September 2017

As most of you know, I have two major jobs. One, to coordinate Hope Church ministry in the southern part of Romania and the Balkans Countries, and the other being a national director for P.I.E.I. organization, which brings me the responsibility to facilitate equipping teams for our missionaries that are in this organization both in the North and South side of Romania. For the first time since I have had these two jobs, I was able to host a squad with more than 35 people in the South and over 40 people in the North. Having about 80 people to administrate in ministry was not an easy job because of the six hour distance between the North and South as both of these jobs require my coordination and assistance. As a result of the work in the month of September, God brought us hundreds of testimonies of how Christ was exposed from passing Bibles out, children's ministry, street evangelism and much more. My words cannot describe the sufficiency of grace we were given this month seeing so many blessings. That is what I am praising God for - the souls that were open to follow Christ and those that were edified in Christ. 

One unique moment that continues to come to mind was the situation when one of the translators for the Americans, Ely Serban, (who was involved in ministry on 

the North side), had just heard that her father died instantly in a car accident. For those who do not know Ely, she is a young member in our church, and years ago she came into my office saying she did not believe God could bless her and be with her. She did not want to finish school, but in that day I had a conversation with her that totally changed her path. She repented, committed to school, was unofficially adopted by a church member, and is in her last year at university. But the day she was involved in ministry and heard that bad news, her three sisters were in the same place at a Christian conference. The youngest sister decided to follow Christ, and ten minutes later, she heard her father died. That moment was so touching to me. I saw the association between the life of Christ being accepted by the girl and the death of her father that is caused by sin in the same family. In a small church like ours, this kind of event would affect the entire church, and because her father belonged to an Orthodox church, we did not organize the funeral. In the midst of the grief, I was able to praise the Lord because we mobilized our church members to be at the funeral, surrounding the girls and covering them with love and prayer. Nonbelievers at the funeral came to us and wanted to become more like us because they saw the love and care we extended to the girls. One of our missionary families has decided to take in the girls into their home so they may be protected. 

Dear friends, brothers, sisters, and precious partners of our ministry, your words of encouragement, prayer, and financial support helped God’s kingdom to be spread even though we went through difficult times. September was again, another month where we were able to restore God's glory in Romania. 

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August 2017

The month of August has been “the month of divine appointments”. I say so because several times throughout August, the Holy Spirit presented us with both spontaneous divine appointments as well as the opportunity to facilitate interactions with various people. Here are three of those special appointments.  Starting at the beginning of the month we knew that we would have over 100 Americans engaging with our ministry throughout different projects. However, I wanted them to first and foremost be connected with our current missionaries. We began by setting up intentional meetings with various missionaries. As a result, a few of the families formed a relationship with our missionaries and have joined their support team! I especially want to lift up the story of Brinceanu Lucian. Brinceanu is a new recruit in our Craiovan ministry. Through a series of blessings, he was able to begin ministry and was only lacking steady supporters. In interacting with the visiting families, Brinceanu was blessed and appointed with a family that has decided to support him! The Lord amazed me with how perfect his timing was in Brinceanu’s case.

The second divine appointment was a little more spontaneous. In Romania the name Raul is not common. I met a young boy in the street who came to me and, because his name was Raul, it drew my attention.

 I started sharing the Gospel with him. In the beginning he was not able to understand the purpose of Christ coming. At the end he prayed with me to invite Christ into his life. He asked for a Bible as well. We were able to provide him with his first one.

Later, in downtown Craiova a man came to me and asked, "who are these guys?" (He was referring to the 140 people with PVT and translators.) I introduced him to one of our racers without knowing anything about the man who asked for conversation. Later on, when I stepped in to translate I found out that he was half Chinese half Iranian. He has been living in Craiova for thirty years now and is a Muslim. The racer I had asked came from a Muslim family as well. He was able to share the Gospel in a relevant way that really impacted this man. At the end of our conversation he asked for prayer. He said, "I have pain in my body". In front of my eyes I saw a Muslim asking for a Christian to pray over him. He said, "maybe your Jesus can heal me". After our prayer he begged me to exchange phone numbers and said he really wants a follow up of our conversation.

