Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy Ch: 4 v 2
Welcome to this long September newsletter. It has been a very exciting summer with outreaches in Vienna, Alba Iulia, Sebes and Draganesti with a team of people from Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, America and of course Romania.
We had a very good time in Vienna. Julie and I again stayed at the home of Andreas and Traian, Lidia and David stayed in other homes. In the mornings we had Bible studies and various training seminars, in the afternoons we had our puppet training seminars and open airs every evening. We estimate that 1800 people were reached with 80 people taking part and 5-8 people professing faith.
Our second meeting was very interesting. We went from Ampoi to another area called Chicago. The priest tried to disrupt our meeting by firstly sending a man saying that he would set my van on fire if we carried on. When we did carry on he got the same man to buy some sweets for the children and tried to bribe them to leave the meeting. That was quite successful a few children did leave and we started to pray. He ran out of sweets and the children came back.
We thought that was the end of him but then he got them to go to the shop and collect the sweets from there. We told the children that we were going to have a break in the programme so that all of them could go and collect their sweets and come back. The children did come back and I told them to thank the man for the sweets but more importantly thank God. We had a great meeting after that. The people thought that we had given the man the money for the sweets. It was good to see the Lord change it all around for His glory. Corneliu (Lidias brother) and another team member Julia (Germany) led a man to Christ. From these two meetings will start another childrens club.
The following day we were supposed to go to Mihalt village but we cancelled because there was to be the funeral of a 17yr old girl who had committed suicide because of a broken heart. The whole village was in mourning. We did go the next day and had a good crowd. Over the next few days we had meetings in Daia village and in another two places in Alba Iulia.
In Daia we had our meeting in the middle of a huge field on the outskirts of the village and it was well attended. The Baptist church in Alba Iulia oversees the church there, it does not have a Pastor but an elder told us that in the village school there is 250 children and another 150 in the kindergarten. Come here anytime he said, There is a lot of work to do, and can you come next week? Just to prove that not everything goes according to plan. We arrived at a park in Alba Iulia, set up all the equipment and realised that there was one thing missing an audience! Someone told us that it was too hot; the children dont come on to the park until 19.00 we arrived at 17.30.
Our evening meetings in Cetate (central) park were very different. Arriving at 21.30 to start our programme of mime/flags and a black light sketchboard preach we had crowds of around 150/200 every night. Conversations went on into the night and into the following morning, sometimes until 2.00 a.m. It was beautiful; those teenagers have lots of questions.
We visited another town in the Alba region called Sebes. Our meetings were organised with the help of the local Baptist church who sent some people to help us and provide food! Our childrens programmes started at 18.00 and our adult meetings at 20.00ish. We were able to give the Church many names and addresses for follow up and 7 people became Christians including one member of our team. Praise God.
Other local villages visited were Santimbru where there is a small Church planted by some American missionaries. Lidia led a teenage girl to Christ there. Please pray for another girl Marinela who was frightened to accept Christ because her life would change and she liked going to discos. Please also pray for this village, as we want to start a childrens club there.
In Ampoita, (Traians family village) we worked with a church plant of the Pentecostal church in Alba Iulia. Our meeting coincided with their celebration of the village saint. The priests changed their meeting time so it would end during our meeting. We just waited for them to finish and then the people came to our meeting. Both these meetings were very well attended. At the beginning of August most of the team went home.
On the 4th August Traian, Lidia, Miheala, Delia and I set off for Draganesti. Would we have the same fun as last year? Oh yes!!! This town has five very active Orthodox priests who, through the local Police Force still refuse to give us permission to preach the gospel of Jesus in the open air. When Paul & Sue Blocksidge arrived we were asked to write our details on paper and hand them in to the local police station. We refused telling Raul (resident missionary/pastor) that we would prefer to visit the police station instead. He didnt seem too happy about this but he agreed. All seemed to be OK until I casually mentioned that we were not used to being persecuted, as where we live in Europe we do not have to put up with this. We were taken to an office where the officer explained that we were not being persecuted but we were part of their new strategy called proximity policing The reason the police are always there is to protect foreigners and nothing to do with the priests.
