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Laurent & Aurelia "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."---Ecc. 4:12

Dear friends and fellow stakeholders,
It is amazing how much better the battle with Darkness goes when you have a supportive group behind you. For their valiant service with us over the past three months, Aurelia and I would like to dedicate this letter to the team.

Looking back in my prayer journal, today, I found an entry on June 7; it was for our team to grow stronger. We can't help but think that the events of the last few months were God's answer to that prayer. Friends tell me that the Iraq war has made Americans battle-weary or perhaps many have just grown out of the spiritual battle phase implied in I John 1:12-14. The easiest thing for us to do would be to give up the battle and permit immorality to pervade the church, homosexuals to marry and raise children, etc. But we are all called to lead this mission of Love, regardless of what is on CNN. So although this might not be financially lucrative, I'm going to use military analogies with the hope of bringing you some encouragement, strength and healing from our loving Commander in Chief (God who spoke from the burning bush, not the presently burning Bush). My advisers have reminded me that many of you have never served in uniform, so whether you disapprove of the present war or didn't serve in uniform, think of a war movie you liked--Braveheart, Ben Hur, M*A*S*H, Veggie Tales' Joshua and Jericho. Got it? OK, read on. 4th Infantry Division insignia
A key to winning battles is to have soldiers of the highest quality. By drawing our team only through your recommendations, we have sacrificed financial gain to limit membership to only people whose lives are characterized by love and integrity. For we know that "the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:16). And, as when I was in the armor battalion calling upon the field artillery, we felt the power of your prayers with us destroying the strongholds of Darkness. 4th Infantry Division insignia
the biological familyFor soldiers to win in battle, they must know each other and how they will act in battle. (For David, even how his soldiers drank water was important.) Soldiers often don't get to go home in the evening but live, sleep, and fight for months in the foxholes. There is no way to know someone better. We make sure that we know our supporters and they know us. We are a team, so I am open with you about our correspondence, our trials, and even our failures. You, the stakeholders in this ministry should be as involved as you desire. In a world recently shaken by the likes of Enron, many people are seeking love and honesty. "Love and integrity" was our battle hymn long before it hit Wall Street and it will be long after it is out of style. We are determined to make this ministry an outlet for those who cherish these character traits and a source from which the children of Romania can receive them. "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked." (Ps. 1:1) Human nature is such that we become like those with whom we associate. Thus, we choose and review our partners carefully. We take relationships seriously and one thing that the Army impressed on me was to give people every opportunity to succeed. I am very impressed with our team and how they gave our former accounting agency every opportunity to correct themselves and put into practice written policies. But, when a soldier refuses to make correction to ensure victory in battle and safety for himself and the group, he needs to be gently and lovingly released from his duties as Matthew 18 advocates. 4th Infantry Division insignia
Feeling like Larry the Cucumber among creamed French peas from Jericho, we are seeing fruit in our year of learning and planning. Sure, there will still be some terrorist action. But what is meant for evil is achieving good and God has richly blessed us beyond what we could ask or imagine. Let me share that with you.
serving in south-central Europe 

Operations Alfred, Marion, and David

The Romanian house assembly is going well. Pisti and Geta lead some phenomenal worship and I have led some Bible studies. They seem to show the fruit of salvation and should be a big help in our plans to train missionaries in Romanian culture. Please pray as I prepare studies to teach how to study the Bible. 4th Infantry Division insignia
In Italy, we had a time of planning for Casa Biblica's Internet bookstore. This is the only Christian bookstore in an area the size of Switzerland that has the lowest percentage of evangelicals in all of Europe. They reported that Internet sales are way up and that while most Italian bookstores reported declines in sales in 2003, the Casa Biblica's sales rose 17%. Italians need to hear God's gospel of grace and to learn how to live fruitful lives. More than ever they are having their need met at the bookstore. Since we changed to Least of These, Alfred (president, at right at the Colosseum) invited me to join their board, and I accepted. Please pray for continued fruit from this work.
building the Italy-Romania bridge

Intelligence and Planning

After much delay due to the turmoil of 2003, I completed my Perspectives course and I am in a place to use it! The weekend after Easter, I preached at our supportive church in Trento. We discussed what they hope to achieve with regards to future cross-cultural outreach, and I hope to be a valuable part of that. Amedeo (see picture on next page), a leader of an Italian evangelical association, also decided that their group could work with us now that we were with Least of These. Amedeo is eager to sponsor our proposed missions seminars and my colleagues at the bookstore have provided many connections with people who have a like heart for stimulating Italians to missions. Praise God for more workers to build this spiritual bridge. (Incidently, I heard yesterday that even the international community sees the cultural similarities between Italy and Romania and in Iraq, Romanians serve with Italians under an Italian General.) 4th Infantry Division insignia

An Italian Toastmasters club started this month in Munich. I would like to get involved this group so that I can share the gospel and our vision with the Italians while they help me improve my presentation and language skills. They have expressed a common interest with me in bringing this professional development club to Romania. Another truss gets added to the Italo-Romania bridge. Meanwhile, learning German is going well and I have a vocabulary of about 250 words. So, thanks to the help of our team, our efforts to promote God's Kingdom are germinating in Germany. 4th Infantry Division insignia

PraisesAmedeo and me

  • For the members of our team who came through the battle, strengthened by fire, God's spiritual refinery.(1 Peter 1:7)
  • For the new relationships.
  • For Aurelia and my chance to return to a familiar culture for a year of planning, studying, and preparing.
  • For God's deepening our two-year colaboration with Amy and Least of These International.
  • For a donation recovery we think we are seeing now that we are back on track with our team's vision. (March was our best month ever, coming after the worst 4th quarter in 3 years.)
Team members and advisors

Prayer requests

  • For rest, binding of wounds and team headcount from the wearying battle. May God heal and strengthen for the next battle.
  • For our financial needs. We have $5000 in unpaid expenses from our prior foundation.
team members In loving service of our Commanding Officer,
Laurent & Aurelia

Pictures: Above and right, just some cherished members of this team. After each paragraph: the crest of the IV Infantry Division where I served prior to serving in the Lord's Vineyard.

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