Saturday, April 27, 2013

Home Again, Blessed Beyond Belief

Hello everyone! We are home from Romania (got back last week) and I've been busy blogging about the trip! I would love if you guys would head over to the other blog and read the posts I've shared so far. There are pictures, stories, excerpts from my travel-journal, and comments on the major blessings of being in Romania! Here are the currents posts in order:

Adventura: The Romania Trip Pt. 1

Adventura: The Romania Trip Pt. 2

Adventura: The Romania Trip Pt. 3

Adventura: The Romania Trip Pt. 4

And there will be more posts to come in the next week. Thank you all so much for your support. We could not have gone without each of you blessing us with your prayer, time, and money. So thank you so very much. :)


Thursday, March 7, 2013


I am so crazy-excited to announce that the FIRST STAGE OF OUR FUNDRAISING IS OVER! Thanks to the amazing generosity of so many of you, we have amassed enough funds to buy the plane tickets and have bought them. In short:


God has been so faithful through you to get us this far. I seriously cannot believe it's actually happening. Up till the night Mr. Tate purchased the tickets, it didn't feel real. It felt like a probably "someday" thing, but it didn't feel imminent. Not by any means.

But then we got emails in our inboxes with our flight information and it hit me. I'm going to Romania. We're going to Romania!!! It's pretty amazing right now. :) It's a long and complex story, but two members of our team, Alaina and Justin Wright, are leaving this afternoon for a pre-mission's trip visit to the Bale family in Romania. They will return sometime in late March, and then will join us for the official Missions Trip. Like the 12 spies of Israel, right? ;)

In the last several weeks, the member-list of the team has shifted around so many times, we thought we'd never get it straight. ;) My brother got a job that is moving him up to Northern Virginia (four hours away), Matthew sprained his ankle, and the adult on the trip switched from being my dad to one of the other team member's mothers. All told, there are eight of us going:

Alaina Wright
Justin Wright
Matthew Walker
Rachel Heffington
Sarah Heffington
Daniel Tate
Amy Edmonston
Mrs. Edmonston

A specific prayer request would be for Matthew's ankle. He will get off his crutches the day before we leave for Romania, and will be using a splint while on the trip. Please pray that he isn't in much pain, and that he'll be able to hobble about without reinjuring his foot. 

So now that we've got the first round of fundraising finished, what next? Well, just this: We're not a third-world country over here in America, but money is tight for most people, including us. That's why I'm so blessed by all the donations we received--selfless giving when I know that the money could probably have been used other places just as readily. But tight money also means that there are extra needs for the team. We would use out of pocket money if we had out of pocket money. As it is, we're needing to raise funds for the following things:

Outfitting: Some of us have used Virginia's mild winters as an excuse not to buy the right shoes, but going to Romania we can't make do with paper-thin ballet flats. It's just not going to work. Shoes and coats are two of the major things we need to peg before leaving the country. We are also buying Berkey water-bottles, as we were advised that the tap water is perfectly clean, but has different bacteria and might make us slightly sick if we drank it straight. Berkey bottles filter water, and we figured that would be easier on ourselves and our hosts to not have to constantly buy bottled water. :P

Gift-money: We would like to be able to bring money to Romania to be used to buy gifts for our hosts, and to be able to help out with feeding our group. You know--money to buy different foods at the market and bring it home with us to add to dinner. Also, money to buy some "American gifts" to bring over and distribute for fun. :)

Practical money: We need to have some "practical money" for things like meals in the airport, the occasional purchase in Romania, and swing-money for anything that might come up that requires cash. You never know what you'll come up with the need for.

Again, thank you all so much for all the help and prayer so far. I really feel that God is blessing this trip, and it wouldn't be happening without you letting Him work through your families. So thank you. :) Please be praying for Matthew's ankle, and the provision of the other things. I will keep you updated! Those of you who live locally, stay tuned for some of the fundraising events we are planning! It's going to be amazing! We will keep this blog updated so watch this space. ;)

                 With great excitement,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Romania: A peek at the Culture and People

You might be thinking, "Well that's all great that they want to go to Romania, but what is this country like? What is its heritage like? What about the culture?"

Of course (not having gone yet) I can't say exactly, but I've done a little research and have come up with some neat facts I thought I'd post here. :)

Flying High

First off, because every country needs their flag explained, I give you the official Flag of Romania:

The Romanian flag is blue, yellow, and red. Red for the blood of the people, yellow for the grain that feeds the people, and blue for the sky. A rather cheerful, nice sort of flag, isn't it?

Wedding Bliss

Hope-chests are a Romanian tradition, and in the traditional communities, young girls start gathering things for their hope-chests as young as six years old. :) In the mountains of Romania there is an annual festival on June 29th where families gather to display their daughters' trosseau. 

Folk Costume

The traditional folk-costumes while no longer worn for everyday use can still be seen on special occasions in the rural areas, and at cultural festivals. I love how rich and intricate the weaving patterns are!

Game on!

A favorite game in Romania is a sport called "Oina" which is, in all its essentials, an early form of Baseball and the Oina Teams in Romania far outweigh baseball teams. Just think, we might be talking about Pro Oina Tournaments if an American hadn't gone ahead and changed a few rules! According to many Romanian oina officials, the game was brought to America by two Transylvanian immigrants in the early half of the 1800's who then joined the army and taught their companions Oina. One Abner Doubleday then changed the rules and made baseball popular in America. Of course that all might be legend, but it certainly is true that there are accounts of "Hoina" being played in 1310 in Southern Romania! There's a really really neat article about this subject here!

Bon Appetite!