We did manage to do some open airs in the surrounding villages and towns although permission was again denied in Draganesti. In Corabia one evening the police visited us during the conversations after the open-air meeting. They said we couldnt stand in groups and talk so we split up and went our separate ways. In Coteana the mayor told us to go ahead. He didnt have any problems with what we wanted to do. Its exciting to visit Raul & Anna, not sure that they would agree sometimes. Please pray for them their Church (which is growing) and the rest of their team. We left Draganesti amazed at what God is doing there. So...what else has been happening..?
Beni, Lidias Dad and brother worked all through the summer on the outside of the house. We are pleased to report that they finished the work and it looks really good. As well as that we have new gates and fence and the outhouses are now ready to be used for storage.
The club continues to flourish with about 30 children coming every week. You can see that the childrens relationship with Jesus is growing, their prayers are beautiful and deep. As I mentioned earlier in this newsletter we want to start another childrens club with the children we met during the summer. Please pray for Traian and I as we visit the pastor of the large Pentecostal church in Alba Iulia. We want them to oversee this group and to supply some of the team necessary to run it. We will supply the programme.
Please pray for Cristi as he is currently on a gruelling tour of the USA with the Continentals singing group. He is one of the main singers as well as the main preacher. He changed the way they do things. Before, the gospel message was given through their singing but Cristi introduced the idea of a sermon to finish. Many have come to Christ. Pray that this will happen in America too. (If you want his itinerary I can send it to you)
Do you want to support this ministry financially as well as in prayer? We have different ways you can give and if you are a taxpayer we get even more. Remember that £5 per month still goes along way in Romania.
Traian, Lidia, Julie and I have just finished Grapevine as Powerpack team members. When I left Romania in August Terry & Lidia came with me. It was their first time driving across Europe and their first time attending a camp such as this one. We had nearly 600 children in total and again we witnessed God at work in the children and leaders. Terry received the gift of tongues and Lidia felt Gods power so much she had to lay down We are taking them back to Romania on the 20th September full of ideas and resources donated by Powerpack Ministries. Thank you!! You can find Powerpack on the net at:- www.powerpackministries.co.uk
We thank God for the many items given to us from our shopping list in March. Among the items received were enough paint for the inside of the house, lamps, office equipment and even a computer. Thank you all. We could still do with a Laminator and pouches (£160), a Paper Shredder (£40) a Binder (for office use) £200 and a multi drawer cabinet £150.
Can you please pray for Andrew on Friday 10th September. He has an interview for a permanent position within his company. Rebeccas graduation is on the 16th September. Julie and I plus plenty of tears will go and see our little girl collect her certificate. Julie has begun physiotherapy on the torn muscle in her ankle.
Traian, Lidia, John Yates, David McSween and I will leave for Romania on the 20th. At the time of writing we do not yet know our itinerary or our return date for definite. Ill also go back to Romania in Oct/Nov to take part in my first Romanian puppet tour. Terry & Lidia will be in Bristol in December helping the team there with their puppet tour of schools.
Id like to finish this newsletter with an encouraging e-mail we received from one of the American team.
I had an awesome time in Vienna and Alba with you guys. It was wonderful to learn how to preach on the street and to actually see people led to Christ. I intend to get some training from Paul Adams (OAC Baltimore) and to continue preaching and doing the OAC thing. Maybe some day I will too join OAC. I get a lot of joy out of preaching and it comes out in my leaps and bounds!! I would love to come back to Romania, hopefully next summer. Let me know what your plans are for next summer as they come together. Keep me posted on everything that you guys are doing and when you get back let me know how Draganesti went.
Thank you so much for your support. We thank God for you.
Photos from the summer activities: http://www.oaci.org/rompics/index3.html
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