When I was starting the church plant in the Southern part of Romania I was told, “Raul, that is a graveyard for missionaries and pastors.” Ministry here has its challenges, but everyday we are working with the Lord to reach the people He loves. Why do ministry in a graveyard? Because it’s the dead that need life! Jesus said in Luke 5:31, “. . . It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.”
In the context of this graveyard, seeing fruit from our ministries is something always worth celebrating. Recently, we had a baptism where 5 people publicly declared their salvation in Christ! It is a big step for them because they are not following the crowd into the grave, they are choosing life in Jesus and letting everyone know that their life forevermore belongs to God!
Two of our youth that decided to be baptized came from our Ukrainian ministry. We have been helping refugees since the beginning of the war. We’ve been able to help their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs. The family of Christ is bigger than any one country and these people have truly become part of our family of believers!!
We also had two young people from our youth ministry decide to be baptized. Our youth camp this summer was a catalyst for many youth to start their life with Christ and we continue to disciple them weekly through groups and Bible studies. Seeing 2 of them decide to publicly declare Christ had the church overjoyed!
God is doing a great work in all of their lives, and we’re honored that our church has gotten to be a part of it! Read the rest of their stories below:
I am Veronika. And I am 15 years old.I was born in a christian family in a beautiful city in the south of Ukraine,Mykolaiv. I am the third daughter in my family. Doctors were prohibiting my mother to give birth to me, so the fact that I am here is really thanks to God. I have known God since my childhood. I always knew that Jesus was my savior.
As i said, i am from ukraine. now there is war in my country. When my city was started bomb very hard,when me and my family were in a basement, when i saw rockets, i was scared.but I KNEW THAT GOD WAS WITH ME.I Trust him.I know that he hears my prayers.God helps and supports me. He holds my hand and guides me through my life. my life is God’s work.
This summer I had the opportunity to be with hope church in the camp. It was a really blessed time in a blessed place. God touched my heart, And i decided that i want to chose light in my life.I want to choose Jesus.I want to be baptized !
Now I want to say that I am Ukrainian by nationality, but first of all I am a Christian. God is not only in one country. He is here. And maybe I don’t understand much in Romanian. But I know that I am here now because God wants to see me here.
I grew up in a Christian family. I went to church with my parents. I was 15 years old and i was in the church and there was one song about repentance. And it touched me.
I burst into tears and felt that I needed to repent. But I could not go out and repent because something was holding me back. After 3 months, I was again at a service in the church and I was in the church on the balcony, and the preacher said: soul, if you are somewhere on the balcony, know that there is a chance to repent, God is waiting for you. I understood that these words were for me and I went out and repented.
Good evening, my name is Fani, I am 19 years old and I have been living in Romania for a short time because until September this year me and my family (my mother, father and brother) lived in Spain.
This is how the Lord wanted me to arrive here, in this city, at this church; to meet these brothers from Hope, and thus to discover him, our Father. The Lord put me in a non-practicing Christian family (but my mother returned to the Lord last year).
They are settled, quiet people who have the gift of loving and helping those around them. My childhood was beautiful and peaceful, but adolescence took me to obscure realms.
I met people who later took me away from the principles of a good family life and of the Lord and I plunged into a life of pleasures that made me lose the path of light.
I ended up spending my time in bars surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and other bad things, I missed whole days and nights and even stopped going to school.
Thus in the last year of high school instead of preparing my way to a professional career. I wandered with my friends through places that at the time brought me superficial happiness I ended up missing the school year and having to repeat it because I was so tired. I didn’t wake up and go to the last exam I had.
Don’t think that I was in too much pain, I got a job so that I would have the money to make my life even better. I did not think about the suffering of my parents and I was not ashamed of anyone. I didn’t want to hear anything they told me, I had my friends.
But mom and dad were so good that when they realized I was drifting away, and I was losing faster and more, so they came up with a plan to help me. They decided that me, my brother and my mother should move to Romania.
I wasn’t excited when I heard that, on the contrary, I didn’t even want to hear that.
They insisted on persuading me with good arguments, but they could not make me understand,I was in my beautiful world, I worked 12 hours, I slept 4-5 hours and the rest of the hours I spent in clubs.
Then they told me that I was destroying myself but that the idea of going to Romania remained.I just ignored it. When they talked to me it was as if they were talking to the walls and yet I believe that the walls were more attentive than me.
One night everything changed. I had a dream. Unfortunately, I don’t remember it, but in this dream it felt like someone was telling me that I had to go to Romania.
The next morning I woke up and grabbed the phone and on impulse called my mom and I asked her what I could do in Romania.
Mom couldn’t believe that the person talking to her on the phone was me. She told me that I could study and prepare for a new life. And then, unable to reject the thought of Romania, I decided to go.
When I came, in the first days, I asked my mother for my sister’s phone number, Moni Cimpoeru, daughter of some friends and brothers in the Lord with my mother. A year ago I didn’t even want to meet her, but now she invited me to church. Out of boredom I went to the game night at hope church and I felt so good,I couldn’t wait to come back.
It’s been 2 months since then and I want to tell you all that after that day something changed in me. My desire to know God grew more and more.
