Saturday, December 10, 2011

Missions in 4D

Check out this article about Romania, Missions in 4D, by Haley Myers from the DBC Missions office.  
"Most of us tend to think of missions as simply 2-dimensional. No special effects, no car chases, just the typical overseas adventure. But what if missions were more? What if there are more sides to missions than we first imagine?"  Click the link to see the entire article and pictures from the mission field. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sharing the Gospel in Croatia

Over 10,000 Gypsies live in small villages around Cacovec, Croatia.  We served with an international team to share the gospel in homes and minister to children.  Please pray for those who heard the gospel and trusted Christ as their Savior.  Further follow-up is needed to help these new believers grow in Christ and to reach those who are yet to hear the gospel. Believers from two Croatian churches involved in this ministry request our prayers as they seek God's will in how to best reach out to the lost.  (To see a slide show, click on the arrow. To see captions of the photos, click on the Flickr logo on the first pic.)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

He asked me to tell you, "America, THIS was Petru." ~Rosiori de Vede

He asked me to tell you

"America, THIS was Petru."
Elderly man in Roserii de Vede

We recently returned from evangelistic trips to several villages. We will never forget this man from the village of Rosiori de Vede.

He was gathering fruit when Brenda and Anna, her eighteen year old translator, walked past him on their way to the evening service at the village church. Even though we were running late, Anna was convinced that we needed to stop.

He quickly agreed to let us share with him about Jesus Christ. We expected he would just talk to us on the sidewalk but he picked up his bucket and started back into his yard.  
His clothes had patches on the patches. His little home was no more than a shack. Yet, he openly welcomed us. There was not enough room for all of us to get in the little wooden dwelling, much less sit. So we helped him move two little stools outside. Brother Gigi, the elder with us, just sat on the ground.

He couldn't remember his exact age but we determined he was in his 80's or 90's.  He listened intently as we shared a simple gospel, with his eyes never veering from our faces.  When he heard, "there is a God who created you.... and He LOVES YOU".. he began to openly and unashamedly weep.

We were briefly interrupted by the man's relative who showed up and asked us to leave.  The nephew let us know that he was very educated and had no use for this "gospel." But, he shrugged that for this old man, it would be okay.  After receiving permission to stay five more minutes, we read more from the scriptures and prayed for him. "For it is by grace you are saved, through faith.  And that, not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.."  Afterwards, the elderly man followed us to his gate and told us, "take my picture to America, and tell them, "THIS was Petru (Peter)!" 

We left not knowing whether he truly understood the gospel or not.  Anna indicated that she would find a way to keep checking on him.  Little did we know the impact this man would have on us and what would happen in the following days. 

The next day, we met Anna again for our last day of evangelism in the village.  She shared with us that she had a dream about the old man.  She said she dreamed that we went back to his place and we found him lying on the floor, dead.  She continued that in her dream, we began to share the gospel with him, and he came back to life.  Anna was convinced that God was letting her know that He had saved him.  

In the next weeks, the whole scenario continually came to my mind.  The compassion that our 18 year old translator displayed made me ashamed of my own complacency.  I prayed often for both of them, and for forgiveness for myself.  

We returned home from a few weeks in the countryside and received an email from Anna.  She had found out that the old man died within two weeks of our meeting him.  Anna expressed again, "I know God has him with Him.  This is our merciful God!"  

God has given us peace that He called the man to Himself and allowed him to understand!

What an awesome God!

Many times our actions are deliberate and planned.  Often, our meetings are scheduled and covered in prayer.  But sometimes, God takes control and says, "This one is Mine."  May we be more attentive to listen and obey in every moment of every day!  

Friday, April 1, 2011

And the Adventure Begins...

It was during the Sunday morning service, hearing the beautiful worship music that reality set in.  Yes, we are finally here!  Timisoara, Romania will be our home for the next 12 months while we study the Romanian language. It's been a three year journey where God has perpetually shown us His grace.

Click for short video

Changing airports with all our heavy luggage was quite tricky!
Anticipation of this trip was an adventure in itself. We flew "stand-by" to London, and after a slight delay, were blessed with bulkhead seats and plenty of leg room.  We changed airports, then flew from London to Timisoara via WizzAir.  Yes, that's really what it's called!  We booked the low-cost ticket online so we weren't sure what to expect.  But it was a newer, business-type airport and the plane was quite comfortable.

Also, we had rented the apartment site-unseen! Pastor Liviu, picked us up at the airport and took us to the apartment.  We met our landlord and enjoyed a nice time visiting with him.  The apartment is what they call in Romania "two rooms" which means 1 bedroom and 1 living room.  It has been freshly remodeled with fresh paint and new flooring.  It is adequately furnished and the cost for 1 month is less than we would have spent for a few days in a hotel while looking for an apartment. The refrigerator was in the living room but after a few days, we figured out how to move it into the kitchen!

Our landlord, Eddie, met us at the apartment

Mike Scheer, Denton Bible Church missions director, John Brown and Sam Buliga were in Romania for BTCP during our first week and spent time with us as well.  It was a blessing to share our excitement of being here with them.  They went to the Areopagus Center and met the staff there.  They also drove us to the Real store (pronounced Ray-ahl) where we bought the necessary clothes drying rack and ironing board. :)  
We met an English-speaking Romanian couple who recently moved back to Romania after living in the states for many years.  Danny and Gabriela have been very sweet and helpful to us.  The most exciting news of all is that Gabriela accepted Christ as her Savior right here in our living room, after hearing the gospel explained by John Brown.  Now, how awesome is that for the first week?

Below:  Gabriela, Jim, Brenda and Daniel
on the steps of the Cathedral downtown where the secret police killed
hundreds in 1989. 

The believers have been so welcoming and warm.  The people on the street and our neighbors are looking at us with caution but we occasionally get a return smile or "buna ziua."  We'll keep trying!  We are frequenting the same stores, clerks and sidewalks and praying for opportunities.

We walk everywhere! The language school, grocery store, church, and bus stop are all within 15 minutes walking distance. For anything else, we take the bus. We should be in good shape soon! :) We have time each morning to read our bible and spend time in prayer.  We know our spiritual life is of utmost importance!  We are praying for open doors and like-minded friends with whom we can have fellowship and support.  God has been so good to go before us and provide all our needs.  It's an awesome thought that He knows what we need before we even ask.

Please keep lifting us up to The Father!  We are continually aware that we can't do anything aside from Christ in us.  We desire to live a life that reflects the Love that compels us to serve.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.   Ephesians 3:20-21

Brenda with Laura at the Biserica exchanging phone numbers.

Small group bible study.  And yes, we ate 'em all!
Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral
in beautiful downtown (Centru) Timisoara 

Press on Friends!  

Jim and Brenda

Sunday, January 2, 2011