I love getting to do what I do… trying to capture moments on video, photo, or writing them here. But, it’s impossible to keep up with all that God is up to here. It’s such a joy having people come up to me and tell me cool stories about how the Lord blessed their work. All week I’ve heard, “Oh, you need to go talk to so and so… they’ve got a really cool story.” Or, “did you hear what happened today on home visits!” All that to say, really cool stuff is happening… God is allowing us amazing opportunities to share the gospel and we’re enjoying the fruit of that. I wish I could be with every team during the day to help give you a glimpse everything that is happening here in Romania.
Today, I got to spend the whole time with our team at Ţelna (pronounced Selna), which was divided into two groups, one of which did children’s ministry (VBS style) and the other prepared a tasty picnic lunch for any of the adults in the community that wanted to come. It was such an encouragement watching our team passionately engage in whatever it was they were doing. It didn’t matter if it was hands-on craft making with kids, or grilling hot dogs, our team gave it 100%. Our VBS time was a huge success… the kids loved the games, the crafts they made, and the Bible story time. When our team was wrapping up, they asked the kids if they’d be back tomorrow and they all let out and emphatic “YEAH!”
The lunch we were able to provide for the adults was great as well. Doing things like this is able to serve multiple purposes. Obviously, feeding folks is a practical way to be the hands and feet of Jesus. But it’s also great to help the local church be a light in that community. The pastor told us that when they first started holding services in that particular community, it was met with strong resistance (and even threats) from the priest of that village… so they can use any good PR that they can get. It was fun breaking bread with the locals, even if there was a language barrier. After lunch, we all gathered around and joined in singing hymns in our native tongue. Once again, it was a powerful and moving time.
This evening, I got updates from others on the different things happening among the ministry sites. One of our teams saw over 20 children make first time professions of faith at their VBS site. I heard from another one of our ladies who did home visits. This particular story is extra special, because God used this circumstance to not only present the gospel, but also teach our group member something as well. This mission trip is her first international mission trip, and she was incredibly nervous about doing home visits. Feeling completely unqualified, she decided to step out on faith and trust God to lead the conversations she would have on home visits. While at a home talking to a man and his family, she and the team quickly learned that their translator actually found it very difficult to translate. Feeling disappointed, they happened to run into one of man’s neighbors who coincidentally was Romanian, but now lives stateside. The neighbor is here on holiday, and was able to translate for our team. Their conversation was very fruitful, and our team member was able to present the gospel and really share the difference between what it means to have true joy in Jesus verses temporary happiness in the world’s fleeting pleasures. They plan to continue talking through their now mutual friend, the neighbor who lives in the U.S. Our team member was so excited that God used her to do this. Isn’t it amazing what He will do when we step out in faith and trust Him, one step at a time?
There are all kinds of stories like this happening all week… I know all of us here will have numerous stories to share when we get back. Tomorrow is our last day of ministry activities, and then we have only one more concert at the local cultural arts center in the evening. Please join us in prayer for our last day! Can’t wait to update you!