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Romania 1997 Testimonies "Into the fields...."

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We share with you many scenes from the 1997 Romania Crusade.  Worship, fellowship, witnessing join the Romanian Christians and the GNI team hearts as one, as we celebrate the great things He has done.
Read their Testimonies >>>> Chris Nancy Mary Steve Jack

Ed, Team Leader

Riding in the car from the airport in Bucharest to the city of Campina, I couldn't help but marvel at the lush green of the corn fields and the golden glow of the ripening wheat fields. How quickly God readies us for the work ahead1 reminding me of the field to be reaped for Him, and how ripe and ready for harvest it is. The day was hot, but clear; the traffic was moderate.

Of such was the preparation for our week in the Campina area: a field of lost souls ready for harvest, good, warm weather, and clear skies. Yes, a few obstacles tried to block our paths and hinder our efforts, but that is the way Satan always works. The nine of us were ready to complete the work of the Lord, who had sent us on this mission.

We tried a new approach this year. Each team visited in at least two communities instead of the usual one, thereby giving us more exposure to the area and the people. And we were able to witness in some new areas as well.. .Cornu, Banesti, Gornu, Stoenestei, and Morin. We held a children's Bible study during four of the days, and we held leadership training for both the men and the women.

Home visits were more numerous than in the past, and they were very fruitful since the church members accompanied us on the visits. Hopefully, next year, the visits will include more people in each home so that we can talk with more people. Each of us had his own interpreter so we were free to go and witness to anyone, rather than being bound to the team of three.

The harvest was good, 315 professions of faith, and we had over 500 children attend our Bible schools. In addition, the local church members seemed to be more responsive to our request that they become more involved in the setting of appointments and in the follow-up with the new believers in their churches. God was so good to us on this trip. His Holy Spirit moved among the team members, the church members, and the people with whom we spoke.

Top Chris Nancy Mary Steve Jack


Fear and faithfulness, powerless and empowering, teachable and taught--these are the tensions between my weakness and God's strength driven home to me on the 1997 GNI trip to Romania. The first day fear froze my heart. Could I really share the Gospel through a translator? Despite my doubts in myself, the Holy Spirit cultivated courage in my heart that overcame my fears and empowered me to tell others of God's timeless truths.

And so I did, again and again, a mouthpiece for God's message I was. One incident stands out. Mary Pike and I were witnessing to two teenagers when a mob of kids gathered around us in Baicoi. To distribute the mass of bodies, Mary took a large group of them to another spot. When I was done talking a voice yelled out in highly accented English, 'He's American." The fellow was not referring to me but to a young man. "You're American?" "Yes. No. Well, I lived there for seven years. My name is Dragosh." We proceeded to have a lively discussion about the Gospel which resulted in his professing Christ. What amazes me is that in the midst of a nice sized town, in a huge apartment complex, at that time of the day on that day, Dragosh was there. Our sovereign God arranged that meeting before the world was created.

God not only worked through me but in me; he taught me to trust in his provision as well as his love for me. The Romanians reinforced this by their wonderful hospitality. Before I came they didn't know me at all. They treated me royally. God is also extremely hospitable to us. We come to him as beggars and still, he feeds us royally.

My first trip to Romania was wonderful. All the elements-evangelizing, sharing in the churches, fellowshipping with the Romanians, and seeing God work-combined together to form a picture of God's faithfulness to his people.

Top Chris Nancy Mary Steve Jack


Overall, my first mission trip to Romania was a positive experience. Before going, I was scared and unsure as to what to expect. The trip presented many new challenges to me, but God was faithful. This first challenge was finding out that I had to give a testimony in the church service. I get very nervous speaking in front of groups, but God was with me. I ended up giving a total of five testimonies during the week and wasn't even nervous by the last one. Another challenge was finding out I had to lead a children's program for over 100 children, but again God was faithful. He raised up capable helpers when I needed them, and the program was an enjoyable time for everyone.

The greatest challenge I faced was sharing my faith with people on the streets. Unlike the other teams, who had appointments already set up for them with people ready to listen, my team had only two appointments all week. We were forced to walk the streets and try to find someone who would listen to the gospel. The first day was spent observing my partner, Jack, as he shared the gospel with people in the street. The second day, he sent me out on my own, I was scared, but I was blessed to have a teenage girl from the local church to lead me around the village and to show me who to talk to. She led me to a young woman who looked about my age, and we started talking. She was so open that I was amazed. She listened attentively as I shared the gospel, and when I asked if she would like to pray to receive Jesus as her Savior, she said, "Yes!" Just as we got done talking, her friend came up. She was also a young woman about my age, and she also seemed very open. I shared the gospel all over again with her, and she prayed to receive Jesus too. I was pleased to learn that these two women attended the church service in their village the very next evening. Praise God that he can use us weak vessels to bring people to himself.

