Yearly Archive: 2007

Ecuador

Ecuador Trip Report

November 7 – December 27, 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters and Friends,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We’ve been granted the opportunity of having a short-term, ten day mission trip to Ecuador.  Missionary Tim Anderson from the Assemblies of God assisted by Pastor Luis Montana, hosted and arranged this mission.  The team was composed of six men:  Constantin Lupancu, William Ripple, George Ieremciuc, Viorel Gromic, Edgar Garza and Adrian Greab.  We arrived in the city of Quito, Ecuador on Tuesday, November 27.  The team distributed 240 complete Spanish Bibles in the prisons and also at the Teen Challenge Center.

Wednesday morning the team went to Quito Number 1 prison (with maximum security) where they preached the Gospel on one of the wings in a courtyard. The prisoners have an active church of their own and when we arrived inside the inmates were already singing. Because many men exercise in the courtyard, the Gospel was heard by those who were not even a part of the church service.  There were about 15 people who repented and prayed to give their lives to Jesus Christ.  The guards are very strict with the foreigners and other visitors alike.  We weren’t allowed to have belts, hats, and cameras.  That afternoon we drove 5 hours from Quito to Puyo, which is the last city before you drive down towards the Amazon jungle.  Also on the way we saw a couple of small eruptions from one of the active volcanoes in Ecuador.  This road is lined with volcanoes.
Thursday morning we drove to the city of Shell where there is a small airport from which all the planes leave from the Amazon jungle.  This famous road has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.  In the city of Shell just across from the airport is the house that Nathanael Saint built (Through Gates of Splendor).  He was one of missionaries killed in 1956 by the Auca Indians in the Amazon. The Aucas had killed strangers for centuries.  Other Indians fear them but the missionaries were determined to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The only way to find them was by flying over their territory with a small plane.  Five missionaries that came to reach them in 1956, were speared to death by the Aucas.

