This was probably the warmest and driest winter I can remember in Romania, yet the impact of a retreat at Alpinis seems to be the same regardless of weather. Since December, we hosted six groups including church family camps, a teenagers’ camp and two Christian students groups at Alpinis. In February we also had a weekend of training to prepare for outdoor summer camps.
I invite you to pray for a new project for a second villa at Alpinis. We need to extend the capacity of Alpinis from the present 29 beds to a larger number. Please pray with us for resources, wisdom and above all God’s guidance and provision in all details of planning and implementation.
Preparing the heart and the mind for Alpinis Outdoor Challenge camps – a group of approximately twenty youth leaders and guides met at Alpinis to share and learn together about how to best minister to youth on outdoor camps. A core group of guides are involved in this work since 2008, they led most of the seminars. Jon Hoppin and Thomas Haines from Wilderness Ministry Institute, CO, USA did part of the teaching stressing the importance of ‘full spectrum youth ministry’ – being an outdoor guide is a challenge as much at home in a discipleship lifestyle with youth as during a camp. It was exciting to share this vision with new youth leaders from Novi Sad, Serbia, from Brasov and a few other Romanian churches. Just as Christ used the wilderness to teach and form his disciples we believe this continues to be an excellent tool at hand to most of us for sharing the Gospel and for changing lives.
Testimonies from this winter at Alpinis:
This was more than a vacation for our family; it was an opportunity to share about life and the challenges of parenthood with friends, brothers and sisters from our church. We were encouraged and built up as we prayed together. Thank you for your hospitality at Alpinis, we had a wonderful time enjoying good accommodation and excellent food.
(George Gherman, Holy Trinity Church, Timisoara)
What did we learn in the few days we spent at Alpinis? We learned that being a family is more than living under the same roof, and being a community is more than worshipping in the same building. In both situations, relationships don’t just happen – in spite of appearances. There is a need for time, openness, doing things together, common memories and challenges – in one word communion. I was reminded of how important relationships are for both children and adults. And yes, my wife and children learned to ski!
(Paulian Petric, Holy Trinity Church, Timisoara)