Saturday, December 31, 2011

Update from Floyd and Ancuta Frantz

Saturday, December 24th, Eve of the Nativity of Christ

The St. Dimitrie Post

Greetings, and I hope that this finds you well and in good spirits on this most beautiful and blessed of days.
First of all, I would like to ask your forgiveness for being out of touch for such a long time. Today I am in Batavia, just outside Chicago. Next week I return to Romania. During October and November Ancuta and I have been doing some needed fund raising here in the States. She returned to Romania at the end of November, and I headed up to Alaska in order to do some teaching at the St. Herman Seminary. It is this course on addicitons that I would like to address in this newsletter.

At the invitation of Fr. John Dunlop, Dean of St. Herman Seminary, I returned to Kodiak to continue the addictions course that I had begun last year. Joining me and helping with the course was Fr. George Aquaro, Fr. Andrew Harrison, and Dr. Basil Spyropoulos. These three missions specialists had previously taught addictions courses with me in Romania. The first, Fr. George Aquaro, is has been accepted for full time missionary work in Alaska. All three of them have agreed to help in developing an online training course for the seminary, which we will continue with starting in January of 2012. I am most excited about this, and believe that this course can be developed into something useful to the Lords people in Alaska. I am sending along a few pictures in this newsletter in the hopes that they will speak about our work. You can view an album of these photos at "St Herman Course" I do hope that you enjoy looking through them. If you would like to contact me personally about this, please use the address at the bottom of this newsletter.

This first photo is of the seminarians and the teaching team.

This one, (with Fr. Andrew on the left) is of the class in session.

Here we have Fr. Andrew, Fr. John Dunlop (Dean of the seminary), Fr. George Aquaro, myself, and on the right Dr. Basil Spyropoulos. They were a really nice team, and will be involved in future courses.

I will close for now by wishing you a most blessed and Christ filled Christmas season. May our good and loving Lord give you every good thing from His heavenly treasures.

Thank you for your interest in our work, please do keep us in your prayers, we all need them.

In His Love,
One Day at a Time,
Floyd & Ancuta Frantz, OCMC Missionaries to Romania

As as a final note, please remember that as OCMC missionaries we are 100 % reliant upon your financial support to continue our ministries in Romania and Alaska. Please consider a small gift through OCMC so that we can spend our time doing the Lord's work. If you can make such a donation, send it to "OCMC, 220 Mason Manatee Way, St. Augustine, Fl. 32086, and mark the donation "Frantz/Romania so that we can use the funds. Online and credit card donations are possible also. Thank you.

And please feel free to pass along our email to others who you believe might be interested in our work here in Romania.

If you would like to contact us through email, please use: for myself and the St. Dimitrie Program, or for Anca and the Protection Center.

I am also shedding my dinosaur skin, and Twittering. If you too do Twit, just hit the link and it will put you over to my page.

Please also go to the Orthodox Christian Mission Center web site at to read online about our missionary activities here in Romania.

We do thank you for your interest in our work, for your support, and most of all for your prayers.

In His Love,
One day at a time,
Floyd & Ancuta Frantz, OCMC Missionaries

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nativity 2011

Wishing you a blessed Feast of the Nativity from the Early and Hale families.  May God bless you richly during these holidays and in the coming year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Blog Recommendation

When you get a moment, please check out the blog Sword in the Fire by Theron Mathis.  It's not a new blog, but it's new to me.  The blogger is Theron Mathis, author of the recently-published book The Rest of the Bible: A Guide to the Old Testament of the Early Church.  This book looks really great; it's on my ever-expanding list of books I want to read.

Also, and this is WAY overdue (sorry, Katrina!), check out regular St. James' Kids reader Katrina Delsante's blog Desert Deliberations.  Katrina is a mother of three who lives in Arizona.  She's also a sports fan!

I'll add both blogs to the sidebar.

Also, since I doubt I'll post again before Nativity, I wish you and yours a blessed Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh (whenever you celebrate it!).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Welcome News from James Hargrave in Tanzania

Icon image from here

Dear friends,

Furaha na amani! Joy and peace!

After seven days in the hospital, I have been discharged. I am continuing to recuperate under the watchful care of fellow missionary Maria Roeber.

I'm only just beginning to sift through emails and facebook messages. The well wishes and prayers that have been coming my way are nothing short of overwhelming. Your prayers have been apparent to me all this week.

As you might imagine, I am very happy to be out of the hospital. I am happier still that the hospital was there when I needed it. As soon as I was admitted, I swiftly began receiving excellent care. My recovery has been much slower than I would have liked, but my path to recovery has been straightforward and uncomplicated. Each day is better than the last.

