From the Superintendent's DESK
A team representing the Portland headquarters has been traveling in Romania since February 2 for the purpose of visiting our churches there and encouraging the saints. Harlan Lee of Roseburg, Oregon, and Jeff Downey, pastor at Van Buren, Arkansas, began their trip in the western region of the country. They are accompanied by Ted Bora and Gheorghe Macovei, the Western and Eastern Romania District Superintendents respectively.
The first visit was to Sanpetru-German on Friday, February 3, for an evening service. They had a great time, saying that one highlight was the music. Ben and Dorena Clapa provided vocal duets interspersed with trumpet solos and the young people sang the action song “Who Made the Twinkling Stars?” Using hand motions, they asked, “Who made the birds that fly . . . the fish that swim . . . you and me?” The enthusiastic answer was, “Our Father, God.”
Following the congregational singing and prayer, Brother Harlan spoke on God’s instructions concerning prayer for healing. Reading from James 5:14-15, he said the sick are instructed to come and be anointed with oil and prayed over for healing. However, this is not always possible and an anointed handkerchief can also be sent to them as demonstrated in Acts 19:12. He had thirty-five new prayer cloths to leave with the congregation. These were anointed and then the ministers prayed over them. The congregation prayed also and was thrilled to take part. Next, Brother Harlan read Scriptures pertaining to the ordination of ministers and announced the appointment of Beni Pasalica as pastor of the Sanpetru-German church. The congregation responded with overwhelming support, and the ministers gathered around Brother Beni, laid hands on him, and prayed.
As the service continued, Brother Jeff encouraged the congregation from 2 Timothy 2:1-4 and Ephesians 6:10-18 that with God all things are possible. The evening concluded with such a sweet time of prayer around the altars that no one wanted to leave.
The next morning, a ministers’ meeting was held in Zadareni, the headquarters for our western region. Following a report from each branch location, exhortations were given from 1 Peter, emphasizing holiness, and from Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the World.”
In the evening, the team attended a church for the first time in Timisoara and very much enjoyed the music. Brother Harlan had the opportunity to share his family’s testimony as well as his own. In addition, he gave a message on access into the Holy of Holies, saying Jesus’ death opened the way for all to enter directly into God’s presence. At the close of the service, the pastor encouraged anyone needing prayer to come forward. At first only ten or twelve responded, but eventually more than seventy-five were prayed over.
On Sunday morning, the team participated in an ordinance service at Zadareni. Afterward, they visited Rodica Mosu who is sixty-seven and bedridden. They anointed and prayed for her, and she requested to be baptized in water. Before leaving, arrangements were made for this. In the evening, they went to Gottlob, where Nicu Cretu is the pastor, for a combined service with three additional congregations. As always, Brother Harlan and Brother Jeff extended greetings to the congregation from the saints at home. In return, they were assured of the congregation's prayers for us.
At the close of the day, the team received great news: four prayed through to salvation during the evening service in Sanpetru-German.
On Wednesday, the team was in Bucharest, the headquarters for our eastern region, and enjoyed an evening service with about thirty saints. It began with congregational singing and then a message from 1 Kings 20, underscoring that God is the God of the hills and the God of the plains. Brother Jeff gave a message from 2 Corinthians 5:17 on the dramatic change in behavior that takes place when one becomes born again. As proof, he offered the testimony of his grandfather, Warren Trotter. The service closed with prayer, and six came forward to be anointed and prayed for.
A Baptist group in Bucharest requested a visit from the Apostolic Faith, so a service was held on Thursday evening with about twenty-five present. Following congregational singing and prayer, Brother Jeff gave a message from Joshua 4:12 on the faithfulness of Caleb. He also noted that God is the God of healing and comfort, not willing that any should perish. Then Brother Harlan introduced the congregation to Apostolic Faith beliefs and history, emphasizing our consistent doctrinal stance. As the meeting concluded, the congregation was encouraged to touch Jesus, and seemed very receptive.
An afternoon service was held on Friday at Coroteni. The work here began in 2016 when a family was converted. Then in 2017, members of the congregation donated land and materials to build a church. Since that time, a minister from our Ramnicu Sarat church has commuted twice a week to hold services. During this visit, time was taken to ordain Neculai “Sandu” Galca to serve as the pastor. The church was filled to capacity and the congregation was enthusiastic for the Gospel. The service continued for three hours and then was followed by prayer.
In the evening, a service was held at Ramnicu Sarat where Ivanus Crivisiu is the pastor. The music specials were moving, including a vocal solo of “There is None Like You, Jesus.” The congregation responded with hearty Amens throughout.
On Saturday, the team traveled to the Pascani area where our northern Romania work is focused. They held a ministers’ conference in the morning at Bosteni with a good turnout. Messages were shared from 2 Timothy 2:13-14 on “Holding Fast” and from 1 Peter 1-2 on “Unity, Brotherly Love, and Kindness.” A time of fellowship followed.
The team attended services at three churches on Sunday, beginning with a morning meeting in Bosteni. They enjoyed several vocal solos, including two in English sung by Denisa and Emma Budeanu. Messages were delivered on divine healing and on the importance of seeking the deeper Christian experiences. Then an invitation to salvation was given by the pastor, Vasile Budeanu, and two men stepped forward. The ministers prayed with them and also for several others seeking a healing touch.
The afternoon service was held at Vanatori Neamt. This congregation had been meeting in a member’s home, but is now in a church building attached to the home of Florin Copot. Many were in attendance and they had a blessed time. The evening service was in Humulesti. Again, there were many in attendance, including ten visitors from Urecheni, which is twelve miles to the south.
Our team is now in the final week of their trip, visiting our churches in southern Romania. The Lord has been at work among the congregations, and we pray for His continued blessings on the services as well as traveling mercies.