Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy Birthday, Everyone!!

Hello once again from the beautiful country of Romania!! I take this opportunity to sent a big Happy Birthday out to everyone in my fam with birthdays during this holiday time!!

Yup, my family has TONS of birthdays around now...Mom and my bro-in-law Michael are in November and my littlest bro Andrew in January. But the biggest months for birthdays are February (my sis Melody, Aunt Brenda, sis-in-law Dayana, and both of my grandmas) and December (Dad, my bro Steve, my bro John, my sis Rebekah, and my new little niece Lydia)!! It makes for an interesting holiday season, let me tell you!! Plus, this Christmas Eve my parents celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary!!

Well, my Christmas went by pretty quickly...since all I really did was go caroling!! Fortunately, everyone got the white Christmas we were hoping for, so it was very pretty outside for the holiday (it snowed almost non-stop for two days)!!. I went caroling on the 24th and 25th...getting home after 5 am both nights and then sleeping most of the day on Christmas and the day after!! My roommate was out of the country for a week and so it was just me and our two kittens and the cat I was cat-sitting for a friend!! I ate a McDonald double cheeseburger meal for Christmas dinner!! Hopefully next year I will get to do the works for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas to make up for this year!!

Anyway, I will be leaving tomorrow afternoon (Dec.31) with a bunch of youth from church to go to the mountains for 3 days to celebrate the New Year...we will be having Bible studies during this time, but everyone will also have plenty of time for sledding, snowball fights, and other winter activities. Should be fun!!

I am doing fine otherwise...I've recovered from my embarrassing fall on the ice last week!! I think I sprained a finger this week and I am hoping that my last wisdom tooth hasn't actually decided to start growing, but I am doing fine besides. I think I beat a cold..hope so anyway...by drinking liters of orange juice and dosing up on vitamins and cold medicine...my head is finally pretty clear, so that is awesome...no sniffling on the mountain trip!!

Well, this will be it till the New Year rolls around...so I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy New Year...here's hoping next year will be all you are wishing for and more!! God Bless!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays...And God Bless Us, Everyone!!

As I write this, it is almost 6 am...which means that even though I slept in yesterday I have still been up for almost 20 hours straight...so please bear with me!! I am at an internet cafe downtown in the "bustling metropolis" of Targu Mures, Romania!! Once I head home I will need to air out my jacket as it is beginning to reek of second-hand cigarette smoke!! (On a side note, if I make it back to the States after my stint here WITHOUT lung cancer from all the second-hand smoke...it will be a miracle)!!

I have some awesome family news to impart...as of one week ago...I have a new niece!! Her name is Lydia Claire Cordero and she is a little beauty!! I was able to talk to the biggest chunk of my family on the internet this evening and to see most of them via webcam...it was absolutely great...and definately helped me to bear being away from them ALL for the first time EVER (usually the barest Christmases included at least my Grandma Seale, my aunt Joyce, and a brother or two)!! Next year Steve and Syrena have promised to visit at Christmas and the following one after that I will be home in the States...so yeah...this will be my loneliest Christmas.

Anyway, about getting to talk to my family...I was able to talk to Mom, Dad, John, Dayana, Michael, Melody, Susanna, and Rebekah. Poor little guy Andrew was feeling sick, so he only waved from across the room at the webcam. I also got to see the new little one Lydia and to see how my "big boy" nephew Josiah has grown!! It was SO good to talk to them. Suz and Beka are both insisting that they will have enough money to come here for next summer and I don't doubt but that Suz will at least...it remains to be seen whether Beka will be able to hold onto her money that long!!

I still plan on getting my previous newsletters posted in here one of these days soon...so keep an eye peeled for that. I also want to get some more pics on this page...but that will most likely have to wait till I get S&S to send me some of their wedding pics, M&M to send some pics of the babies, and my digital camera to arrive!! Yes, my Christmas present to myself...(thanks to Steve FINALLY sending my support in a lump sum this month)...is a new digital camera and a super-duper 512MB memory stick...so everyone will FINALLY see pics of TM and of the babies at Kiwi House.

