**Recovery From Hernia Surgery
**Montenegro on the Move!
**LIFE Romania Continues to Grow
**Passing of an Old Warrior
Personal Spiritual Retreat: This was a highlight of my recent ministry in Costa Rica during my 3 1/2 weeks there in January. Studied the books of Isaiah [two times through this great book], Jeremiah [incredible study going through this book twice] and Job … so meaningful, challenged my heart! Then, on January 7th God spoke to me about getting up earlier to spend more time in prayer. This thought or impression in my mind was very strong with 5 AM as the targeted time to connect with God. Still doing this at the time of the writing of this Update. God is really working in my heart and life. The personal revival has really encouraged me in my daily walk with God.
Last year in January I spoke at Camp Brittney in Atenas, Costa Rica, and I returned there again this year. They bring in teens from the inner city of San Jose, the capital. The youth responded so well to the daily messages, the evangelism and the time of a closer commitment with God at the Camp Fire service. Yes, I’m planning to return there again next January.
My next trip to Costa Rica, God willing, is set for November when I will teach the book of Hebrews to the students at the IBS school, a Bible Institute that is connected with Camp Brittney. These young students have much potential and I look forward to spending extra time with them. They serve as the camp counselors at Camp Brittney.
Last, but not least, I enjoyed speaking in four churches on each of the Sundays that I was in San Jose. Our LIFE Costa Rica director, Cris Vidaechea, served as my translator and I stayed in his home enjoying the cooking of his sweet wife, Alejandra. Beautiful children, Jessica, 7, and Adrian, 3, brought smiles to my face again and again
Cris and I desire to organize Vision Teams, business people and pastors, to come to Costa Rica for an extended weekend to see the country and get a vision for the needs there. Please let me know if you would like to be involved. We would like to host 3 to 6 people at a time departing the states on a Thursday and returning homeon Sunday afternoon. We can organize a trip for you in April or May or in September or October … the sooner the better.
RECOVERY FROM HERNIA SURGERY
You may recall that I had two serious groin strains that happened in our youth camps in Montenegro and in Romania this past summer. It took two months to find out what the problem was and find a specialist to do the surgery. Finally, I had the surgery on October 15th. Well, the recovery time for “young guys” like me [ahem!] takes longer. So, I was in the bed recovering for the next 8 to 9 weeks. This surgery really slowed me down. Yet, I thank God for this time because I pressed into Him rather than chafe because it changed my routine. In fact, I consider this a “breaking” experience similar to those experienced by Moses, Joseph and many others in the Bible. God had a reason for this and I chose to embrace it rather than be upset. It was for my good as I learned so much about God and He ministered to me in a mighty way during this time.
How am I today? Much better after 4 1/2 months, but, not 100% yet. I have learned that six months is needed for my full recovery. I am not able to exercise much although I have been doing push ups, the kind that some women do with their knees on the floor which does not put a strain on the area where I had the surgery. Feels good to do 120 to 200 a day! I can walk now and I thank God for this possibility.
One of the youth camps in Costa Rica was cancelled. We had planned to serve with teenagers from the Incan Indian tribe in the mountains. Truth is, this was a blessing for me because I really was in no condition to hike up into the mountains where the camp would be conducted. Instead, I took a week for a personal spiritual retreat which I spoke of in the first article. I thank the Lord for protecting me, so, I was not upset at all that God changed my schedule. It was for my good!
MONTENEGRO ON THE MOVE!
Camp Monty has experienced the blessing of the Lord summer after summer. We have had limited success with follow-up through social media and some personal contact. But, things are moving forward with the opening of a Student Center/Coffee House located close to the university and not far from the town center. Danijel Petkovski, who serves with a ministry to students, Inter Varsity, has helped us with Camp Monty for several years. We are partnering with him which is a big help for our missionary there with LIFE Montenegro, Sasha Olah, a very capable young man is in his early 20s. So, it is a blessing for both of these men to work together to encourage each other. I am hearing some very good reports that they have the Student Center up and running, connecting with both university and high school students.
Rejoice with us that the owner from whom we rent this brand new storefront property is the father of one of our Camp Monty teenage guys. He gave Rick DeYoung and Jim Compton a very good rental price, an outstanding discount price to help us. Rick and Jim were there to check it out and the negotiation went very well. I was able to see this as well when I was there for Camp Monty this past summer. It was under construction at that time. Rick directs Camp Monty and Jim is recruiting people to come to teach English or sports for Camp Monty 2015. Do you want to get in on the excitement? Some good, good things are happening there!
LIFE ROMANIA CONTINUES TO GROW
While I’m on the theme of discipleship and follow-up it is a great joy to report that our director in Romania, Iulian Avramescu, has recruited an outstanding staff who are actively involved in follow-up. More than 240 young people are involved in their program with weekly contact and Bible study. Three young men and two young ladies are actively involved in this ministry right now and they are doing an excellent job. Recently they conducted a Sports Rally in Iulian’s absence as he was out of the country being in the Dallas, Texas area raising funds for Camp MIA 2015. Can you imagine how thankful Iulian is that the ministry continues even when he has to be away? Again, LIFE Romania continues to grow!
Four more staff members are studying at the Bible Institute at Word of Life Hungary where I was the director for 15 years. In fact, this is how I met Iulian, 2001-03, when he was a student there. One of these students will graduate in late May to return full time to serve with Iulian. Pray for Adrian Dinu as he wraps up his studies. The other three, Andrei, Emilio and Oana, will return for the second and final year this fall after serving this summer at Camp MIA. We are thankful for the good relationship with WOL Hungary and its school to help train and prepare our young adults at LIFE Romania. One more time LIFE Romania continues to grow!
PASSING OF AN OLD WARRIOR
My dear wife, Lynne, went to heaven 15 months ago. Her father, Jim Stanley, 91, joined her and many others as he passed on February 22. He was vitally interested in Life Impact For Eternity, always asking me questions how the mission is going and praying for me every day. He wanted me to speak at his funeral service. It was an honor for me to do this. Yet, as I had some private time next to his casket the night before I reflected on what I realized that I am now missing … his prayers, his intense interest in what I’m doing and that he believed in me … so, so important. Who will fill his shoes? He was a pastor and he was a strong witness for Christ. To me, this is the passing of an old warrior. Who will take his place?
Speaking from Isaiah 61:1-3 God used the message to encourage Lynne’s siblings, close relatives, friends of the family and a number of pastors who attended. His life, his faithfulness and zeal for the Lord will not be forgotten.
In 2009 I was the speaker at my mother-in-law’s funeral and did the same at my father’s funeral in 2010. Then, I did this for my wife in December 2013 and now for my father-in-law. For a believer it is a comfort to know that I will see them again in heaven. With this thought I am encouraged.
Eric Murphy, Executive Director of Life Impact For Eternity
ADDRESS FOR DONATIONS: Life Impact For Eternity, 3984 Manatee Avenue East, Bradenton FL 34208