 2 years ago!
Jordan was a very special place for us and it was unlike anywhere Ruth and I have ever been. As we sat on the plane ready to leave Romania we were both so excited and really blessed to be able to visit a place so different.
It was a joy to meet so many of Ash and Elijah's friends. Pretty much all of them were from other countries that are torn apart by war and violence. In particular on our first day we got to share a meal with a Christian family from Iraq who fled because of persecution. It was astonishing to hear their stories and such a blessing to experience their generous hospitality(and lovely Iraqi food).
Our time with Ash and Elijah was a sweet. We saw so many beautiful things and had so much fun. We hope its not so long til we see each other again... Being far from family is a difficult thing at times.
Winter Youth Event
Once Ruth and I got back from Jordan there was a lot to be done for our winter youth event that we just had this past weekend(11-13).
We had a great turn out of kids from Valeni, Ciorani, and some f
rom Draganesti. In total we had 17 teens come for our 2 night program. It was great compare this event to the one we had last year in February. The kids were a lot more integrated this year and having fun as a group instead of being split up.
The youth pastor(Stephan) from Calvary Chapel in Hanover Germany came with an intern(Phil) from the church. They were a huge help and support for us in this event. It was so great to have Stephan share with us from Daniel's life and we know the Lord was working in the hearts of the kids. As a church we are very thankful and blessed by the church in Hanover, they have been so eager to help and encourage whenever they can.
We are thankful for the time we had with the youth this past weekend. Our relationships with the different kids continue to deepen and grow as time goes on. We pray that they would seek after the desire that God has for their lives. That they would "walk" in the ways that have been prepared for them in Christ.
As Christmas time approaches we rejoice in celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 9:2- "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined."
V. 6 "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace."
We love you all and give thanks for you frequently. God bless your Christmas and New Years celebrations.
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Hello again from Romania!
The days are getting shorter and the weather, colder. They are reminders that the Winter is quickly on it's way. Winter is always a hard time of year for people here in Romania. Everyone is stocking up on wood and getting ready for the next cold and wet months.
The trip that Steve and I took to Germany last month was a huge blessing. Steve and I had a great time of fellowship with the elders and they wanted to know how they as a church can be more involved in the work here. We found it almost humorous in that God has already used the church as a huge means of blessing and
support on almost every level. We went to pick up a car that someone in the church had given us but God used the trip for much more. It was so encouraging to see God's Spirit working in that church and giving the body a heart and vision for Romania. It was bitter sweet when it came time to leave but I was looking forward to getting back.
During our 3 day trip back to Romania we had great visits with extended family in Ansbach and with old friends in Augsburg(Patrick and Susanne)! I want to say a special thank you to the Barrows for the short but sweet visit and to the church also there in Ansbach for blessing us with so many American goodies from the army base! We also got to stop and see Patrana at the Bible College in Hungry, which was great to encourage and support her in this new chapter of her life. She's having a great time there but I think it's safe to say we all miss her. :)
Outreach in Valeni
When we got back from Germany we as a team got busy preparing for a family outreach that we had on the 3rd of October. It was great that so many people who usually don't come to church came to the event. We had fun carnival games like throwing darts at balloons and seeing who was a true man by how fast they could drive a nail or shave a balloon. We had a lot of good laughs with the games.
We then had a program with music, skits, and a teaching which went well. When asked who would like to receive Christ a number of kids raised their hands(I wasn't suppose t
o be looking but... I did. It was beautiful to have seen kids wanting the Lord in their lives). After the program we all sat around and enjoyed a meal together and it was encouraging to see the teenagers jump at the opportunity to serve plates and drinks to people.
When there are good times of outreaching to the community there always seems to be some sort of opposition or hardship to follow. Be praying for the church here as we go through a time of hardship. Pray that God would work in the people in the community where the church is; that families would push past any differences to further the work that God has for their lives.
I'm excited that next week Ruth, Alice and Melissa will get the chance to visit Germany. They will be there for a week total and are going to attend a women's conference that Alice was asked to teach at. Keep their trip in your prayers; that it would be refreshing and for Alice, that the Lord would speak through her and strengthen her in ministering to the women there.
At the end of next month Ruth and I will be taking a trip to Jordan to visit with my brother Elijah and sister-in-law, Ashlee who live there. We've been wanting to visit them for a while now and we are thankful for the deal that we found for direct tickets to Amman. Ruth and I are also excited that we get to spend Thanksgiving with them! God is good and we are thankful for His provision to do this.
I feel like I could say more but I should leave it there for now. I'll end with saying that God is good and faithful. He is our constant in this always changing world. His Word and His testimony of what He has done in the past keeps us from becoming “puppets of circumstances”. We love you all and pray for you. Thank you for being with us in prayer.
-Aden and Ruth Knepper
Hello everyone! This Summer has been a good but challenging one. Like I mentioned in our last update, there has been a Hepatitis A outbreak here in Valeni; in the area that we minister in. Mostly all the kids in the area have had it and been in the hospital for treatment. Because of this virus a lot of our summer plans with kids and youth had to be postponed or cancelled since we didn't want to be responsible for spreading the virus. It's actually been in the more recent weeks that we've been able to start up our regular kids ministry here in Valeni. It's great to feel like we're almost on the other side of this virus but still pray against any further spreading!
Because it's been a while since we last sent out an update it seems like ages ago since certain things happened. I figured it would be good to give a quick summary of the past several weeks. Since we decided to postpone the Valeni kids outreach till mid to late August we took the opportunity to take our family beach trip while we had the chance. We camped for three nights at the Black Sea along with some friends. It was so great getting to camp and enjoy God's Creation for a few days.
After our time away we tried to get back into the swing of things but with some of the teenagers getting sick we couldn't really have our regular weekly time together. Instead we just went up on Saturdays to check on people and also helped some of them a couple times with harvesting small orange berries called Catina. These berries are very popular in Romania and every year a lot of people go into the forests to find and harvest them so they can sell them. Catina bushes are very spiky plants and have to have all the thorns cut off the branches before you can pick the berries. Families have been harvesting them for weeks as it's a good way for them to make a little bit of extra cash. Though it was disappointing not being able to meet with the teenagers for a few weeks we still had a good time sitting around and talking with people as we helped them with Catina.
A few weeks ago; Steve, Josh, and myself put together a hiking trip for the guys that have been apart of the youth group in Ciorani. We went up north to a beautiful place called Muntele Roșu(Red Mountain). We took a 6 hour hike up along the ridge of the mountain which was such a great time with the guys. We were physically drained by the end of it but it was a sweet time of fellowship with each other. This upcoming Saturday we are doing a similar trip with some of the boys here in Valeni which I'm looking forward to.
This past Tuesday Ruth had a girls meeting with the girls from Ciorani and Valeni. It is a blessing to have the space to do these kinds of things now. Our friend Jackie who has been staying with us had the opportunity to share with the girls from Isaiah. Though I wasn't there, all the girls seemed to really enjoy the time they had together and said the study went really well. It was also a bitter sweet time as it was Patrana's(Ruth's Romanian Sister) last day in Romania before heading off to Bible School in Hungry. We are all really excited that she is able to go but she will be missed these next few months.
In our last update I mentioned that the Pastor from Hanover was coming with his wife to drop off a car that someone has given us. The plans for them to come in August ended up falling through but now Steve and I get the opportunity to go and visit the church there in Germany and bring the car back to Romania. We are leaving on the 8th and I am really excited to spend time with some dear friends there! It will be so great for Ruth and I to have this car as it will really enable us to do more and be more flexible in the ministry here. It's so surreal when God provides something like a car; even though He provided one for us when we lived in Ireland. There are those things in life that seem big to us but in perspective of who God is; they're nothing to compare. In my reading of 2 Chronicles I was reminded of how God is eagerly looking to show Himself strong on behalf of those that seek Him and trust Him(See 2 Chronicles 16:9). We serve a great God who delights to show Himself strong and it is a joy to see Him work.
Ruth and I continue to do well here. It's been good to have our friend Jackie here with us and it's been great to have the extra fellowship. The Summer has gone past quickly and it will be a bummer to see her heading back home in a couple weeks. It is always such a blessing to have good friends that want to be an encouragement to us. Know that all you who pray for us, support us finacially, or write us messages(or send voxers) are a very big encouragement to us. It communicates to us that we aren't alone here in Romania and that God is encouraging us to press on through all the hard or discouraging times. Know that we love you all and are very thankful for you.
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Hello everyone! These last couple months have been really great. We are sorry for not writing sooner. We just had our summer children's outreach in Ciorani and it was a great blessing! I wanted to take some time and let you know how it went!
Kid's Outreach in Ciorani
This year for our kid's outreach we are focusing of Jesus' seven I AM statements in John. In our 4 day outreach we covered “I am the Bread of Life”, “I am the Light of the
world”, “I am the good Shepherd(and the door)”, and on Sunday we concluded with “I am the vine”. The rest of the I AM statements we are going to continue throughout the next few Sunday's for Children's Church. We had a good group of kids come out t
his year with about 35- 40 kids coming each day. We saw a lot of familiar faces from last years outreach and also some new faces. It was so good to get to reconnect with a lot of these kids and to share with them the truth and love of Jesus Christ. We had great opportunities to share with the kids about who Jesus is and the importance of accepting Him. In our group we had a good time where we were able to sit the kids down and share with them that it's not about being apart of a certain church but that it's all about knowing Jesus and following Him in their lives. The Lord knows their hearts and I believe that He was and is at work in many of their lives. Pray for the work that God is doing in these kids.
This year we had a lot of help with our kids outreach. Our good friend Jackie from California is here with us now and will be here to help until sometime in September.
We also had a friend from Florida whose family is planning on moving to Romania, come for a visit. It was Tasha's first time in Romania and it was such a bless to have her here with us and involved with the kids program. Along with Jackie and Tasha we also had a four person team from Ireland come to help out with the outreach. They were a great help and a good friend of ours, Andrea led the group. It was so great to see her again. Looking at the team in total it was amazing to see God's heart for these kids in Ciorani. He brought people literally from all over to world to use in reaching out to the kids here.
Pray for Valeni
We are also planning on having a similar kids outreach here in Valeni soon. Our plan was to have the outreach in Valeni first but there has been an outbreak of Hepatitis A in the area where we meet. Please pray for the families effected by this virus. A lot of the children have been in the hospital because of it. It's like having a flu for 3-6 weeks and a lot of people are keeping their kids home because of the illness. At the moment we aren't doing kids and youth meetings because we don't want to be responsible for spreading it further. So please keep this whole situation in your prayers. We need wisdom as to when and how we do meetings in Valeni at the moment. The virus has spoiled some of our plans already but it has also opened up good opportunities to reach out to others in the community who have been effected by it. It's been good getting to visit with people in the hospital and brighten up their days(Steve even got an opportunity to show a movie on the wall).
