Eliana Jean Knepper was born, November 18th at 6:30pm Romanian time. Ruth has recovered well and having Elly in our lives has brought so much joy. Eliana weighed 3 Kilos (or 6 pounds 10 ounces) when she was born and was as healthy as could be. All the nurses told us how well-behaved she was during our few days in the hospital. Since bringing her home to Ruth's parents she has captivated the hearts and attention of the family. She continues to be a really good baby who only fusses when she's hungry, needing a change or just tired. Elly loves to eat and enjoys foot massages, ukulele and baths. Although we are more tired than we use to be, her cute little face seems to give us that boost of energy we need in the late night hours. Thank you to those who have been praying for us and for Eliana's delivery. We are really glad to have all that behind us. We ask for continual prayer. Pray for our health as winter has settled in and many colds have been moving about and pray for the Lord to sustain us with His strength. Some of you might be wondering if Eliana will have Romanian citizenship having been born here and having done our research we quickly found out that she doesn't. Ruth and I have already been to the US embassy and she just received her US Passport last week... she is officially an American.
For the winter we are here in Ciorani with Ruth's family. It was needed for us to be able to save some money from rent and other expenses to pay for baby items and hospital expenses. It has been good to be with family and we are never short of someone willing to watch the baby while we get a bit of rest.
We hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. It's one of my favourite times of year after Thanksgiving. It a sweet time to spend with family and friends. We had a Christmas eve service here in Ciorani and a Christmas day get together in Valeni. It was a wonderful time of singing and remembering God coming to this dark world to bring hope, light and life.
Ministry here continues on. The group of teens have been doing fairly well. We have been bringing people up to Valeni and doing our youth meeting together on Saturday afternoons. The teenagers are always ready to help and are usually the majority during our weekly meetings. It is obvious that God has been doing work in many of their lives and that He wants to do more. Pray for them as there is always a battle for their lives and affection. We want for them to be firmly rooted in the Lord and in His truth.
We love you all and are so joyful to share God's gift to us with you. It's amazing that God humbled Himself and became such a helpless little baby. Let us remember and rejoice in Jesus' coming to this Earth. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. We look forward to this up coming year and what the Lord has prepared. This time of year is a good time to look back and see what the Lord has done in our lives and to look forward and see what He desires to do.
Aden, Ruth, and Eliana
It is almost time for our little girl to come into this world. Estimated time of delivery is sometime in mid November. We have only weeks away and we have been busy getting the baby's room ready. There are a lot of things you need... or at least we think we need when it comes to having a baby. So many times Ruth and I have stared at the countless baby products and wondered, “which one”(As I write this I'm reminded of how great our Father is and how He knows what we need). We ask for your prayers during this time, for Ruth and the baby especially. We were at the doctor this week and the doctor is very pleased with all blood work and tests. We have been very thankful that God has blessed us with such a smooth journey these past 8 months. Ruth and I keep our eyes on the prize in getting to finally meet our little girl. We know it's going to be very different having a baby. We wont get very much sleep but being parents is something Ruth and I have looked forward to for a long time.
For this winter we are planning on staying with Ruth's parents. The house possibility that we talked about wanting to buy didn't happen and that's okay. We know the Lord is in control and leading us one way or another. It's been good to be able to stay with the family and it's provided extra money from not paying rent to get the baby's room ready.
A Church Building in Valeni
At the same time we were wanting to buy a house, the opportunity opened up in Valeni for the church to purchase a house for meeting in. This is an answer to many prayers. We have been in Valeni for about 16 years without a building. In summer we've met outside and in winter we met in people's houses. It has been so good to have a place where everyone feels welcome to come. Our times with the teenagers on Saturday have been so encouraging. Most of the time people would quickly leave once things were done but now it's almost hard to get them to leave. The house is a special place and a get away from some of the craziness that surrounds this community.
There are actually two houses on the property. One we use for kids and the other we use for adults. There has been a lot of work going on to get these places ready for winter. This Saturday the 29th, we are having a youth day with our teens and there are about 15 others coming from churches in Bucharest. We have cleaned up some of the land behind the houses and Steve made a great fire pit that we are looking forward to use. We are so blessed to have this place. We are very thankful for the church in Hanover, Germany and the church in Lake Elsinore, CA for their help in getting this place. It was a moving of God that it happened so suddenly!
