Building Connections between an American Team and National Missionaries


This July we came to Romania with a team from Liberty Bible Church (LBC) in LaPorte, IN. Although short-term mission trips such as this one are typically oriented around specific tasks, this trip has been designed specifically to bring encouragement to the Nationals working in the Southern part of Romania. Most of them work very hard in a touch region with limited resources and few rewards, and they can become discouraged and drained. We strive to be a listening ear, an open heart, a comforting embrace, and a lifted prayer to nourish and replenish their souls for the work they feel compelled to continue.


We have been blessed to be hosted by Mark and Florina Darvell, and Alexe and Veronica Costea. Octavian Berechet and Florina Darvell have arranged the schedule for our trip. Florina is one of the nationals who supports local women who need income by providing employment at Spero Designs. One of the LBC team members, Amy Paarlberg, met Florina and the girls last year, and felt God speaking to her to order hundreds of back sacks from Florina to put in boxes for Operation Christmas Child. This year she has returned, and when we took the women for an outing to the park, she shared how deeply she feels her connection to the work that they are trying to accomplish. We hope that the relationship that Florina and Amy have cultivated with these women can lead them to the feet of Christ.


Our team has spent time visiting with other nationals as well, listening to their incredible testimonies and providing encouragement. George Bulfan and Sorin Caragea talked about their growth through the E2E (Equipped to Equip) program. Ion Vlad and his wife Christina spoke of the violence in their past and how God has freed them from that lifestyle. Florin Sfetcu and his wife Alina shared how the persistence of a coworker brought Florin to Christ, and the provision of God allowed them to return to Oltenia from Italy to fulfill their passion for reaching the lost in that region. We prayed for spiritual protection for Daniel Șerbănescu, who battles with a culture where witchcraft is prevalent. We praised God along with Traian Chilău and his wife Cornelia over the miracle of the liver transplant and medication that he received. As we stay longer in Romania, we look forward to spending time with Mircea Dumitru, Alexe Costea, and Raul Costea. Samuel Ilies, Alecs Tudoroiu, MIHAIL GEABOU


The team from LBC has also been a part of great works in the region of Oltenia. After Ion Vlad spent 3 years in prayer for the village of Vilcele, which has zero presence of Christian ministry, we were privileged to begin the task of planting seeds by placing New Testaments on the gates of almost every house on the main street. In the city of Craiova, we met up with Raul and Ana Costea (our National Director), Lucian Brinceanu, Adrian and Donna Jurge, Veronica Palcau, Emanuel Serban, and another American team to do some home visitations with the Roma people and have a picnic with non-Christians. This is part of an initiative that Raul is heading up to begin a church in the city of Craiova. We were also blessed to spend time with some special needs adult orphans in Curtea de Argeș, who gave us more encouragement and love than we could ever give back.


While we are here, we are planning to hand out food bags with Alexe and Veronica Costea in order to create relationships with non-Christians in the community. We will do street evangelism with Mircea and Cornelia Dumitru, and later with Mihail Geabou. We have prepared to do some children’s ministry with Samuel Ilies. Don Peiffer (whois an American upholsterer on the LBC team) will be doing some much needed repairs on the nationals’ furniture. We will also be serving the missionaries’ wives with an evening of encouragement. We are looking forward to hearing the testimony of Alecs Tudoroiu over dinner. On Sunday, we will split the team as we did last Sunday and visit several house churches, including the one in a shipping container. Towards the end of our trip we will have a picnic will all of the PIE missionaries and their families.


Please pray for all of the nationals working in the region of Oltenia. The area has almost no Christians and is in desperate need of the presence of the Holy Spirit. The nationals daily face the forces of darkness that have taken hold of the southern part of Romania, and many of them do so without full financial support. Please pray for their protection from the Evil One, and consider supporting them financially so that they can conduct their mission with a peace of mind for their families.