Greetings, and Merry Christmas!
I hope this update of the work in Eastern Europe will bring you joy, and encourage to continue the hard work you do there.
Moldova and Ukraine Mission Tour
During March 2013, we had our Moldavian missionaries for the HeartCry conference with Brother Conrad, and Jeremy Walker. We could not bring the missionaries from Ukraine, as the cost was quite high. So, I thought it would be good to visit them before the end of this year. The tour was a blessing, both for me, and for them. I visited all the missionaries, meeting their families, the teams, and the churches. I was encouraged to see the faithfulness of our brothers, in spite of many trials, and attacks. I also took the textbooks for the Training Program by Extension (five books for each student). We have ten students in Moldova, and ten in the Ukraine. One blessing of the trip was to have with me a former University professor, who wanted to join me on the trip. This was his first exposure to the Gospel. We are good friends, and God gave him a great opportunity to see my life, our missionaries, and their churches.
Brasov – Providence Church
November was still nice in terms of weather, so we went out to witness in the park to a large number of people. Adi began to meet the homeless on Sunday afternoon (15-20 people), providing a meal for them at our church location, and sharing the Gospel. This is also a good environment for our disciples to learn to preach the Gospel. We experienced a hard time as a team – some men could not cope anymore with one of our team member’s attitude – so I had to take time in dealing with these sensitive issues). In the end God has brought peace, and strengthened our unity.
Bucharest – Adonai Church
Costel reports a successful evangelistic meeting where more people came for a lecture on “Success”. He also gave a message to the students (Ruxi and Dana L.’s ministry) at their new location in the heart of Bucharest, one message for a Youth Conference in Ploiesti, and a lecture in an International Conference organized by the Catholics, where he spoke on true faith.
George and Danut continued their ministry with street evangelism in Draganesti (the center of the ministry), and specific evangelistic approaches in Stoienesti and Coteana. George worked in four villages, around Stoienesti, having mission teams that did street evangelism. Danut started home Bible studies in Coteana town with new families that are open to study the Word. Pray for our Brother Raul Costea: his father visited him to help with some work at one of the church buildings – he fell from the roof and died instantly. Raul and his family are in deep grief.
Florin and Marian did a series on “The End of Times” where a good number of unbelievers attended. Marian reports that new children began to show up at their meetings with the children. He also had a great opportunity to share the Gospel to the teachers, and parents in a kinder garden.
Nicu is very encouraged with the new people that began to attend the church. God’s hand is at work in the lives of these people. I will give a part of his report, as I find it significant:
God’s mercy was with us this month. Although we continue to pray for some people who forgot that Jesus paid a price for their sins, God is at work in Pucioasa. He adds people to the number of His disciples and strengthens our testimony in the city. Alin Popescu (21 years old) who used to come to our church since he was a child, has finally found freedom after being captive under the power of satan. He was indeed in a difficult situation being very proud and stubborn. Two days before being saved his heart was hardened and he mocked everything we did in the church. Friday and Saturday he was under severe demon attacks and he declared that he will never step into the church again. In spite of this, he came to church on Sunday and heard the Gospel. Then, in the night he went down town he had a vision with some demons calling him to them. He stared to run home, but he still heard some laughs behind him, although no one was there. His mother (a believer) saw that he was very scared when he got home, and prayed to God again that He would be merciful to this boy. In that moment God freed him from any evil power and gave him peace instead. The next day he was a different man. He loves God so much! We continue to pray for him!
One young man, Boni (33 years of age) had an accident as his house exploded because of a gas leakage. Some time ago, I visited him and shared the Gospel with him. Still, he delayed his repentance. Eventually he was taken to hospital and passed away. People who knew him heard the Gospel at his funeral and God searched their heart with this occasion. Those who are not reconciled with the Lord started to think seriously about their life.
John Gireada shares about the great opportunity of reaching the young people in the schools by teaching Ethics. The Minister of Education realized the depravity of the students, and tried to reverse the situation by asking pastors to get the Bible in the schools. Sandu Deac was encouraged with the conversion of Colea and Rodica. Ilie went on a mission trip to Russia in the region of Pskov where he shared to hundreds of people. Vitalii had a medical event where over 460 people were helped medically, and heard the Gospel.
Anatol retuned from Iraq where he was on a ten day mission among the Muslims, and prepared an outreach for 1,000 students related to living a pure life. Gelu experiences God’s grace in the survival of their boy who was born at five months. Being in the hospitals with the boy, he and Olga met many women that just aborted, and their testimony in saving the life of a five months child, with all the presupposed risks, was powerful.
Anenii Noi & Igor
They started a new mission in Harbovat. Mariana (his wife) and Natasha lead a ministry for women – they had a conference with over 250 women. Pavel leads the day center with the 25 poor children. The church also helped several hundreds of poor children with clothes, shoes, and food.
The Gypsy Ministry
We held the last evangelistic outreach among the Gypsies in Frunzanesti at Brother Vale Marian. The evangelistic endeavor ended with a Baptism in December where I baptized five persons. Nae Marian shared about the tragedy of the death of a young mother (38 years old) with two children (12 and 6). The 300 people that attended the funeral heard the calling to salvation. Sorin prodan visited over 200 people at their homes in his area, and Tony did much street evangelism, as many Gypsy people returned during the winter at home. Moses did an outreach in the district of Traian (Bucharest) where over 90 people were exposed to the Gospel, and Colentina district where about 70 heard the Good News.
Alex Palade made five teams to reach the students in Sibiu. Simona his wife was in the hospital for a surgery, and she used the time to speak to many women about the Lord. Dana L. and Ruxi were on a Training Retreat that encouraged them. They are happy with the new location for the students meeting right in the down town of Bucharest. Ruxi was encouraged to do something for many of her friends that experience trials in marriage, and some even divorced, and for the young people that live in deep immorality.
The Training Program by Extension
We come to close another year of study. This year we have studied a Dogmatic Theology of the Orthodox Church (to understand their stands on various doctrines, debate with them, and share better the Gospel), The Call to Spiritual Reformation by Carson (a work on prayer), The Introduction to the New Testament by Carson and Moo, and In the Light of Eternity by Mack Tomlinson. The biography had a powerful impact on the lives of many men who experienced a revival of prayer in their life (including me).
- We already got the textbooks for the next year:
- The Kingdom of the Cults – Walter Martin
- The Impact of the Reformation in Romania (in the 16th century)
- A Biography – Haralan Popov (a kind of Richard Wurmbrand of Bulgaria)
- The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter
- Through Western Eyes – Eastern Orthodoxy: A Reformed Perspective by Robert Letham
I dropped three students from last year, but other three got in the program. So, we will keep moving with 55 students. Very often I get words of excitement from the students. They seem really encouraged with the effectiveness of this form of study. Thank you for this investment.