Tag Archives: evangelism

A Home for Daniel and Maria

One of our closest friends and fellow laborers we’ve met while here is Daniel. We met him about 2 years ago, when he was a new Christian recently returned from working in Finland. He shared his life story with us, how he had grown up in a bad home, how he became involved with crime, drugs, and prostitution, and how God had rescued him and completely changed him.

After trying but failing to kill himself with a drug overdose, he started reading the Bible and realized that Jesus had died for him and all he needed to do was receive His forgiveness. From that moment, everything began changing. He threw away the drugs, he stopped visiting prostitutes, he stopped lying and cheating, and all he wanted to do was tell everyone about Jesus.

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Illegals or Refugees…. Jesus Loves Them All

From the time Vlad Ţepeş (the inspiration behind Dracula) held back the invasion of the Turkish empire, Romania has been a gateway into Europe and a center of the Christian-Muslim conflict.  Seven hundred years after Vlad, thousands of men and women still come to this nation attempting to enter Europe, many of them coming from Muslim nations in Africa and Asia.  Some are refugees fleeing war-torn countries, but most are average men and women seeking employment and a better life in Europe, and a few are involved in drug trafficking or other illegal activities.  Although they claim all these and more reasons for making the long trek to Romania, we believe God is in fact the one calling many of them!  Like our friends Emal and Rashid, who came to Romania looking for money in the drug trade but found new life in Jesus, we believe there are many more Muslims ready to discover the forgiveness of God right here in Romania.  This Christmas, we did something special to bring them the good news.

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Holy Ghost Premiere… You don’t wanna miss it.

Religion sucks, but a living relationship with our Father through the Holy Spirit… is awesome… simply awesome.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the world premiere of Darren Wilson’s newest film Holy Ghost from Wanderlust Productions is streaming free on bethel.tv until September 8, 2014, 5pm PST.  It… rocks.  Watch it… period.

Check it out here before it’s too late.  (Or just go by the DVD when it’s released in a few weeks.)

Oh, man, am I hungry to see the Holy Spirit work through me.  As a missionary in a new culture, barely able to speak the language, this has been one of the most frustrating things here… how to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit to people with whom I can’t communicate.

But, church, we just gotta do it, teach it, and lead others into it.  It’s time to be an encounter.  The world doesn’t need more advice; they need an encounter with the Father who’s searching for his sons, the shepherd who’s searching for his sheep.  The world doesn’t need religion… it needs relationship with the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit through the sacrifice of Jesus.

Oh, man, this movie has made me hungry for what’s real.

John 14:12 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”

Every Bird Poops – or – God’s Power to Protect His Word

birdI remember one time beginning preaching open-air by shouting out, “There are two things that will happen to everyone.  Number one, you are going to be pooped on by a bird.  Number two, you are going to die.”  I don’t know how effective it was in drawing people to hear the gospel, but it always made me snicker.  (Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy yelling the word “poop” in public?)

While I don’t condone using birds or their digestive systems as a form of entertainment, probably the funniest video I ever saw involved bird poop.  Picture it, a group of teenagers are gathered at the beach pouring bags of potato chips onto a tray.  One teen looks at the camera, smiles, holds up a package, and almost sings, “Laxatives.”  They cover the chips liberally with the magic sprinkles.  Hardly able to contain their excited giggling, the teens carry the tray to a populated area of the beach, set it down, and then ran for cover.  Within seconds, seagulls descend upon the glorious treasure, gorging themselves on delicacies normally jealously guarded from them…  And then the white rain begins to fall…  It’s hilarious.  Completely disrespectful and rude and should never ever be repeated but outrageously funny.  (You can watch it here if you want a good laugh.)

So, bird poop.

Jesus tells a story about bird poop in Matthew 13:3-9.  Okay, so really it’s a story about seeds and soils, but there are birds in the story, and every bird poops.  Anyhow, he tells how a man is scattering seeds all over the place; some of them land on amazing soil and bring a harvest, others fall on rocky or thorny soil and don’t really grow so well, and the last of it lands on the path.  The path is the worst place because the seeds don’t even start growing at all; the birds come along and eat them all.

“Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.”  (Matthew 13:3-4)

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The Law, the Conscience, and the Gospel

A few years ago, I was driving to Spring Green from Madison after watching a movie at the theater late one night.  It’s an hour drive from Madison to Spring Green, and most of the ride is through small towns where gas stations aren’t open very late.  Knowing it might be difficult to find a bathroom so late in the night (and believing public urination probably wouldn’t be the best thing to have on my record), I remember thinking maybe I should go to the bathroom in Madison before I left.  But then my Y-chromosome called me a sissy and convinced me I could make it all the way home.

I realized pretty quickly that I had made a wrong decision, and so at every little town I came to, I looked left and right for any sign of some place where I could pull over and use the bathroom.  After passing through a few unpromising towns, I remember finally seeing ahead of me a gas station brightly lit up.  I could even see the attendant inside working at the counter.

I was so happy that, without turning on my signal or looking behind me, I immediately turned left from the right-hand lane and aimed towards the gas station.

Bright blue and red flashing lights behind me quickly revealed I had cut off a police officer in my pursuit of a toilet.

The law had found me.  And there was no escape.  I was caught red-handed, guilty.

When I came to a stop, I rolled down my window, held out my driver’s license, and shouted, “I really have to use the bathroom!  Can I give you my license and go run to the toilet?”

The officer nodded his ascent, so I ran as fast as a guy can run whose bladder is about to explode and took care of business.  When I returned to the car, the officer explained that under the circumstances, he’d let me off with a warning rather than a ticket. Boy, was I relieved! (In more ways than one.)

I share this to illustrate a truth:  To share the gospel effectively, my job is to help a person to see that he has broken God’s eternal law, that there are red and blue flashing lights behind him, and he’s been found guilty. Only then will he find the peace and the relief his soul needs, and only then will he gladly surrender all to Jesus.

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It’s been a while, so… What have we been up to?

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Well, it’s been almost a month since my last update, so I figured It’s about time to let you know how things have been going here in Romania.  Since my last update, we started teaching classes at Scoala Biblica Piatra Vie.  It’s our very first semester teaching these courses in Romania, and many books are not available in Romanian, so it’s been far less organized than I like, but God is working in and through us.

We have a total of 12 students taking 3 different classes.  They represent three different continents (Africa, Europe, and North America) and speak four different mother tongues (English, French, Romanian, and Swahili).  Yes, we’re pretty diverse!  Culturally (Romanians, Africans, and Americans), intellectually (from graduate school students to high school dropouts), and spiritually (a one-month-old believer from a Muslim background, Baptists who were taught to believe the charismatic gifts ended in the first century, Pentecostals who never learned to study the Bible, and even a few who don’t know what to call themselves)–we have a wide variety of students!

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A Couple Tract Testimonies

It’s been a while since I’ve given any updates on the blog. Partly, God has simply been bringing us less exciting ministry lately; things like counseling, encouraging church members, and learning to speak Romanian just don’t make for interesting blog updates. And partly, we’ve been taking less risks in evangelism; we’ve been doing a lot of safe stuff like passing out tracts or talking one-on-one, which is good but tends not to attract those crazy cool testimonies we all like to read and I like to write about.

Anyhow, while I don’t have any wild, supernaturally-awesome testimonies, I do want to share three stories from the last week and a half.

Mircea
It was 9:30 pm after the Easter Sunday service, and I was on my way home. It was a beautiful night, and as I passed by the park, I felt a pull to just go sit there for a while. I wouldn’t have called it God’s voice at the time, but I know enough about how He speaks to listen to the feelings in my heart. So I quickly dropped my things off at home and then returned to the park. As I was walking towards a bench, I saw a man walking through the park, and something in my spirit went, “Something’s not right with that guy,” and then something in my flesh went, “Ewww, I really hope he doesn’t come sit by me.”

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