For us, it took 25 minutes to fly from Shell to the Shuar Indian village of Kuakash (an Indian tribe that were also once headhunters) where we ministered.  It would’ve taken about a month to walk there.  We preached the gospel to the villagers and one teenager prayed to receive Jesus Christ.  When I asked them of their main needs, their response was “medicine”.  We were not equipped with medicine, but we know the source of healing and well-being; which is Jesus Christ.  After I presented the gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of salvation and well-being, I exhorted them to turn their eyes to the Cross; where Jesus suffered the punishment for our sins.  “..He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes that wounded Him we are healed and made whole.” (Isaiah, 53:5).  This exact verse had such great impact on them, that they paid very close attention.  They prayed to receive healing for their sick bodies.
One purpose of the trip was to see the possibility of sending future missions team to build schoolrooms and other projects.  The people in the Amazon Jungle are very poor and many of the children need medicine as well.  The church floor was full of biting ants when we got there and we had to pour gasoline to kill them (although some survived).  Also we prayed for all the sick people who lined up in front of the church.  Please keep all the people living in Kuakash in your prayers.
Friday morning they went to Teen Challenge, also run by Tim Anderson, in Quito.  We testified and preached to the many residents there.  Friday night we went to a prayer meeting at Tim’s church “Jesus Never Fails” where there was a great move of God’s Spirit during the 5-hour service. Our translator Edgar Garza testified that when he entered the Chapel the presence of the Holly Spirit touched his heart, in such a way that he never experienced in his life before. He broke into tears and couldn’t explain what was happing, but what he felt that night he will never forget. The touch of Jesus Christ on his heart made him realize the mighty power of the Holy Spirit of God. A miracle happens when you open the door of your heart and let him lead you.  Edgar is thankful for going on this trip and for every person he met and the transformation of his life forever. Many members were touched by God’s spirit and they broke down with tears of repentance.  The gospel presented to them from [2 Chronicles 7:14] “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  This verse impacted and motivated them to a deep thirst to search for God.
Saturday afternoon we went together with the Teen Challenge Evangelism team to the Santo Domingo Plaza in downtown Quito.  We passed out 750 Gospel Tracks and four people came forward to proclaim Christ as Savior.  There are many drug addicts, alcoholics and prostitutes that frequent this plaza.  We reached them with the gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of restoring their lives because Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
Sunday morning we went again to the jail to another wing where we conducted a church service in a very small room.  It was so packed with people that some of the inmates had to stand up.  The gospel we presented was about the disobedience and rebellion of Jonah.  The illustration was presented in such a way that they felt the same way Jonah felt in the belly of the fish.  Along with the fact that they were also in a very tight room was an irony.  The application recommended from this message to them was to turn to God in repentance and make him Lord of their life.  From amongst our team, four members are Romanian and we were surprised to find two Romanian inmates in this jail; far away from Romanian soil.  One of the Romanian inmates broke up into tears and ran to the altar, where he repented and re-dedicated his life to Jesus.  Many other inmates ran to the altar to receive restoration and spiritual freedom in the Name of Jesus Christ.  “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” [John 8:36]  Even though they were still imprisoned, they received deliverance from the bondage of sin.  “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.  But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.” [Jonah 2:6-7].  Everyone on the team had a chance to share the word of God for three and a half hours.  We prayed for them and all the inmates present so that God will work in their lives.  Sunday night we went to Tim’s house for prayer and fellowship.
Monday and Tuesday morning I presented the Chaplains for Christ International Training Seminar at the Teen Challenge Center to twenty-seven pastors, leaders and students.  God worked in such a great way and ignited a great spiritual fire that several students were baptized with the Holy Spirit and some of them dedicated themselves to evangelism and prison ministry.  This was a wonderful time spent together in God’s presence.  God moved in such a special way in those days; yet within the city outside the Teen Challenge Center everyone else was drinking and celebrating a holiday similar to America’s July 4th, yet much wilder.  But God brought true joy and direction to the very same souls that had a heart towards the worldly holiday outside.  With the Holy Spirit’s power, they were connected the real source of joy and happiness.  God met their expectation and more and above what we thought or asked for.  ”Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”  [Ephesians 3:20-21].  Monday afternoon we went to Rucu Pichincha Mountain on a trolley 13,000 feet above sea level where we had a splendid view of Quito.  We also said a prayer to thank God that He will bless all the work that was done on this mission trip.
Wednesday we went again to the maximum-security jail to yet a different wing where we had fellowship with the inmates in song and prayer and gospel.  We preached the gospel to all the people present there including some families and visitors to the inmates.  At the end of the service about forty people came for the final prayer invitation to change their lives through Jesus Christ.
Thursday was our free day and together with Tim and his family we went to the centerline of the earth, the Equator.  It was a very wonderful experience for all of us.  Thursday night Tim’s family, Joe’s family and our team went to a restaurant for one last night of fellowship.  We appreciate very much what Tim and Joe did for us and we pray to God they will be blessed.  And also let’s keep in prayer the whole country of Ecuador that the light of Jesus Christ will penetrate and God would work miracles in this spiritual dark country.  We thank God for everything He has done on this trip through weak and unimportant vessels that went onto this mission in obedience of God.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Constantin Lupancu

Argentina

Raport Misionar – Argentina

Martie 2007

Prin harul Domnului între 24 martie şi 1 aprilie – 2007 am misionat în ARGENTINA,  ţară din continentul America de Sud. Ca suprafaţă Agentina este a 8-a din lume , acoperind 2,766,890 Km patraţi (1,078,000 sq miles) şi este formată din 6 regiuni: Argentina Nord Vest, Gran Chaco, Mesopotamia, Cuzo, Pampas şi Patagonia. Lungimea pe meridian este de 3700 km, iar lăţimea, pe paralelă, este de 1,400 km, de la munţii Anzi la Oceanul Atlantic.

ClickGrupul de misiune a fost format din 10 persoane. În poză: George Eremiciuc, Dr. Willy Ripple, Constantin Lupancu (fondatorul misiunii Blessed Hope Mission Int’l), Jessy Nunez, Johnny Buia, Aurel Bălici (pastor al bisericii Gheţimani, Chicago, Capelanul Robert Brown (fondatorul misiunii  Chaplains for Christ Internaţional), Francesco Sancez, Adrian Greab, şi Allen Andor. Pentru prima dată am fost în emisfera sudică a globului. Nu în zadar se remarca despre Buenos Aires că aerul era bun, soarele plăcut şi mediul înverzit şi înflorit. Am fost găzduiţi în Rosario, provincia Santa Cruz.