I also wanted to give you an update on a couple of other things. Late last month I finished my TEFL(teaching English as a foreign language) course and did a good job with my finals. I just got my certificate in the mail today! I'm really excited to see how God will use this in the near future! Pray for direction with that! It's good to have the course all finished.
As well this August we have the Pastor and his wife from Hanover Germany coming to visit us. He came to Romania this past May with a team to build a new church fence in Ciorani. During his visit he told us that a member of the church wanted to give us his car! Recently we had been looking at cars and trying to calculate the total cost of owning a car in Romania. We concluded to just give it to the Lord and agreed that He would provide the means for it when the time was right. When we heard that someone wanted to give us their car we were blown away. When he told us that it was a Skoda Fabia; I laughed. It was a Skoda Fabia that was given to us by a friend when we lived in Ireland. We really liked that car and were sad to see it go. It's funny how God works like that! So in August the Pastor(Jorg) and his wife will be driving it down from Germany for us. It's a huge blessing for us(to say the least) and will be extremely useful in our frequent trips to Ciorani.
To conclude, Ruth and I are doing really well. The Lord continues to grow us closer together and closer to Himself. We ask that the Lord would give us His wisdom and an ear to hear when He calls us to something.
We love you all so much and are very thankful for all of our friends around the world who are praying for us and supporting us here. We think and pray for you often. Please email us anytime! We would love to hear about the things God is doing in your lives!
Aden and Ruth Knepper
This is the first time in about a week and a half that I've been able to sit down with my laptop. We've been very busy and we have been wanting to give you all an update about all the things going on here!
We found an Apartment
This is an answer to our prayers and we thank all of you who prayed for us about this. At the moment Ruth and I have been racing to paint and get our stuff moved into the apartment. We have plenty of space now which will be so great to have with our guests this Summer. It's a two room flat with a large living room and it's all right in the centre of Valeni. It was amazing to see how God provided a home for us at the right time and the right price. God is good.
We have also been in the midst of renewing our yearly visa. It involves a lot of time and running around and it's been more stressful this year do to moving at the same time. So pray for us as we run around to get all the paper work done.
Men's/ Pastor's Conference
About two weeks ago we held a Men's/Pastor's conference in Ciorani. For about three days we made our way through the Seven Churches in Revelation. We had Jorg and Peter Will from Calvary Chapel Hanover come and share with us and it was a huge blessing and encouragement for all of us guys. In the past few months I've had some time to meet a good group of the guys that are serving in Romania and it was great to have that extra time to fellowship with one another. Pray that we will be able to continue these kind of meetings. It is so important to have these times of encouragement with brothers in the Lord.
After the Men's conference we had a work team from the Church in Hanover come. The church there in Hanover supplied the means and the man power to put up a new fence in Ciorani. It was a lot of hard work but at the end of the week the whole building looked so much more inviting and friendly.
On the Saturday that the team was here we loaded up two of the cars with some members of the team and the teens from Ciorani and went up to Valeni to do youth group together. The youth pastor from Hanover shared with the teenagers and we ended off the afternoon with some games of capture the flag. It was really a great time.
Although it's been a stressful time; God has been doing a lot in it all and Ruth and I are looking forward to being back on a more regular schedule and getting settled into our new place. We love you all and hope you are doing well. We think about you often! Please do keep in touch with us and email us if you'd like!
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Hello again! First we hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter! Easter here in Romania isn't celebrated until this Sunday since we're on the Orthodox calender. We'll be sure to post some pictures to the site so you can have a look into our Easter festivities.
This past month...
We've had a pretty straight forward month with being busy with our regular weekly schedule. We are still meeting on Tuesday evenings with our landlord and his wife; we have read Matthew and Mark and now we are well into Luke. It's been great to meet with them and simply read and talk as we make our way through the Gospels together. We've had great conversations with them and it has been great to develop our friendships with them over the past year.
Like in most of our updates, I ask you to keep the teenagers that we work with in your prayers! In our studies of Ephesians we came across Paul's prayer for the Church in Chapter 3.
Paul's prayer has been a great outline for my prayers for them.
That they would be strengthen in the inner man
That Christ would dwell in their hearts
That they would be rooted and established in Love
That they together would understand the Love of Christ
That they would be satisfied and filled with the fullness of God
We love these kids and want to see them respond to what God has accomplished for them on the Cross and to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, and strength; living for His glory and pleasure. Let us together faithfully invest in these kids lives through our prayers.
Something New- TEFL(Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Course
This past month I started a 120-hour online course that will equip me for what I would need to teach English here. I found that when we would have the teenagers over on Wednesdays that I really enjoyed teaching them English, but I also found it frustrating not being able to properly do it. Ruth and I took time to pray about it and sought the Lord about it. The more I thought and prayed the more ways I started to see how God might use it to open doors to new possibilities and ministries. Whether it's an after school program or an English club at an orphanage the TEFL Course will give me what I need to do those things if God opens those doors. So I've enrolled and it's been exciting having started the course and through Nehemiah, God's encouraged me to put my hands to the good work that He's set before me, and to do it for His glory.
So do keep us in your prayers as I work away at this course. Pray that God gives me understanding and wisdom with how to apply the things that I learn. Also pray that I'd be able to manage my time well and get the work done well. Who knows what doors this might open, but for the moment I'll keep focused on the work that's been set before me. I continually find it funny that God's put teaching English on my heart... I always thought if I taught in schools it'd be history or biology. I've never been one that's very fond of English or grammar so it's been difficult to understand everything, I'm finding that English is very complex.
Also as a side note it was amazing to see God provide for cost of the course. Just a week after I enrolled we found that someone had sent us almost exactly what the course cost us. That wasn't something that we were expecting at all. So we praise the Lord in that and we definitely see His hand in it all!
Coming up the next few months
Ruth and I have been excited to hear this past month that a group from Calvary Cork in Ireland will be coming over to help with a kids program in July. For those who don't know, Calvary Cork was the church in Ireland that my family was really involved with for the first 3-4 years of living in Ireland. It will be so great to welcome old friends here. We also heard this month that our good friend Jackie was able to buy her tickets to come and help out here in Romania! She'll be coming in July and will be staying till September! It was such an encouragement and we are looking forward to her being here!
Please join us in prayer with regards to a new house for us to rent! Our place has been great but we need some more space! We have a small one room place and when we have family over they usually sleep on our in-closed balcony, with our refrigerator. With all that said our place that we have now wont suit for having visitors over this summer. It's always proved difficult and awkward to open our house up to any guests and we want to have a place where we can feel free to invite more people over. So please be praying for a new place and we will keep you up to date!
Thank you for your prayers and support! It has been great getting emails from a variety of you and we encourage you to continue in that! We love to hear from you.
-Aden and Ruth Knepper
God continues to encourage us and lift us up in our day to day lives here in Romania. It brings us a lot of encouragement to think on the time when God told us to keep going; “Put your hands to the plow”, the work isn't finished. It is a refuge to know that God has us here for His purposes and that He is in control of the circumstances we go through. There are times when we just say “what's the point” and we look at certain situations and just groan in our hearts because we don't know what to say. In those instances you really do feel like David when he describes himself being in a pit, because that's exactly how it feels; stuck in pit. But in those times God draws our eyes to Him( He is the God who hears- see Psalm 40) and it's been a blessing also as a couple to encourage each other in the Lord during these times. God brings us back to the calling He has on us to serve Him and glorify Him here and through Him we are given new strength to plow on. Some days are trying times and some aren't(same for all of us) but through it all God is always faithful and teaching us more about Him and He uses these things to increase our love for one another. We are all called to walk by faith and not by sight and to glorify God in all that we do. So, there's some transparency, times get tough and we feel blah here sometimes BUT God is faithful to raise us up and teach us from it.
This Past Month...
We had a youth event at the beginning of this month which went pretty good. We had teenagers from Valeni and Draganesti come to Ciorani for a two night youth event. We split our time into 4 sessions. Among the things we talked about were; God's magnitude and how the truth of who He is and what He has done deserves our response; Abiding in Him(it's not about us); and the fact that He must increase but we must decrease. We had about 20 teenagers that came which was great to see. In the end Ruth and I were pretty much dead along with everyone else that was involved with helping, but it was a good weekend with the teenagers and God was glorified in it.
I have been realizing more and more how much these teens need my prayers and your prayers. They don't just need good regular events or meetings to keep them busy until their old enough to leave the church and never come back. We want these kids to have something deeper and that is a relationship with the Lord. For them to understand that their life doesn't start to matter when they turn 18 but that now as teenagers they can be used mightily for God's glory. It is through God's spirit working that these teens are going to have that purpose and perspective. We can teach them, but God working in them is what's going to change them. Pray with us for them!
My meetings with the guys every other Friday morning has been going well. We started in Genesis and are working along. It's so great to have a group of guys to encourage and talk about God's word with. It was a meeting much like this that I went to when I was younger. My Dad and his good friend took us young guys through the Bible and it was then that my heart fell more in-love with God and His word. My prayer is that these guys would have more love for God and His word through our times together.
We still have a group of kids that come over on Wednesdays after school. We have food. Ruth gives individual guitar lessons. They have a time where they can do their homework and then I teach them some English using household objects. It's great to see them remember so many words and I've enjoyed getting to teach them.
So, Ruth and I are doing very well here in Romania. We are regularly encouraged by a number of your emails and it is so great to hear from our friends and family all over the world. The Lord is good and may we all be faithful to keep on with the work that He sets before us. As we run this “race” let us all keep our eyes fixed on Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith(Hebrews 12:1,2). Thank you all for your prayers and support!
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Hello from the Kneppers! Although our season greetings come very late we hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! These past few weeks for us have been pretty busy and now we wanted to let you know about how everything went!
In the past my family's Christmas usually consisted of staying in our pajamas all day and enjoying our time at home with one another. We'd give gifts, eat goodies, watch movies, play board games, and of course we would have with a lovely Christmas dinner.
This was our first Christmas together in Romania and though it was different from almost any Christmas I've had in the past and consisted of some hard work, it was a real blessing and a lot of fun. As a family we enjoyed Christmas day together on the 22nd. It was great to be able to share my first Christmas with the Quarles family! We had yummy waffles, watched a bad cheesy movie(which was hilarious) and ate plenty of sweets and delicious food. We really enjoyed our time together and it was great to have a day of rest before we started all the preparations for our Christmas programs.
