We are in the middle of our move to the States and will be in Ohio on the 19th of July. We are currently in Cork, Ireland with my brother and sister-in-law til the 18th. Our last few weeks in Romania were quite busy for us and they were both emotionally and physically draining. We also wanted to send out an update before we left Romania but due to the kids outreaches and packing we ended up not being able to.
Our last few meetings with the teens in Valeni were really great. We are really going to miss that group. In one of our last meetings one of the guys thanked God that our group was like a family and we are so thankful for how God brought the group together. During a different meeting two of the girls said they wanted to receive the Lord in their lives. They said they had never made that concious decision and they wanted to give their lives to the Lord. It is a blessing to see the Lord bring fruit through those girls lives. Ruth and I are thankful to have been a part of those kids lives the last few years and we pray that they would all choose to live their lives for their God and Creator and that they wouldn't waste their lives away.
During our last full week in Romania we as a church had our kids outreaches. We did a two day kids outreach in both Valeni and Ciorani and they both went really well. We taught about the parable of the tax collect and Pharisee and we also taught on the parable of the lost son. We had good turn outs in both locations and the Gospel was shared with each of those kids. It was good to see familiar faces and some new ones. Ruth and I were busy heading up the game time but we were thankful to have some fun with the kids before we left. With the outreaches we also had some extra help from two girls who are from a church in Missouri; they will be in Romania till sometime in August so we are thankful that they will be a help to the churches and to Steve and Alice till then.
Packing everything is never an enjoyable experience we only had 4 bags to pack up and they couldn't be over 20 kilos which is a little less that 45 pounds. We left a couple bags and our guitar behind that Ruth's family are wanting to bring over when they come for a visit to the States this fall/winter. We definitely got rid of a lot of stuff but we know it's just stuff that can be replaced if needed.
We are excited about this next stage in our lives but there is a lot that is unknown. I'll be looking to get a job when we arrive and we know that life will be very different. It will be so strange to not be involved in ministry in the same way we have been for so many years. We want to continue to serve the Lord and to be used by Him wherever He takes us. We ask for your prayers as we take this step of faith. We will be staying at my parents for a few months until I get a job and we are able to move out.
As I mentioned in our last update, supporters can still send support through SGWM for 3 months after we get to the states. For those who have monthly support set up you will have to email the head of finances at SGWM, Jack Fletcher, (Jack@ccsavinggrace.com) when you want to stop sending support.
It has been a huge blessing to be here in Ireland. We have been able to get good rest in this cool and pleasant climate. It has been so great to see so many friends from our time in Ireland and it has been a joy to introduce Eliana to more family(Eliana loves her uncle Ian and her auntie Siona)! The Lord is good and we see His faithfulness throughout the years and we will continue to trust in Him and not in our own understanding.
-Aden, Ruth and Eliana Knepper
It's good to finally get to write to you all and let you know what we have going on! Easter for us was a fairly long day but it was a great time of celebrating Jesus' resurrection. In both churches, after a time of singing and teaching we shared a wonderful meal together. We had wanted to have the churches come together for Easter but it didn't work out in the end; because of this, on Saturday we had a day of fellowship up in Valeni. We filled up all three cars in Ciorani and came together for the day. It was great to have everyone praising God and enjoying each others company. It was important for those in Ciorani to finally see the new buildings that God had provided last fall in Valeni. Besides this we have been doing the regular youth meetings which have been going pretty well. We have been busy with various work projects and we've also started planning for our kids outreach in June.
In the last update which we sent out in February we were wanting to take a trip to the states in the Spring and it's been a long time since then. In short after a lot of prayer and hard consideration we have decided that we will be moving to the States in July when our Romanian Visa expires. It hasn't been easy coming to this decision as it effects a lot of people around us. It will be hard leaving another home where family and friends are. It's been 10 years since I last lived in America and Ruth spent the majority of her life here in Romania. While we'll be “moving back” to our country and “home” it will feel very foreign for us. We ask for your prayers in this time of transition for us.
