On Sunday, the 16th of June, 1935, in the town of Maglavit, a seventeen-year-old, poor shepherd with a speech impediment finally worked up enough courage to announce to his church a short message he claimed came directly from God the Father, whom he swore had visited him in the form of an old man while he was tending sheep. His message, a stereotypical Old Testament “turn or burn” indictment of his people, was met with both obvious incredulity and a similarly expected enthusiasm. Both those in favor and those against the happenings in Maglavit, and especially those hoping to profit from the events, spread the news far and wide. Newspapers were full of stories of miracles, healings, and prophecies as excitement over the shepherd boy who had seen God spread. In time, over two million people would take part in the spectacular events of Maglavit. Today, much of the events that took place are shrouded in mystery. Who was Petrache Lupu, the man who claimed to see God, and what can we learn from his life rife with visions, miracles, and extravagant stories reminiscent of Ezekiel or Isaiah?
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged between the wars, biography, essay, healer, healing, history, miracle, miracles, orthoxy, petrache lupu, priest, prophecy, prophet, romania, romanian orthodox
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!
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged bible school, bucharest, bucuresti, classes, evangelism, holy spirit, miracles, prayer, romania, school, scoala biblica piatra vie, spirit-filled, teaching, worship
I hate cancer. My friend and spiritual father Royce died from cancer; whenever I hear jazz, see a Cracker Barrel, or pass by a KOA, I think of Royce and miss him. Ron, too, died of cancer; I knew his grandkids better than I knew him, but any guy who pulls my car out of a ditch gets kudos from me. My uncle David died of cancer at 54. While I was a youth pastor in Spring Green, “Aunt” Lea and Mark Koller also passed away from cancer; Aunt Lea had lived a long and full life, but Mark was only 51.
And then there are all the survivors, the friends who have lived with and overcome cancer. These are, sadly, fewer on my list.
Today, a friend working with Campus Crusade called Jake and I. His friend Remus was in the hospital watching his three-year-old daughter die from a tumor in her brain. Would we visit them and pray for her healing?
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged cancer, death, faith, faithfulness, healing, lazarus, miracles, prayer, raise the dead, resurrection, sickness
This morning, I called my friend Alex Grigorescu to see how things went last night after I left open-air preaching. (I love street preaching, but I had to leave early: “Man of Steel” had just opened in Romania, and it needed me to go watch it.) Anyhow, Alex told me the preaching went well, but then he said, “Listen, brother, I have something to encourage your faith.”
Alex then began to tell me about his trip to the market this morning. On his way to pick up some fish, he saw an old beggar woman hunched over and unable to stand up straight. As he walked by her, Alex felt something in his Spirit. God wanted to do something.
So instead of merely giving her a New Testament or a tract, he asked her, “Crezi ca Iisus este Domnul? Do you believe Jesus is Lord?” “Da. Yes,” came her reply. “Crezi ca Iisus pot sa te vindeca? Do you believe Jesus can heal you?” “Da,” she said again.
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged barbulesti, church-plant, evangelism, gypsies, gypsy, home church, letter, miracles, missionary, prayer, prayer letter, preaching, testimonies
So, I promised you an update on our times of evangelism from last weekend. Let me start by saying I love doing evangelism with people who aren’t afraid to take risks for God and who believe he’s ready to show up. It’s seriously the most exciting adventure ever.
So, besides handing out hundreds of tracts, here are some of the highlights…
Friday, we handed out tracts in the subway until the guards found out and told us to stop. Meanwhile, nearly everyone on the subway was reading what Jesus has done in our lives. And, best news of all, one of the men who received a tract called me saying he read it, believed it, and wanted to learn more. When we later met for coffee, I discovered he was a 7-year theology student training to be an Orthodox priest. Eugen is hungry to know the Lord, so pray for the work God is doing in him to come to fruition.
And that’s when we realized that our plans for having a big Christmas celebration with the gypsy families along Mihai Bravu would probably not go as we had been expecting.
Jason went on to explain what he had heard: Matei had gotten drunk and stabbed Geta, his wife; now, she was in the hospital and he was in jail.
Matei (the “young man” that I mention here) became a Christian just about two months ago. He had heard the gospel one Monday night, knew he needed it but didn’t want to surrender, and then spent a week feeling guiltier than ever. The next week, he was desperate to make things right. Since then, he’d been faithfully attending the meetings, asking questions, and growing in his faith. Just last week, he was looking forward to getting baptized. Of all the men who come on Monday nights, Matei was growing the most in his walk with God.
So to hear that he’d gotten drunk and stabbed his wife was, well, difficult to take in… And still is.