Thursday, October 11, 2018

Summer-Fall 2018 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been awhile since  we have posted on our blog, and we apologize for the long silence. This year has gone by so very quickly! One moment we were celebrating New Years, and the next, Autumn has come and school has started again! It has been a busy and fruitful year here in Backa Topola, and we would like once more to share with you some key moment of what we have done, and also what we continue to do in our ministry, and in our life as a family.

Earlier this year, I was able to start teaching a music class to our youth/teens in the church in Pacir. After many of our youth voiced desire to learn music, we began, and it has been a really great time with them! Some want to learn guitar, some of them hand-drums. Some just want to sing. One young guy is a very talented pianist. And as we got together and learned worship songs, one by one...I truly believe the Lord touched their hearts in a special way. In this group, we are not sure who may have given their lives to Jesus and who not, but we continue to just keep planting the seeds, and watering; knowing it is Jesus who will bring the increase! After a pause for the very busy summer season, we are now starting again, and it is my desire to start the same thing with youth in Backa Topola as well. It is our prayer that the Lord will raise up these youth to be true worshipers, in a time and place where it is extremely rare...these kids are the future!

My group in the camp proudly showing
our team flag!
In June, we had an extremely blessed and successful English youth camp with over 35 kids, all of which came from unsaved homes. Amidst the the fun and activities we enjoyed with the youth, we were able to share the Gospel and the love of Christ with them  and several of them received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. I had the privilege of praying with some of these kids to receive Christ, and with one young man specifically, who's whole being in a moment went from darkness to light, and it was such a change that it was visible! This is the greatest blessing one could receive and the greatest miracle that anyone could
experience, the salvation of the soul! Before and during this camp, those of us leading it experienced incredible spiritual battle daily. We knew why! The enemy hates when slaves are made free through the blood of Jesus Christ!
Our 2018 English camp!

And the battle continues as starting this October, we will begin a youth meeting where the kids from the camp can come and learn more about Jesus, and have allot of fun doing things together like making food, playing games, bowling, dancing, and just hanging out! We want to invest as much as we can into these kids in the name of Jesus!

Immediately after the camp we had our yearly conference here in Topola which was a time filled with wonderful worship and teaching and a baptism. It was such a blessing to fellowship with brothers and sisters from all over our region, being greatly encouraged and strengthened together. Our dear brother Pastor Thomas Powell from Calvary Chapel Virginia Beach came and served us with some amazing teaching from the Word.
Pastor Thomas and Pam

After this, the Calvary churches here in Serbia came together for a leadership retreat/conference at the famous Scloss Heroldeck castle in Austria. It was special for me to be there once again after so many years. The Castle was the place that I first heard God call me to serve Him, and also the first place I went to on my journey as a missionary. Allot of wonderful memories came flooding as I looked out on those mountains and lake, all of which shouting out one thing: God is so faithful! And it was not just nostalgic, but a very sweet time to remember that just as He once called me, He calls me still! Both Petra and I were deeply touched to have a few days with nothing to do but relax and hear God's Word. The kids enjoyed themselves very much as well.
Leading worship with our team

 While there we got to reconnect with some dear missionary friends who also served in Romania, and seeing them was like a breath of fresh air! It was a much needed moment of rest for our family, in which the Lord spoke deeply to us....refreshing our strength and clarifying our minds.
the beautiful Castle!
In September, we started a new page in our lives as Cynthia started first grade! Here where we live in Serbia, they offer schooling in two languages, Hungarian and, of course, Serbian. We chose from kindergarten to put her in Hungarian as I speak Hungarian, and the majority of the people we interact with speak Hungarian as well. And over the last couple of years by the grace of God Cynthia has learned allot of this very difficult language. But as she now is in first grade, there is allot more to learn. Schooling here is much more intense than what we do in the States,but so far, she has been doing great, with very little distinction between her and children who are native speakers, which is wonderful. The whole school system here is new to me as well and I have to really keep on top of things making sure I understand myself whats going on. It is going well praise Jesus, but it is quite stressful at times. 
The big girls!
We greatly appreciate your prayers for Cynthia, and for Rachel, who is in her second year of Hungarian kindergarten, and is also learning Hungarian. She is doing well also, but we need to find ways for her to learn the language better. She has one more year in kindergarten which will definitely make a major difference. 
Ready to take on the big world!

Caleb is turning two in December, and it still seems like he was just born! He is such a sweet bundle of raw energy! Keeping up with him is not easy! How we need God's wisdom to raise these beautiful gifts that He has given us!

We celebrated our ninth anniversary this year, and I praise God for Petra, and the wife and mother that she is. We are still hoping and praying to be able to get her paperwork done so we can come to the US together as a family, whether long or short term. It is our desire to serve Jesus no matter where He places us and we are seeking God's will about our future as missionaries and as a family.

