in seat 31 G., Lufthansa flight 440 to Houston, I reflect on what God
has done on this mission trip. Three people from Houston, five from St.
Louis, and one from a small town near Syracuse, New York were woven
seamlessly into a team.
What can be said for this trip, this mission, this divine campaign for
souls? God desires man's salvation, and has already paid for their
rescue with the highest ransom in eternity. They are His already; He
seeks for their appropriation.
Temperatures soared to over 100 degrees. The dust from the
streets arose with each crusaders' step. Onlookers, those not yet
seeking and those who will never be found, scurry before the
sword-drawn warriors like nocturnal creatures whose party is
interrupted by sudden daybreak.
new church in Campina, a sign of a growing harvest.
if they could know that they could drink of such Light! The
sun-drenched messengers are not to be feared, for they bring words of
truth, life, and peace. Most of those who were willing to engage these
troubadours are washed over generously by His Spirit, experiencing the
second birth. This happened 359 times in Romania during early July, as
the gospel was taken to 14 towns and communities.
The July 1-12, 1999 Romania crusade was a strike force operation.
Everyday, a different town or community was invaded by the team in
saturated with the gospel. We, American crusaders and our Romanian
interpreters (each American had their own), shared many meals together.
The fellowship around the table was full and rich. Services were held
every night, full of song, testimony, and the exposition of God's Word.
People knitted together of one hope, one Spirit, one Lord, one Father,
all for one purpose: to save as many souls as possible in the time they
had been given.
at noon, we enjoyed rich fellowship with our young Romanian
interpreters and our hosts.
This was GNI's eighth sojourn into Romania, and like the seven before
it, it was "the best one yet". I know that sounds cliche, but each
trip, though similar to the others, has its own uniqueness that
separates it from the rest, making each one incomparable to the others.
The things that made this trip unique for many included: going with a
very good friend (for the first time) who was my prayer partner for my
first trip, training an 18 year old young woman (a fellow team member)
to share for faith on the mission field, reuniting with a friend and
crusader whom I was with in Bangladesh, and to see the Bible college
for which we have prayed so long prepare for its first fall session.
God is so very, very good!
|Family and Friends
Friday was our last day to evangelize. Our target for that day was
Moreni. Moreni is a city of 40,000 people, an "oil town" nestled among
the foothills of the Carpathians. The church with which we were working
in Moreni was the evangelical church, known in the United States as the
Brethren Church. The church had not prepared many in home visits for
us, mainly because Friday is a very busy work day in this town and
finding people at home would be difficult. Most of the evangelism would
have to be done on the street. There was, however, one appointment that
the sister in the church had arranged. I wanted to make sure that the
team had as many opportunities to share the gospel as possible. I
took the appointment, just in case the people did not show and other
team members might have been discouraged. People are people wherever
you go, and sometimes I have more confidence in their predictability
than in the Lord who desires to save them.
My interpreter and I walked into town, turned left at the town square,
and proceeded to walk another half a mile to our appointment. When we
arrived, the sister greeted us and invited us to sit under the grape
arbor. She was the only one there (no surprise to me), and asked us to
wait. She left the house and went into the streets while we waited, and
waited (now you see why I didn't want another team member to go). After
20 minutes of waiting, some people began to come - first a man, then a
couple of women, another man, some more women (women seem to travel in
groups). This continued until we had about 10 people sitting under the
grape arbor with us. Our hostess asked us to continue to wait. She went
back into the house and came back with some cake (I guess she could not
have so many people over and not provide some snacks). After everyone
had received cake and the drink of their choice, our hostess asked us
to begin, some 40 minutes after our arrival. We began to share
the gospel, and the more we shared, the more we saw the walls come down
and skepticism retreat.
is sweet, especially when celebrating the Lord's work with our Romanian
family of brothers and sisters.
|Every single person present prayed to receive Christ.
It was an incredible moment! We immediately began to explain some more
details about the new life in Christ. They asked questions. We answered
from the Bible. We fellowshipped. We prayed together. It was now
lunchtime and our hostess, overjoyed over what God had done, went back
for more cake. We took a piece to go, but they invited us to return
after lunch to teach them more. We agreed. As my interpreter and I
headed back to our host family in Moreni, we marveled at what God had
done, how He had used us inspite of our own skepticism about this
appointment, which was truly divine.
the testimonies of these