Thursday, October 16, 2008

September News

Dear Friends,

We hope our message finds all of you well. We thought of getting back to an old good habit, that of keeping you updated about what goes on in our church, our community, and our family.

In the beginning of September we took a mission trip to Pitulicea, a village 90 minutes East of Campina. The purpose of the mission was to evangelize people on the streets, offer tracts and New Testaments. There were 9 volunteers from the Campina and Filipesti churches and 6 from the church in Pitulicea. In 5 days we walked up and down the streets of 7 villages and 1 town and shared the Good News of the Gospel. One day of that week we had quite an experience.... while sharing the gospel on the street, one of our teams was encountered by the 2 priests of the village of Florica. They had told our team that what they did was wrong and that they should have stopped talking to people. They had left that team and encountered another one, advising them to do the same, otherwise they were to be lynched. Quite a crowd had gathered around our team members, being instigated by the priests. Interestingly enough, there were people who had not talked to us before, but who were on our side and were defending us. We had to call the police, as things were getting a bit out of control. Well, though this is what seemed to be happening, in fact, everything was under God’s control. We were all taken to the police station in the village and because one of our team members had been hit by a villager, the witnesses had to give declarations. It was nothing serious, just a few scratches on her arms and hands, but the camera she tried to use to film what was going on had been completely damaged. In the meantime we called our homes and our churches, asking them to pray for us. And God worked in wonderful ways and everything ended well that late night. The next day we were getting ready for our last day of mission and right before entering the village, the priest came to warn us not to speak to his people. For the sake of peace we went to the police station, letting them know what we were about to do on that day, and then we went on to share the Gospel. And what a great day we had!

Despite all the difficulties we encountered during the mission, 529 people heard the Good News and 82 of them prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior. Praise the Lord! The coming Sunday we had a special service in Maranatha Church, we celebrated what the Lord had done among us and shared with the church about our experiences.

For the last 2 weeks of the month we had planned ahead that we were going to have a session at Maranatha Bible College. Prof. Henri Whitman was supposed to teach the Pentateuch, but because of lack of students the session had to be canceled. We made the decision to put an end to the activity of the Bible College for now, until God is going to show us new ways for the College to achieve its purposes. It has been running for 10 years and we are thankful to God for the great blessings He gave us. Ordinary people from our churches attended the courses and later on became missionaries in their families, villages, country and in Europe, by getting jobs in countries like Spain or Italy. So we believe that God did a wonderful work concerning the College. We would like to say a special 'thank you' to all those who have been involved in this ministry: professors, students, leaders, sponsors. You all did a great job! The work is not over…. The harvest is plentiful. Let us pray that God is going to open up new ways in which we could serve Him by using the experience we gathered over the years with Maranatha Bible College.

Last month was time for election of a new pastor in Golgotha Baptist Church in Filipesti. For 19 years Pastor Ion Vasile has served in this church, but it was time that other ministers did this. Pastor Andy, who has been Assistant Pastor in Campina for nearly 2 years now, is now the new pastor of the church in Filipesti.

On Sunday, September 28th, our church was visited by a team from Holland. They were here for a week to help Mana Deschisa (Open Hand) and build a fence around one of their rehabilitation centers. (Open Hand Ministry is A Rehabilitation Christian Center in Campina that is helping the young people coming from dysfunctional families or from different other environments such as streets, orphanages, prisons, etc.). Pastor Jean Chiforeanu from Timisoara and his wife Mona joined us for the church services as well. The main reason for them to be here was the Evangelism Service we organized (usually every last Sunday evening of the month) together with all the Evangelical churches in Campina. God used Pastor Chiforeanu in a wonderful way to bring His message to the listeners. Three people prayed to receive Christ at the service.

This month we are going to have a prayer meeting with all the evangelical churches in town (we usually have them every last Saturday of the month) and an evangelism service on the last Sunday as well. Please join us in prayer for the lost people of Campina.

May God richly bless you and your ministries!

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