The Romanian culture has been heavily influenced by the Turkish culture as well as German, Hungarian, Serbian, and Bulgarian cuisine. Thus their food is diverse and includes dishes from all these cultures. Popular dishes includes many types of soups, cheese, and a deal of Pork. I really hope to be able to try some traditional Romanian food while there, because lots of it sounds really really good. :D (including their desserts. :P)

The People

As the food is diverse, so are the many cultures of people involved. :) Romanians make up the majority of the population (88.6%) while Hungarians are the largest minority. (6.5%) The second largest minority are the Romani (gypsies) who come in at 3.2% of the population. The remaining 1.4% of the population is a glorious mixture of Ukrainians, Germans, Lipovans, Turks, Tartars, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Greeks, Russians, Jews, Czechs, Poles, Italians, Armenians, and a few other peoples.

I absolutely cannot wait to get to this magnificent country and work with these people in this culture!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FINALLY! The Paypal Donation Button. :)

Hello everyone!

         This is Rachel Heffington. :)



I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the verbal and financial support as well as your prayers as we get ready to go on this trip. The fundraising has been slow to get going, but it is moving a bit and I want to thank all of you so so much for supporting us! You can read more about me and the rest of the team on The Team Page, so I won't go into overmuch detail right here. I do want to let you know, however, that I feel strongly this is a thing God has called our church to and so I am serious about our commitment to go. You can help out with that in many ways, but the top practical way right now is through monetary donations. I know times are tight, but seriously every little bit counts, and you can donate anything from 1- 100 dollars or beyond if you feel so led. :)

We finally got the Paypal donation button up on the side (sorry it took me so long to do that. It was kinda my jurisdiction.) so now it will be really easy to get everything together! And for those of you who follow my personal blog or the one I share with Sarah, there are Paypal buttons linking to this project on those sidebars as well! Choices, choices! 

We would love it if you'd spread the word about this trip on your own blogs or Facebook or to your friends and family in an email--any way to get the word out about our trip to Romania. We've had some hands-on fundraising ideas I look forward to sharing with you as the thing gets rolling. Not much time now, is there? We'll be finalizing dates soon and I will update you with that information too. :) 

This past Sunday we said goodbye to Ben, the son of one of the missionary families we are connected with. :) Ben is headed out to Romania to visit and work with his family for two months, then back into the States to join up with the military. We hope to be able to see him again over there if the timing works out right.  Ben's family sent us pictures of their work in Romania and I stuck all of those over on the Destination page

Romania looks beautiful, the people look beautiful, and I cannot wait to buy the plane tickets and set foot on that ground. 

At risk of sounding like and infomercial, I'll just say it once more: You can help us get to that land, those people by making a tax-deductible donation on the sidebar, or by sending a check to:

Resort Family Ministries Inc.
20305 Garrison Dr.
Windsor, VA 23487

Thank you so much for your help and encouragement in every way, and we'll check back in soon!
         In Him,
                  Rachel Heffington

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The beginning of things....

"Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian weapon."
-Martin Luther
It is with great excitement and anticipation of what God will do through you and us in these next few weeks that we open this blog. The Road to Romania... a dream of our church family that appears to finally be approaching reality this Spring. Thank you so much for reading the following letter, and for considering blessing us with your prayer and/or financial support. We appreciate your encouragement and are excited about the future!

Suffolk Christian Assembly
January 14, 2013
     It gives me great pleasure to share that our fellowship has been praying about and seeking the Lord related to a ministry trip to Arad, Romania, and the surrounding area. We are blessed to haev a long-standing relationship with a man who pastors several congregations in and around the area. He has invited us on multiple occasions to come and be an encouragement and blessing to the local church through hands-on ministry projects, as well as outreaches to the Romanian people--many of whom may actually attend and Orthodox church service, but don't know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior
    In addition, the Lord has introduced us to an American family who is currently serving as long-term, independent missionaries who work support of the local church, orphanages, and street people of the area.
     We are looking at sending a 10-12 person team on a 10-14 day trip sometime in March. While in Romania, they would come alongside the local body of Christ with hands-on support in whatever way is needed--from feeding orphans to handyman work on church buildings or widows' homes. In addition we will have a worship team and band which will offer "American style" worship concerts in the evening where the Gospel will be share with the help of local interpreters.
    We are asking you to consider supporting us as we venture forth in faith...first, in prayer for the people of Romania whose hearts are being prepared right now to receive encouragement or to hear about the amazing love their Maker has for them: the good news of the Gospel. Secondly, we are asking you to partner with us financially, sharing the burden of the direct cost of the trip and the cost of additional resources to share with the orphans and needy, so we could bring good news, good works, and even some good things to the Romanian people, and show the extravagant love of a Heavenly Father; the giver of every good and perfect gift. We need approximately $12,000 to cover transportation. Anything above that would allow us to minister to some needs while among the people.
     Please stop and take a few seconds to at least as the Lord what He would have you do related to these requests. If you are willing to be praying with us, please send us an email letting us know--that would be a real encouragement. We will certainly keep everyone updated at all points through this blog.
     If you are led to partner financially, you can make a tax deductible contribution directly on this site through the Pay-Pal button, (which will be up in a day or two) or you can send a check made out to Resort Family Ministries (the tax deductible account we are using for this trip). Mail checks to 20305 Garrison Drive, Windsor, VA 23487. If your donation is intended for a particular member of the team, please make a memo of that on your check.
    Thank you for your prayerful and loving support of our church family.
                    Roger Heffington (elder)
                     -for the Suffolk Christian Assembly Family (