In Ciorani we had a Christmas eve program and and on Christmas we had one in Valeni. Before each of the programs we took a group of kids out and we went caroling to various houses in the area. After singing a few songs we would hand the family a plate of home-made cookies and invite them along to our Christmas program which involved a play of Jesus' birth that the kids were a part of. It was busy preparing for it all; getting decorations up, costumes ready, and cookies all baked and wrapped. In the end Ruth and I had made around 4-500 cookies (the most cookies I've ever made) and that was only a small part in all the cookies we handed out to families in the area. Both meetings were really special and the kids did a marvelous job with the plays(Alice and Ruth did a great job with the organizing!). In Ciorani I even got to be a part of the play! I was the inn-keeper and my house was a puppet stage that I had to crawl out of to show Mary and Joseph to my stables(it was a part intended for a much shorter inn keeper and therefore quite hilarious).
Before we started all our preparations I wasn't really looking forward to all the busyness that was coming, but after it was all said and done I can say that I really enjoyed it all. I loved getting to visit so many families and sing of Jesus' birth and to give them a plate of cookies that so many people had worked so hard to make.
A precious moment that I want to share happened while we were caroling in Ciorani. While we were passing a home I saw a little girl run out and start waving and calling Ruth and I. To my surprise it was one of the girls that was part of our class during the Summer VBS outreaches! As we came and sang songs to her Mom and sisters this girl just held my hand and jumped up and down with the biggest smile on her face. It was so good to see her again and to see some of the fruit of this past summer! Pray for the children here!
New years was really cold. Ruth and I went down to Ciorani to be apart of the church get together there. We as a church had lovely food, watched a slide show of past photos(quite hilarious), we had a puppet show, sang songs, and before twelve o'clock we all went to the centre(of Ciorani) to watch fireworks. Man it was cold(around -18 to -20 degrees Celsius or 0 to -4 F) the very air you breathed would freeze in your nostrils(the coldest weather I think I've been in since I was a kid in Ohio). Despite the cold the fireworks were really pretty good! You would think that for a place like Ciorani their idea of fireworks would be almost embarrassing but I was delightfully surprised!
In other news
We're excited for this new year. I've asked a few of the young guys here if they wanted to start meeting up on a regular basis and simply going through the Bible as a type of discipleship together. We'll read around 7 Chapters a week and then meet up to talk about it and pray together. I'm excited to have this type of opportunity as I've always loved meeting up with brothers in Christ and being built up by the Word.
God continues to bless our time with our neighbours. Just recently they decided that they wanted to read and talk about the Bible together. So we've started in Matthew
and we've already read to chapter 14! It is so great to read and talk about the different things Jesus said and did. It was such a blessing and we're excited to continue on reading God's word together! Pray that God would continue to bless our time together.
We are also looking forward to the Spring and Summer; as a team here we are already praying and planning about possible programs this Summer. There's talk of a couple different teams coming out to help and so that opens up more opportunities. We ask for your prayer in all our planning! May we be empowered and led by God's Spirit in all that we plan and do.
Also in the first week of February we are planning to have a youth night in Ciorani while the teenagers have a week
off school. Do keep this in your prayers! We'll bring the group from Valeni down to Ciorani for a night or two and it should be a really good time. Pray that the Lord would be working on the hearts of the youth here and that He would give them a hunger for Him and a desire to do His will.
We love you all and thank you for your prayers and support. Often times we think about you all and I know my heart often longs to be with you all in person. May God bless you and keep you in the work that He has set before you!
Aden and Ruth Knepper
We apologise for not writing sooner but we were in the midst of travelling! Before our travels we had a group from the Bible College in York, England come for their outreach week. The team leader is a good friend of mine and it was great to welcome him to Romania. During their time here we had the youth group from Valeni come down to Ciorani for a youth night and had a time where team members could share their testimonies. Throughout the week the team was here they were really great with all the kids and even though they could not understand each other they had a lot of fun. Sadly the week they were here there was a good bit of rain which limited what we could do but on the days that were dry we had members of the team come up to Valeni to help finish a back room of a house that we're using to meet in for winter. In Romania a lot of people pack their walls with mud and let it dry for insulation and we all got to learn how to do it! We got pretty muddy in the process. The team was a great help and it was such a blessing to fellowship and serve with them. A week after they left for England we started our trip.
England/Ireland Trip 2014
From the 7th of November to the 28th we were out of country. Ruth and I had been planning to take a trip to Ireland ever since we left it in September of last year. On our departure from Ireland in 2013 we had to leave behind a number of bags including our guitar(which was a real bummer) so it was great to finally have the chance to go and pick those up. Before we went to Ireland we figured we would stop off in England to visit with family first! My brother(Ian) and sister-in-law(Siona) live in Newark-on-trent where my brother is busy in his last year of violin making college(he's my “claim to fame”) and we also got to see Ruth's brother Josh and sister Sharon who are at the Bible college in York (Josh is interning and Sharon is busy with her first semester). Our time in England was very relaxing and Ruth and I had a lot of fun jamming with Ian and Siona on multiple occasions. It was such a blessing to see family and old friends in England and it was well worth the stop.
Next stop was Ireland. For those of you who might not know, I lived there in Cork for 6 years in total in which Ruth and I spent our first year of marriage helping at a church my Dad pastored(they now have returned to the States). From our time living there we made many close friends and a lot of our time this trip was spent reconnecting. Many of our friends in Cork have new babies or babies on the way and it was so great to see those families growing and it was great to hold their really cute babies! During our time there we also had a lot of opportunities to share about what God is doing here in Romania and even had a chance to share at Calvary Cork on a Sunday. It was so encouraging to have so many people's prayers, encouragement and even to have conversations about possible teams coming to Romania in the future(which would be really great!).
Since Thanksgiving fell during our time in Ireland we were able to spend it with our dear friends the Ponce's and Neglia's! As a family we would spend Thanksgiving most years with the Neglia's(as we both share the American upbringing) and it was so great to share this meal with them once again. We are so thankful for the time we got to spend in Cork and we even had the chance to pop up to Waterford for our last day in Ireland to see friends there(we enjoyed a second Thanksgiving there as well). We are very thankful that we were able to take this trip and the Lord again provided all along the way for all that we needed and we lacked nothing, Praise the Lord! We made it home safely with all our stuff plus an amazing violin that Ian made and gave to Ruth! It has been a childhood dream of hers to play violin and now she has one! How cool is that!?
Our trip seemed short but I was actually really looking forward to being back in Romania. Maybe it had something to do with how much we travelled this year(with our 6 months US trip)... or maybe I just looked forward to being home in our little house and not living out of a back pack... I think all of these things made me look forward to being back in Romania but I think there's more to it. It is a blessing to know that this is where God has us now and though it's tough at times we know that God has us here for His purposes. Right now Romania is our home and our hearts are glad to be here. We missed the people here. We missed getting to spend time with the teenagers and having the opportunity to study in Ephesians. It is good to be back!
As everyone knows it is now the Christmas season! We ask that you would keep us in your prayers as we as a group here plan and prepare for different Christmas programs and outreaches. Pray that even though it might be busy we wouldn't get stressed or overwhelmed. Pray it would be a time of rejoicing and thankfulness as we remember the faithfulness of the Lord to provide the Promised One who took away the sins of the world.
We love you all and are so thankful for all who pray for us and who even give financially to the ministry here to keep us in Romania! We pray for you all often and would love to hear from you and how you're doing.
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Hello again dear friends and Family,
It's been over a month since our last update and we want to let you all know a bit of what we've been up to. :)
September was our first whole month doing youth group. We have youth group here in Valeni every Saturday afternoon and every other week we travel down to Ciorani to do youth group there on Friday evening. We've been making our way through Ephesians and it has been a blessing to study and share with the teenagers the amazing blessings that God has given to His children. We've really enjoyed being able to spend this ex
tra time with the teenagers each week and to build better relationships with them. We've found that with serving teenagers comes all kinds of challenges and sometimes it's difficult to read them and tell if what we talk about is registering but we know that God's Word does not turn back void and that it accomplishes what it was sent for.Usually each week I try and give them a passage to read and think about during the week and through this I've been encouraged to see some taking the time to read and write down verses that they like. This is a great step for them to get use to reading their Bible for themselves and really thinking about the verses that they read. Our prayer is that God would use us however He wants to serve these teens. We ask that you would be praying for us and the teens we minister to!
With the school year started this past month we ask for your prayers for wisdom. Many of the kids in the area that we minister to have a very difficult time in school and are really looked down upon by teachers and students simply because they're gypsy. No special help is given to those who struggle with learning difficulties and there seems to be an indifference among teachers towards many of the teens we work with. Ruth and I want to help in any way we can and try to keep many of them from just dropping out. Luckily our house is right next to the school that many of the teens go to. We want to open our home to help some of them by giving them a quiet place where they can do their homework and have our help. It is very difficult for many of these kids to even stay in school much longer than 8th grade. So we ask that you keep these young kids in your prayers.
At the end of this month we are really excited to be hosting a team from Calvary Chapel York Bible College which will be a big help with different things we might want to do. We are thinking about having a weekend youth event which would be really great! Then at the beginning of November we are going on a trip to Ireland to visit friends and pick up stuff that we left there when we moved last year. We will be taking a stop in England to visit my brother and sister-in-law and also Ruth's brother and sister in York on the 7th – 18th after which we'll be in Ireland from the 18th til the 29th. It will be so good to see so many good friends again.
Ruth and I have been good and can't believe we'll be celebrating our two year anniversary this up coming Monday(the 13th)! God has been so faithful to us and it has been amazing to step out in faith and see the Lord all along the way. I am blessed to have a great partner beside me when the going gets tough. There are days when living in a foreign country is difficult and the frustrations of not knowing a language get overwhelming, but I thank God for the patient and loving wife I have to help pick me up.
We want to again thank you all for your prayers and financial support! We are blessed to have such a great group of people behind us that we know are praying for us and faithful to help sustain us here. We praise God for His provision both physically and spiritually through you guys. We love you guys so much and pray for you all often!
Aden and Ruth Knepper
In the last update that we sent out we were in the midst of our Kids outreach/ VBS. After our first day of events in Valeni we had to postpone the other two days for about a week because of wet weather(we don't have a building in Valeni). But when we were able to go ahead and do the other days of activities we really had a great time with the kids. Our group 8 to 10 year old’s went pretty well. On the last day Ruth translated for me as I talked to the kids about Abraham being saved by faith and not through his works. Through this there was a great opportunity to share with them what Jesus did for them on the Cross. At the end we asked if they would like to respond to what Jesus had done for them and ask God to come into their lives and be the Lord of their life. After a few seconds of silence one of the girls shyly rose her hand and then three other girls after her. Soon we had pretty much the whole class raising their hands. So we explained a little more about what it meant to pray to God and ask Him to come into their life and Ruth lead them through a prayer in which they repeated after her. It was a blessing to see so many kids wanting to pray to receive Christ in their life. Who's to say whether they were genuine in their prayers or not? Only God knows their hearts and that's whats important. We just pray that God's work would continue in their hearts and that as they get older they would desire to live a life for Him. Thank you for all your prayers for our Kids Outreaches!