Duminica este zi de odihnă dar şi de închinare. Pentru  a fi mai eficace, ne-am împărţit în două echipe. Aşa am putut sluji în două biserici. Liderul echipei noastre a fort capelanul Jesu Nunez, un predicator şi traducător înzestrat de Duhul Sfânt. Fiecare, la rândul lui a adus un îndemn, salut ori o mărturie. Am predicat despre “Eu sunt un creştin fericit”. Jessy ne-a tradus în limba spaniolă şi a concluzionat. Muzicanţii au cântat cu volumul pus pe “tare”. Mulţimea  entuziasmată a bătut din palme, lăudând pe Domnul.
Am fost impresionaţi de felul cum au făcut colecta, subliniind că era biblic să îţi ADUCI DARUL la altar (Matei 5:23, 8:4; Luca 21:1; 1Cor 16:3). În Deut. 16:16-17 scrie:” Să nu se înfăţişeze cu mâinile goale înaintea Domnului. Fiecare SĂ DEA ce va putea, după binecuvântarea pe care i-o va da Domnul, Dumnezeul tău”. Colecta nu se adună ci se DĂ. Un coş mare a fost adus în faţa adunării. În sunetul cântărilor, închinătorii ne-am înşirat spre coş. Acolo pastorul punea mâna pe mâna dătătorului voios şi se ruga, înainte ca banii să fie lăsaţi în coş. (Mă gândeam că nouă ne-ar trebui 5 sau 6 coşuri, pentru a termina adunarea la timp). Cei ce aveau nevoie de rugăciune au venit în faţă, iar cei din echipă în frunte cu fr. Bălici şi  Lupancu ne-am rugat pentru ei. Prin ploaie microbusul ne-a dus la Hotelul Drapelelor în Rosario.

Luni. Plouă. Ne-am sculat la 5.30 am. Am călătorit la Nujere, provincia Santa Fe (Credinţa Sfîntă). Echipa fr. Robert Brown  a slujit în închisoarea de femei. Acolo trei femei s-au predat Domnului. Ceilalţi am prezentat  Evanghelia la deţinuţii din Penitenciarul de Maximă Securitate (PMS Meyers). Mulţi dintre ei , de la etajul I şi II au ascultat Cuvântul din celule, dar cu uşile deschise. După fr. A. Bălici, fr. C. Lupacu a predicat despre mântuirea tâlharului răstignit alături de Domnul Isus. Unii dintre deţinuţi sunt satanişti. Ne-am bucurat de numărul relativ mare a celor ce l-au primit deja pe Domnul şi I se închină cu atâta ardoare. Ca la fiecare închisoare şi aici am dat Biblii deţinuţilor şi gardienilor. Programul de seară s-a anulat din cauza inundaţiilor.

