“…Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)
“...Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18: 3)
By looking at Scripture, we can see Jesus' concern for the young. Jesus' disciples chased children away, believing that adults had the priority, that only they had right and the importance to talk to the Master, but Jesus shocked them, showing them that in His eyes children were of great importance.
As in the time of Jesus, today we still tend to forget that we need to spend time on young people. We forget that they will become tomorrow’s Church.
God has placed on my heart and on my wife’s heart the call to invest in youth by planting and watering God’s Word and His principles in their hearts. Below, are a few of the ways in which the Lord has used me lately in this direction:
Over the last few months I have formed a group of four youth boys in Maruntei; their names are Costi, Cătă, Andrei and Adi. I have regular meetings with the boys for the purpose of evangelism because they are not yet believers. With every meeting, my desire is that God would work in their lives more and more, and that the Word of Truth would take root in their hearts. I want to see them repent and become followers of Christ, growing in godly character.
By building a close connection with them, I can be an example and pour into their lives with God’s Word. In order to strengthen these relationships, I have eaten meals with them and I have taken them to various evangelistic events (including the one in the photo below, organized in Drăgăneşti).
A fellowship event organized with the young people from Drăgăneşti where about 30 unbelieving youth took part.
Youth Gathering in Slatina. Through this meeting, we wanted to create a Christian atmosphere in which youth from both Slatina and Drăgăneşti could be acquainted and be able to relate to one another, thereby removing the perception that "Christians will be isolated and will have a closed life once they repent”. For today’s youth the life of faith is misrepresented and distorted by the world. We want to provide a trustworthy, unbiased and correct perspective on the life of faith and the Christian community. This is a starting point for a personal knowledge of God and communion in His Church.
I thank God that the work with children and youth was not limited to Drăgăneşti and the nearby areas. Each December we have taken youth to an Evangelistic Event in Alba Iulia, and there the youth often experience God in a greater way. This year, the event almost didn’t happen, but I urged them to have it, knowing how impactful it can be. In the end, I was able to facilitate and organize a group of 40 youth from Draganesti and the surrounding areas to go to the event where they had the opportunity to hear the Gospel.
Praise & Thanksgiving:
We thank God that this year He blessed us with resources, and that we were able to provide gifts as a reward for the 12 children who consistently participated constantly in our programs in 2018.
As we look back and reflect on the last year, we are thankful for all the projects that, with God’s help, touched hundreds of youth and children with the Gospel!
That the seed planted in the hearts of youth and adolescents will take root and produce the fruit of salvation!
That through the children, the Gospel will reach their families and bring them to repentance;
For short term teams.
For God to strengthen our long term team in Maruntei, in our knowledge of Him and our relationships with each other.
For a long term children’s worker in Maruntei.
For the Lord to send us the financial resources necessary to carry out the youth and children evangelism projects we have planned for 2019.
Octavian Berechet - PIEI Missionary