"Preach the Gospel to all creation" Mark 16:15
|Field of Souls--The 1996 Romania Crusade Testimonies|
A third mission trip was an unexpected blessing for me. The Lord confirmed and then provided for this mission trip in His infinite wisdom.
God is faithful to provide and his plans will not be thwarted. This was evident when one of our interpreters became ill. Two youths, possessing limited English skills, from the church in Minier accompanied during an afternoon of walking and witnessing. As we approached the apartment complexes, we began talking with a teenager when dozens of children crowded around us. God used this opportunity to bring the gospel to eleven boys and girls. The two youths with whom I was working, Rachel and Thomas, had limited knowledge of English, but a complete understanding of the gospel. The Holy Spirit broke the language barrier so I could share the gospel through these young people. That this was a miraculous work of the Spirit became evident later that evening. I asked Rachel, "How old is your brother?" She replied, "I no understand." Earlier that afternoon she understood completely what I was communicating about the gospel, yet in her own power simple small talk was very difficult--we serve an awesome God!
God's greater glory was seen when these same young people worked with these new believers during our children's services. They lovingly worked with the children, teaching them the truths of Christ. It continues to be an awesome experience to witness God's continuing work in Romania! MP
This was my third mission to Romania. I can surely testify that God is raising up His church there. I split time between Bratasanca (where I was last year) and San Minier. The churches in these towns are quite different, but God's goals are never changing. We saw large numbers of people respond to the gospel in both towns. Our Lord is always about His business of calling a people to Himself, and I praise Him for allowing me to witness His awesome work.
In 1994 the Lord gave me a heart for His work in Romania. In 1995 He showed me the urgency in reaching Romania for Him. In 1996 the Lord blessed me with an additional gift of grace: He let me see the fruit of His labor!. The first Sunday of the 1996 mission I received an unexpected gift. I was to preach on baptism during San Minier's baptismal service (14 were baptized). I was seeing the fruit of His previous year's work. The baptismal service was nothing short of spectacular!
That night I traveled to Bratasanca to preach. This small "house church" had a wonderful new work for us to see. Last year we greatly encouraged them to trust God to build His church in both building and ministry. Upon our arrival we saw the fruit of the Lord's work again! A concrete foundation was poured and some of the cinder blocks purchased. They told us they started this work of faith only two weeks after the 1995 trip. Now they faithfully wait upon the Lord to supply every board and brick. You never arrive in your walk of faith; through trusting obedience you are allowed to be involved in "God-sized" works for His kingdom.
The Lord was not yet done. As He had done in 1995, He allowed us to train up the youth in Bratasanca. We had these wonderful teenagers eager to reach out to their town with the gospel. They once again inspired us to keep going when we were hot and tired. In San Minier we had even a greater blessing before us. The youth there not only helped us find people with whom to share the gospel, they also to an active role in presenting it! God's work in and through these wonderful teenagers is already fruitful.
Like the building of the foundation in Bratasanca, the foundation of the emerging church in Romania has been poured. The youth of the church are involved in this "God-sized" project. The fruit of God's labor is so sweet. Thank you Lord for allowing me to see your fruit ripen before my eyes! JT
I could not think of one favorite moment. I had at least two...the first was an elderly gentleman...I believe his name was Valentine. He had a problem with one eye. We had begun talking to him about God's love and forgiveness while walking the streets of Filipesti. Within a short time, a crowd had surrounded Sylviu, George, and I. Before our testimony had ended, we had 15 professions of faith. It was a magnificent moment.
Secondly, Sylviu and I had continued to walk the streets and came upon one elderly woman, named Helena, setting on the outside of her fence, watching the people walk up and down the street. We approached her to tell her about God's love for her. She replied that God did not love her, that she was too much of a sinner. I told her that I knew God had sent me to tell her specifically about God's love and forgiveness for her, for HE cares about us individually and that it was no chance that I ventured to Romania...and down her street. She did receive the LORD as her Savior and asked for forgiveness. After prayer, there was truly something different about her...a softness had come over her face, like God washed the hardness from her heart and she couldn't help but show it.
Several times, after prayer, Sylviu and I were greeted with tears of joy, hugs, and warm faces of love from people that enthusiastically received God's forgiveness.
It was a blessing to see people hungry to feel God's love in their lives, unlike this generation of Americans that have a church on every corner, and take God's goodness for granted.
God is my Provider. It was a miracle that I would even get to go to Romania on this trip. When I returned, I came back to all my problems...I knew that would wait for me to return. I had no residence. Being new into my present employment, left me little money to secure a home for my daughter and I. I asked God for his guidance. I needed a home that I could lease for a few months and then buy. He provided a home that I moved into with $500.00. I was then able to pay the rest (the note, the security deposit...to come back at closing) on semi-monthly payments as my paychecks came in.
