Political changes in Europe have opened doors for the gospel. Those who have heard the call and met the challenge have found opportunities and problems. This account of the work inRomania is enlightening and should provoke prayer for Europe.
Romania, with its population of twenty-three million, is a country which has had a turbulent history. The Romanians are a Latin people, but there are also many Hungarians and Gypsies. After almost 45 years of oppressive communism, the Revolution of 1989 brought not only freedom, but many problems. The Romanian Orthodox church is the main religion, adhered to nominally by more than 80% of the population. It is very opposed to evangelicals.
The gospel spread in Romania around the beginning of this century and some assemblies were established during this time. Today, the majority of believers in Romania are part of different denominational systems, each with its own union and method of organization. These all form part of the Evangelical Alliance which was formed after the Revolution. My work is outside any of this.
In the early 1980’s, believers in several parts of the country came out of denominational systems. Over the next few years, others were enlightened as to the error of the systems in which they were involved. A few assemblies were formed in Ploiesti, Marghita, Oradea and Vadu Crisului, all meeting as independent autonomous assemblies. After the Revolution, souls were saved, baptized and added to these assemblies. In addition, more believers came out of the systems and were gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Assemblies were also formed in Plopeni and Ramnicu Valcea. In other parts there are a number of individual believers who have been saved or who have separated from unscriptural systems, but no assembly has been formed in those places as yet. Much of my time has been spent in visiting some of these assemblies and teaching the Word of God among them. One or two of these assemblies have a better grounding in teaching than others, but all have the desire to manifest the life of Christ in their midst. Throughout the past year, a number of people have been saved and baptized among these companies.
Together with my wife, Iulia (who is Romanian) and our three children, Rebeca, Stefan and Rahela we presently live in Brasov, a city in the heart of Romania which is part of the Transylvania region of the country and is situated next to the Carpathian Mountains. After many experiences, we are really starting a work from scratch. Over a year and half ago we commenced a weekly meeting in our home. A small number of saved and unsaved come to the meetings. Although the going has been slow, we have known blessing and encouragement from the Lord. These meetings continue in our home every Thursday evening. I also spend time in visiting the homes of the few who attend the meetings. Our earnest desire and prayer before God is that He will work for His own glory and that through the gospel outreach and weekly meetings, the Spirit of God will form and establish a local assembly which will manifest the life and character of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We recently commenced a more concentrated work in the gospel through tract distribution. The tract, “Four Things God wants you to Know” was translated and is being distributed in Brasov, Ploiesti, Marghita, and Alba Iulia. In the will of the Lord, other tracts will be translated and printed in the future. We also have 250 copies of “Ultimate Questions” for follow up work with interested contacts. Please pray with us that the Spirit of God will use these tracts to bring needy souls to the Saviour.
In collaboration with a trust run by several brethren from Scotland called C.L.A.R.T. (Christian Literature and Aid for Romania Trust), I am involved in the production of a bi monthly magazine for believers in Romania. I do the initial translation check and the final proofreading. The magazine is called “Green Pastures” and the majority of the articles are taken from previously published assembly magazines in the English-speaking world. These articles are translated into Romanian and published in magazine form with each issue also containing a gospel article. The magazine is distributed free of charge to anyone who is interested. At present, twenty two hundred copies of each issue are printed and distributed through various outlets.
Present and Future Needs
There is a real need for assemblies to be built up and to grow in Christ through teaching. Saints and assemblies need to be preserved from the influence of wrong teaching and to accept only that which is according to the Word. There is also a general need for gospel outreach work, taking the message of salvation and life in Christ to the unsaved. These are major needs which point to another great need – workers! There are very few workers to meet these needs, and I would ask you to pray with us that the Lord Himself will raise up and send forth workers. There are truly many opportunities for service here, and I am unable to do all the things I would have upon my heart in the work of the Lord. Are we at God’s disposal to respond to His call if He so requires it of us? May God grant that we will all at least respond to the call to pray! Pray for us and the work here.