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Traian and Lidia’s newsletter August 2006

Dear friends.
May – August 2006

Here we are with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ ready to share with you what He has been doing in us and through us this summer. This is a very hectic time for us as we try to make the most of the summertime with children’s camps and open airs. We are so thankful to the Lord for the goodness that He has shown towards us and for always being with us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

From the 13th – 18th May we went with the rest of the team to OAC’s Bethany camp near Cluj. The purpose of this time was fellowship and renovation. We prayed for each other and worked with soap and paint to improve the camp facilities for our forthcoming children’s camps.

Between the 21st and 27th of May we were in Constanta. Here is what the representative of our host church said about us, “We had a team from Open Air Campaigners visit our church and they were a real blessing to us. They specialise in two evangelistic methods; puppet theatre and street presentations of the Gospel using the sketchboard. We have had many teams come to our church to do ministry, but none have been as efficient. They visited two children’s homes, two shelters for street children, a kindergarten and two schools and churches altogether doing eleven presentations with the puppets. About 350 children enjoyed the show’s which were very professional and totally biblical. We also did open airs in the parks and approximately 30 people of all ages listened to the gospel message. It is difficult to estimate how many were truly interested, but 5-7 people were counseled after every meeting, leaving with a clear understanding of the Christian message”.

On the 4th of June we went to Cluj to hold a children’s open air meeting in the Central Park. About 350-400 people of ‘all’ ages attended. They were extremely open to the message which we presented using the sketchboard and magic tricks. The Bible story of Esther was performed with the puppets. Unfortunately at the end of the meeting the rain started so we did not get the chance to speak to the people personally. The look on their faces throughout the meeting told us that God had truly touched their hearts.

Our visit to the town of Pucioasa from the 9th - 11th of June was in response to an invitation from the local Baptist church. We ran two children’s clubs every day and 100 children plus parents attended every meeting. All were non believers. The Church members were very welcoming to the newcomers and were very sensible in the way they got to know the people inviting them to church the following Sunday.

At the end of June we started the first of two camps with the theme of, “Where are you taking me Lord” with children that regularly attend our weekly children’s club in Santimbru. (a village just outside Alba Iulia) Children aged 6-12yrs followed the ups and downs of Joseph’s life. The children learned that all the happy and unhappy times that God puts us through have a wonderful purpose and all we need to do is trust Him. They enjoyed a varied programme of bible stories, dramas, team games, hikes, crafts and swimming in the river. They also felt the promptings of the Holy Spirit and His work in their lives. We were amazed by their openness to the gospel and excellent behavior. Their enthusiasm during the camp for all the activities gave us as leaders the strength to carry on.
10 of the 25 children asked Jesus to change their lives and to cleanse their hearts.
The second camp started the following week with children up to 12yrs of age from the two children’s clubs that we run in Alba Iulia. Again 25 kids arrived at Somesu Rece full of hope and enthusiasm and they went back home feeling closer to God. One evening 10 children received Jesus in their lives and it was a great joy for us. Traian told them that a great party was taking place in heaven to celebrate the ones who just joined Gods family. Later that evening when everyone was getting ready for bed two boys started to fight and when Traian went to tell them off one of the boys, Tudor aged 10yrs said, “Does that mean that the party in heaven is over?” It’s so wonderful that God’s grace and mercy does not end when we disappoint Him.

The third camp was a lot more challenging with 43 children taking part aged 13yrs and older. The theme was, ‘A midsummer’s camp dream’ and again we studied Joseph’s life. 10 children were from our Sunday school class and it was great to see how children that have been used to going to church got to be friends with those that don’t. We focused on different dreams, those that we need to stick to and those that we should run away from (like the one Potifar’s wife had). We tried to adapt the message to their age and give them practical answers to the temptations they face in the world. 13 of them, in a memorable Thursday night said yes to God for the first time, and another 33, including some leaders experienced a very profound moment of rededication to God. While everyone was on their knees praying, a girl called Bia (15 yrs) received a vision from God. She was standing to the side, very cold and skeptical about what was going on, when the Lord showed her a white cloth that was covering all those who were crying and repenting before God. She understood then that they are received by God and that she should be under the same white cloth. Here are some quotes from children who attended the third camp: Marius 13 yrs, “The 20th of July was the happiest day of my life. God entered my heart and changed my life. I want to walk with Him now. Believe me! The night I felt the Holy Spirit, God was closer to me than ever before” Sonia 14 yrs, “This camp meant a lot to me especially the night when everyone was crying and repenting before God. I felt something that night that I have never felt before and since then I feel a totally different person. Lord, thank you for entering in my heart”. Bianca 12 yrs, “I want to be with God and to know more about Him. I realised that he chose me as His daughter and He wants to be a true friend, not like the others that don’t understand me. But receiving God in my heart now, I know I can be protected every day and every minute and every second for the first time in my life”. Anda 15 yrs, “I started to know Jesus two years ago, when I was a child. I forgot about Him though, but He didn’t forget about me, He loved me even though I believed that in all my problems he was not with me. Many things in this camp made me think of my past, my present and of my future”.

From the 23rd of July - 8th of August we had an international team helping us do open airs in Alba Iulia, Sebes and Blaj and 2 children’s clubs in Alba Iulia and Sintimbru. The team consisted of people from England, Wales, Australia, New Zealand with many locals. Our programme contained dramas, magic tricks and a gospel sketchboard message. We had lots of very good conversations and we found once again that people are truly empty and hopeless. Unfortunately many of them prefer to stay that way. But we discovered that no matter how hardened their hearts are they do not refuse a prayer. A 17 yr old guy called Vasile received Jesus in his heart on the street. Please pray for him. Many guys from our team used these open airs to grow in courage, sharing their faith one to one and speaking about the hope that lies within them.

During the same period we had several seminars led by our colleague Korky Davey from England who has been a Christian worker for 48 years. He spoke about how you can spread the Good News in a world that does not believe it and we looked at the history basis for our faith. Other seminars were held by us as we trained some locals and two British girls how to use puppets.

We pray that the Lord will bring more people to help us to reach the lost in Romania.

Traian and Lidia will be in England for a month helping to lead the ‘Powerpack Ministries’ children’s work at Grapevine.

From the 11th – 14th September we will be doing a children’s holiday club in Blaj (a town nearby Alba Iulia) and that will be followed by an autumn puppet tour. Please continue pray for us.

As you can see your prayers did work and we are happy to share with you the formidable results. Thank you for your prayers, your financial support and for your interest in this ministry.

May God richly reward you.
With Love, Traian and Lidia Opruta,

OAC Romania

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