Garrett spent two months based in Cluj-Napoca in Romania, teaming up with other AJM missionaries to bring aid to Ukraine. It served as a refreshment for his faith, drawing him back to the desire to live on-mission full time and put people first. After being overseas for about 5 weeks, Garrett asked me if we would prayerfully consider moving there full-time together to serve the Ukrainian people.
We had fallen in love with the Ukrainian people when we toured with Final Greetings and reached youth and university students, partnering with local missionaries. The conflict in that country broke our hearts, and Garrett was glad to be able to help in any way he could. He wanted us to think about moving there to aid in long-term rebuilding efforts.
As we began to pray about that possibility, Pierce Westfall met with a local pastor at a coffee shop. The pastor pointed out that within the city of Cluj-Napoca, there were refugees from several nations. While he moved there to start a church a long time ago, no local churches offered English services. The pastor asked Pierce to see if there were any missionaries within AJM who might be interested in living in Romania and starting a place that these refugees could call home. And in that moment, Pierce thought of us.
Being reached out to about this possibility was a bit of a shock, unexpected in our potential plan. But through talk and prayer and God’s various confirmations, Garrett and I began to see Him moving us in this direction. There were already two other missionaries who were considering living in Romania full-time, with a few more potentials, who were excited about the prospect of teaming up to reach people and give them a place to spend time with God and other Christians. And the heart is to provide a Sunday service as most are used to, but gathering other times throughout the week to truly live out being the Church and to disciple each other.
While the whole prospect is still a little overwhelming, it’s exciting. We are seeing God confirm in providing pastoral mentors throughout Europe and potential locations for our mid-week gatherings. Now, we are praying for God’s financial provision through people who will partner with us in helping refugees from not only Ukraine, but Afghan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and more.