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Trips

Romania Fall 2013

Iasi, Romania October 18-28, 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 Fall 2013

Oct  31st,  2013Sunday 10/27/13

I (Jim) had the privilege of preaching this morning at a small baptist church in Iasi. The pastor is a young man that loves Jesus and cares deeply for the people in his church. It is my hope and prayer that this week of teaching and my time in his church were an encouragement to him. It is difficult to be a young pastor and I pray he will be courageous in fulfilling his call to ministry (1 Tim. 4-5).
The pastors and lay leaders that I taught this week did an outstanding job of critiquing each other's sermons. Any aspects of a sermon that were not found directly in the text were brought to light by the group feedback. It was a joy to see them carefully searching the Scriptures and giving each other encouraging and formative feedback. 
This past week I have felt both the weight and the joy of representing my family, my church and all of those who are supporting me before the pastors here in Romania. As a teacher I will be judged more strictly (James 3:1), yet there is a confidence in knowing that I have been showered in prayer and there is great joy in helping my brothers and sisters better interpret, teach and preach the Word of God.

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Oct  25th,  2013A Rewarding Moment

Today is a rewarding and joyful day for me (Darren) as I am witnessing firsthand the realization of one of the original dreams of TLI. Today the Romanians here in Iasi began preaching their own messages and are getting and giving feedback on their sermons. The sermons are still a little rough, but they are trying to follow basic hermeneutic principles. When they don't, I have heard many times in feedback: What you said was true, but was not from the text. Having watched TLI mature, it is quite amazing to see this with my own eyes.

I just listened to a student preach who is getting married on Saturday. He become a Christian in our class almost 18 months ago.

 

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Oct  24th,  2013See in Pictures How a Biomedical Engineer Planted an International Church in Romania

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Oct  23rd,  2013Preaching and Meeting Pastors

Today we met the pastor of the international church here and a Romanian pastor at a Baptist church. They shared their joys and struggles in ministry. David Frerichs is the pastor of the International Church. He was a biochemical engineer in the US and called here by God as an evangelist. He and his wife moved here a few years ago and now have four children. They started a bible study in their home with four people. They now have over 60 people in the church, primarily university students from around the world. There are number of medical students from Nigeria who are with us in our class that are part of his church. It is a blessing to have them with us.

The Romanian pastor shared about the expectations on pastors by the church (similar to a small town pastor in the US). Many pastors have to be bi-vocational and have a hard time finding time to prepare a sermon. We talked later about how many pastors in the US tell people how they spend 10-30 hours on a singular sermon. That is just not possible here.

We are continuing to work through Jonah and Ruth. Our team is preaching example sermons and hopefully setting the tone for the rest of the week by asking for feedback as we seek to be better teachers ourselves.

 

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Oct  21st,  2013First Night Teaching in Iasi

This morning we drove 6 hours from Brasov to Iasi. We had lunch at the church then got ready for class. It was good for me (Ethan) to see many of the same students I had in class last year, but more so to see the development and growth from the two classes they have had since I was here. TLI has taught 5 classes here and the level of questions in class on our first night shows a deepening understanding of Biblical interpretation and understanding. Praise the Lord. 

We had several new African students in our classes. Most of them have just graduated from medical school and have been involved in a good discipleship program in their international church here in Iasi. They have a desire to know and teach God's word in addition to their medical studies so its a blessing to have them in class and to serve them as they prepare for their future wherever God sends them.  

We gave our students a big assignment for preaching texts from Ruth and Jonah at the end of the week. Pray for them as they prepare! Prays for us as we help them develop the ministries and gifts God has given them.

Ethan 

 

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