My apologies to anyone who has just stumbled onto this site and has no clue whatsoever what I am talking about...but again...once my newsletters and a few more things get posted on here...it should be easy for you to figure out what in the WORLD I am talking about...maybe!! But then again, I can be pretty random sometimes!!

All right...now to the main reason I was gonna post today!! I want to wish all of you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Hope you have the best of time this holiday season!!!Think of me when you eat your Christmas dinner...hopefully next year I can actually bake...pray for my next apartment to be fully furnished (or at LEAST have a stove and fridge included)!!! I pray you have an awesome time this holiday season...and that no one else falls on their backside on ice that is hidden under the snow and gets stared at by all the passersby!! Okay, that happened to me Thursday and I'm still sore!!

Anyways, HAPPY HOLIDAYS and GOD BLESS!!!

Friday, December 9, 2005

Adventures in Missionary Life!!

I wanted to start a blog so that people could better get an idea of my life as I am on the field of Romania. I really thought I knew a lot about being a missionary...having been a missionary kid (MK) for most of my life...but there is so much more involved in actually being a missionary...frustrations, misunderstandings, the pendulum swinging from boredom to sheer chaos in no time at all...it is fun and frustrating at the same time!!

What I want to do is update this whenever I can and then maybe take from all these tidbits when I go to do my newsletters...so for those of you who get my newsletters, you will probably recognize a lot of my info from the blogs...so I apologize in advance for repeating myself!!
God Bless!!

JULIE

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

September--October 2005 Newsletter

Dear Praying Friends,

Greetings once again from Romania!! The weather is turning colder here as winter sets in and the sidewalks are covered with multi-colored leaves. They tell me it should be snowing within a few weeks….brrrr!!!

It is quite interesting to find out as a missionary that there all kinds of things that you thought you knew about the missionary life from having been a missionary kid that you really don’t know!! One thing is how much bureaucracy is involved in getting just about anything accomplished!! I have been going all over the place the last couple of months getting all the paperwork resolved for getting a residence visa and for getting a phone & internet package installed at the apartment. This involves going to one place to get a paper, to go to another place to get a stamp, to go to another place to get a signature, and on it goes!!

I had to move once again at the end of September. This was because in order to get a residence visa I had to have a rental contract and the landlord of my previous apartment did not want to make a contract as he did not want to pay taxes on his rental income. Fortunately, I was able to find a two bedroom apartment in the same neighborhood as the previous apartment. Everything functions properly at the new apartment, but it is not as fully furnished as the other one was. Fortunately we at least have most of the furniture that we need and since the weather is getting colder the lack of a refrigerator is not as big of a problem as it could have been were it still summer. My previous roommate Siri headed back to Norway at the end of September, but my new roommate Meg arrived just before that. Meg and I have really settled into our apartment and have even adopted two small kittens we named Hayley and Starbucks.

I now have a regular schedule at Kiwi House, the home for abandoned babies. I work there with Meg two mornings and one afternoon a week. Since my arrival in June two of the eight babies have been adopted…little David and baby BolaƟ. The remaining children include four-year-old Andrei (who is quite the charmer), his two-year-old sister Rosa (such a sweet and smart little girl) and their two-year-old cousin Viorel (who is awaiting his second surgery for a harelip and cleft palate). There is also two-year-old Cristian (who is a favorite amongst the volunteers for his cheery behavior) and two-year-old Emanuel (a real bundle of energy)—these two are the next ones who will be adopted. Finally there is little Alina who will be two in December. She has really made a tremendous amount of progress just in the last month. She is now walking all on her own and is eating from a spoon!! This doesn’t sound so impressive until you realize that just a few months ago she was off in her own little world, rocking herself and shrieking for her bottle. Please keep all these little ones in your prayers, that God will heal them and find good adoptive families for all of them. Please also pray for the Kiwi House administrators as they pray about the new little ones they will be bringing into the home soon.