This past month we as a church have switched up our children ministry curriculum. With that Ruth and I will be teaching the “older kids class” (8-11 year old's) in Valeni most Thursdays during our mid-week church meeting. At
the moment we are working to finish up the book of Acts before we start our studies in the Old Testament. Ruth and I are excited to be able to teach the kids class on a more weekly basis and through this further build our relationships with the kids here in Valeni. So we ask that you would be keeping the kids here in your prayers! And also pray for us as we teach them and disciple them.
Also in our last update I talked a bit about the teenage group here in Valenii de munte that we've started to meet with on a weekly basis. We have a good faithful group of about 6 teenagers each week. This past month Ruth and I started a study in the book of Ephesians which has been going great. Ephesians first focuses on all that God has done for us( those Spiritual blessings He's poured on us) and then in light of what God has done Paul talks about our worthy response as Christians. At the moment we are taking it slow and talking about the different things God has done on our behalf. We've been trying to keep our studies very interactive with plenty of questions and it's been going good so far with the conversations we've had. Pray for us as we head up this youth group. That God would strengthen us in the spiritual attacks. That He would give us wisdom to best serve these teenagers. And also pray for the teenagers- that they would desire to live a life in response to what God has done for them and that they would draw close to God and have a relationship with Him.
Along with the youth group in Valeni we also want to meet with the teenagers in Ciorani on a regular basis. Just a few weeks ago we had a van full from Ciorani come up to Valeni to be apart of our regular study and it was a great time of studying and playing capture the flag. But there is definitely a need there in Ciorani for a youth group type meeting and we just need wisdom on how that would look practically in our weekly schedule and cost. So your prayers for wisdom in this area would be good. There's a good group of teenagers there in Ciorani and we'd like to be able help teach them and disciple them in anyway that we can.
On another note, Ruth and I have been very well. This past month we had a couple of good trips with Ruth's family before Sharon(Ruth's sister) went off to Bible College in York, England. We took a two night camping trip to the Black Sea and then later we had a day trip in the mountains(not too far from where we live). We had a lot fun and it was great to have times to relax after all the busyness from the Kids outreaches. It is good to take a break and spend time in God's beautiful creation!
We are thankful for “every spiritual blessing” that the Lord has given us in Christ Jesus. It is a blessing to be here in Romania to share what God has done through His Son. It has been so amazing to see God's provision all along the way and we are thankful for all our friends and family who are praying for us and who are behind us in the ministry here. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers often!
“(Jesus) Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness- by whose stripes you were healed.”
1 Peter 2:24
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Our update is late but we have been quite busy these last few weeks! It's good to be able to get the time to write and tell you of all the great things that have been going on!
In our last update we told you of our move to Valeni. It has been so great to have a place of our own! We are very thankful for it! Throughout this past month we've been back and forth to Ciorani quite a bit. In the end of June the team of us here were working hard to get a three day kids event planned so we would be ready to start the outreaches by early/mid July. So far we've done the event in Ciorani and partially in Valeni(due to rainy weather).The kids outreach in Ciorani went great. The day before the event a group of us took handfuls of little flyers and walked around Ciorani and invited kids who were out playing in the streets. We told them to invite their friends and it was so great to see the excitement in their faces and to see their eagerness to go and invite their friends. We would give them 5 or so invitations and they would be off running or riding their bikes to tell their friends. It was a very effective way of getting the word out!
In Ciorani we had a great turn out of about 40 kids each day. We had a lot of fun with songs, skits, object lessons, crafts, and games. The kids were split into 3 groups and Ruth and I had the 8-10 age group. During the three days we covered Creation and the fall of man, Noah and the grace of God, and Abraham- Salvation through Faith. During each of the days we would have small group discussions and Ruth and I had some really good opportunities to share the gospel with our group of 13 or so kids. It was really amazing to see a change in a lot of the kids after talking with them. One girl was very quiet and shy the first day but after sharing the gospel and talking about the love of God she always had this big smile on her face; she was always coming up to Ruth and I and giving us hugs and wanting to hold our hands. I believe that God was speaking to her heart and it was a blessing to see her again at church the following Sunday. It was great to get to know those kids and its cool that now when we go to Ciorani there are always kids that come up to you to say “hi” or to give you a hug!
This past week we started the kids outreach in Valeni but were only able to get through the first day. The rest of the week it rained! Still it was a good time. There were a lot of kids that came out(probably a bit bigger than the Ciorani group). Pray for them. May they see the love and goodness of God and may that lead them to repentance! We are looking forward to getting back up there and finishing the last two days. It was a bummer that we couldn't do it all at one time but I think God had it that way to give us all a bit of a rest. We had been so busy planning and doing the event that we were all getting pretty tired.
Another thing that was positive about postponing the kids' event is that it gave
Ruth and I the time we needed to get our paperwork figured out for our year long visa. We spent a whole day walking around Ploiesti(a near by city) to get all the things we needed. Through it all we really felt that God was with us; from getting transportation right on time to finding people that were very helpful with figuring things out. It felt so good to finally have it all done and turned in! Now we are just waiting to get our visa card with all our immigration information. Praise God that it's all done! We have the green light to stay here!
In other news Ruth and I have started a Friday evening Bible study with the teenagers here in Valeni. This past Friday we had to cancel due to thunderstorms(we meet outside) but the Friday before we met and it was a great time! We are really excited about starting this and we ask for your much needed prayers! Pray for us as we lead and pray also for the teenagers we are ministering to. We are praying that God would pull at their hearts and that they would desire to turn and follow Him. We also pray that they would have a desire for God's word and to know Him! Soon we will be starting a study through the book of Ephesians which I am really excited about! So again please keep this in your prayers!
One thing I almost forgot to mention. An older lady recently prayed to receive Christ at Church one Sunday and afterwards came up to Steve and asked if she
could be baptised. So last Sunday Ruth and I went to Ciorani so we could be there for her baptism. When Ruth told her that we weren't planning on coming to Ciorani that Sunday she was disappointed and said “What? You aren't going to see me as a bride!” She was refering to her baptism and Ruth had previously forgotten! So we went to be there for her Baptism! It is so amazing to see the Lord draw the heart of an 80 year old woman like He did with her. She is always talking about the Lord and her love for Him and it is obvious from the things she says that the Holy Spirit has taught her much in the few weeks as a Christian. So it was so amazing to see her Baptism. She was so excited to be a bride for Christ and wore a white gown. So awesome!
Also following her baptism Elina(one of the Romanian girls that are a part of
Ruth's family) decided that she wanted to take that step and be baptised. In the past Elina didn't want God apart of her life and wanted to do what she wanted and it had been extremely difficult for Ruth's family. But just the night before her baptism she opened her heart up to Steve and Alice and prayed to receive Christ. Before she was baptised she said(in rough translation), “I want to take off these dirty cloths of sin and put on the clean white garment that Jesus has given me.” As she spoke with tears in her eyes and with all honesty my heart was filled with so much joy. We have been praying for her for a long time! Praise and glory be to God!
In Closing. Through all the busyness Ruth and I are doing well. The Lord continues to draw us closer to Him and to one another and we are very thankful for all His blessings in our lives. We want to thank all of you so much for your love, support, and prayers! Without you guys we wouldn't be able to be here and do the things we do!
God Bless you all!
-Aden and Ruth Knepper
Here are a few Pictures from our Kids outreach in Ciorani
This past month has been busy and we've had a lot of different things going on. In the update that we sent out as a newsletter(via email) we asked that people would be praying for a family in the church that was in a car accident and lost their two year old son, David. It happened close to the end of last month as the family was on their way to church. Dani, Mihaela, daughter Ana and son David were driving along one of the poorly kept roads here when something happened that caused a malfunction in the car's steering ability. With no control over the steering the car went off the road and slammed sideways into a tree. Mihaela and Anna were rushed to the hospital to receive care for cuts and bruising while David had to be airlifted to the capital city in Bucharest for urgent care. There was a group of us that was able to take Dani and his mother to Mihaela and Ana at the hospital. It was a very hectic and emotional day. Later when Steve took Dani to Bucharest to see David they found out that he had passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The end of last month was very difficult for us all here. We ask that you please keep this family in your prayers as they continue to bear the lost of their son, grandson, and brother. It has been such a blessing however to see this family holding fast to the Lord and finding their hope in Him. On the day of the funeral Dani told Ruth's parents that he felt a peace over him. We know that this is the peace of God that goes beyond all understanding. Thank you all for your prayers thus far. May we continue to strengthen our brother and sister in the Lord through our prayers. God was greatly glorified through this dark time and we pray that He would continue to be glorified through the hearts and minds of this family.
The Next Step for us
When we first arrived in Romania we didn't know how or when we'd be able to move to Valenii. We were waiting because the budget that we had didn't allow us to pay for things like rent and utilities. We decided then that we were to stay put in Ciorani for a time until the Lord made it clear that the time was right to take the next step of moving up to Valenii. The day after we moved into the room at the church was the day that the car accident happened. Looking back on it we see one of the reasons for why the Lord was keeping us here in Ciorani; so that we could be here for the family and to be here for all the preparations of the funeral.
Then just a week after the funeral a family from Valenii called to tell us of a place that had just became available to rent and it had all the bits and bobs that we needed; running water, washer, gas, central heating(for winter), shower, and toilet(a lot of houses have outhouses here). We weren't sure that we should even look at it because we had decided that we were going to be in Ciorani for a time til we were financially able to rent. So just being curious we went online to check our missionary support balance and were surprised to see that there were multiple new supporters that had started financially supporting us. We were almost taken back and thought to ourselves that maybe we should check this place out. The rent is 300 lei which is like 90 USD and the utilities varying from 100-200 lei a month( about 30-60 USD). We saw that the new financial support that just started coming in was almost exactly what we needed to live there. After praying about it we decided to check it out.
So now we want to tell you of our first home! Just last week after seeing the apartment the landlord and his wife offered for us to come and stay for a few days to see if we liked it. So we did! And we are going to stay! It is a pretty small place and it's far from glorious or perfect but it is perfect for us now. God has made it undoubtedly clear that this is where He wants us. It has all that we need and is very cost effective. The location is good with regards to being close to stores and markets and is actually right next to the school that all of the kids from “up the hill” go too.