Please pray for: ---strength and wisdom in our ministry
                         --- grace and blessing for Cynthia and Rachel their schooling
                         --- wisdom in raising our kids to know and follow Christ
                         --- to be able to get Petra's paperwork done so we may come home together
                         --- patience to wait on the Lord concerning our future...clarity to make decisions

Thank you for your continued support and prayers! If  you would like to support us financially please contact us or Pastor Tony Falcione @ Calvary Chapel of the Fingerlakes. We greatly appreciate you all!
Here, There, or in the Air!
The Fantley Family...Matthew, Petra, Cynthia, Rachel, Caleb

Friday, December 29, 2017

Winter Update From the Fantley Family in Backa Topola,Serbia

Dear Family in Jesus,

We pray you are all blessed in this holiday season as we remember the coming of our Lord, and how Almighty God stooped down to our level! What a hope we have in Jesus, awaiting the day when we will enter the everlasting Holiday! This year has come and gone so quickly, with it's ups and downs, with it's blessing and trials...and now at the end, we can see ever more clearly the day of our that wonderful God never changes, and Jesus' coming is very close. And I pray, as we turn to the 2018th chapter, that this would be the theme of our story: a people ready and waiting for the Bridegroom.

I think of the wonderful things God has done this year in our lives, and am so thankful. At the same time, i think of the low points and times of hardship, I rejoice in what God has done and will do through them. Again, I am so thankful for the way God guides...we don't have to understand, just simply trust and surrender!

This Christmas season here Backa Topola has been fast and full of excitement! Every year for many years now, we put on puppets shows in schools, churchs, and other places, with which we are able to share the gospel to hundreds and hundreds of children, both Serbian and Hungarian, along with many parents and teachers. We also hand out shoebox gifts we recieve from Samaritan's Purse to most of those children. It was an absolute wonderful time ministering with some great people. Some years it has been very hard to find enough people to even have this ministry, but this year, the Lord really put together our team, and we had a blast!
Sharing Christ through our puppet ministry!
After finishing our puppet ministry for the Christmas season (we will do another for Easter) we are praying about doing an outreach program for the kids we were able to minister to in Topola and surrounding areas, to hear more about Jesus and the Gospel. We for sure will be doing this program in our churches in Topola and Pacir, but we see that doors may be opening in three new locations where people positively responded to the idea of this outreach. And we ask for prayer for this, that we would have opens doors to continue with these kids. It is amazing what God can do through little kids that hear the Gospel, and then go home and tell their moms and dads!
our main show in Topola
That is how the Lord worked to establish our sister church in Pacir! It started with a winter childrens camp for kids.

We had two wonderful Christmas services in the two churches, both being packed full with our brothers and sisters in the Lord and the many people that they invited. Many people responded to the message being shared and we look forward to seeing new faces in our fellowships who have come to know the Jesus! Please pray for us as we reach out to disciple and love on those that might come! 
main show...the place was packed!
In Topola we will be starting a sort of new believer's program for that very purpose, just as we recently did in Pacir with blessed success!

As one year ends and another begins, we already have a long list of things that we are preparing for or praying for. We desperatly need God's wisdom as we go forward. We don't only want to be busy, but busy doing what the will of Jesus is!!!
suffering for Jesus in puppet ministry!!! One church we
visited made our team a traditional Slovakian meal...
Was amazing!

On a personal note, our family is doing well. We have all taken turns getting seasonal bugs and random colds. The weather here has been abnormally warm. I know allot of you are really getting true winter, but in Northern Serbia, it still Fall, more or less! Cynthia has been doing very well in school, and is speaking Hungarian much better. She also has started to learn the piano and to be very artistic in many ways. She helps momma out allot with her brother allot. Rachel is still getting aquainted with the concept of kindergarten and being fully immerged into Hungarian. She really keeps us on our toes with her Dennis-the-Mennace mentality!!! Little Caleb has begun to walk and has four front teeth
Calebs 1st Birthday!
and with soon be ready to conquer the world!!! He is truly a boy and truly a blessing from the Lord. More and more we realize how much we need the Lords wisdom and His Spirit to raise these little people He has given us.

Please pray for: 
1.) for our health, both physically and be able to serve the way the Lord has called us to...and to be sensitive to hear that Still, Small, Voice.
2.) For the girls learn Hungarian
3.)For patience to wait on the Lord concerning Petra's immigration process, for is our desire to visit the States as a family soon
                                                         4.) for protection, we have felt the enemy really attacking these                                                             times....but greater is HE!!!
We thank all of you who have supported us and have kept us in prayer, and pray you have a wonderful holiday season! May Jesus bless you!!! Please be free to write us, it is very welcome...there are many things going on that  would make this newsletter very very long!!!