One day I requested a meeting with Pastor Raul because I had some questions. At the meeting I received clarification on how I can be forgiven of my sins. From the word I received a verse that opened my eyes completely: Acts 10:43 “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives, through his name forgiveness of sins.”
Then there followed a time when God began the process of freeing me from my vicious bonds. My behavior with my family has completely changed. Respect for them grew more and more, the discussions and arguments disappeared.I learned to love, understand, listen and respect people around me, I recovered motivation in my studies.
The Lord brought light into my life, was by my side and always loved me. It was so good that I felt the need to serve and love Him in all moments of my life. Here with these people, I learned what a friend, a brother means.
I learned that my way of enjoying life was not adequate and that much more beautiful things can be done if you accept and want the Lord by your side. God through all these people has taught me that I don’t need anything or anyone but him to be happy.
Now he is my support and my hope for eternal life. I have seen how the Lord has worked in my life, and today I am here in your presence to make my covenant with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hello and welcome !
My name is Nuța Samuel-Alexandru, I am 18 years old and a student. In the next few minutes I want to tell you how I personally discovered God!!
From a young age I had trials even with death, I was so close to death, but God was there for me all the time. I was born in a Christian family and. for them principle no. 1 was only God. I went to church very often, but I just went,I didn’t necessarily feel anything. After a while, the young people from the church where I used to go left, I was very attached to them, so I also left after some time. It’s not just that I didn’t go to a church, but I went away from everything that God means.
I went to a world totally alien to God. A world of drugs, smoking, parties… a world of fun. I got so bad that I got angry and wanted to beat those who got on my nerves, I even got to hate them. I was ok with those in my entourage with whom I did bad things, but I hated the others for no reason.
I had reached a point where if someone spoke to me about God I would get very angry, because I did not want to hear about Him at all. After some time, my grandmother had a dream with me in which God told her that I would get Leukemia ,it wasn’t long after the dream and I got sick. I had reached a very critical point with this disease and I ended up in the hospital. Being a very energetic person, I kept getting out of bed, I kept walking in the hallways, until a doctor saw me, she screamed at me and said, “don’t get out of bed, because the blood vessels break and you can die!”
Since I heard these words, for 2 weeks, I didn’t get out of the hospital bed except to go to the bathroom and that was it. I blamed God for the illness I had, but my grandmother and my mother always told me that God is working and that it is just a test.
Being in the hospital, then I could not see, but now I can see how Satan worked through the mouth of a woman as she was with me when I had leukemia. He kept telling us that this is the beginning of death and that I will suffer a lot.
After some time, said that there is no point in using their treatment from the hospital and gave me another treatment to follow at home. When I got home, my grandmother had another dream about me, in which the Lord told her that I would be healed.
After a period of 7 months in which I went to check-ups at the hospital, I followed a regime and a very strong treatment against the disease. I remember when I was going to the hospital with my grandmother, I always asked her “are they admitting me this time” And she always said that God knows better, there is no way to hospitalize me. After 7 months and a little bit, I was completely cured, all the doctors in that department were surprised the only way I was cured was because the hand of God was there and once again I noticed that the words of God are greater than the words of Satan that he spoke through the mouth of that woman. Of course, after that, I understood that only God could work.
I started going to church again after that, but it didn’t last long, because I went back to that world away from God. But now that I was older, I was doing much worse things, I had managed to steal from stores with several people, we even made our money by selling prohibited substances, I was a man full of hate. I knew what God had done in my life, but I wasn’t interested. After a while I received a message from my cousin Moni telling me about the Christian camp of the Speranta Church, I said to myself let’s go and waste time there, not knowing what will happen to me in that camp
One Wednesday in that camp during the evening worship, I decided to open my heart to God, I said let’s see if God does something. In those moments, God forgave me, he touched me so much, that I said that I don’t want anything anymore, that I don’t need anyone but God, that worship, what happened there, the Hand of God, all these things had touched me and they had changed me a lot. Hatred had disappeared from my heart, the bad people I used to walk with had disappeared, everything that was bad in my life had disappeared.
After the camp I arrived back in Craiova, I spoke with Raul and Sebi and I told them that I want to follow God with all my heart, but I realized that there was a place that was changing me, that is the environment in the sports environment. I know that God values sports, but my problem was the environment there.
I played soccer for many years, I dedicated myself to this sport, but when I entered the soccer match, I spoke badly, I was very angry, and I realized that I had to change! So I said I’m leaving all this, I’m leaving my whole career, I’m leaving everything I’ve done so far, I’m leaving the sport I care about the most, to follow you Lord. And here I am now, I want to become a servant of God.
I’ve seen with my own eyes how good God is and now I can’t leave here, I believe in Him with all my heart, that’s why I chose to be baptized, the covenant with God I thank God that he never left me alone and was always with me.
God bless you!
- Please pray that our Christmas events for the youth and our event on the first of December are catalysts that lead to stories like these.
- For our young people to be well discipled.
- For our World Race squad that is here to be able to form one – on – one discipleship connections with the youth of Craiova.
- Please join us in prayer for a long term missionary to come and be in charge of the youth.
- Prayer for resources for our refugee ministry and for our winter youth retreat.