One of the things that God used to make us both sure of this next step is the relationship that we have made with our landlord and his wife. Going into it they knew that we were Christians and wanting to minister there in Valeni. Our landlord, has been full of questions about our faith. In Romania the Orthodox church clumps all other Christians into a group that when translated means “repenters”. In their minds we are in the same group as Mormons and Jehovah witnesses. We were able to answer his many questions and to talk to him about the Bible and the gospel. So please be praying for him as we continue our relationship with him and his family.
So please be praying for us as we move up to Valenii. God moves in different ways... Sometimes it seems that things will never change and we just buckle down for the long haul and other times God moves like a whirlwind and things happen so fast. We are so excited to finally be in Valenii after months of preparation. Pray for us as we pray for God's guidance in ministry there. It is amazing to take those steps of faith not knowing where you're going or what your doing and then finding yourself in the midst of a beautiful opportunity to serve the Lord.
Thank you for your prayers and support! If you'd like to get behind us in the ministry here then there are various ways to do so. Prayer is so important as we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against angels and principalities. Prayer breaks down the fortresses of the enemy and empowers us for the work before us. You can also get behind us financially as we live and minister here. Even small gifts can go a long way here. Or you can also be involved by staying in touch with us. It encourages us to hear from you!!
-Aden and Ruth Knepper
We've finally made it to Romania and we've been here for over a week now! Our last few days in the States were pretty busy and it's was really great to get to rest once we got here. Everything has been going pretty well. I just wanted to write a short update to let you all know how we're doing and how you guys can be praying for us!
We were pretty tired when we first got here. The first few days we were pretty jet-lagged. We would end up going to bed too late or we would wake up at like 2am thinking it was 7, but we are back on track now. It's been really good to be here. What a blessing to see God's promises come true! We knew that this is where God wanted us next and He faithfully brought us here! It's been so great to see our family and friends and to see all the possibilities as to how God might use us here. This week I was helping to fix up a house and I was prepping a window so we could paint it. It occurred to me that God didn't necessarily call us to paint windows or cut grass but that He called us to be obedient and to glorify Him in all that we think or do and in prepping windows we can glorify God. We are excited to see how God is going to use us in Romania and we just want to be totally open and ready to do whatever that might be.
Our first week and a half has been good. I took some photos with my phone of the three different places that we visited on Sunday and I'll post them with the update. One thing that we have found difficult is finding a place to rent. We want to be able to move to Valeni as soon as we can and we've been looking at what is available but it's a lot different here in Romania when it comes to renting. Most people want to sell and aren't necessarily open to renting. It's also kind of difficult to figure out what is even available as most advertisement for renting (or selling) in Romania is through posting a sign on the gate or window of the house. When we look online or in papers for places to rent we get few options. But we have been asking around and there are people there in Valeni that are asking around for us, so be praying we would be able to find a place to call our own. We've only been here a little over a week and we need to just be patient and trust God. At the moment we are going to be staying in Ciorani at the church building. There are nice rooms there and they have all we need(kitchen, toilet, and shower)and it will suit for the time being. It will be good to be here in Ciorani for a time and to help with the different things going on here.
Kid's Bible study in Valeni
But please keep us in your prayers as we transition into Romania.
Pray that as we settle in we would see God working and providing for our needs.
From getting visas to finding a place to live there are a lot of things to pray for.
Also please be praying for our finances.
We aren't exactly at our needed budget but we have seen His provision in the past and we know He will continue to be faithful. If you would like to help us financially in our ministry then let us know. It's pretty straight forward with how to do that.
Be praying as well as we start our time ministering in Romania.
Pray that God would lead us and empower us for the work ahead of us.
Pray that God would also keep us close together and above all close to Him.
We love you all and will keep you posted on what's going on! Thank you again for your prayers and support!
-Aden and Ruth
We're in Ohio
At the moment we are in Ohio. We got here on the first of March. We got a Greyhound from Colombia, Missouri to Dayton, Ohio. It was a long 11 hours on a bus and we have plenty of stories to tell... I'm sure anyone who has spent any time on a Greyhound understands what I mean(there are a lot of characters on Greyhounds). When we first got here I got really sick with some kind of a stomach bug that I must have gotten while on the bus but after a few days of being “dead” I felt a lot better.
But it is so good to be back to the town where I was born. Most of my family is still in this area and it has been so good to reconnect with family that I haven't seen in 6 years(since I first left America when I was 15). Ruth is having a great time getting to know what it means to be a Knepper and I'm so glad my extended family finally gets to meet my lovely wife!
Click to Enlarge
Opportunities that God has opened
up for us
I wanted to share with you guys the cool opportunities that the Lord has provided for us to share about the ministry that we will be involved with in Romania.
While we were in Missouri we were attending a Baptist church across the street that Ruth's family was involved with during their times in Missouri. During our last Sunday there the Pastor turned around and said, “ I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before, but would you like to give a testimony about Romania this evening at service”. Both Ruth and I were surprised and blessed by the opportunity and it was such a blessing to share with them and to see their excitement and support for the ministry that we'll be involved with. After service we stood at the door and greeted people as they left and we were able to exchange our contact information with various different people and during this time multiple people came up and give us financial gifts that we weren't expecting. That evening when we put it all together we found that it was almost exactly the amount that we needed for our flights from Ohio to North Carolina( we had 8 dollars to spare!!). We were blown away. We thank all those from 1st Baptist Church there in Huntsville. The Lord has used you to encourage us greatly and God has blown us away by His timely provision that He used you to work through. Thank you for your prayers and support!
The Second great opportunity that the Lord opened up happened just yesterday.
The Pastor of Legacy Church here in Springfield Ohio asked
Ruth and I if we wanted to lead worship and share with them what the
Lord is doing in our lives and in Romania. He gave me the whole
teaching period to share with the body and so I shared my testimony
and how the Lord has lead us to Romania. It was just a great time
sharing with the body of Christ the various things that the Lord has
taught us and spoken to us. It had been a long time since Ruth and I
have lead worship together in English and it was so wonderful to come
together and lead God's people in worship.
These are the kind of opportunities that we have been praying for and I know that many of you have been praying for and God has been opening those doors! So praise God and keep praying for opportunities like these.
On the 20th of March we are flying to North Carolina! We are so excited about this! I haven't been back in so long. Pray that God would bless our time there and open up opportunities to share there. During our time there we are also planning a short trip down to South Carolina sometime to visit some friends and family which will be great!
We thank you all for your love and support. We have had various people get in contact with us wanting to get more involved and wanting to support us financially and that has been so encouraging for us. God is getting us ready to go and He is putting people behind us to keep us there.
We Love you all! Please stay in contact and feel free to email us at any time(even if it's just to say hello)!
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Friends and Family!
Our travelling continues
Last time we wrote an update we were in nice sunny California. Our time in California was SO amazing. We got to meet so many new people and had a great time meeting with old friends. It was so amazing to experience the hospitality of Christ from so many people. We ate a lot of great food and the Lord provided for all our needs there. Thank you guys for all your love and hospitality! It was a bitter sweet time leaving so many dear friends in the Lord!
During our last week in California we were able to attend the Calvary Chapel Mission's conference in Murrieta. Ruth and I heard about this Conference before we left Romania and we really wanted to try and make it. However, once we looked further into it we realised that we didn't have the money to go. We gave it to the Lord and decided that unless the Lord provided specifically for that then we wouldn't go. But during the last week before the Conference started we got a call from a church that wanted to support us to go. We were totally blown away and excited that God had made a way for us to go. We went and it was more of a blessing than we could have imagined. So many of our friends from all over the world were at this annual conference and it was such a great time of fellowship. The seminars and teachings were also challenging but encouraging and really recalibrated our perspective and our thinking about us as a couple serving on the Mission field. “All throughout the Bible we see God using families”. One thing that was emphasised over and over again was our need to depend on God and His Spirit. And that if God's Spirit is not in the work that we're doing then there is no everlasting value. Ruth and I want to be close to God and we need to be close to Him as we serve Him. Pray for us that we would hear His voice and that we would see His leading while we are here in the States but also while we are in Romania. We have been talking about all the possible things we can do when we get to Romania and we want God's Spirit leading us in that. We want to sow and reap everlasting fruit. We want to get out of the way and simply let God work through us.
After our time in California we then made our way to Oregon where we spent a wonderful and relaxing week with Ruth's grandma. While we were there we also had a great opportunity to share at a women's study about our plans for Romania. After our time spent there we made our way to the frozen “tundra” of Missouri. So we are now visiting Ruth's older sister and her family in Huntsville, Missouri. A few years ago Ruth's dad bought an old jail house. There's the old brick house in the front where the sheriff would live and then the jail section is in the back. So we are staying at an old jail house and it's not the Andy Griffith style jail like I had imagined. I'll put some pictures of it below(the house is beautiful but the jail can be a bit creepy). We're planning on being here til about mid to late February. It's been so great to be here and to spend time with more family that I've never met. Ruth was so excited to finally get to Missouri as it's been four years since she was last here. Ruth's sister Stephanie and her husband Chris have three boys all under the age of 9 and there is never a dull moment! At the moment we are all battling sickness. The boys were sick all last week with high fevers and now us adults are starting to feel the sickness. So please be praying for a speedy recovery for us all and thank you all for your prayer and support that got us to Missouri! Like I said it is such a blessing to be here and we're glad we get to spend a little extra time here.
So what are we doing here?
Other than being with family here we need to get a few other things done. Ruth was able to get her license renewed and I just passed my written test so I'm in the process of getting my license for the first time. Pray that I'll be ready to pass the drivers test soon and that the ice and snow melt away so I can take it. Ruth and I have been busy helping out in anyway that we can and I've been trying to use this extra time to learn Romanian. Pray that God helps me in my independent study of Romanian. Other than this I'd also like to see if I could get some kind of a part time job. Since we're wanting to get back to Romania in early April we'll need to have the funds for plane tickets soon. If you'd like to specifically help with getting us back to Romania then let us know.
After our time here
We are going to get a bus to Ohio(where a lot of my family is). Then we plan to go down south to visit North Carolina and hopefully South Carolina! It's amazing looking back at all our travels and seeing the Lord sustaining us through it all. The Lord continues to open doors and to provide the means for us to walk through them. We are confident that the Lord will continue to see us through our time here in the States and to get us to Romania. We thank everyone so much for your prayers and support. We are still in the midst of raising funds so that we can meet our monthly budget for living in Romania. So pray that God would bring us to people who would like to partner with us in the ministry. Every little bit helps us to get that much closer to getting where we need to go.
