July 2016 Update

unnamed (9)Deep within the Carpathian mountains of Romania near the Ukrainian border lies the town of Sant. On the national holiday celebrating Pentecost, we took a one-day trip there during our Ten Days outreach to Cluj. Maria, the student who asked us to come to Romania, invited us to meet her family, and on several instances her father, grandfather, and pastor expressed the same thing. “We couldn’t do more to advance the Gospel in communist times because of restrictions.”I was struck with conviction because they were heroes of the faith, and they had assumed that America was the bastion of Christianity. In America we could in fact have done more, but that freedom was grossly underutilized and still is. This is a statement of fact, and even though I don’t like to sermonize my readers in our updates, I do want to convey this story to contrast two different worlds.

The heart issue is not one of nationality. Often believers by nature turn inward, and if we are spiritual, we turn upward, but the trajectory to which we are called is oftentimes the hardest, to turn outward, to go! And that is what we did.

unnamed (10)Our team of sixteen from the United States, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine, just spent ten days in Cluj, Romania reaching university students. It was supposed to be the worst time to do this since students were taking final exams, but it was the only window we had open. During our first day on the street near the university, we used the God Test which is a small brochure or phone app that helps with starting conversations. So we set up our two banners, and said, “Hey, do you have five minutes to take a test?” And they replied, “Yes”. In ninety-degree heat, forty-eight students stopped to discuss their faith during the first few hours, and the conversations usually lasted an hour or more. Many were atheists, but they were the nicest atheists I have ever met. Some began to doubt their atheism and changed their perspectives based on what we shared.
unnamed (11)We continued this approach over the next week followed by English Clubs the last three evenings where we went into greater depth about the implications of the Gospel. In all we shared the Gospel with over 120 students and saw at least ten repent and decide to follow Jesus. I would like to thank our great team that went as well as our hosts, Campus Crusade and Via Church. We now have open doors to serve at least four ministries or churches, and one of these is open to helping us establish our first long-term work in Cluj that will become a new church. Our plates are full!

Speaking of long-term, we have entered into major transition mode now as our scheduled move to Krakow, Poland will be the beginning of September. We still have about ten percent remaining to reach our operational budget as well as necessary moving costs, and we ask those of you who don’t yet partner with us to consider investing in this endeavor.





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