December in Romania!
We understand that we are midway into January and are just now updating you on December, but the busy holiday season in Romania did not give us a lot of time to sit and reflect. As we’ve finally had time to think about December, there is no other way to describe our experiences other than to call it a month of inspiration! We had the opportunity to meet with different organizations and people in Romania who are doing amazing Kingdom advancing work. The stories we heard inspired us to not only see the incredible ways in which God is already working here but also to dream and think about how God will use Camp Falcon Rock with many of these existing ministries. From our experiences, we have learned more about the Christian movement among young people and the types of ministries needed to see lives changed. Here are the stories that inspired us:
Radic-te A free concert that saw over 10,000 young people packed into an arena. Over 300 singers and musicians lead this event, accompanied by a powerful message of God’s love and grace. This event was envisioned by a Romanian pastor who, had a dream 6 years ago to start a church that reached out, inspired and discipled young people. A part of this dream was to organize annual Evangelistic concerts. He currently pastors a church of 100 people that has found a way to run this incredible event.
Camp Hargita is a Hungarian Baptist Camp in the South of Romania. This camp aims to be a retreat center for churches as well as a rental facility for youth programs and camps. The camp has had incredible reach to churches in the South and in the past 3 years has become a vibrant ministry thanks to their new Camp Directors. We were able to meet with the directors and hear about how God called them to this ministry and has brought them strength to run the camp with just the two of them. We learned a lot about the process involved in building and establishing a camp.
Romanian Missionaries from Edmonton! We were able to connect with a couple in Brasov (a beautiful city in South Romania) who are church planting in Romanian communities. They moved here a number of years ago from Edmonton, which led to a lot of story swapping and invaluable advice for us. It was inspiring to see how well they know the language, understand the culture and are fulfilling ministry needs in Romania. On top of church planting they have recently partnered with a street Evangelism ministry. The other day they were able to share the Gospel with a prostitute while she was on the streets working. She gave her life to Christ on the spot and began to Evangelize to her friends that were working with her!
Gypsy Ministries in the East of Romania. We met with a Pastor who pastors 8 churches all in Gypsy villages. One of the first churches he planted started out with him playing in the streets, his sound equipment getting stolen, people shouting at him as he preached, and threats from a local gang. A man in the village who spent time in jail for murder ended up standing up for the pastor and spoke against the threats he was receiving. Since that point, he has had respect in the village and even now has a building to use to run church services and programs!
We were truly inspired by all of the stories we heard and by even more that we haven’t shared here. One thing was clear, God is moving in Romania especially South Romania. We are in the North of Romania and we saw even clearer the need for the Camp here. We were able to gain insight into the Christian culture in Romania especially among the young people. We feel excited about what lies ahead with the Camp ministry!
As for the ongoing work and development of the camp, we spent most of the month gathering information, applying for permits and educating ourselves on the Romanian building system. Our local partners Tamas and Tunde were incredible in handling and managing a lot of the necessary meetings with authorization institutions. They are a huge asset to this team and a vital piece to the development of the camp. The four of us have been growing well together as a team. This information has given us a clearer vision for what is ahead as we strategize and prepare to take the next steps. We feel more assured than ever in God’s provision in bringing us in contact with the right people at the right time. This month will require a lot of research, paperwork and patience in navigating the Government regulations.
The holiday season was also another way we felt welcomed in the village. We had church every night leading up to Christmas then church twice a day Dec 25-28, then twice a day for New Years Eve and New Years, and another week of church every night the first week of January. Paul preached over 15 times during this season and we helped lead 2 youth events. We had many opportunities to be a part of different church communities in the villages nearby as well as in people’s homes for lunches and dinners. It was a very busy season, which was very different from our Canadian Christmas experiences but we felt fortunate by how welcoming, caring and loving the people were to us.
Some prayer requests for us are:
-Learning both Hungarian and Romanian! We are picking up more and more Hungarian each day but we are finding that as the cities speak Romanian we need to know Romanian as well which we have no foundation for at the moment
-Wisdom for strategic planning in how to navigate Government regulations and the building process as a whole
-Awaiting permits for land development
-Fruit in the upcoming Evangelistic conferences and youth events
Thank you for the continued encouragement to us! We feel incredibly fortunate to have such a huge community joining us in this journey!
Tanya and Paul
Phone: +40 (260) 668 822