Top Chris Nancy Mary Steve Jack


I had a sense that this, my fourth mission trip to Romania, would be a special one from the beginning. This was the first year that God had allowed me to be sent as a true missionary, for my trip was funded by fellow believers. God also provided the most pleasant weather we have ever experienced in July in Romania. In addition, I was excited about leading a children's leadership conference. The spiritual education of the children of Romania is very important to G.N.I. ,and this would give us an opportunity to find out how the churches were ministering to their needs.

Saturday's leadership conference brought a special blessing It was exciting to hear how several of Pastor John's churches already had children's programs. Some were led by older youth and some by older women in the church. I was especially touched to learn that these dedicated workers paid for their children's materials Out of their own money when the church did not have the funds. (How many of us would be so dedicated?) We had a wonderful time of learning, sharing and laughing about the joys of teaching children. Then, these precious women be~an sharing of their witnessing~~in~ experiences, and what was a children's conference turned into a special time of encouraging each other in our faith. It was a truly humbling to hear of the experience love and compassion Romanian Christians have for their lost countrymen, in spite of the ridicule and persecution Christians have suffered at their hands.  

This love was evident throughout the week, as I saw Christians embrace and welcome the friends they had invited to our services all week. The children's program was a real example of love in action: young and old participated by providing materials, songs, hands, and hearts to minister to the children. We had an awesome time! One of the most precious, miraculous, experiences of the trip cam~ as I was closing the children's service in Baicoi ("buy-coy"). The story was on Jesus the Good Shepherd from the tenth chapter of John. The Holy Spirit had led me to share that since I asked Jesus into my heart, I had never felt lonely or worthless. As I shared, I could sense the Holy Spirit dealing with many of the older children. Their expressions seemed to be saying., "How did you know how I feel?" As I began closing the service, my interpreter approached me with a message from the deacon, Brother Androni (a seventy year old spiritual powerhouse and special friend to children). Brother Androni asked me to close by giving, those children who were ready the opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior and Lord. Well, the Holy Spirit brought forth a harvest of thirty-five children ages ten and over who were ready to come into the flock of the Good  Shepherd These children's hearts were ready and because of the love and sensitive spirit of a Godly man, they now have a new best friend and an eternal self worth.

There were many other awesome experiences, such as, being surrounded by children at the apartment complexes who were excited to here any bible story you could share.  There were opportunities to share with large groups and see them receive Christ and then stay and ask to be taught more. We shared with one group and as they listened another group crowded around and waited to hear for themselves.  Small children walked nearly a mile so they could participate in our children's service.  God is doing a mighty work in Romania! Come and join us!

Top Chris Nancy Mary Steve Jack


1997 God started this trip with answered prayer and continued all the way through. One of the greatest times during the trip was the time every night that we got together for a prayer and share time. Sometimes we sow, sometimes we water, other times God gives us the awesome experience of leading someone to Himself. During our prayer and share time, I was always encouraged and amazed at what God was doing on all of the teams. We saw God change hearts, we could see and feel God working in mighty ways. God used this trip to strengthen my faith, increase my boldness, and develop an even closer walk with Himself. There is nothing else like truly experiencing God at work.

In just one of many mighty things we saw God do:

It was on Friday in Comarnic, Romania. We were making a visit right before I was supposed to preach the service. The lady we came to visit was not home but her mother was, so we talked to her. She said her daughter was not due home today. We started sharing the Gospel with her, but could not finish with her because we had to be back at the service. We left Gospel tracts with her and headed off to the service. Right when we were about to start the service, two girls stopped in. They had arrived home early and their mother told them that we were just there. They said they wanted to hear what we had to share. We shared the Gospel with them while the people watched. They prayed to receive Christ! The sermon God had planned for me though prayer and study, was sharing the Gospel!  God planned this all out. The people saw it in action, then got point by point instructions. I instructed them to write the Scriptures in their Bibles so they could share with their friends, neighbors and co-workers. It is my prayer that they will continue to share their faith in Romania now that we are back home in America.

