My last full day in Romania was spent exploring the Maranata Baptist Church and their expanding adventure in Christian education. Pastor Sabin graciously toured me around the newly-readied classroom space for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and (starting this fall) second grade. This is a tremendous platform for the church’s evangelism and outreach, as most of the children – whose parents are drawn to the school for its excellent learning opportunities – come from homes where the gospel is not understood. Some of the moms and dads hear about Christ’s message of salvation for the first time when they’re invited to chapel services at the school.
Enjoy this collage of photos. The words over the MBC pulpit are “We preach Christ and Him crucified” from First Corinthians 1:23. It makes me eager to begin our new fall preaching series from the same book of the Bible.
I was able to spend some time on a fishing boat with Pastor Elijah from the Coronini Baptist Church. Another example of the warm hospitality which was extended to me by many from among the Romanian shepherds who went out of their way to make me feel welcome and at home. You’ll see from my boat that the Romanian scenery is generally vividly picturesque – I tried to capture that in a couple of landscapes – and you already know that I think the Romanian people are lovely indeed. They are a gracious people, and most willing to help even a stranger in any way they can.
You’ll be glad to know that the churches with whom we now labor in Romania are genuinely friendly, and solidly committed to honoring Christ in worship, preaching, and community service. The funds which our church family have shared with the Romanian church members have been put to excellent use. A little money from here goes a long way there. The hungry are fed, the neediest are clothed, and the downtrodden are built up in exuberant faith.
I’m grateful to God for a great mission opportunity alongside some of the established Christian works dotting a very special stretch of the Danube. The evangelical churches there have learned how to serve our Lord with very few of the material resources that we consider commonplace. My mind is swimming with ideas regarding how we might encourage Pastors Damian and Daniel, as well as all of our other Romanian brothers and sisters, in days and years ahead. Please stay tuned.
So I’ll borrow a few of Paul’s words from this Sunday’s text and “apply” them as I bid my friends a temporary farewell (1:2-3): “To the church of God that is in Romania, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Beloved First Baptist Paducah, may we continue to seek God for all of the creative wisdom and energy that we can muster: that Christ’s light might shine ever more brightly through you and through me, bringing robust hope to a lost and dying world desperately in need of His glorious good news.