If you would like to finacially support us, please contact us.

With Hope In Jesus,
Matthew, Petra, Cynthia, Rachel, and Caleb Asher

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Update on our mission in Backa Topola, Serbia

Dear Friends and Family,

We are going to try a new way of communicating with you through blogging, with which I plan to do smaller updates more often rather than long newsletters once in a while. We so greatly appreciate your prayers and support and hope this blog will be a blessing to you all! This year has already been such an amazing and blessed time for us...God is so gracious...and as one dear brother replied when asked how he was, he replied: "I am better than I should be!!!" Oh yes, that is exactly how I feel! By the grace of my Savior, and in spite of my personal wretchedness I can say "it is well with my soul!"

Earlier this year, as many of you know, the Lord opened the door for me to come and visit my home in Upstate New York, which had been a prayer for many years. It had been about 12 years since I last visited home, and when the door finally opened i was floored! Words cannot really capture the feeling as I flew into American airspace after over a decade of being on the mission field! And then being reunited with my church family after so very long and being able to put faces next to names of people who have carried my family and I in prayer and support
for so many years was a true privilege...
I felt deeply humbled.

 I met lots of new brothers and sisters, fellowshipped with many of those who have been around for a long time. And talked to so many who are such huge examples of faith and courage in the face of great difficulty that I was left speechless many times.

The Lord has called us all to some place where we have the opportunity to be His witnesses...we are all on the "mission field!" He calls us to be faithful where we are!

Seeing my church family was truly like a bit of Heaven! I was so refreshed and encouraged! I was rebuked and challenged! And my heart and calling for missions was strengthened!

I also got to fulfill a long time dream of drinking an ice-cold root beer! And a whole lot more than that! You guys blessed my socks off with your hospitality and love...some of you opening your homes to a complete stranger and oddball!

And seeing and meeting my pastors again was such a breath of fresh air! I praise the Lord for my who a real examples to us all!

oh how i miss my family!!!
Thank you Pastor Scott!!!

Pastor Ted and Jane! You both are truly inspiring!
The Moores! I love and miss you precious people!!!

The Quilters! I thank Jesus for this group of prayers warriors!!!
The Lord really worked miracles while was in NY...I was able to get a whole list of things done in a really short time...things that could have taken much longer to do than the time I had available. But the ability to connect with so many saints was an absolute privilege and blessing!!! After being home in NY for a month, it was time to get back to my beautiful family back here in Serbia! It was challenging being away from each other for that long but the all was well, praise Jesus.

 Two days after I arrived back in Backa Topola, we had our yearly English camp start where 40 mostly unsaved kids from 13 to 18 came to learn English and to hear the Gospel. It was a great time 
of fun and games and being crazy with these youth, who by the end of the camp 30 of which claimed they wanted a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! 

We are praying about what steps to take to follow up with these beautiful children. We see God really did a work in their hearts and are praying the seeds planted grow into fruition in God's time! 

Immediately after the camp we had our annual conference on the first weekend in July here in Topola with the theme " From Which Well Do You Drink?" It was a wonderful time of fellowship with people from all around Topola,and sound teaching about how only Jesus can quench our thirst!
 Right after that, in cooperation with many other church, we had famous speaker Nick Vujicic, a man born without arms and legs, come and do a night of evangelism in the near-by city of Subotica. This mans message was simple and powerful...we dont need religion, and we cannot be good enough...we need Jesus Christ and His blood to set us free from the chains of sin and death!!! It was a Spirit-filled time, and when the altar call was given, nearly 500 people stood up to receive Jesus!!!

Nick Vujicic
We will (along with the other churches involved) continue to work with as many of those people as we can...praying that in these last days the Lord poor out His Spirit on Serbia and bring many unto Himself. 

Over the next couple months we will be busy doing all sorts of things and ask for your prayers:

1.) keep all of us here in Topola, to minister with the heart of Christ...and to have strength of God for all the things going on (Taiwo and Zsuzsa/Me and Petra/ Viktor and Eva/ Stojce and Sara)...Pray that the church will successfully finish our registration with the government to be recognized as a church and not just a non-profit, which will have many benefits!

2.) we as a family, about Petra's immigration process to go without problems as we soon will start that long and complicated process...

3.) we plan and hope to go visit family in Romania in August, for favor and is a very long train ride with three little ones.

4.) we are praying that God would provide for us to buy a car now that I finally have a drivers be mobile would be of great use

5.) for the girls to do well in the upcoming school year and learning can get discouraging, and our desire as parents is that they would excel. Pray that we see and take the opportunities to help them do so.

Thank you for your continued prayers, we surely need it! Praying God richly blesses you!

In Hope of Heaven,

Matt,Petra,Cynthia, Rachel,Caleb