In all we saw over 315 people receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! That's the greatest miracle of all!

Top Chris Nancy Mary Steve Jack


Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

For many decades Demitru searched for truth. His mind was uneasy as he reached his mid-sixties. Who was he and what was the meaning of life?

Thirty kilometers away, the five of us pulled away from the hotel in Campina. Our small talk belied our tension as we sped out of the hills and unto the plains; past oil derricks planted in fields of corn and wheat. As we entered Bratasanca, our driver saw Demitru outside his gate and pulled over to the shoulder. Invited to join him on a bench in the shade, we sat down as the first of many trucks to pass rumbled by us.

Demitru began with a barrage of confusing and unrelated questions. I saw my young translators' faces cloud with frustration. Then, as we shared the Scriptures with him, Demitru's heart began to thaw. Soon the Gospel was laid out before him. We shared of our sinfulness, God's character of righteousness and love, who Jesus is, and what he came to do for those who would believe in him. Demitru's eyes moistened and he paused often; asking thoughtful questions with a new humility. Asked if he believed the Gospel and would he like to receive the gift of eternal life, he replied, 'Of course, look at me, I have goosebumps.'

As we prayed together on that noisy street, he finally found truth. The unworthy bearers of this treasure were two nervous Americans, two teenage Romanian boys, and one retired coal miner from Bratasanca. A lost sheep had been found and there was much rejoicing in the Shepherds house.

Of such was our trip to Romania the first two weeks of July. God blessed us with a team of nineAmericans: Six from the Houston area and the three of us from St. Louis. Our financial needs were met, we prepared with much prayer, team building, and study. The Romanian Christians were such gracious hosts, the translators were fantastic throughout a grueling week and a half, and God met our needs on a daily basis.

Many memories flood my mind. The joy of the Romanian Christians, young and old, as they sang so beautifully during their worship services. The flowers blooming in the gardens. Preaching by flashlight after a deafening thunderstorm knocked out the electricity with quarter sized hail. A woman who said she could never be forgiven by God, because she had had two abortions years before, and then later praying to receive Christ for the forgiveness of her sins and eternal life. Beautiful pastel sunsets against the mountains in the distance. Praying a sick car into to town so as not to be stranded out in the country. A picnic our last Saturday with hiking, food, singing, laughter, games, and finally, a torrential downpour where we all (Romanians and Americans alike) got soaked.

Our three stated goals were to share with the Romanians in the area of small group Bible Studies and one on one discipleship (I led a 3 hour seminar on the topic the first Saturday), evangelistic outreach with Romanian translators in the homes and on the streets of the 9 communities we  visited(over 315 men, women, and children made professions of faith during the 10 days), and to reach out to the children through church-based special programs (over 3 days we had more than 500 children participate in afternoon meetings). God blessed us in so many other ways as well.

Each morning we would arise early, eat breakfast, and prepare for the day. By 8:30 am we would meet our drivers and translators. These young Romanian Christians worked tirelessly with us as we labored until the early evening hours. Nancy Crain and myself were blessed with co-laborers Silviu and Daniel (16 and 15 years old respectively). These young men went wherever we asked and worked to the point of exhaustion by the end of the week.

Each day a host family would serve as our base of operations in that community. What wonderful people. Although they live very modestly, there was joy in these homes. We were cared for with much love and now have many dear friends among our brothers and sisters in Romania. Romania is a beautiful country. In our area there where mountains in the distance, green hills where we stayed each night, bountiful plains of com and wheat in the south, sparkling rivers coming down from the hills, quaint villages with perfect little gardens in each yard, and the wonderfully radiant faces of the Romanian children everywhere we went.

God also worked in our team to meld us together as our own little church there in the Muntenia Hotel in Campina. A truck driver, housewives and mothers, a salesman, a seminary student and his wife, a businessman, a graphics arts manager, and even myself, were used by Him to serve one another. Every evening we would gather together to pray our thanksgiving to the Lord for the days events, for one another needs, and to lift up our requests to our Heavenly Father. This was a great privilege. But the most beautiful part of Romania was the new lives that were created by the Holy Spirit as he used our fumbling words to bring his people to himself through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless these new Christians and the churches to disciple them into mature and reproducing followers of the 'stone that makes men stumble and the rock that makes them fall,' our King and Savior, Jesus. Soli Deo Gloria

Top Chris Nancy Mary Steve Jack