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Romania May 2013

Iasi, Romania May 10-20, 2013

TLI has started a partnership with the local evangelical Romanian churches in the second largest city of Romania, Iasi (with aprox half a million people). Even though this area has one of the largest number of Eastern Orthodox believers and churches, most of these people don't have a personal relationship with Christ and don't know the Gospel. Tradition rules over the knowledge of the Scriptures and the Gospel of grace is unknown. Our Evangelical brothers and sisters from Iasi (who are up to aprox 2000 people) face trials both from within (legalism, lack of knowing theology, bad leadership) and outside (spiritual warfare, traditions, rejection from the majority of the population). Hence, God opened a door for TLI to come alongside some of the leaders of these churches and encourage them to be faithful in their calling, training and equipping them in handling the Word of God in a Christ-centered way. Please pray for us and come with us to be blessed and be a blessing for the believers in Iasi, Romania!

Follow along as teachers in the field offer their experiences as they share theological training with local church leaders.

Field Notes   Romania May 2013

May  18th,  2013From Theory to Practice

Incomprehensibility, Grace, Sovereignty. Immediate Context, Author's Intent, Chaos to Order. These and other terms used by those who write and teach and learn about Biblical Theology, Hermeneutics, and the Attributes of God can become only theoretical concepts until one engages prayerfully with a text of Scripture with the earnest desire to worship the One who is both incomprehensible and yet who reveals himself to be the God who desires to be known, and to help others to know him and respond to him in repentance, faith, and worship from transformed hearts. Such has been our joy and pleasure this week in Iasi and surrounding towns as we have seen brothers and sisters growing and developing and using skills that are graces from the overflow of God's own heart.

There is so much to be encouraged about as we see local pastors pouring their lives into the lives of those they love, both in their churches and those still in the world. There is so much to praise the Lord for as we see young men and young women asking questions about how to walk a life of faith in the midst of opposition and darkness. There is much to gladden the heart as those who have been so attentive to listen to and discuss some of the most astounding truths in which to engage our minds and hearts, then speaking passionately and worshipfully about the God who has stirred their minds and hearts with a glimpse of himself from the word of God.

There is so much to pray about as we consider the glory that God has and the need of so many to want to see and experience that glory as they hear of him, learn of him, and come to trust in him in response to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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May  17th,  2013"God, Don't Forsake Me!"

We are nearing the end of our fourth trip to Iasi, Romania. Tonight, we have seen how God has matured, refreshed and renewed workers of the Gospel, praise the Lord! How incredible to see a young man that last year was not sure of his salvation to now stand up in front of the class and pointing us to Christ. Praise the Lord! One young man we found out turned to the Lord at last year’s study. Each of the participants was given the task to bring a 5-15 minute message on a text that covers the attributes of the Lord. What a joy to see them grow in their love for and faithfulness in the Scriptures. Daniyela and Joy was able to meet with around 10 young women from one of the local church to encourage and pray.

On Thursday, Doug, Joy, Daniyela and Martha -a local missionary- visited a local village. And while visiting with an elderly lady who has realized that she is a sinner, Doug was able to encourage her to know that the Lord never forsakes His children. This dear woman is being persecuted by part of her family that are eastern orthodox, so as they were praying this woman started pleading with the Lord not to leave her. Praise the Lord for the opportunity to point her to the promises of Scripture.

On Wednesday, a mother was asking why life is so much harder now that she is a Christian. She is a young believer coming from an eastern orthodox background, and now that she has turned to Christ she expects life to be so much easier. Joy and Daniyela pointed her to the Scriptures to trust in Christ and that there is no promise for no hardships in this life. Christ is always there with us and so is the local church, that’s part of the comfort that the Lord provides.

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May  14th,  2013The Unchangeable God

What a wonderful gift it is from the Lord of having the springtime aroma of rain pierce our nostrils this morning.  Today was a day where we were able to meditate and worship our God by studying his attributes.

At breakfast, brother Doug challenged the team to proclaim the excellencies of Christ and to long for the spiritual milk so that we may grow up into salvation.  After breakfast, the team rested for a couple of hours and was able to meditate on the truths Scripture.  At lunch time, our team met with David Frerichs, a local pastor of an international church, who encouraged our team by sharing stories from the ministry.  We met David's wife, Aaron, and their four children.  After lunch, we went for a walk with brother David and were encouraged to see his love for the city of Iasi.  During this time, Joy and Daniyela met with a local pastor's wife and encouraged her.  Into the evening, we heard a few insights regarding music ministry in the church from Mircea, and then we had a moment of prayer before our session.  During our session on God's attributes, we focused on God's unchangeableness, independence, and power.  We considered the unchangebleness of our Saviour.  If God is a changing god, then the promises he's given us by the gospel of Jesus Christ are uncertain.  However, because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, all of God's promises in Jesus are certain! By coming to the cross of Jesus, we are able to have eternal fellowship with God; a truth that caused us to be amazed.  We ended our night exulting and worshipping our Living God.

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May  13th,  2013Knowing and Worshiping God

What more can we ask for than the privilege of talking with old friends (and some new ones too!) about who God is and what he is like? That's the blessed place we find ourselves in the city of Iasi as we've returned for the fourth session of training in this city among pastors and other church leaders from in and around the city as well as other nearby cities.

Questions fly as we consider the implications of God's self-revelation for life and ministry in the churches represented in the class. How do we balance the amazing reality of God's purpose of being known by those made in his image and his own incomprehensibility? How can the created ones come to know him who is uncreated and timeless? How do the various attributes of Justice, Mercy, Holiness, Wrath, and Love come together without clashing or opposing one another? More questions. Our answers are inadequate until we see Jesus, in whom are all the attributes in all their fullness, pouring out his life on the cross. So we bow and pray and worship him who is worthy of all praise and glory.

There's the answer. Jesus. His cross. Glory to God! Another day in sunny, hungry Romania.

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May  12th,  2013Airlines, Gospel and KFC

    We have all arrived yesteday, Saturday, at the airport in Bucuresti and then drove to Brasov. Praise the Lord that Doug and Joy have already had the opportunity to share with a Hungarian woman living in Romania about the Gospel.

     This morning we had the opportunity to fellowship with a congregation led by a graduate of Southern Seminary and friend of ours, Sorin Prodan. It is a church plant for a few years and they have been blessed with a ministry especially about the students at the university in town. Benjamin, Andrei, Daniyela and Mircea helped lead the congregation in some songs, Doug had a short exhortation to remember that salvation is about knowing God, not just a ticket to Heaven, and then Andrei preached from Philippians 3 how religion and the "party" life can cause us to destroy ourvselves, since only in putting our faith in Jesus can there be a true relationship with God.  We found out after the service that there were 6 non-believers there that day, praise the Lord that His Gospel goes forth!

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