Marţi. Plouă. Devreme am plecat spre Coronda. Ambele echipe am slujit în aripi diferite ale Penitenciarului de Maximă Securitate, (PMS). Aici în 2004, revolta deţinuţilor s-a soldat cu 14 morţi. Anul acesta, încă 12 deţinuţi au fost omorâţi (de deţinuţi), într-o revoltă asemănătoare. Conducerea închisorii a fost schimbată din una militară într-una civilă. Noi nu ne-am dat seama de pericol decât la ieşire, când am realizat, că am intrat la deţinuţi pe proprie responsabilitate şi ne însoţiţi de nici un gardian. Ne-am amintit de închisorile din alte ţări unde gardienii ne păzeau cu masca pe faţă şi armele încărcate.
ClickAm fost primiţi foarte bine de deţinuţi, deşi mulţi au stat şi ascultat de departe. Grupul de credincioşi avea o staţie de amplificare. Ca nicăieri în puşcărie pe pereţi erau scrise versete biblice şi motouri ca: “JESU ROMPE TODOS CADENAS” (Isus rupe toate lanţurile). Acompaniaţi de orga lor am cântat  tare împreună cu ei. Evident unii erau credincioşi. Ca peste tot, fr. Jessy a făcut introducerea, traducerea şi încheierea, provocându-i pe deţinuţi să se întoarcă la Domnul. După fr. A. Bălici, am predicat  despre Cele Şapte Vorbiri ale Domnului Isus pe Cruce. Am fost des întrerupt de aplauze, prin care dădeau slavă Domnului. Unii plângeau. La rugăciune toţi s-au ridicat în picioare. În puşcărie este indicat, ca lucrător al Domnului, să te rogi cu ochii deschişi. La despărţire am fost îmbrăţişaţi cu dragoste de deţinuţi, în mare majoritate tineri. În microbus am împărtăşit experienţele personale.
ClickSeara ambele echipe am slujit mulţimii adunate în centrul de reabilitare REMAR, în Rosario. Fr. Robert Brown a condus programul. S-au depus mărturii ( Dr. Ripley, Adrian Greab, George Ieremiciuc etc.). Scurt am vorbit despre “Dumnezeul nostru, Cel ce poate totul”. Am mărturisit despre vindecarea de cancer a soţiei mele Victoriţa. Domnul l-a însoţit în mod deosebit în predică pe fr. Francisco Sancez. Toţi 10 ne-am rugat cu cei veniţi în faţă pentru rugăciune. Viziunea Remar îşi are originea în Madrid, Spania, cu centre în multe ţări.

ClickMiercuri. Plouă. Nu am mers la primul penitenciar programat, pentrucă femeile au fost evacuate din cauza inundaţiilor. Am vizitat penitenciarul nou (PMS Nr. 11) în Pinero. Fr. A. Bălici  a avut un ateist printre ascultători, care a respins Biblia. Ateistul a spus că deja a ars o Biblie făcându-şi ţigări din paginile ei. Când fr. Aurel i-a mărturisit pe Domnul Isus, Dumnezeu care este bun, a lucrat la inima lui,  schimbându-i atitudinea. Cei ce comit violuri şi cei ce abuzează copiii sunt ţinta numărul unu de ucidere, din partea celorlaţi deţinuţi. Fr. G. Ieremiciuc a vorbit despre Dreptate, Milă şi Har, iar eu le-am mărturisit  că unii au plătit cu viaţa răspândirea Bibliilor în societatea comunistă.

Un deţinut credincios când s-a sculat de dimineaţă, a primit o înştiinţare de la Domnul pentru mine şi biserică. Erau două texte: Galateni 6: 6 şi  Matei 25: 34-40. I-am promis că o să spun bisericii. Seara grupul s-a închinat într-o biserică locală. După laudă şi închinare, liderul nostru Robert Brown a făcut prezentarea noastră şi apoi  a ţinut cursul introductiv, bazat pe Biblie, pentru viitorii capelani.