We love you all so much and are blessed to know that we have people who are praying for us and partnering with us in this walk together.
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Hello friends and family!
We've been so busy with travelling and visiting that we haven't had time to properly sit down and write an update. So here it goes...
Our two months in Romania.
It was such a blessing to get to serve with the people from the team there in Ciorani and to see everything working smoothly during the absence of Ruth's family. It was really great for me to get to know everyone in the team even better and build on relationships from previous visits. Being able to be there in Romania has further solidified the fact that that's where we are to be. Ruth and I had great opportunities to serve in various different ways and it was really special for me personally to be able to teach through Colossians chapter 3. We feel that being there for a couple of months helped us to know what it will be like to live there when we come in the spring.
God has given us His peace and assurance that we are to continue on. Looking back on our time there I am really excited to get back. When I see pictures of our friends or pictures of the kids or the youth; it makes me want to be there. I know that I can't necessarily speak or communicate properly to them but I miss making paper airplanes for them(the kids, not the adults) and making funny faces at the serious kid in the corner. It is such a joy for me to serve the Lord in these ways. To accept these kids and to show them the love of Christ even in these simple acts. I might not be able to speak Romanian but I can show the people there the love of Christ through the way I love my wife and the way that I treat those around me. I can't read Romanian but I can point at a verse in their Bible and make them read it. So yeah... I'm definitely looking forward to getting back. And I know that Ruth is also looking forward to getting back to everyone there and getting to work.
Our time in England
After our time in Romania we were able to get over to Iain and Siona(my brother and his wife) over in England. During our time there we learned loads about violin making(as Iain is in the process of learning to make violins) and we also got to meet a lot of his friends from his college. It was a great time. We actually had Thanksgiving twice. Once with only Iain and Siona and the other time Iain invited everyone from his college to a great feast(in their tiny living room). Room was sparse but there was SO much food and it was a great celebration. We are so blessed to have such an awesome family and we had a blessed time reconnecting with them before we left for the states.
Also during our time in England Ruth and I got the opportunity to visit York for a couple of nights. It was refreshing to able to spend time with such good friends from our time in Bible college and to have quality fellowship. We love you all there in York and we thank you again for your amazing hospitality!
At the moment we are in California
We have been having a great time of fellowship with a lot of friends that we haven't seen in years. We have been so thankful that God has allowed us to reconnect with people during our time here and to have the opportunity to share with our loved ones where the Lord is leading us in Romania. We have also been getting connected with the Calvary Chapel in Lake Elsinore(this is the primary church that supports Ruth's family in Romania). It's been really encouraging for us and is an answer to prayer that they are really supportive and excited about us coming alongside the ministry there in Romania. Since the beginning when we first started out in Ireland we wanted to have a church behind us who had a similar vision and heart in what we would be doing and the Lord has provided that.
During the rest of the time here in California we are planning to visit a few other fellowships to talk about the ministry in Romania and we ask that you keep this in your prayers. We have been praying for people to come beside us in the ministry and to support us both financially and prayerfully. We want people to realize that through praying for us and financially partnering with us they can partake in the blessing and work that is going on there in Romania. So be praying for us during our time here in the States. We know that God will get us where He wants us. And if you would like to be more involved with what we'll be doing in Romania then pray about financially supporting us. You can send us an email or we could set up a skype call to talk about it. We are wanting to get to Romania in April but we still need to get plane tickets for getting back there so you can be praying for the provision for those as well. Pray that everything would be in order for us to leave by then.
We love you guys and hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The Lord is so good and faithful. Be blessed in your celebration of the Christ coming into the World. Through Him and His Cross we can be called Children of God!
Our rough time line for our time in America is looking like this:
California- leaving 9th of Januray
Oregon- 9th of January til the 17th or 19th
Missouri- January 17th or 18th til mid to late February
Ohio- Mid to late February til mid March
North Carolina/ South Carolina- Mid March til April
If you'd like to meet up with us during our time in America then our number is
In the Love of Christ,
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is hard to believe that October has already come and gone. We have had a great month here in Romania. On October 13th Ruth and I celebrated our one year anniversary of being married. Looking back on the last year we can see the great blessings that the Lord has poured out on us. It has been so amazing to see God working and leading us in this life so far. In celebration of our anniversary we took an overnight trip to the beautiful historical city of Brasov, about 2 and a half hours from Ciorani. The old centre was really amazing. I love the long pedestrian roads in old European cities; the old buildings and quaint bakeries. The best thing about Brasov was the fact that you can look around and see all the old historical buildings and then look up past the roof tops and see the beautiful mountains that surround the city. It was really good to get away and get to spend some quality time with one another.
The rest of the time this month has been pretty busy. We've been working to get the church building here in Ciorani all ready for winter. At the moment the weather has been really nice but very soon everything is going to start to freeze and there won't be much opportunity to work on the outside of the building. Ruth and I have had various opportunities to teach the kids during our mid-week and Sunday meetings. Sometimes I teach and Ruth translates for me and sometime I just sit back and tell the kids to “SHH!”. I've found that “SHH” so far has been widely understood throughout my travels in Europe. With regards to the Romanian language Ruth says she's surprised sometimes by how much I know. She says no matter what the topic might be I can find a way to use the limited Romanian I know... Just recently I was able to find a good book to learn Romanian so I'm really excited to get further into that and pray God would help me to learn Romanian.
Back in the beginning of October I started a study through Colossians chapter 3. Myself and a guy here named Matt have been taking turns teaching the mid-week studies on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Colossians 3 has been a real blessing to study and teach. I've been so excited to teach because with Ruth translating it's one of the main times I get to really talk about the Lord with the people here. Through our time being here God has really been emphasising the fact that our faith in Christ is everything. That Jesus Christ is our life. He is not to be a portion or piece in our lives but that He is everything. I liked a quote that I read during my studies that “Jesus did not die for some of our life but He died so that He could be our life”. These are things that the Lord has been speaking to us. To let go of ourselves and to be a tool solely for His purpose and pleasure. It excites us to be here in Romania and to see how the Lord might use us. We want to see the Romanian people come wholly to the Lord and that Christ would be their everything. We want to be used in the lives of the youth to help bring them to maturity and a correct understanding of God's will for their lives.
We have only two weeks left here in Romania and we will be heading to England on the 18th of November. After two weeks there in England we will be heading for California on the 2nd of December. Let us know if you want to meet up while we are there. If there are any opportunities to share or minister in any of your fellowships or Churches then please let us know. We are praying and hoping to get plane tickets as soon as we can to get back to Romania for early spring.
Thank you for taking the time to read the update. I need to make them shorter I know. But we would love to hear from you! Please send us an email or skype us if you'd like. We thank you for your prayer and support and know that the Lord is doing great things and your prayer and support help us so much in the ministry here!
With love In Christ,
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Remember to pray for us:
Our Remaining time here
Pray against sickness as we are trying to get over colds
Pray for further opportunities to get to minister to people on an individual level... We have had some great opportunities lately to give counsel and encouragement to people going through trials and difficulties
Pray for Ruth as she translates Bible studies for me. It can be stressful for her at times.
Pray for my studies in Romanian :)
Soon we will be heading to England(November 18th) and then to the States(December 2nd)...
Pray that God would open up opportunities in churches and fellowships to share our heart in Romania and to minister in whatever way.
Pray that God would put it on the hearts of His people to invest and partner with us in the ministry here in Romania both through prayer and through financial means.
Praise God that...
He has made it clear that this is where He wants us
He is working on the hearts of the youth and the adults to draw them closer to Himself and to bring them to maturity
He is our life and our everything. May it always be.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
It is good to be able to write to you again and let you know what's been going on this past month. In our last update we told you of how Ruth and I and my parents were getting ready to move from Ireland. And that Ruth and I were seeking the Lord with regards to the next step in our lives and whether or not we should continue in foreign missions or if we should return to the states for further schooling. As you can imagine these last few weeks have been extremely busy! After Elijah and Ash's amazing wedding we had two weeks to get all packed up and ready to go. At the moment we are in Romania visiting Ruth's family. Since we got here on the 11th we have been really busy with building projects and the regular weekly meetings. Ruth's family will be leaving this coming Wednesday for the States and we will continue to be here to be a help and support to the fellowships while they are gone.
God Directing our Path
During last two week in Ireland I took the time specifically to spend with the Lord and to seek direction for our lives. As I continued on in my daily devotions the Lord brought me to Luke chapter 9. This was the passage that God really used to confirm what we would next do.
In this passage it talks a lot about the cost of ministry. Jesus sends out His disciples with only the bare minimum, He talks about taking up your cross and following Him and He also states that “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” On reading this I was really challenged. There are things that I want or desire for myself, Ruth, and our family(that we will have one day). Things like a job and financial security, a house, a good place to raise a family, cool gadgets and the list could go on and on. At this point God drew my attention to my desire to work and to learn a trade. What are my intentions behind doing these things? I confess that I had a wrong attitude in wanting to do these things because of the wants and desires that I had deeply rooted in me.
The other thing that really stuck out in this passage is that in two different occasions Jesus is interacting with children. Firstly we see Him serving a boy that was demon possessed by healing him and secondly when the disciples are disputing amongst themselves about who is the greatest. Jesus simply takes a little child and sets him by Himself and says, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me...for he who is the least among you all will be great”. Ministry towards children has always been something that has been close to both Ruth and I's heart.
Through these different aspects in the passage I felt like God was giving us the direction to walk in. That we are to continue to put our hands to the plow and prepare ourselves in whatever way that we can to best minister towards children. And our heart is not just to do your regular kids camps/ Sunday school times that we have all experienced. Our heart and desire is to get to minister towards kids that don't have much or don't have the best life style. We want to be apart of those kids lives in a greater way to really show them that Jesus Christ is not a God far off, but that He is close and living and He is able to meet them where they are at. We want to demonstrate to them the love that God has showed towards us.
What's the plan?
We don't know where God will take us with this ministry but right now there is an open door for us to be in Romania. The plan is to join Ruth's family in the ministry they have going on here in Romania. Ruth's dad, Steve is the Pastor of three particular fellowships. The main fellowship is located in a village called Ciorani(which is where Ruth's family lives). Another one is an outreach/fellowship in Draganesti. The other fellowship is located an hour and a half away in a place called Valeni. The area where they meet is in a gypsy community where God has been doing a lot of amazing things. During my first time in Romania I instantly fell in love with the believers there and with all the amazing kids. I was really touched by the fact that though they live in poor conditions and have very little(in most cases), there is still a great joy in their life that comes from knowing the Lord. We would like to be able to rent a place in Valeni and help out in anyway that we can with the fellowships here. Specifically though we want to devote our time and energy to discipling and reaching out to the kids and youth in Valeni.
