HeartCry missionary Costel Ghioanca pastors Adonai Chruch in Bucharest. In his recent update he shares how the local church family is beautifully functioning in the urbanized community of Bucharest:
During July 10-13 we had our annual church retreat. We try to take a few days off and spend time together as a church family, studying the Word of God and enjoying some fresh air outside Bucharest. By God’s grace this year almost all members were able to come, as well as some new potential members. I think that I am not wrong when I say that so far this was the best retreat we have had together. People really were connected among each other and I could see the love of God in action. The messages were very well received as the Spirit of God worked in a special way. Stefan spoke about guarding our heart from idols and I shared two messages, one about avoiding conflicts and strife in family life and another about overcoming anxiety! At the end of the retreat we had a special time of sharing with each other what the Lord spoke to us about. This was accompanied with tears. A special presence of the Holy Spirit had been manifested and it was like people didn’t want to go home. I think that God started to work in a special way in our church. You know, from the previous reports, that we had some special prayer meetings for a spiritual awakening. I think that God is starting to do something, at least in our church. He will continue to do His work for His glory!
As I wrote in my previous reports, Stefan and I decided to have four special evangelistic outreaches; two in July and two in August. We met at the church, as usual, and after praying for about a half an hour, all of us went to Crangasi Park and shared the Gospel with people. We had already done this twice in July and some people started to visit our church. This is quite amazing because we did this for many years and almost no one came to church. Now it seems to be working. We now see that it is the providence of God behind all this!
People are generally open to have conversations with us. I met Cristina, a woman in her 40s. She was very interested to hear about Christ and asking many questions. As the discussion went on I found out that she used to attend a Brethren Church when she was young. Then she stopped going to church and lived her own life. She was not married and seemed quite confused about her purpose in life. I explained to her that our meaning in life is only in Christ, that God created us for His glory. She tried to tell me that she was a good persons, with good deeds, etc, but I told her that nothing can earn our way to heaven and that we would find no rest for our souls outside Christ. I invited her to our church and urged her to develop a real relationship with the Lord. She hasn’t come yet, but I pray that God may continue to search her heart.
IINTERVIEWS WITH POTEENTIAL MEMBERS
This month we started some discussion with potential new members who want to join Adonai church. Some of them are from Bucharest, but others are people who are going to move into the city to join our church. We have approached this issue with patience and prayer because we want to make sure that we welcome the right people as new members. We don’t expect them to be perfect as no one is, but we want to make sure that they have some signs of regeneration in their lives. We are happy that God continues to add new people to our church. It is possible that we will also be preparing a baptism service for two other people. .
COUNSELING CHURCH MEMBERS AND PREACHING
Besides my preaching in which I just finished Hebrews 11, Stefan and I continued to be involved in spiritual counselling. We took time to meet with people and talk about their needs and burdens. Also, we had a meeting with a couple who desire to get married. We were happy to hear that a new family is about to be birthed in our church. This is the first meeting out of many others to come. We want to counsel them and help them understand what the Bible says about marriage.
In conclusion, I can say that although it is summer time, our church had been quite active. I think it was a very good month for our local church ministry.