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Trips

Romania Fall 2014

Iasi, Romania October 17-27, 2014

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 2014

Oct  25th,  2014Wrapping up

Yesterday was our last day of classes and the students finished preaching their sermons. This morning Frank took a train to Dorohoi where he will spend a few more days. Pray for him as he continues to minister together with the Romanian church. Kirk is travelling back to U.K. tonight and the rest of us will leave tomorrow night after visiting and preaching (Ethan and Terry) in two churches in the morning.  

I am thankful for the glimpse I got of the churches here in Iasi and the privilege of spending time together with some of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I am also encouraged to see the impact TLI has among the pastors and how it brings church leaders together. 

One of the pastors shared yesterday that before TLI started in Iasi he did not usually get into the text in his sermons. But going through the classes had really helped and trained him to preach from the meaning of the text. It is encouraging to see how TLI helps these pastors to rightly handle the Word of God.

It has been a joy to go through the book of Galatians and learn about the grace of God, redemptive history, the work of the Spirit and the freedom and righteousness we have in Christ. May God continue to teach all of us more about the grace He has given us in Christ.

David Yngfors

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Oct  24th,  2014Freedom

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)

Those moments when you wish you were recording a video...that's what this was.  It was the perfect finish to an extraordinary week of teaching and sharing gospel fellowship with Romanian believers.  

As Ethan closed the seminar week in prayer, one pastor stepped up and asked to speak.  He thanked the teachers and TLI, but then he opened up and shared about what has been happening with him this week.  He never fully understood the argument in the book of Galatians, that we are free in Christ. He wasn;t even sure it sounded right at times during the teaching.  Bit by bit, day by day he began to realise...that all of the rules and boundries in church are not for salvation....Now he saw clearly, now he understood true freedom in Christ.  

That moment made all the investment by everyone involved in this trip worth every prayer and every penny.  This pastor and his new found understanding of freedom will effect countless lives in a place far from the notice of most of our daily lives, but echoing into eternity...and there were so many other fruitful moments during this week. 

That kind of fruit should make all of us want to use our freedom to continue doing good to our brothers worldwide and at home, sharing in the blood bought joys of full acceptance and right standing with God.  Praying, giving, loving, and preaching the gospel to one another, and to everyone we can.  What a privilege to be a part of his providential plan.

Kirk Crager


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Oct  24th,  2014The Joy and Challenge

I have been working with David Yngfors to teach the church lay leader (or those who want to grow) group. The pastors are in the other class, but we follow the same curriculum. This group has been both a joy and a challenge to work with.
We have a couple of young men who are zealous in their faith. They have worked as our translators during the class, and seek to grow in their faith and knowledge of the Bible so they can become leaders in their churches. The older men have been church leaders, and some have preached for years. They all dig into the Bible, and at this stage of the TLI curriculum, seem to grasp the exegetical method well, as evidenced by both the general discussions and the sermons heard thus far.  
But sometimes certain words can become a fixation and stumbling point. It seems as if these words trigger thoughts of the same word used in another part of the Bible. Even though the two passages do not relate to each other, the word similarity causes them to see a link and try to correlate the passages. We work with them through the biblical text to understand that there is no link just because of similar word usage.  
But overall, they are a joy to teach. They want to grasp the meaning of God’s word and be more effective in their teaching and preaching. They desire to see their churches grow and prosper. They want to see people come out of the darkness to know Christ. Since they are lay people, some of them are working all day and then coming to class, which lasts until 9:00. Then they go home and stay up late to study and prepare their sermons.  
Their sacrifice and commitment are humbling. We need to pray for their continued growth in the Lord, their families as they juggle multiple responsibilities, and the continued growth of their churches.

Terry Mcgee

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Oct  23rd,  2014One in Christ

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 ESV)

Sitting in the simple downstairs room at the 2nd Baptist Church in Iasi, Romania this week has afforded a variety of experience.  We''ve enjoyed the local culinary hospitality of our Romanian hosts, shared in the richness and robust theology of Galatians, practiced preaching and proclaiming Christ, and also had discourse centred on the forward progress of the gospel in Iasi.  It's striking how similar this fellowship is to city gospel partnership happening in the UK, where I reside, and elsewhere in the world.

The context doesn't change the content of the gospel message and how it impacts the leaders of Christ's church and their city.  These Romanians pastors are competent men of character, well positioned to have ever increasing influence as the spread of the gospel here continues, both in and through the churches.  What a humbling, joy-filled, and emboldening week in seeing and experiencing the unity of God's people as we teach, encourage, example, and provooke one another to love and good works in the kingdom of God.  

This is the way I envision gospel partnership, this is life in the freedom for which Christ has set us free...This is where we are one in Christ.  This is where cutural bounds are not reasons for us to have a perceived self-righteousness in lifting ourselves over others or feeling inferior to them.  They instead become expressions of God's glory in the nations redounding to the praise of our deliverer, Jesus.

Kirk Crager

 

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Oct  23rd,  2014Sharing in the Love of Christ

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
This week in Iasi, Romania, we are living out this scripture by God's grace, sharing in the love of Christ with twenty pastors and church leaders from the body of Christ in Romania - iron sharpening iron, sharing testimony, praying for each others' ministry, and boasting in the LORD's goodness in our churches. 
A group of five pastor/teachers serving in TLI are teaching through its curriculum for Galatians, and this has brought us joy in fellowship and prayer.  Much as in  Paul's time, we encourage the Romanian pastors as they seek to preach the pure gospel of Christ to their churches, neither adding or taking away from our hope in Christ. 
The evangelical pastors here in Iasi are coming together in unity, and though their churches have different rules, and different church polity, they celebrate together their faith in the Son of God. 
Today and tomorrow we are guiding a preaching practicum, where the pastors give encouragement and advice to each other.  
Saturday we will prepare for Sunday preaching assignments, and then our team will say its goodbyes, some returning home, and others to further Romanian ministry opportunities. 
Thank you for your prayers!!
Frank Rabinovitch

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