God knew just what my limitations were, and HE provided. HE has continued to shower me with provision. I tell my daughter Rachel, that the true walls about us are God's love and provision. God is my vindicator, my lawyer, and better than any husband (Isaiah 54).
Thank you for allowing me to go with you to Romania...to love God with service gives me new life. KH
The 1996 crusade to Romania was a beautiful experience. Throughout the trip, I felt as though I were walking through a story already written by God. He had composed this poem in advance and penned every step and every detail, and I was just moving through it. The way the people responded to the simple gospel truth was amazing, and it created a surreal effect. However, I know that many of decisions made were real because converts from last year approached us in tears and told us of their spiritual growth.
God poured out His spirit on the Romanians, and I felt honored that He would even allow me to be a part of their salvation experience. He was in complete control, and He was saving souls. However, God, with His great compassion, allowed me to come to Romania and see His miracle power at work. He did not need me any more than the ocean needs the rain, but he wanted me. For that, I am forever grateful.
The perfect timing of each witnessing encounter revealed God's control of the situation. In Comarnic, for example, there was a woman at the train station who I wanted to approach, but I wasted time fishing in my backpack for more gospel tracts. By the time I was ready, she and her little girl were already walking toward the next train. I approached her anyway, and she listened. No sooner than I had started sharing Jesus with her, then her husband stepped off the train and was able to hear the message as well. If I had spoken to the woman any sooner, her husband would not have heard the gospel. That was God's perfect timing, not mine. Incidentally, the couple's little six year old daughter, all dressed in lace, was the first to pray out loud for Jesus to come into her heart, and then her parents, moved by her precious childlike faith, followed in receiving Christ.
God's perfect tapestry was unfolding with each step I took and with each human encounter. On the way to evening church, my husband and I led two youths to Christ. As we finished speaking to them, two young adults approached us. God had sent them our way. The young man I spoke with wore a black armband to symbolize the death of his friend. He admitted that he had been thinking about death quite frequently and that he and another friend had recently survived a frightening earthquake. God had been preparing this young man, and he was ripe for harvest. I told him that God was weaving all of these events in his life together. I explained to him that God was calling him and that it was no accident that we met him on the streets that day. The young man happily received Christ as his personal savior and became a new creation. This was one of the most special works of God that I saw on my trip to Romania. DDR
This year marked my third Romania crusade. Along with my wife, Danielle, I ministered in three difficult communities: Comarnic, Campina, and Cornu. This year we pursued a different strategy emphasizing home visits rather than street witnessing, so I contacted fewer people and saw fewer professions of faith. In my mind, I began to second-guess the many people professing faith in Christ in past crusades, as I recalled the parable of the sower. This attitude was common in the Campina church, even among some of the interpreters. By the end of the week I had worked very hard for what seemed like only a few victories. I gave a brief report of the week's accomplishments during the victory rally at the Campina cultural house. After the victory rally a middle-aged woman dressed in white with a matching white head covering came up to me. I could see in her eyes that she had something important to tell me. An interpreter was found and came to us. Weeping tears of joy, the woman in white related to me through the interpreter how I had shared the gospel with her in the market square three years earlier. She continued to describe how I had prayed the sinner's prayer with her, and I could see the gratitude in her eyes as she confirmed that she had received Christ that day. She explained that she had visited the Baptist church a few times, but now was actively involved in the Pentecostal church. She thanked me profusely for coming to Romania and sharing the good news with her. As she departed, still weeping and thanking me, I realized that those seeds I had sown were God's responsibility, and that He was faithful to complete His work, by sending others to cultivate and water where He had first sent me to sow. PJR
I am humbled that God continues to send me to Romania to shine the light of Christ into dark places. This year I worked in the town of Baicoi-Tinta, where we saw 110 people pray for salvation.
There were many ministry visits and evangelistic home visits arranged by the members of the Baptist church. I also shared the gospel in the streets where one morning 22 people prayed to receive the gift of eternal life in Christ. There were also about 25 children on this morning, so I told my interpreter we needed to have a Bible study for them. She asked, "When can we do this?" I told her, "Right now, right here." We had them sit down on the steps and I told them of Jesus' great love for them. At the end of our time together, I told them a simple but sincere prayer from their hearts to God would be heard, and that this is how we can have Jesus with us always.
It was overwhelming as this group of children prayed together, their little but bold voices asking for eternal life in Christ. I believe the sound of their voices ascending to God will live in my memory forever, and call me back to Romania next year. BMS