November prayer letter – New ministry direction

Church Planting Plans for 2016

For the past two months, I have been traveling back and forth to Romania and England.  I have been able to meet with several pastors and church leaders, and we are in the planning stage of organizing teams to go over and help with two church planting projects within the next year.  It is always exciting to see what God is doing around the world, but has become even more interesting, since we will be doing these things during an unexpected ministry change.

 

Church (re) Plant in Berca, Romania

Berca is a village just outside of Buzau. Many years ago, a missionary had bought a IMG_20150823_082612building in Berca and started a work, but through the years it had died out.  Pastor Mihai and his family, pictured to the right,  moved to this village last year.  With some help from the Ocean State Baptist Church in Smithfield, RI, it is our desire to relaunch that church this Spring.  We have already planned the trip, and will be helping Pastor Mihai to renovate the church building and hold their first service.  

Because of the struggling economy in Romania, it is also our desire to help Mihai remain a pastor for the long term. We have been praying that God would lead someone to lend him $5,000 to purchase bee hives.  With these bee hives, other pastors in Romania have been able to do the work of the ministry, and make almost a years wages by selling honey.  Pastor Mihai has given me his word to have that money paid back in five years time.  

Church Plant in New Castle, England

In 1995, God allowed me to lead Ionel Stoica to the Lord.  He was baptized, went to Bible IMG_20151018_142047Institute, and served in the church in Constanta for many years.  Three years ago, he went to New Castle, England seeking a better economic situation for his family.  About a year ago, he called me and told me that he was starting a church. They are currently renting a building from the Anglican church, and on weekdays have home prayer meetings and Bible study.  I had the great privilege of visiting them two weeks ago and preaching for his new church.  It is amazing to see how God is using this Gypsy family.  Please remember to pray for them as they continue to reach people in England.

New Ministry Direction

As I mentioned at the beginning of my letter, we are in the middle of a ministry change.  In August, while I was getting ready to return to Romania to prepare for my family’s arrival in September, the Lord opened an unexpected door.  After much prayer and seeing the Lord’s hand guide us, I have accepted the pastorate at the Faith Baptist Church in Enfield, CT.   For those of you who are not familiar with Faith Baptist Church, it is a VERY mission minded church, and I consider it a privilege to be their pastor.  I am looking forward to working with this group of humble, sacrificial, and God-honoring people, not only to grow the church, but to do even more for missions!  While our family may not be able to return to full-time service on the field, we assure you, our involvement and commitment to foreign missions will not waver.  

We cannot thank all of our supporting churches and pastors enough for your trust, and for supporting us for the last 23 years.  I am overwhelmed with your love, generosity and support for the ministry in Romania.

We will begin our service at Faith Baptist Church officially, as of the 1st of January 2016, so we will still be in need of and receive support through the missions office through December.

Octomber-November2015 (1) (click to download in PDF format)

From Constanta to New Castle England

I was talking with Danny and I asked him, “could you of imagined 17 years ago when we where at summer camp in Romania that we would be meeting here in Newcastle England?” Danny answered,” I would not of even know where in the world Newcastle was!”

 

But here we are, a group of about 30 people, all from our church in Constanta Romania, now renting a building and starting a church in Newcastle England. How did they all get here? It was not because this was a place they wanted to live, but due to the economic hardships they faced in Romania, they were seeking a better life. It stared with one family leaving and paving the way. Now there is a community of over 200 from Constanta here in Newcastle.

Not only are there Romanians, but there are people from many countries in this city of over 300,000 people. Like most of England, it has a rich religious heritage and there are many churches all around the city, but few that are still preaching the gospel.  I walked into one large church building and met some of the people from the church who told me that there are only about 30 people that meet on Sunday.

I have been meeting with pastor Ionel and others from the church, encouraging them in the work they are doing but also to think long term and to expand their ministry not to just Romanians but towards the English speaking people.

There is a tremendous opportunity here in Newcastle for a church and many more churches to be planted.  Pray for this small group of Romanians as they settle in a new country not just for jobs, but because they were sent to spread the Gospel.

 

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Precious people

IMG_20150830_221810 IMG_20150902_175128 IMG_20150902_174933The joy of ministry is that God sends special people your way. Eleana and Marchel, Ioan and Anastsia and John and Marcela are people who have been involved in our ministry for a long time. We appreciate and love them so much. It is a joy to see them grow and mature in the grace of God.

Opportunities in Romania

An Opportunity to Build Sali Sabri was raised in a Turkish village in Romania. He sali  accepted the Lord, went to Bible College, and came back to work among the Turkish people in the villages around Constanta. He has also been instrumental in leading one of the works that we started in the village of Baneasa. (The picture on the left was taken there.) Last summer, a team from Merrimack, NH and I, helped him with a children’s program in the village of Satu Nou. There was a great response and he has continued to work with the people there. We now have an opportunity to help him build a building. A group from High Pointe Church in Thompson, Ct., where Fred Massie pastors, is scheduled to come over next Spring to help build. Pray for us as we help him

June-July2015edited Click to download our latest prayer letter

 

 

The largest mosque in Europe in Romania

saliPastor Sali Sabri is working in the city of Megedia near Constanta Romania. He has done a tremendous work with the Turkish people in the area and has taken over a work that we were involved with helping start in the town of Banasa.

He posted recently about the fact that the largest mosque in Europe will be build in Romania. This is a surprise considering that there are not a lot of Muslims in Romania. But near Constanta there are many villages comprised of Turkish people. Pray for pastor Sali and the ongoing work there. We are also praying about helping him put up a small church building in the city of Banasa.

http://www.romaniajournal.ro/turkey-to-build-the-largest-european-mosque-in-bucharest/

That’s my little girl a college graduate

 

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What happened to my little girl? I can remember when we first went to Romania in 1994, before we had a car I walked around the whole city checking things out. On my shoulders for most of the trip was Elizabeth. She was not even two years old at the time. Now she just graduated from college!

What happened to my little girl? Well she still is my little girl even though she is a lot taller and feels free to give me advice.  What an honor it has been and still is to be her father and have the opportunity to lead her and help her find her way in life and to grow closer to God.  I am so proud of her and look forward to all that God has in store for her in the next years of her life.

Meeting up with old friends

It is always a blessing to meet up with people who have had an impact in your life and with whom you have served. This week I was in Ocean Springs Mississippi with Paul Perkins and his  family. Paul and I went to high school and college together.  It was a blessing to see the great job he is doing at Grace Independent Baptist Church in Ocean Springs MS. They have also been a supporting church for over 20 years!

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I also had the opportunity to be with Steve and Valarie Crane. Steve and Valarie picked us up at the airport and rented an apartment for us when we first went to Romania in 1994. They have also been supporting us for many years as he is the pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Gulf Port Mississippi. They are doing a great job and it was a blessing to see them.

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I was also able to visit with Brian Henry and his family. Brian was saved when I was a youth pastor back in the day in Woonsocket RI at our sending church.  He has six children and lives in Corinth MS. It was a blessing to see him and his lovely family.

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Sending much needed help to Romania

This week I took a trip to Boston to send  230 pounds of humanitarian aid to Romanian.  The teen group from Merrimack Valley Baptist Church in Nashua NH, collected two boxes of winter coats for the kids in the village of Berca, were we will be ministering when we arrive back in Romania.

Teen group in Constanta

Baystate Baptist Church of Billerica  MA also participated by gathering bags of clothes and shoes for the Romanian teen group in Constanta. We appreciated the efforts of these churches and that we were able to send some help to those ministering in Romania.  It is also a blessing that Best Trans now has a distribution center in Boston. The last time I sent things to Romania I had to go to Washington DC.