And today I breathe freely with nothing but my own lungs. I have seen the sky, listened to the birds, and watched the sun set on Kirumba Hill. What could be better?

I am grateful for your continued prayers as I work towards full recovery. Please remember the hundreds of sick and suffering still in Bugando Hospital- especially Judith with liver/ kidney failure and Felix with tetanus, who remained in the ICU as I left today. And stay in touch!

By your prayers in Christ,

James Hargrave

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More Prayers Needed for James Hargrave

Friday, 9th December 2011

Dear Friends,

Kila mwenye pumzi namsifu Bwana!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Greetings from the Intensive Care Unit of Bugando Medical Centre in
Mwanza. I have asked fellow missionary Maria Roeber to type and send
this for me.

This past Sunday I started having trouble breathing. By Monday morning
it was really bad. My local family took me to the hospital where I was
placed in the ICU, given oxygen, and diagnosed with “acute abnormal
bacterial pneumonia.” I am responding to antibiotics.

Responding slowly. The more I improve, the more I realize how very
sick I am. Through Wednesday I was on maximum oxygen, sitting bolt
upright in bed, fighting hard to breathe. I could barely speak, drink,
or eat—let alone sleep!—because all my consciousness was focused on
getting that next gasp of air..and the next…and the next.

Now I am able to lie down. I need less oxygen support. I have been
sleeping. It’s wonderful!

I feel like I am receiving good treatment. More important, Maria is
satisfied with my care. She is a nurse, and she should know! She and
missionary Michael Pagedas came to Mwanza on Tuesday morning and Maria
has been with me daily, keeping company and being my link to the
outside world. I’m grateful to her, and grateful to her supporters for
sending her.

This is my first hospitalization, so I’m getting familiar with all the
trappings of this life. My clothes are gone. There’s an IV valve in my
left arm, a cuff on my right arm, a little clip on my thumb, and wires
stuck all over my torso and legs. A mask is strapped over my mouth. I
can barely move for fear of coming unplugged. My sheets are changed
under me while I’m in bed, nurses bathe me, and I’m learning to use a
bedpan. I’d always wondered if this stuff was as uncomfortable and
embarrassing as it looks. It is.

Being helpless is no fun. I can’t imagine anyone becoming like this by
choice. But it’s Advent, and I remember how our God came down to us.
By choice He was stripped of His power and glory as I am of my breath
and my clothes, and was confined to this earth as I am to this bed.
The creator of the universe chose to become weak and needy, a child as
tiny as the one in the bed to my left. In time, He cried out in pain
like the man with tetanus on my right.
When I arrived on Monday, the closest I could get to prayer was to
gulp out: “My God”--gasp--“do you know”—gasp—“how awful”—gasp--“this
is?” And the reply comes back: “Yes, James”—gasp—“I sure do.”

Bugando Medical Centre may be one of the best hospitals in Western
Tanzania. It provides good, affordable care to thousands of patients.
But Western Tanzania is bigger than California, and has about eighteen
million people. Most folks in my condition cannot access the care I’m

Even so, I am experiencing in a small way the suffering of many who
I’ve been sent to serve among. I am grateful for good care as I learn
to identify with the people around me, and understand in a new way the
radical sacrifice of the Incarnation. Thank you for sending me here.

Thank you for your prayers especially in these tough days. Maria is
keeping OCMC updated on my progress, so if there is news it will be on When I am out of the hospital, I will write again.

By your prayers in Christ,
James Hargrave

P.S. This is a note from Maria: James gave me this letter this
morning, which he wrote yesterday. He continues to improve every time
I see him, which is twice a day. He is now free of his BP cuff and
heart monitor, and is on oxygen mostly for comfort measures. He
continues to receive antibiotics both via IV and also by mouth, but he
is breathing much easier and is able to eat and drink. His vital signs
are all normal. James’ phone is not allowed in ICU, but we are hoping
that he will be transferred to another ward on Monday or Tuesday when
he doesn’t need as much oxygen. James is under the care of an American
physician working in Bugando Hospital, and he and I spoke the other
day about James’ treatment plan and progress. His doctor is quite
reassured that James will be just fine and that his body simply needs
time to heal. I am also very impressed by the Tanzanian nurses and
other physicians who have been caring for him, as well as with the
equipment and facility in general. I am grateful to God for his mercy
and compassion on James, and so glad to be able to be here with him in
Mwanza. Thank you for your continued prayers for James. Asante sana!