I am also working with Livada Orphan Care in their follow-up program. Starting in two weeks I will be going on Monday afternoons to a small state-run group home in the town of Petelea to do a program there. I have already started going to the town of Zau on Saturday mornings to a girls orphanage there. Separately from Livada, though at the suggestion of their follow-up director, I have begun meeting once a week with some of the older girls from the Zau home who go to high school here in Targu Mures. I am hoping that by being a sort of big sister to these girls that I will be able to show them the love that the Lord has for them too.

I will be getting involved with a home group (run by the worship leader from church) that is starting in November. This group will meet every two weeks for a Bible study and prayer. I have also started a twice monthly youth night at my apartment for fun and fellowship for the youth from church and from the other ministries. I have also been asked by several people to tutor their children in English and am hoping that this may be a means for ministry also. Please pray that the Lord will be with and lead in all of these ministries.

I just want to thank all of you for both your prayers and financial support!! God bless you all!!

All for Him,
JULIE SEALE

Just a reminder…if you have any questions or comments, or would like to receive my email newsletters personally, then email me at texanromaniac@hotmail.com with the subject line: Email Updates

Thursday, September 1, 2005

June--August 2005 Newsletter

Dear Praying Friends,

Greetings from the beautiful country of Romania!! I can hardly believe I have been here already for over two months—the time has flown by!!

I have settled in the city of Targu Mures, in the heart of Romania…in the region also known as Transylvania. You can just imagine the history of this city as you turn the corner of a modern street and find a narrow street paved with cobblestones and lined with centuries-old buildings. Just recently I was reading one afternoon on a park bench that was shadowed by the wall of a medieval fortress!! Needless to say, the history buff in me will be thrilled to discover all the history of this region during my time here!!

I was able to get into my apartment in July. I thank the Lord for providing the opportunity to rent a furnished 3 bedroom apartment for less than most unfurnished 2 bedroom apartments usually go for. Granted, since it had not been lived in for quite some time, it took a lot of cleaning and a couple repairmen to get everything clean and in working order—but praise the Lord—we can now flush the toilets!! My present roommate is a girl named Siri from Norway, who will be here until October. My other roommate—Meg from the US—will arrive in late September.

Since my arrival I have been keeping busy!! There is always plenty to keep me busy at Kiwi House, the home for abandoned babies. There are eight babies in the home—ranging in age from four months to four years old. These little ones are so sweet, despite their being somewhat behind in their development. I just love walking in there and seeing their faces light up when they see me!!

Besides helping at Kiwi House, I was also able to work at two day camps with Livada Orphan Care. The first was at their group home—Casa Rebekah—where they care for ten children ranging in age from seven to twelve. It is amazing to see what a difference can be made by placing these children into a loving Christian environment—when they had spent most of their lives in a huge and impersonal state orphanage.

The second day camp was at Ludus, a state home in a town about an hour from Targu Mures. The theme for both camps was character—focusing on the character qualities of David and then tying them in with the character qualities of Christ. The only problem was that at the state home we couldn’t specifically mention Christ or salvation—but the leader managed to still get the point across and most of the kids knew who she was talking about—even shouting it out to her!! Also while at Ludus, I was able to reconnect with some of my campers from my last summer trip over here three years ago---which was awesome!!

Also during this time I was able to go back to Lunca Bradului—the camp I worked at during my last trip over here—for one session. I was the principal leader of an awesome group of teens. At this camp, whose theme was “Mission IS Possible” the teams pick out their own team names and decorate flags. My team ended up being “CIA—Crazy Invisible Agents”!! It was a great camp with several salvations and many people dedicating themselves to the Lord. My team from camp has even committed themselves to continue meeting once a week during the school year!! Please keep them in your prayers, as not all are Christians.