The valley in Valeni where the Church meets.
In about mid November we are going to be in England to visit my brother and sister in-law for a couple weeks and then we will be flying on December 2nd to LAX. Since we plan to continue on in missions we see it as a necessity to get back to the states. I haven't been back to the states since we first left for Ireland six years ago and Ruth hasn't been back in four. It will be good to get to visit our friends and families there. We also need to get to the states to be able to let people know what we are doing and open the door for people to partner with us in our ministry in Romania. We need people praying with us and for us as we serve God in Romania and we also need people willing to partner with us financially so that we can live here and do what we need to do. Living expenses here in Romania are a fraction of what they were in Ireland and we are praying to be able to raise enough financial support for us to live and minister in Romania. While we are in the states we are praying for opportunities to be able to share our heart with the Church whenever we are able. If you'd like us to come and share in your church or fellowship then let us know.
We are excited to see what the Lord is going to do. By His power we will continue to walk this path and Glorify His name in all that we do. We love you all and will continue to keep you informed with what's going on in our life.
With Love in Christ,
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Dear Friends and Family,
The last month here in Ireland has been very busy and exciting. As you know Ruth and I have been serving here in Carrigaline, Ireland for the last 10 months. Our vision being in Ireland has been to come alongside my parents and to support them in the ministry here in Carrigaline. We came to be a support to the church in anyway we could. Also through being here we have had the opportunity to help the other ministries with anything from building projects to kid's clubs(VBS). During our time here we have been able to meet some great people and simply serve God in our daily activities.
I say that this past month has been busy because it has. We were busy with a kid's club up in Waterford for a week (which was so much fun). There we about 70 kids and we each had a group of about 10 kids that we looked out for. After that we had some friends come down for the weekend for a visit and then we also had a team from my home church in North Carolina come. Throughout the month we have been busy about our regular weekly schedule along with a few opportunities to teach the Wednesday night Bible study. As it is August we are now getting ready for Elijah's wedding coming up very soon! This next week is when people start to arrive! Ruth and I are excited to have a new sister!
Now this month has also been very exciting and challenging. Why? Well for the last few months Ruth and I have been seeking the Lord and praying about our future. We never came to Ireland feeling like we would be here forever. We came to glorify God in the work that we put our hands to and felt like God desired for us to stick out any of the challenges that faced us and to simply be faithful in what we came to do.
Throughout the last 6 months finances have been pretty tight for my parents(more so than they'e been in the 6 years we've lived here) and for us. During our time here in Ireland God has always provided for every need of ours and has blown us away time and time again by his provision. We know that where God guides He provides and He has faithfully done just that the last 6 years my family has been here. However it was obvious that God wasn't providing as He use to. Because of this we as a family have really taken the time to pray and seek the Lord for direction with the future. “Are we suppose to simply continue on in the work or do You want us to do something else or go somewhere else? Are we done here God?”
One of the reasons for the North Carolina team coming was to seek their counsel and advice about the ministry here(We as a family were sent out by Calvary Chapel Cary 6 years ago and they have always been our main supporter and partner in the ministry here in Ireland). During this time my parents had a great time talking and praying about God's will for them with our Pastor, Rodney Finch. Through this time it became evident and clear to us that our work here as a family is coming to a completion. My parents wholeheartedly believe that this is God's perfect will for their lives and they plan to leave Ireland and return to America in September. This decision has left us all in a place of peace and Ruth and I also believe that God is moving us on.
For Ruth and I this decision came to us as an answer to prayer. Like I said before we have been praying about our future and for a while we felt like God was going to move us along... we just didn't know when.
The parents plan to move back to the States in September due to visa's expiring Mid-September. On September 11th Ruth and I will also be leaving Ireland. We are travelling to Romania for a temporary missions trip for around 2-3 months to visit and assist the churches there. We have been praying about the next step God has for us but it is still unclear as to what we will be doing after our time in Romania. We are praying about possibly continuing in missions. If God makes this clear then we would like to be able to get to the states to visit family and possibly raise support for going back to the missions field. As it's been we just haven't been able to live independently with the support we receive. We're not sure where we would go yet but we are praying about different possible places. The other option for us is to return back to the states to get more schooling and see where the Lord leads from there.
As you can see there is much to pray about and we do ask for your prayers during this time! We are confident that God will lead us in His path. No matter were God takes us we can be a light to share the love of Christ. During our time praying and thinking about our future, God recalibrated us with a great devotion by Oswald Chambers about God's will. Summing it up, “What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself...His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself.” For us we will simply continue to walk and trust in our God. By His spirit and power we wont freak out but will depend on Him and stay calm. We will simply walk by faith and see were the Lord leads us.
We ask for your continuing prayer and support during this time of transitions. It is exciting to see where the Lord will lead us in this new chapter of our life.
With Love in Christ,
Aden and Ruth
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In our last update we told you that we would be having many visitors coming, and that we would be doing a kids program in June. Well to begin with, Ruth's brother Josh came to visit towards the end of May after finishing his last semester of Bible college in York, England and was here for 2 weeks. We had a wonderful time with him, and were blessed to even have him lead worship one Sunday morning. Aden and Josh took almost every opportunity they got to go swimming, whether in the cold Irish sea or in a small river in the mountains. Towards the end of his visit, Ian and Siona, Aden's brother and sister in-law, also came over from England for a quick visit. Once they were gone, Elijah arrived from Jordan followed by his fiance, Ashley, and her mom Tina who came from Germany. Elijah and Ashley just left for Germany on Wednesday to spend some time with her family before their wedding. Needless to say it has been a very blessed and busy month and a half.
We had our Kingdom Kids club from June 25th to the 28th, and must say that it was extremely blessed. We had plenty of help and about 10 kids came. It was the perfect amount for the space we have and for the activities that we did with them as well as it being Calvary Carrigaline's first VBS. We talked about how the King loves us (the story of the prodigal son), how the king equips us (the armour of God), and how the King leads us (The battle of Jericho). The kids all expressed how much they enjoyed it, and were all attentive and quick to learn the memory verses and songs. They had a blast playing the games, painting t-shirts, making shields and building the wall of Jericho out of cardboard boxes then re-enacting the battle. On the last day we had a barbecue with the kids and their families and had a great turnout and a great time of fellowship. The Lord really blessed the time and used it to bring the church together to make it a success and to bless the kids with a time specially for them.
In past updates we also mentioned our plans for going to Romania this month to visit Ruth's family and to help with a camp they wanted to do. We had to make the decision not to go this month seeing as we didn't have the finances needed, and it seemed that it wasn't God's timing for us to go quite yet. We still plan on going sometime this year, hopefully in the fall, but we probably won't be taking a team unless it just falls into place.
We have the house to ourselves until Tuesday as Aden's parents left for England on Sunday to visit Ian and Siona and to attend the the pastor's conference in York. We had a great day off yesterday for the 4th of July and made a fire and toasted marshmallows in celebration. :) Aden is now preparing to teach on Sunday as he'll be covering for Duke, and I'll be preparing for worship. Next week we are heading up to Waterford to help with a VBS that the Calvary there is hosting. They're expecting a lot of kids to be there so pray that God uses it in their lives.
Praise and Prayer Requests:
Praise God for the time with family and friends
Praise God for the great time we had with Kingdom Kids
Praise God that He directs our paths
Pray for the church here to continue to grow and be encouraged. We have a family that has been very involved with the church moving away this month :(
Pray that we would be able to get over to Romania to visit family and help with the ministry there
Pray for the VBS in Waterford. That we would have strength as we serve the children and that He would show Himself in amazing ways to the kids.
Hello again dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
We are busy at the moment as we are getting ready for a full summer. We have many guests that will be visiting us throughout the summer. My brother Elijah is getting married in August and there will be plenty of things to do leading up to that day. Ministry wise we also have a busy summer. June 25th -28th we are having our first Kid's Bible club called Kingdom Kids. Ruth and I have been busy in organizing and leading that event. As well, in mid-July Ruth and I have been hoping to make our way to Romania to visit and help with the ministry activities that Ruth's family have planned. We have actually been organizing a team from Ireland to meet us in Romania the first week in August to help with a family camp that is scheduled to take place. The weeks following our return to Ireland will be busy in the preparations for Elijah and Ashley's wedding.
We have been married now for seven months and they have been the best seven months of my life (Aden speaking) and I'm sure Ruth can say the same. Serving together in ministry is a huge blessing and has really drawn us closer together. God has been teaching us a lot. Living here has been pretty difficult at times. Finances haven't been the best and we aren't really at a place where we can be financially sufficient in ourselves to live here. Before we moved my parents took the time to pray and seek the Lord on the possibility of having us serve alongside them. They knew that we didn't have a pre-existing support network or even a church behind us and yet they gladly welcomed us here as part of their mission and their ministry (Walk by Faith Ireland). We have been living with them since we've moved to Ireland and with regards to expenses we help in any way that we can with the support that we receive. We are really blessed to have such a close relationship with my parents. Despite our situation not being “ideal” we see it as something that is necessary for now if we are going to be able to serve here in Ireland.
We see that at the moment there is a need for us to be here and we feel that God wants us to remain faithful in what we are doing. We have considered if God wants us to move on and maybe learn a trade and be able to work for a time. This is something that neither of us are opposed to. But despite all the other things we could do we see that this is what God wants us to continue in at the moment. We know it's not by our own doing that we are able to stay here. God is the one who provides all that we need and He is faithful to show Himself strong in our weakness.
Please continue to pray for us and to pray about partnering with us and the ministry here in Ireland. This isn't something we can or should do on our own, so do consider whether God would have you be a part of what He is doing here. To those who do pray for and support us, we really really appreciate it and it's always encouraging to hear from you! Thank you!
Also, be praying for the church here in Ireland that God would strengthen and unify the believers even more and that we would all be salt and light in this place.
Sunday Morning service
Pray for us and the church as we prepare for the Kid's Bible club and that God would bring the kids that He wants to be there. Pray that this event would open the door to minister to more families here in the community and that God would be glorified through it.
Also please be praying that we would have the finances necessary to make the trip to Romania and that we would be able to be a help and a blessing there.
Again, Thank you for all your prayers!
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
And let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“Let God be magnified”
Aden & Ruth Knepper
Fellowship meal at CC Carrigaline
Ruth and I thought it would be good to take some time to tell you about Ireland and the people here. I know that when my family was preparing to come to Ireland in 2007 there were a few of my friends that were perplexed about us being missionaries in Ireland. “Aren't there loads of Christians in Ireland?” Also when I was attending Secondary School(or High School) here in Ireland many people would ask me why I would leave beautiful sunny North Carolina to live in the mild and wet Ireland. When I told them that my family and I came as missionaries some laughed and said Ireland didn't need missionaries.
