First, let me say how grateful I am for what was realized in 2014 in my town, in the, in the state, and throughout the Southeast region of Romania. I want to look ahead, but not forget all the Lord has accomplished as we are now well into a new year. Although we saw the Lord working and moving in many wonderful ways, there were challenges as well as we continue looking to the future. I am looking forward to grab the plow and keep the new furrows straight and deep. First and foremost, I am dedicated and actively seeking the Lord to renew me afresh in my desire to be conformed to the image of my wonderful Savior. I continue to pray for the Lord to work in a supernatural manner with my family as He provides for our needs.
As summer approaches in Romania, I continue edifying and sowing into the churches primarily in the training and discipling of the church’s Elders. I also remain directly involved in baptisms, weddings, funerals, and community wide evangelism efforts. Spring brings about a faster pace in Romania as we prepare for the busy summer evangelism season. The time spent preparing and planning are coming to fruition as we seek to do the work of the Lord in locations including Giurgiu, Pietrisu, Prundu, Izvoarele, Purani, Bujoru, Alexandria, Grosu, Nasturelu in Teleorman County, Fundulea, and Dragos Voda in Calarasi County. In 2014, I was able to travel to Mioveni in Arges County; Babeni and Ionesti in Vilcea County as I am looking for new evangelism and mission opportunities.
In our newest mission work in Nasturelu, we are setting up a place of worship in the home of a believer there. It’s a small, but pleasant and welcoming place. There are currently four souls that have become believers and have been baptized with eight more that are awaiting baptism. We plan on a baptism service this summer. We have twelve children that our program at this location and a few young adults too. Throughout 2015, we plan to train each of these believers in the fundamentals of the faith. With their new found love for people through the power of the Holy Spirit, we trust and hope to attract others in this Gypsy neighborhood with the goal of presenting the Gospel to them. Other churches in this area have criticized what we are doing, but I believe the Apostle Pal modeled this type of discipleship as he invested in people and developed them into leader of the faith. All we know to do is work for the Gospel and trust the Lord to accomplish His will and we will do what He has called us to do. Through the incredible work of the Spirit, we have seen over a hundred people make professions of faith. While we remain optimistic regarding the authenticity of their transformation, we invest in them for the long run. Discipleship in never quick, but requires a lifelong investment. We wrestle with a materialistic type of spirit that has penetrated our communities as well as other places. We fight against demonic powers that oppose us in ministry, but we know that greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Please pray for the work at Nasturelu.
In the small mission in Vedea, things are similar to Nasturelu. There are four elderly saints and a forty year old woman. Our desire is to stay close to these people at this mission and with help from the church at Giurgiu Church, hope to evangelize this community. The hearts of the people in this town are particularly hard. Last year we conducted a tent meeting with the emphasis on evangelism in an effort to reach the most people possible with the Gospel, but very few people came to the event. The few that came were unwilling to make a decision for Christ. Although I have opportunities to speak with many people, one person in particular stands out from this event. She was a young woman that had difficulty moving about because she was due to give birth at any time. She heard the Gospel message yet left unchanged by the power of the Spirit of God. I learned that she had died while giving birth. I try to convey a sense of urgency in my dealings with people, but as you know, some people think they always have tomorrow. Please pray for Vedea.
I live in the capital city of Giurgiu County that is also called Giurgiu and am a member of the Bethel Church in Giurgiu. In addition to my mission work in the villages of Southeast Romania, I hope to work more in my town. Our church has a fellowship of just over fifty people that are vibrant and active in their walk of faith. I preach here on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. On Sunday nights, I travel to Nasturelu or sometimes to the church in Pietrisu. I usually stay overnight in Pietrisu or Nasturelu so I can spend time with church members. Sometimes we show Christian movies. As I said earlier, this is especially true during the slower winter months when village life is very slow. On Wednesday nights, I usually conduct Bible study. We’re currently studying the wonderful book of Exodus.
This winter we did something different with my church in Giurgiu. We held a Biblical Expo at the Gallery of Art in downtown Giurgiu. Looking ahead to the rest of the year, we will participate in regular training conferences in Giurgiu and Bucharest where work together with Christians leaders including Sunday School teachers and Pastors we further our education and equip ourselves for the work that the Lord has called us to. We give God praise for the things He is accomplishing in this ministry and we ask for your continued prayer for this church.
As Easter comes this spring, it will usher us into another season of tent meetings with the emphasis on evangelism. Unlike winter, a significant part of tent season is spent in one location sometime lasting as long as four months, Tent work evangelism is a season of true labor that demands courage, health, help and resources, as well as a life of sanctification in the power of the Holy Spirit. We partner with numerous area churches and enlist the help of Elders and other church leaders to assist in our evangelism efforts.
Following tent season, we know that fall will come and then another hard Romanian winter. The cycle of ministry continues as look forward to helping pass out shoeboxes with Operation Christmas Child. Winter brings additional difficulty because we don’t have winter tires for our ministry van, but God will provide and we are confident of this very thing. As I write this letter describing my work and vision for 2015, I am preparing to travel to the city of Sibiu pick up 500 children’s Bibles.
While there is significant burden on me and my ministry as I care for my family and those that god has entrusted to me, I press on because He is worthy! I thank the Lord that I am in good health, I have good, dedicated co-laborers, such as Aurel and the team from Alexandria, Paul from Ploiesti, the singing team from Pietrisu, the Youth Group and preachers from Giurgiu, the team from Fundulea, Adi and Teo ( the Lord’s Levites) Brother Richard, Brother Aurel from Smirdioasa, Brother Marian Filip from Izvoarele, Figel from Bucharest, the brothers from Izbinda, Diakonia, and Cerceilor churches who helped us with whatever they could. Truly I can say, my cup of blessing runs over and I am deeply humbled and encouraged that God has put so many wonderful people in my path that not just can help, but they want to help and consider it a privilege to work for the cause of Christ.
May the Lord bless and help our efforts so we may work heartily, for it is wonderful to serve the Lord, who has done much good to our souls!
The words of the Psalmist are on my lips as we sing, “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.” (Psalm 147:1)
Yours in Christ,