It is so good to hear from our friends and family all around the world. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Sorry for the times it takes so long to write back!! We love you all and are thankful for the Lord using you as His tool in Romania, without your prayers and financial support we couldn't be here. Have a blessed day!
Aden and Ruth Knepper
This past Summer has been a pretty busy one for us. There have been a lot of changes and exciting developments. I wanted to briefly share a few things and attach some photos on our website and Facebook that should give you a good idea as to what our summer has looked like so far. We have some news as to where we are living and how our little baby is coming along. There is also an exciting possibility for us to buy a house. I'll talk about the later at the closing of our letter.
We started the summer with our yearly Children's outreaches which are one of my favourite times of year. It's such a great time to get to know new kids and build relationships with the ones we already know. Times with kids can be so refreshing and many are very eager to hear about Jesus.
We love these kids and God is doing some cool things in their lives. While the adults and teens will come to church late a lot of times the kids more often are there when we start. This past Sunday I was filled with joy to hear that the kids in Valeni had arrived to the Church property early and had set up all the benches before the group came from Ciorani. But they not only set up for church, they were also singing worship songs loudly and praying! This news put a smile on my face.
Pray for these kids! There is quite an eagerness to learn and just this past month we baptised two girls in Valeni.
Austria and Ireland Trips
For a week there was a small group of us that attended a conference in Millstatt Austria. This conference was put on by the Calvary Chapel in Hanover and their youth group invited us to come and be apart of the week. Josh and I were the guest speakers for the youth sessions for the week. Coming up to it I was a bit stressed about all the preparation but the week was far from any stress or worry. God blessed the times together with the youth and we made some new dear friends. We are so thankful for our time there.
After returning from Austria we soon left for Ireland for a getaway to spend time with some of my family! My parents came over from the states and we all stayed with my oldest brother and his wife who live and work in Cork. It was SO good to see family and so many friends. On returning we brought back about 18 kilos of baby clothes that people gave us while we were there which was fantastic. Our time in Ireland was a huge blessing for Ruth and I.
We are living in Ciorani where Ruth's family is based. With the baby's arrival coming in November, it will be good to be close to family and in a place where I can still be plenty of help with the extent of my Romanian. We are still very involved with what's going on in Valeni. We moved from Valeni right before we left for Ireland. Our hope was that once we got back from our trip we would find somewhere to rent. There have been a few options but all included pumping in a good amount of money to make something suitable for when we have our baby. The way in which people live in the country is very different from the cities and what we're use to in the west.
Ruth and the baby are doing great. Before we left for Austria we had an in-depth ultra-sound to check that everything is as it should. Everything showed up normal and the doctor was able to tell us that we are to expect a little baby girl in November! We are beyond delighted! We have a bunch of the cutest outfits from family and friends. Baby girls are so much fun to shop for!
Exciting News about a House
In our searching for a place to rent we found a house with a little yard that a lady is wanting to sell for 6,000 Euros= 6,790 USD. In a lot of thinking and weighing our options we have decided that we want to try and buy this house and fix it up here and there over time. In all honesty some of the places that people were offering to rent were in a worse condition than this house is. Instead of putting money into someone else's house to fix it up, it would be much better to put it into a place we can call our own.
We have counted up what we have and we will continue to be saving to get this place. In my mind it would be great if we could get it and start fixing it up a bit before winter and the baby come but that just might not be possible and we are okay with that. Ruth's Parents have opened their home to us and we have a nice little spot for the time being, so we aren't without a place to stay. But we wanted to let you guys know what we are wanting to do because we are really excited about working towards this. And if it's something that you would like to be apart of then great! God provides in interesting ways and He can get us into that house if it's His will to do so. We will continue to trust in the Lord and take the necessary steps towards this house unless God makes it clear otherwise. Please keep this in prayer!
We love you all and pray for you often, however not as often as we should. We would love to hear from you and answer any questions you might have and to pray for anything specific things you have going on in your lives. You can email us, Voxer us, Facebook, or Skype... really there is a variety of different ways to talk with us!