I just recently returned from another camp way up in the mountains—this was an awesome time of fellowship with God and with other Christians. The summer camp season is now officially over and school will be starting back in about two weeks. It is just amazing how quickly the summer has flown by!! Soon my ministry here will transition into a regular weekly schedule. Besides continuing to help at Kiwi House 2-3 mornings a week, I hope to be able to do follow up for the two day camps I was involved in with Livada Orphan Care, and to get more actively involved in the youth ministry at church. Also, my crate will be arriving soon and I will be able to get my apartment organized. Once the apartment is in order and school has started back, my camp group will start meeting, a young ladies Bible study will be started, and I hope some other youth outreaches can be begun as the Lord leads. Needless to say…it will be a busy, but enjoyable time!!

I just want to thank all of you for both your prayers and financial support—without which I could never have arrived on the field so quickly!! God bless you all!!

All for Him,
JULIE SEALE

Just a reminder…if you have any questions or comments, or would like to receive my email newsletters personally, then email me at texanromaniac@hotmail.com with the subject line: Email Updates

Monday, June 13, 2005

June 2005 Newsletter

Time to Leave for Romania!!
The time has finally arrived!! I now have 85% of my support raised and my pastor has given me the go ahead to leave for Romania. My tickets are bought and my bags are packed!! I headed out to Woodstock, GA this past Saturday, and today was able to get my crate mostly packed. Now I have a couple days for last minute errands and to rest up and then I fly out from Atlanta this Wednesday evening--June 15th!! Upon my arrival in the capital city of Bucharest, I will then be taking a train and then a bus to the city of Targu Mures, where I will be settling. I am so excited that I will be making it over there in time to jump right into the summer ministries!! Please keep me in prayer as I travel.

Family News
As mentioned in my last newsletter, my younger sister and her husband are expecting their second child in December. Please keep Melody in prayer as she has been experiencing morning sickness and yet still must care for my rambunctious one year old nephew. Please keep my dad in your prayers also as he has been experiencing chest pain again. For those of you who don't know, he has had four stints put into his heart in the past three years. My parents are serving the Lord on the field of Mexico and things are going well there, but just keep my dad's health in your prayers. Also, keep praying for my new sister-in-law Dayana. All the paperwork has been filed for her visa, and now we are just waiting for everything to go through so that she can join my brother John here in the States. Please keep my brother Stephen in your prayers also as he serves in the Army in Korea. My family is getting scattered around the globe and who knows how long it will be before we will all be together in one place again!!

Ministry Needs:
*I have just gotten a laptop and hope to be able to get it installed with a DVD burner drive in the coming months...this will be a big help ministry-wise.
*I would also like to be able to get a digital camera/videocamera in the coming months. With this, and the laptop DVD drive, I will be able to put together a DVD presentation of the ministries I will be involved in to send to the churches as an update a couple times a year, as well as add pictures to my regular updates.
*Eventually I would love to be able to get a projector to hook up to the laptop to be able to show Bible stories and clean movies to the young people.
*I would also like to set up a webpage where everyone can go to read past newsletters and see pictures of the children and young people I will be ministering to. If anyone can give me suggestions on how to set one up, it would be greatly appreciated!!

Prayer Requests
*That I will have safety traveling to Romania...by car, plane, train, and bus!!
*That the shipping of my crate will go smoothly with no surprise costs.
*That I will be able to jump right into several ministries upon my arrival in Targu Mures.
*That young people will come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
*That God will be glorified in all that I do!!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!! May God richly bless you in all that you do!!

All for Him,
JULIE SEALE

If you have any questions or comments, or would like to receive my email newsletters personally, then email me at texanromaniac@hotmail.com with the subject line: Email Updates

Sunday, May 15, 2005

March--May 2005 Newsletter

Dear Praying Friends,

Well, it is halfway through the month of May already--where has the time gone? I have certainly been keeping busy here in south Texas!! Though I haven't had any meetings lately, it seems there is never enough time...between sorting through 28 years worth of personal belongings, gathering needed supplies, and contacting people to get everything worked out for when I finally arrive in Romania as far as ministries, a place to stay, and so on.

