As we travel along the black Tisa River snow falls from the white marbled sky. We're here with Pastor Sorin, TLI's national partner in Romania, delivering care packages to impoverished widows along slippery village roads. In town after town we haul foodstuffs for the long winter. Once inside a home, Sorin opens his Bible to preach the gospel. Then we each take turns praying for the poor, many clothed in rags and huddled around earthen stoves.
Here on Romania's remote northern border with Ukraine, Sorin practices personal evangelism and pastoral visitation in five separate towns. That's because he is pastoring in each. Some Sundays he preaches in his primary congregation in Sighet. Other weeks he's in one of the village churches. Many a Lord's Day he's preaching in multiple locations, morning, afternoon, and night.
By God's grace, Pastor Sorin seems to be built for such a task. His slender frame barely contains his fiery presence--like that of an old-time preacher. If he's honest, though, Sorin admits to mellowing over the years, as wisdom and experience have shaped his pastoral heart. Despite that, he still burns with desire to proclaim the gospel and serve the church here in Romania.
But Sorin's passion for these communities and people is also his incredible burden. Which is why TLI is here, raising up lay leaders who will be able to minister in these small, village congregations. Trained pastors like Sorin are few and far between. They are overworked and overwhelmed. So we go to equip others in order that sheep might have shepherds.
“Trained pastors like Sorin are few and far between. They are overworked and overwhelmed.”
On the final night of TLI's teaching on the book of Genesis, Pastor Sorin stood up to address the laymen who had received the week's training. "We're so thankful that TLI has come," he said, "because they're helping to equip more laborers for God's harvest." Then turning in our direction he added, "Pray, because we need more."