Just this past week a friend in the church sent us this verse and came as a great encouragement for us.
Jeremiah 32:40-41 – “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.
Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.”
Aden and Ruth Knepper
Hello dear friends and family,
We are still very much alive here in Romania and we have the best news
we could possibly share with you! Ruth and I are going to have a baby! We have been wanting to share this news for awhile now but thought it safe to wait a little to share the good news. Ruth and the baby are doing very well and we are now almost 14 weeks(three months) into this exciting time. We couldn't be happier with this huge gift that God has given us. We wont know if we're having a boy or a girl until sometime in June. I think both Ruth and I would love to have a little baby girl but really we are happy with whatever God has given us. The doctor said the due date is November 15th -21st. So with this good news we ask for your prayers as we enter this new and exciting time!
In other news we are ramping up to be busy with Spring/ Summer activities.
This next weekend we are having a missionary/ministry/pastors and their wives conference which we are all really looking forward to. It will be a refreshing time together with some of the other missionaries here in Romania. We'll be hosting this in Ciorani so we are in the midst of getting everything in order for that. Pray that this weekend would be a great encouragement for all of us.
We are also going to start our visa renewal so we can turn that in by June 7th which is never fun, but it's crazy to think we've been here for 2 years now...
After this, in June we will be concentrating our time and brain power to get ready for our Kids Outreaches. For the last two years these have gone really well and we have a lot of kids come to them. Pray that the Lord would guide us in preparing for these events and that these kids would come to know their God and Creator.
Then in Mid- July a small group of us are going to be heading to a youth conference that Calvary Chapel Hanover is hosting in Austria. They have invited us to come and have asked for me to share with the youth about the Attributes of God. Please keep this in your prayers and especially pray for me as I prepare for this.
For all your prayers and support throughout these past two years, we thank you. We are excited to see where the Lord is going to lead us as a new family. Please send us an email or message anytime as we would love to hear from you!
Aden, Ruth, and Baby Knepper
On March 1st spring officially started here in Romania. The weather has been warming up and we have had some really beautiful days. Both Ruth and I are glad to have the winter months behind us. I don't like winter very much. Though I love the snow, winter is often depressing and limits what we're able to do.
Here in Valeni we don't have a building to meet in and do activities. In the Summer we meet outside. It's always a big question in the winter where we are meeting for church or for youth Bible study. This winter we've been rotating meeting in different houses of people in the church. Though it might not sound very ideal it has been an encouraging thing to see people eager to open their houses up to meet in. Also through this rotation there have been quite a few families who have started to be a part of the fellowship again.
Within the culture that we live and serve in there is a lot of family loyalty. This can be a wonderful thing but from our experience it has shown to be often destructive and cause a hindrance in what God wants to do here. Family sticks together and takes care of each other but when there are problems between families it can cause relationships even within the church to become cold and divisive. With that said being able to go from family to family has communicated an important truth, we are a family and the church is not “so and so's church” but it is for everyone... there are no families better than others. We meet together in Christ as one. Please pray against the attacks of the enemy that will try to hinder what has been going on these last few months.
Since I mentioned that we as a church do not have a building, I think it would be good to let you know that we as a church are eagerly on the look out for possible places to buy. In the past we've wanted to build on the land that we own but we are now looking to find a house that will meet our needs. Please be praying that the Lord would give us all wisdom and direction as we as a church enter this exciting time.
The end of April will mark 2 years of us being in Romania together. It has been very challenging at times for both of us. It was especially hard for me starting out not knowing Romanian but I've grown in my understanding of the language a lot. We continue to want to be a support to the churches here and to minister to the kids and teenagers. We have been thinking a lot about what else the Lord would have us to be doing here in Valeni. There are needs all over the place and it would be easy to busy ourselves but we want to be busy with what God has for us. Pray for us in the direction of ministry here in Valeni. We trust the Lord with what He has planned for us. For now we are here and we will look to Him for our strength in the work that He's set before us.
Thank you for your continual support! Please feel free to email us anytime as it is an encouragement to hear from our friends and family. We love you and pray for you all often.
-Aden and Ruth Knepper