Have you ever deeply thought about what it means to follow Christ? The Bible teaches us that Jesus wants our total dedication and obedience. To follow Him wholeheartedly Jesus requires us to put Him before family (Luke 14:26); to put Him before possessions (Matthew 19:21); to put Him before our comfort (Matthew 8:18-22). And that is exactly what Dennis and Swanna Lofton are doing. On June 21, 2012, they will leave their lives in Kingsland, Texas behind and move to Targu Mures, Romania. Dennis and Swanna have made a 2-year commitment to Buckner Romania and they will work as ACF’s first long-term missionaries.
Dennis and Swanna were both born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas and were high school sweethearts. Their son Rick, 29, lives in Kingsland and he has two children, a 6 year old son Cameron and a 10 year old daughter Isabelle. The Lofton’s also have a son, Jon, who is already in heaven. Jon was killed in an auto accident just two weeks after he graduated from high school. For the last several years Swanna has been teaching special needs students ages 18 to 22. They are in the Transition Program which is designed to help them become ready to live in a group home. Dennis has worked for Verizon for the last 29 years. Before that he worked in the building industry doing home and light commercial construction.
Reflecting on their decision to leave their family, friends and church and move to Romania, Dennis explained, “About two years ago we both felt that the Lord was calling us to be ready for something, some change. We began a study with our home group on the book Crazy Love. When it came to the story of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22), it really hit us both. We had been to Romania on mission trips and just realized it was the time and the place. We prayed with several friends and my brother elders at the church and have come to believe this is our course. Our church is excited and behind us one hundred percent!”
So what will the Lofton’s be doing while in Romania? Dennis’s past experience in construction has equipped him for the task of completing construction projects at the Point of Hope Development Center. There are currently 4 classrooms that need to be totally remodeled. New wiring, windows, walls, floors, ceilings, lighting and furnishings must be installed. He will work with ACF mission team volunteers. Hopefully, the job will get done much quicker by having Dennis there on a regular basis. With each completed room, Point of Hope will be able to add 12-15 additional children to its programs.
Swanna’s experience, gifts and talents in teaching surely equip her to be of help to the eight orphaned girls who live in the Buckner/ACF group home. These girls are flourishing, but because they are behind academically, Swanna will be tutoring them part-time. This will also include teaching them the English language. It is Swanna’s hope that the Romanian government will allow her to teach English in the schools. Swanna also aspires to teach English to some adults who want to learn.
Dennis and Swanna will be working on ways to enhance the ACF child sponsorship program so that it will be easier for sponsors to monitor the progress of their sponsored child and so that it will be easier to send them gifts and care packages. The Loftons will work closely with Buckner staff and with ACF mission teams in whatever way is needed. Dennis and Swanna are looking forward to building relationships with the Point of Hope families, the local church and community.
Dennis and Swanna are excited to begin this new adventure. They have set up a blog site, www.winningroma.blogspot.com. So tune in for updates and please keep the Lofton’s in your prayers. Because of Dennis’s and Swanna’s wholehearted obedience to God’s call on their lives, the Lord will surely do great things! --By Dawn Cook