Our decision to move to the states wasn't based solely on our lack of finances, because the Lord has always provided for us every step of the way but a decrease in financial support was one of the things that God used to make us consider whether it was time for us to move on. We didn't want to be presumptuous and just keep going on when it was obvious that God wanted us to stop and seek Him about a new direction.
At the moment this new direction for the Knepper family is to move to Ohio where my parents and Josh(Ruth's brother)are. My parents have opened up there home to us and are really looking forward to seeing their grand baby for the first time. My parents know from experience that it isn't easy getting re-acclimated to living in America as they moved back about 4 years ago from being missionaries in Ireland; they want to help us in any way during this transition time. Moving back to America will open up the opportunity for me to go to school and learn a trade, which has been something I've been wanting to do for sometime. Living in America will also mean that I will be able to work for a salary which is something that I've honestly never been able to do seeing that my family moved to Europe when I was 15. I'm looking forward to serving my family and being used as God's tool for providing for Ruth and Eliana. I know that life will be very different for us as a family and I ask for your prayers in these things.
We have talked with Saving Grace World Missions(our missions organisation) and they were very encouraging and helpful. They know that transitioning back to America can be hard and told us to let you, our supporters, know that for 3 months after we get back to the States you will still be able to send support through SGWM. For those who have monthly support set up you will have to email the head of finances at SGWM, Jack Fletcher, (Jack@ccsavinggrace.com) when you want to stop sending support. Your financial support for us throughout these past three years has enabled us to be here and love on the kids and youth; we are very thankful for God putting you in our lives and we are blessed by your giving hearts.
We will be leaving Romania on the 5th of July where we will stop off in Ireland for a couple of weeks to spend time with family and friends in Cork before continuing our trip to the states. There's a lot of things that need to be done before then. Moving isn't any fun and moving countries is even worse. Pray for wisdom and patience in the moving process. It will also be an emotional time as we'll be leaving dear family and friends. We want your prayers with us as we take this next step in our lives.
Aden, Ruth and Eliana
Hello friends and family!
Winter is always a slower time of year in Romania for everyone. The cold and snow really prohibit what can be done during these winter months. We were blessed however to have a beautiful few days this past week where it was warm enough to get out and have a BBQ in
celebration of Ruth's birthday. We are all looking forward to things warming up and being able to do more. We as a team have started putting together what this up coming Spring and Summer will look like. We're excited for the various teams and people that are wanting to travel and be apart of kid's outreaches, youth events and a possible conference. It's always an encouragement for us to have people come and be a part of what God is doing here in Romania. We want God's wisdom and leading in what we are going to be busy with during the warmer months.
While we wait for the warmer weather we have still been able to meet with teens on a weekly basis thanks to the new building we have in Valeni. It is a blessing to see how the relationships between the different “kids” have changed and grown closer. Pray the Lord would use us to reach these kids here. When the weather has been clear there have also been different work projects in Valeni. At the moment we are in the process of fixing up the cellar into a bedroom so there's a place to stay when needed. Things have come along way with the building in Valeni but there is still a good bit of work to be done to make the building more useful for meeting in.
The 18th of this month our little girl is going to be 3 months old! Eliana has been such a joy for us! We are wanting to make a trip over to the States this Spring so that family there can finally meet her. We have family in the North and South of both East and West coasts as well as friends and churches that support us and we would love to be able to see everyone. However, it's been difficult trying to figure out how we could do that with the time and money we have. At the moment our tentative plan is to get to Ohio and spend time with my parents and family there unless the means come available to do more. If you would like to help us out financially with this trip it would help us to decide what we can do and when we can do it. Paypal is the fastest and most direct way to get funds to us but you can also give through our missions organization, Saving Grace World Missions. Both methods for how to give can be found on the “Support Info” page of our website, notbysight.org.
We thank you all for your love and support for us here in Romania! We love to hear from our friends around the world so please feel free to send us an email or message anytime! For those of you in the States we hope to have the chance to visit with you when we are able to!
Aden, Ruth and Eliana