The Lord is my strengths, whom shall I fear?!
We live in a fallen world, very corrupted and hateful of heavenly values. We constantly face a form of persecution from the ungodly people around us, but this is a good sign in that we belong to a different kingdom. It is a testimony of us being in the world, but not belonging to it.
The last month was a month of changes in Eastern Europe. Romania and Moldova went through elections. Romania choose a new Parliament, and Moldova had presidential elections. Unfortunately, things went bad in both countries. Our new Parliament has socialist orientation, and the new president of Moldova is a pro-Russia politician. On the other side, things change all over Europe: Great Britain is about to go our EU, new nationalist, and populist leaders have more success, the immigrant waves continue to challenge the borders.
In the midst of all these life challenges, we have a clear calling: to take the Gospel to every individual, and serve our neighbor in love. I came to understand that my neighbor is not the one that spontaneously appears beside me, but the one whom I come close to. I began to see new aspects of serving with the Gospel in a tangible way. I am writing a dissertation on the way the Church serves the people outside the walls of our church buildings. We were able to do that more as we went through the Christmas celebration. We had a key evangelistic event, where we had more families coming with the children for a special evening. Our church kids did a Christmas skit and caroled some of the well - known Christmas songs. In the end I shared a Gospel message to the audience, created more for unbelievers that responded to our invitation. I was glad to see some of the workers that did our church building coming to the event, and some of the neighbors of our church families. This is a sign that there is a preoccupation to reach the people around us. This evangelistic event was under spiritual attack. As we approached the day, we found that the electricity was cut off. The day of the event we got the electricity back, but one hour before the meeting the power went off again. We knew there was a spiritual battle against the message we were about to bring to the lost. We prayed and started with a few candles in a big dark hall. We still had some heat from heating the building before the power went off. In the end, all went so well, and we were able to do almost all as we projected. We learned that in spite of obstacles, God will make a way for the message to go forth.
Another great experience for our church and my family was to have with us the Bodnariu Family, which was on the media in Europe and America. Last year, their five kids were taken away by the Child Services in Norway where they lived. This is a mixed couple (Romanian-Norwegian) who faced one of the greatest trial that a family can go through. Because of the Christian values that they applied in raising their children, they came in collision with the secular authorities from the school in Norway, and based on a complaint the authorities abusively took their children away. For close to eight moths the children were separated far away in various places in Norway. This event brought the Evangelical Romanian believers together in raising their voices against the abuse that was made against this family. Prayers, days of fasting, and peaceful street protests brought Christians together in fighting for a just cause. Week after week, the cause seemed to be lost as the authorities in Norway did not want to recognize the abuse in taking away the children. But, God heard our prayers and looked to the tears that were shed by thousands and thousands of Christians, and the court decided to give the five children back to the family. The youngest son, who was three months old, was for more than half a year in the arms of foreign people. Now the family has moved to Romania, and we had the joy of celebrating with them a victory that humanly speaking had few chances of success. We learned that few people that commit to prayer and fasting, can change the course of a nation.
Our church continues to witness the Gospel in Brasov. We had an outreach in the city, in spite of very cold weather in December. I met more people that I shared the Gospel with. As I was mostly in contact with Romanians, I came to meet a lady from Pennsylvania that was on a tour in Europe. She was a skeptic, but opened to listen to my argument for the faith. After sharing the Gospel in a simple and clear way, I challenged her to check her beliefs, and not just live without exploring the truth of the Bible. I was so joyful and thankful that I was able to use my skills of English language to bring the Gospel to this American girl.
Another time, I met five guys from China working in a factory who were being hosted in a hotel near our apartment. As I took the boys out in the little park at the hotel, I interacted with them and talked about Christ. They all were Communist, and some Buddhists, but some were open to hear about the truth of the Christian faith. Pray for these people. We never know how God will bring somebody else into their lives, and bring them to salvation.
We are about to start a new year, and we pray that more people will come to the knowledge of the Gospel. Pray with us for the expanding of the Kingdom on the continent of Europe. We are deeply grateful for your faithful support and prayers.