Family News
My family just headed back down to Mexico this past Friday with the three youngest children and have already jumped back into the work down there. My brother Steve just headed out this last week also...to Korea with the US Army. My sister Melody and her husband Michael found out just a few weeks ago that she is expecting again. This was just days before my little nephew Josiah's first birthday, so it was a bit of a surprise...but we are all just so thrilled!! Please keep her in prayer, though, as this seems to be a harder pregnancy than the last. I have a new sister-in-law!! My brother John went down to Peru to marry his sweetheart in March and we are so excited to add her to the Seale clan. She is waiting on the paperwork to go through on her visa, so that is another prayer request. Her name is Dayana and this is a fun fact...she is Michael's younger sister!! Please keep all my family in prayer, that they will all stay safe and healthy, and that God will bless them in all that they do!!

Getting to Romania
Now that I have gotten you up to date on family facts, I'll get to the main topic of my letter...getting to Romania!! Just about everything is worked out on the Romania end...I have a missionary and two orphan organizations to work with, a place to stay for the summer when I'm not at camp, and a roommate come this fall...another single lady missionary!!

HOWEVER...The thing that most missionaries hate to bring up is the money issue, but it's come to that point in time where I need to bring it to everyone's attention. The only thing standing between me and getting to Romania is money!! I still need at least an additional $80 a month in support before my pastor will give me the green light to buy my tickets. Also, though I have been working hard as time allows to gather my own funds for the airfare, shipping, and other travel costs (through substitute teaching, babysitting, house-cleaning, and the sale of homebaked goodies), I am still short about $1,000 of the needed funds. I am also hoping to get a few more supplies before I go...the biggest ticket items being a laptop, a projector, and a Betty Lukens larger-sized flannelgraph set. These needs seem at times so much and at other times so little...but that is really all that is standing in the way of my getting over to Romania. Though I covet your prayers, this time I am asking for more!! I am asking that you prayerfully consider giving a little something toward the travel expenses...or maybe even promising something toward my monthly support!! Anything you could do toward this would be greatly appreciated!!

Prayer Requests
*That the final bit of support would come in quickly.
*That the rest of the supplies and travel expenses can be gathered quickly.
*That my sister Melody's pregnancy will go smoothly.
*That my new sister-in-law Dayana's visa will be approved quickly.
*That my family will stay safe and healthy as we are scattered around the globe!!
*That I will be able to get to Romania by June and the start of the camp season.
*That children and teens in the camps will come to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
*That God will be glorified in all that I do!!

Thank you for all your continued prayers and support and may God bless you in all that you do!!

All for Him,
JULIE SEALE

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

January--February 2005 Newsletter

Dear Praying Friends,

Wow, where should I begin? Much has happened since my last letter!! In January I was able to present my burden for Romania to Country Baptist Church in Lytle, TX. This is one of my parents supporting churches and I can remember visiting there many times when I was younger. The church family there was so sweet and welcoming to me and I had the added blessing of finding out just a week later that they had decided to take me on for support!! Praise the Lord!!

At the end of January I was able to be at one of my supporting churches--Windsor Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City--for their annual missions conference. I was able to take my dad and two of my sisters with me for the conference and we really enjoyed the fellowship with the church family. The conference was focused on Israel and its present situation in the Gaza Strip. Please pray for Israel and God's chosen people!!

Upon my return from the conference in Oklahoma I was able to present Romania to the people of Beautiful Gate Baptist Church in San Antonio, TX. I was a bit nervous, as this is mostly a Spanish church and my Spanish is a bit rusty, but the church family was very gracious.

Also in February, through a series of circumstances, I was able to give my testimony at two other churches--even though I was just visiting!! The people at Victory Independent Baptist Church in Somerset, TX and at Helotes Independent Baptist Church in Helotes, TX were all very welcoming to me and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to present the field I love to them!!