ClickLa încheiere s-au eliberat certificate. Viziunea primită de el, de la Domnul este tocmai crearea în multe ţări a Institutelor de Educare a Capelanilor. Acest lucru s-a realizat şi în România. Pentru acelaşi scop fr. Nunez va reveni în Argentina. Despre lucrarea Domnului în închisorile din Cuba fr. Brown ne-a spus: „CĂLĂTORIA ÎN CUBA – 2001, MĂRTURIA SOREI ROZA”.
Când am ţinut seminarul de trei zile referitor la slujrea în închisori în Havana, acolo era o soră ce a prezentat o mărturie minunată, care este tipic a ceea ce face Dumnezeu  peste tot în acea ţară. Acest seminar a fost permis acolo pentru prima dată de la revoluţia lui Fidel Castro în 1959.
ClickSora Roza ne-a informat că este imposibil pentru cubanezi sau oricine altcineva să intre în puşcării pentru orice motiv, inclusiv ţinerea de servicii religioase, împărţirea de  Biblii, sau orice material religios. Nu au voie să viziteze în închisori decât membrii de familie. Totuşi Domnul i-a pus pe inimă sorei Roza să slujească deţinuţilor.
Într-o zi, în vreme ce se ruga, Domnul a direcţionat-o să dea o perie de dinţi şi un tub de pastă unei vecine pe care nu o cunoştea. Ascultând de Domnul ea a dat vecinei aceste lucruri la care cubanezii nu aveau acces şi nu-şi puteau permite să şi le cumpere. Vecina necunoscută a rămas mirată şi a întrebat-o cum se poate ca ea, o straină, să-i dăruiască asemenea lucruri de valoare. Roza a răspuns: “ Domnul care te iubeşte m-a direcţionat spre tine”.
După două săptămâni Roza a primit îndemnul să dea vecinei un săpun, din nou un lucru voloros pe care puţini oameni îl aveau. Femeia şi mai mirată a vrut să ştie şi mai mult despre Dumnezeul care trimetea o străină cu aceste daruri preţioase. Femeia a primit pe Domnul Isus Cristos ca Mântuitor şi a devenit creştină.
Ea avea trei fii criminali  în închisoare. Deoarece era mama lor, ea a putut să facă ceea ce nu-i era îngăduit să facă Roza şi anume să le ducă vestea bună a mântuirii. Toţi cei trei fii L-au primit pe Domnul Isus ca Mântuitor personal. Azi sunt liberi şi îl slujesc pe Domnul ca pastori.  ALELUIA.

Joi. Plouă. Prin harul Domnului am vizitat PMS (Penitenciar de Maximă Securitate), Unitatea Nr. 3 în Rosario. În acest penitenciar am întâlnit o biserică vie. Deţinuţii cântă bătând din palme. Se roagă cu mâinile pe sus şi cu ochii închişi. Aşa DA închinare. Din nou, gardienii nu au intrat cu noi. Duhul Domnului ne-a cercetat deosebit la prezentarea fr. C. Lupancu  despre Iona. Am îndemnat „biserica” prin textul din Ioan 4:23-24, Închină-te lui Dumnezeu în Duh! Ca instrumente de laudă, în loc de tamburine aveau nişte beţe pe care arau bătute bucăţi duble de tablă, ori suportul unui rol de vopsit pe care sunt îngrămădite capace de borcane, găurite. Toţi s-au rugat pentru noi. Am fost şocaţi când ni s-a spus că deţinuţii au intrat în post şi mâncarea au trimis-o sinistraţilor ce sufereau din cauza inundaţiilor. Am vizitat criminalii sexuali. Le-am dat Biblii. Le-am spus de iertarea prin jertfa Domnului Isus şi ne-am rugat pentru ei.

După masă am fost bine primiţi de primarul municipiului Rosario , Ing. Miguel Lifschity, intr-o vizită protocolară. Au participat oficialităţi ale oraşului şi Robert Brown, Constantin Lupancu, George Ieremiciuc, Francesco Sancez, şi Ioan Buia. Discuţiile au avut în centru lucrarea Capelanilor Pentru Cristos în lume şi acum pentru prima dată în Argentina. Am vizitat apoi monumentele republicane. Aici îşi are originea drapelul argentinian.

Seara grupul a vizitat o biserică A/G. După închinare şi mărturii a predicat Cuvântul Domnului cu îndrăzneală fr. Allen, avertizându-ne de Pericolul Păcatului. Pastorul era un misionar brazilian. Ne-am rugat cu membrii cari erau adunaţi (ca şi în celelalte biserici) într-un garaj mare, dar vechi. „ In the Church where we were Friday, Pastor Gladis told me that on that day there was a group of 10 adolescents there that had a lot of issues: bad conduct, drug addiction, & theft.  Since Saturday, those same young people have changed their attitude, come to church to work, and even helped to make homemade bread.  Sunday morning, they were all making and kneading the dough.  She told me she took photos of them because the church couldn’t believe the change. I am using her words. Your visit has been a blessing for us and for the people, which for a long time didn’t feel like they were treated with love by people giving without asking for anything in return and now that has changed. ( Ghidul nostru: Hugo Brodbeck)
La hotel grupul a împachetat bunurile cumpărate pe banii noştri pentru a fi distribuite mâine sinistraţilor.