This is why I call them divine appointments.

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Being in the right place, at the right time, meeting the right people, for a Godly purpose. I call these divine appointments. In the Bible you see big crowds coming to Jesus but sometimes you see a single person like in Acts chapter 8. In the story of Philip and Ethiopian official coming to the knowledge of Christ because of divine appointments.

I have no words to describe the importance of your prayers so that these types of divine appointments will take place in our ministry. Through them we will be able to glorify God and see people coming to know Christ.

 

Thank you for being our partners!

July 2017

In Romania, we have a saying where we call the month of July the "oven month." This year certainly held true to it's name as most days the temperature was hitting 100 degrees. However, this was not the only fire we were walking through. In July alone, Hope Church hosted missions teams from Texas, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and a Passport team through Adventures in Missions. Together we were able to execute our vision for spreading the Gospel in southern Romania. As we partner with the Lord in His work, spiritual warfare is a reality, but in the power of Jesus' name, we can walk through the fire and we will not be overcome. I am spurred on by knowing that over 3,000 people were exposed to the Gospel during July through kid's programs, street evangelism, and revival services. Thank you to the teams who came to share hope with the people of this region.

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Last month, we also held an event in Corabia, one of our satellite ministries, where I had the chance to preach the Gospel. I has previously met a woman in this town who taught Biology at a high school and was wrapped up in a heavy evolutionist environment. She claimed to me, "God cannot exist." Yet she came to the event, and when the service ended, she came to me and was suddenly much more open. The woman explained that she was very touched and had experienced for the first time the power of the Word of God as it pierced her soul. For me, that night powerfully put on display the truth that the Sword of God is more powerful than the sword of Darwin. The Gospel is more powerful than evolution. We carry this Good News, this truth within us, and it is our call and our joy to share it.

 I am happy to share that we are currently recruiting another long term missionary named Lucian Brinceanu. Part of my role in this process is to help Lucian identify his calling. Please pray for him as he seeks the Lord and decides if Craiova is the right spot for him to continue ministry. Also, pray for me as I search for partners to support him while he is a part of our 9,000 Souls project.

July was a joyful moment in our family. Sammi finished high school very well and has been accepted by two universities in Bucharest. In the fall, he will begin studying theology at a seminary school along with social work at another university. I know that many of you prayed for Sammi in this. I want to welcome you to share in the gratitude and joy it brings our family. You and I are together in mission, but I want you to know that you are a part of our family as well. I praise God that we get to enjoy this life together! 

June 2017

In this past month, we had the privilege of hosting another Parent Vision Trip (PVT), where the parents come to do ministry alongside the World Race. While they were here, over 4,000 people were reached with the Gospel through the New Testament project in Craiova and evangelism in the streets. Just as Romans 15:21 says, “Rather, as it is written: ‘Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.’” Also, PVT helped to facilitate a children’s event. The children’s coordinator, Dorothy, organizes an event once a year where around 200 children from each children ministry in Olt County are brought together to learn about Jesus. We praise God for the opportunity to share the Gospel with so many who are lost and hopeless.

May 2017

Isaiah 53:11 says, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous and he shall bear their iniquities.” Even for Jesus, there were not results without hard work. For us, the work is similar to the work Jesus had: to see many people “accounted righteous.” When we pray, evangelize, and equip, it is all for this goal. In the month of May, we have seen evidence of this through the testimonies of the six who were baptized.

News from September

The month of September meant a big step fot the ministry in Craiova. We rented a house for the ministry. With God’s grace there is a group of belivers who meet weekly to study the Word of God. Pray that many others to join this group and to give their lives to Jesus Christ. The house can host teams who come to do mission and also here is the office of RED ministry...

Update from Raul Costea

We wish to share with you, our prayer partners and supporters all of the happenings here with Hope Baptist Church. This month of July has been busy as we have hosted a few visiting teams and have changed our ministries to fit into the summer weather. We have been able to travel more often to the surrounding towns and we are very enthusiastic about the opportunities we have had in the warmer weather.