In February also, my family headed off to Mexico. They have settled in the town of Moctezuma, near San Luis Potosi. My dad has already started heading out to the ranchos with the other missionaries and my mom and my youngest two siblings seem to be settling right in. The migration of the Seale family to various parts of the world has begun!! Please be in prayer for my family in Mexico, as well as for my brother Steve as he heads off for Korea in May, my brother John as he heads off for basic training with the Air Force soon, and me as I head off for the mission field!!

Praise the Lord!! I now have 3/4 of my needed support and am hoping and praying that the rest comes in soon!! I am so anxious to get over to Romania before the summer camp season begins...please pray with me that I will be able to do that!! I have the money in hand for my airfare, but still need to gather the last of my supplies and come up with the shipping costs for my small crate.

Prayer requests:
*That I will be able to continue lining up meetings and that the remainder of the support will come in.
*That my poor car will keep on keeping on until I leave for the field!!
*That the needed supplies and shipping funds will come in.
*That as my family scatters out again, that we all will stay safe!!
*That I will be able to get to Romania before the summer camp season begins!!
*That people in the churches will have their hearts stirred for missions and that people will be saved.
*That God will be glorified in all that I do!!

Thank you so much for all your continued prayers and support and may God bless you in all that you do!!

All for Him,
JULIE SEALE

Saturday, January 1, 2005

November--December 2004 Newsletter

Dear Praying Friends,

The holidays are always such a busy time, with people bustling here and there, trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list. There are parties, gift exchanges, family get-togethers, and the list goes on. I hope that in the midst of all the hustle and bustle that you were able to stop and reflect on the reason behind all the celebration--the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!!

These last two months have gone by so quickly, and yet they were so full!! My sister and her husband and baby came the last week before Thanksgiving and have been staying with us since. They will be living in and making repairs to the house once my parents and younger siblings are back on the field. My dad plans to be down in Mexico by mid-February and has already rented a house and taken some things down. The extra three people make the house quite full, but we are loving the chance to spend some quality time with them before the family scatters out again!! By scattered out I mean that not only do mom and dad and the three youngest leave soon for Mexico and I leave soon for Romania---but my brother Steve leaves for Korea with the Army in May and my brother John just joined the Air Force and will be starting basic soon!!

It has been a busy two months!! I began in November to help out in my church's youth group--and got to chaperone and join in the hilarity of the youth Christmas party in December. I look forward to being able to help out in the youth group as much as my schedule will allow between now and when I leave for Romania. Also, during the first two weeks in December my family and I were able to participate in a Christmas Village. This was a free outdoor walk-through performance of the birth and life of Christ. It was such a blessing, though at times it did get quite cold!!

In December I had the added blessing of being able to present Romania to the people of McCauley Avenue Baptist Church in San Antonio, TX. This is a small church, but you could just feel their love for missions. I really enjoyed being able to give my testimony there and the church family there was so sweet!!

Now I come to the hard part...my least favorite thing to include in these letters. How I would love to just keep ya'll up to date on all the good stuff and never have to mention needs!! But here it is...the time is rapidly approaching when I will need to have the funds for airfare and my small crate in hand and all my supplies ready to go. If you dear people could just keep me in prayer...that the Lord will get it all worked out before my departure date rolls around, I would so appreciate it. It looks as if it may be late spring before I will be able to leave, as I still need to raise the remainder of my support, but I dearly hope that I will be able to arrive in my adopted country and be able to be settled before the busy camp season begins. If you would keep this all in prayer, it would be so appreciated!!

Prayer requests:
*That I will be able to continue lining up more meetings and that the remainder of the support will come in.
*That my poor car will keep on keeping on until I leave for the field!!
*That the needed supplies and the funds for airfare and shipping will come in soon.
*That I will be able to have everything taken care of stateside and be able to be in Romania as soon as possible!!
*That people in the churches will have their hearts stirred for missions and that people will be saved.
*That God will be glorified in all that I do!!

Thank you for all your continued prayers and support and may God bless you in all that you do!!

All for Him,
JULIE SEALE

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