Vineri. Plouă tare. Ne-am întrunit în miting şi după rugăciune am încărcat busul. Am vizitatClick două sate foarte sărace prinse de inundaţii. Din nou ne-am împărţit în două echipe. Sinistraţii ne-au aşteptat într-un şopron, în jur de 200. L-au mărturisit pe Domnul  fr. Adrian, George şi Jessy. Am predicat despre „Dumnezeu ( şi Domnul Isus) nu se schimbă. Să ne încredem în El”. Echipa a distribuit Biblii şi alimente. Ne-a plăcut buna organizare a bisericii locale. Au venit şi mai mulţi după ajutor, fapt ce ne-a făcut să cumpărăm şi să distribuim încă odată alimente. Uzi, dar bucuroşi, ne-am întors la Rosario.
Între semnele de circulaţie cel ce nu mi-a plăcut cel mai mult în viaţă, a fost semnul de STOP. Aproape că nu l-am văzut în Argentina şi nici semnul „Cedează trecerea”. În loc să mă bucur m-am speriat dea dreptul. Nu am văzut vreodată acest tip de neorânduială periculoasă. Intersecţiile erau fără semne de circulaţie, iar săgeţile de „Sens Unic” erau pe zidurile clădirilor. Wow! Cât pe ce să mă calce o maşină… Acum apreciez semnele de circulaţie şi mulţumesc Domnului pentru ele.

Sâmbătă. Ne-am întors în Buenos Aires. Azi am văzut soarele. La bisericile mari şi vechi, între turnuri, e pusă statuia unei femei încununate (Regina cerului) ce priveşte în jos. Culmea bucuriei am avut-o la PMS (Nr.25) numit CRISTO, LA UNICA ESPERANZA. Aici aproape toţi deţinuţii sunt ucenici ai Domnului Isus. Aici am întâlnit biserica Domnului Isus în clocot. Şeful nu se numea comandant ci director. Era pocăit. A fost singurul om în această funcţie, pe care l-am văzut vreodată, vorbind cu lacrimi în ochi. Ne-a spus că o soră credincioasă avea fiul în puşcărie pentru mulţi ani. S-a tot rugat Domnului să fie adus aici. El nu a vrut. S-a împotrivit. Domnul a ascultat rugăciunile mamei. Odată ajuns aici directorul l-a chemat în birou. I-a mărturisit pe Domnul Isus. Între creştini adevăraţi a devenit creştin. Azi este lucrător. Am fost primiţi cu masa pregătită. Directorul şi soţia, pastorul şi din oficialităţi au mâncat cu noi. Ne-am exprimat aprecierea. Pentru a ţine un serviciu aici trebuie să te planifici cu luni înainte.

Rob Brown in his report wrote: “People from outside the prison come with their families, including children, to take part. Many from around the world have come there to see what God is doing. As soon we entered into the room we felt the presence of God in there. All of us had tears in our eyes because we felt the Holy Ghost inside and all around us. It was something that we are going to remember for the rest of our lives because its something rarely felt even in the churches of America. God has done something special there because the inmates spend each day in prayer, fellowship, Bible Study, and worship services”.
Deţinuţii au semnat o petiţie ca 10% din mâncarea lor să fie trimisă săracilor şi sinistraţilor.Click În societatea argentiniană e comun salutul cu îmbrăţişare şi pupatul pe obraz. Aici este singurul penitenciar de maximă securitate unde am văzut gardieni şi fără arme, şi am mai văzut un gardian îmbrăţişând un deţinut. Pastorul mărturisea că lucrarea a început în 1983. Aici erau închişi mulţi satanişti. În închisorile argentiniene 25% din cei eliberaţi revin. Din unitatea aceasta doar 5%.