The Irish people are some of the nicest people I have met. As I've travelled around Europe I have not found a people that are as charitable and hospitable as the Irish. During Christmas time there are hundreds of people out collecting money for different charities and causes and they do it every year because the people here are very giving and generous. However, Ireland is still a very broken country. It is known for it's problems with alcohol and violence. Drugs continue to be an increasing problem. The suicide rate in young people and especially in young men is one of the highest in Europe. And though Ireland is considered a predominately Christian country the majority of the people are still lost in their sins. Christianity for many is a title, identity, or a family tradition. For many to be Irish is to also be Catholic.
Roman Catholicism has had a strong hold in Ireland for a long time. Now I do believe that there can be true regenerated Christians in the Catholic church. However sadly, many are not. For many people in Ireland going to mass is a means to clean their conscience. Doing good and being a good Catholic is one's ticket to heaven. It is a work based religion. We know from Ephesians 2:8,9 that, “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” The beauty and center of the Gospel has been distorted. Jesus' sacrifice paid the full price and it is only through Jesus' death and resurrection that we are made right with God. A personal relationship with God is something foreign to many people here which really saddens me. Jesus died so we could know the true and living God(John 17:3). Many in Ireland know of Jesus and the cross BUT they do not know Him personally and because they do not truly know Him they do not truly love and serve Him.
Many people are starting to turn away from Christianity and religion in general. Some are particularly fed up with “the Church” due to recent scandals and hypocrisy. For us being here it is a great opportunity to show people something that is true and genuine. It is so important to share and to show God's love to the people here. There has been too much hypocrisy and I find that people aren't quick to just take your word and trust you. They want something real.
For the summer we are praying about different ways to reach out to the community here in Carrigaline. Please keep this in prayer. We want people to see His glorious Hope and that the answer isn't alcohol, drugs, or suicide. The answer is Jesus. We are looking forward to the different activities were planning. We mentioned it in the past but we are planning a trip to Romania to help Ruth's parents with some kids camps. We need your prayers for strength and provision! We need people who are willing to partner with us in the ministry here through prayer and financial support. Every little bit makes a big difference. It is always a huge blessing and encouragement to know that people are with us in our ministry.
God's Spirit would be working through us to show people the truth of God's word.
The Evangelical churches of Ireland would join together in the common purpose of being a light in this dark place.
Pray against any disunity!
There would be a strong emphasis on purity and holiness in God's Church.
God would lead us and bless us in our summer plans!
Praise God that...
He is working in Ireland and that He desires for the Irish to turn and live for Him.
The relationships between the churches here are strengthening and growing!
He continues to encourage us and to show us that He wants us to trust Him with being here.
I believe we are overdue for another update. It's hard to believe that it's already March and we have been here in Ireland and married for 4 and ½ months already! Both have been wonderful and challenging all at the same time. God has been faithfully leading and providing for us here and we know that He will continue to be with us and open and close doors in His timing. He is definitely teaching us to trust in Him, especially when things get difficult. The enemy attacks often, but we know that only means that God wants to use us, and because of that Satan wants to tear us down.
First off we want to say thank you to everyone that is praying for us and to everyone that has supported us in any way. We are truly grateful and always so encouraged when we hear that someone is praying for us or when someone is able to support us financially. It's amazing to think of the body of Christ and all the different roles and gifts that we have been given and how we all work together to serve the Lord and glorify His Name.
God has given us a lot of opportunities to serve in various ways here in Carrigaline and there are lots of things to plan for and work on. In May, Aden and Dawn (Aden's mom) with be starting up a twice a month program to teach the kids in Sunday school the foundations of our faith. They will teach the kids on every 2nd and 4th Sunday for an extended time as they go through a study booklet called... Foundations of Faith, which they are working on making kid friendly and interactive. The idea is to give the kids a good, yet simple, understanding of what they believe and a foundation on which to build the rest of the things they learn. We're also thinking about doing a VBS (or holiday Bible school ) for the kids in the community if we have enough help and are able to pull it all together.
In February, My friend Eimear and I (Ruth) got to go and help out at another church's retreat by taking care of and teaching their 20 or so kids during their sessions. We taught them the story of Noah and through that got to share with them about Jesus and answer their many questions. We also had a lot of fun with them making boats out of egg cartons, playing games and singing songs. Soon afterward we were asked to basically do the same thing in April for another church. So, as you can see we will be doing quite a bit of kids ministry in the near future which is something we both love. It's so important to minister to kids and teach them to love God's word while they are young.
Since we've been here Aden has had quite a few opportunities to teach on different occasions. He teaches about once a month at the church here in Carrigaline and will be teaching at the Calvary Chapel in Cork on Patrick's Day. Just over a week ago he was able to teach a lecture to the students at the Bible college that just recently started up in Waterford. It was great that as a recently graduated Bible college student he could go and share with them what was on his heart. He talked about how our faith calls for a response and how we need to often stop and consider who the God is that we serve and what He has done, especially when our response is lacking. So, he did an overview of who God is and what He's done and did a great job! God is definitely growing his gift of teaching.
Something we are praying about and hoping to be able to do this summer is a trip to Romania. Aden's parents will be going in July so that Duke can teach at a mini conference. Later in the summer we are hoping to be able to take a small team with us to Romania to help out with various kids camps. So, be praying for that to work out.
Since our last update we have been accepted and are working on getting everything set up with a missions organization called Saving Grace World Missions that will help us with a lot of the technical side of being missionaries as well as providing us with more accountability and counsel in the things that we do. As soon as that gets going we will be sending out updates more regularly, so if you would like to receive those, please send us your e-mails addresses and we will add you to our mailing list. We'd love to keep you informed on what we're doing here and most of all we need your prayers. Also don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, prayer requests of your own, or just want to get in touch. We would love to hear from you!
Thank you for reading and again thank you for your prayers and support! We are extremely grateful.
Praise the Lord that:
He is the True and Living God! He is All-powerful and totally in control of everything.
He is at work here in Ireland and the Church is continually strengthening.
The things we endure and go through are for His purpose and to make us more like Him
He is faithful and always provides
God would give us wisdom and vision as we put together the Foundations of the Faith Program for the kids and that God would inspire the hearts of the people in the church to get involved with the VBS and missions trip to Romania
God would strengthen us here for the enemy continually tries to take our eyes off of our God and our mission we have been called to.
God would provide for our financial needs so that we could have a place of our own and to have the money necessary to go to Romania.
God would bless our partnership with SGWM
Thursday, 13th December 2012
Hello once again our dear friends and family! It has been some time since our last update and we do apologize for that! As you can imagine it has been very busy for us with being newly married and getting situated with living here in Ireland.
Wedding and Honeymoon
Our wedding was such a beautiful day(two months today)! God really blessed the ceremony and it was a great opportunity for the gospel to be shared with the locals there in Romania. We uploaded our wedding video along with some photos onto our photos page so feel free to take a look!
As Ruth and I stood there hand in hand at the alter I couldn't help but think of the day when we as Christ's bride will be joined with Him! One of the most overwhelming moments was as we stood there together singing “Be Thou my Vision”. The reality is that we as Christians will all some day soon stand with our Bridegroom and together with the hosts of heaven and the company of all the saints we will all sing with one accord glorious songs and hymns unto our God. This thought kept flowing through my mind as I stood there. How overjoyed I was to finally hold my bride's hand as we took that step into marriage. Think of how excited Christ is to finally have His bride with Him! I thought seven and a half months was a hard time to wait for the wedding day. Jesus has been waiting for two thousand years! Be encouraged that He is coming soon and we will soon be with our Beloved! Weddings are an amazing gift from the Lord and Ruth and I are so happy to finally be married! We have seen God's hand move in great ways and He has been so gracious and faithful to guide us every step of the way. Thank you for all your prayers and support!
After our wedding we had a brief but beautiful honeymoon in a mountain town called Sinia. It was just two hours north from where we were in Romania and it was so nice to get up into the beautiful mountains. Due to the fact that it was mid-October the leaves on all the trees were marvelous yellows, oranges and reds. It was a great relaxing time together. Our apartment was situated higher on the side of the mountain so we took nice long walks together up the mountain and around the Sinia area. On our expedition up the mountain we stumbled upon an old bob-sledding course that was abandoned in the late 70's or so. Ruth and I used the course as a trail up the mountain. It was both stunning and eery to walk along! Our honeymoon was a blessed time with each other. Following our honeymoon we spent a few more days with Ruth's parents before making our way back to Ireland.
As you know Ruth and I have moved here to Ireland to serve as missionaries alongside my parents at Calvary Chapel Carrigaline. Our jobs here include church maintenance(weekly upkeep of the church), worship leading, church website upkeep(www.calvarycarrigaline.com) and teaching Kids Ministry. I have also been asked to head up the worship ministry here which is a huge blessing despite the challenges.
Ruth and I have settled in nicely here in Carrigaline. Ruth has been driving, which was really stressful for her in the beginning, but the Lord has really blessed her in it! She has been doing a great job. We have been staying at my parents house which has also been a blessing. We have been looking around the area for houses to rent but at the moment we don't have the means financially. However the Lord's timing is perfect and He will provide when the time is right. Living in Ireland has been good for the both of us. The Lord has time and time again reminded us of why we are here and that we need to trust in Him in everything. It is a great honour for us to be able to serve the Lord here and it is a joy to be doing what we are doing!
It is exciting to see that the Lord is working in the hearts of His people here in Ireland. Last Sunday a man who has been coming to church for a while gave his life to the Lord! His wife had been praying for Him for six years. This couple has a little daughter who is two and it brings us great joy to see the Lord pull this young family to Himself! Another exciting thing in the near future is that Ian, Siona and Elijah will be coming back to Carrigaline for Christmas. We will have the whole family together again! Last time we were all together was at our wedding in October so it will be nice to see everyone. Ruth and I are looking forward to our first Christmas together! This time of year is always nice to have your loved ones so near. We pray that you all have a blessed Christmas and we thank you for all your prayers for us!
Praise the Lord that
He provided for all our needs in getting Married and that our wedding was a blessed day
He continues to reach out to the lost and call those in darkness into His marvelous light!
Ruth did not get the flu after taking care of me for the week I was sick
The family will be together again for the Holidays
He has been faithful to us in our ministry here in Ireland
We would remain healthy during this season of colds and flu's!
The Lord would provide for us financially so we can have a place to call our own.
God would fill us with His Spirit and give us His wisdom as we serve Him in the various ministries we are involved with
Aden and Ruth Knepper
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