Guvernul a văzut schimbarea făcută în oameni de Evanghelie şi au trimis un siluitor (rapist). Ajuns aici…s-a pocăit. Biserica tradiţională a vrut să facă ce au făcut pocăiţii. Nu au reuşit şi-au chemat pe credincioşi să predice Evanghelia. Aici sunt rezervate Camere Sfinte, unde vin deţinuţi pentru a se ruga şi posti. Răsunetul strigătelor, a bucuriei în Duhul Sfânt şi a cântărilor ajunge departe. La apropierea de locul închinării ne-au cuprins fiori sfinţi. Am înţeles, ca niciodată, ce înseamnă zgomotul sfânt făcut pentru slava Domnului.
Cel ce conduce strigă „În numele Domnului Isus”. Toată suflarea răspunde: „AMIN”! Conducătorul zice: „Numelui Său”! Mulţimea răspunde într-un tunet: GLORIE! Până şi copiii ce vin în vizită în penitenciar sunt prezenţi şi foarte entuziasmaţi. Aici închinătorii nu sunt încătuşaţi de tradiţie. Ce mai băteau din palme, ce mai fluierau, ce mai strigau, ce mai jucau, ce se mai îmbrăţişau, ce mai plângeau, ce mai cântau despre şi pentru Domnul Isus. Ca şi în celelalte penitenciare când unul din noi depunea mărturie sau predica ceilalţi ne rugam pentru el.

La despărţire directorul ne-a spus că puşcăria este „casa” lui şi „Fenomenul de aici se poate experimenta peste tot. Trebuie să lucrăm devotaţi pentru Domnul. Uşa noastră este deschisă oricând. Dacă nu aici, să ne vedem în cer. Rugaţi-vă pentru mine”.  A L E L U I A  !  PĂSTREZI PACEA? …căutaţi să păstraţi unirea Duhului prin legătura păcii.  (Efeseni. 4:3) Cât de plăcut este pentru Domnul  ca poporul Lui să trăiască împreună în unitate ! Cu toate acestea există multă ceartă, muşcături şi luptă care continuă în unele biserici. Într-o mănăstire din Germania, nu departe de Babenhausen, sânt expuse două perechi de coarne de cerb care stau permanent încrucişate. Au fost găsite în poziţia aceasta cu mulţi ani în urmă. Se pare că animalele s-au luptat sălbatic şi coarnele lor s-au încrucişat aşa de tare că n-au mai putut fi desfăcute. Rezultatul a fost că amândoi cerbii au murit de foame. Cineva a comentat: „Aş duce aceste coarne în fiecare casă şi şcoală ca să fie un semnal de alarmă pentru cei care se luptă până la ultimul efort pentru a-şi impune punctul lor de vedere. Le-aş duce în fiecare biserică până ce mesajul lor tăcut ar pătrunde adânc în inimile celor care îşi găsesc plăcerea de a-şi încrucişa „coarnele” cu alţi creştini, la cel mai mic act de provocare”. În Neemia 5, putem citi că israeliţii, din egoism, se tratau urât unul pe altul. Neemia i-a mustrat pe conducători şi le-a spus să facă imediat restituirea şi repararea răului comis. Ei au răspuns cu umilinţă: „Le vom da înapoi şi… vom face cum ai zis”, după care întreaga adunare a spus: Amin!” şi L-au lăudat pe Domnul” (Neemia 5:12, 13). Poporul a acceptat mustrarea lui Neemia şi a început să trăiască în pace unul cu altul. Fie ca toţi care  îl cunoaştem pe Domnul „să păstrăm unitatea Duhului prin  legătura păcii” (Ef. 4:3). Este singura modalitate prin care vom avea pace în biserică!

Argentina

Argentina Trip Report

March  2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

A team formed of 10 brethren: Rob Brown, Jesus Nunez, Willie Ripple, Constantin Lupancu, Allen Andras, Francisco Sanchez, George Ieremciuc, Johnny Buia, Aurel Balici and Adrian Greab went to the cities of Rosario and Buenos Aires, Argentina from March 24 to March 31 to spread the word of God to inmates in nine prisons, many churches and a Remar halfway house.  First we want to thank God because he was with us on our trip and guided and protected us all. During our week there, we distributed about 480 bibles. It rained every day we were there.

ClickWe left Saturday, March 24 from Chicago and after a 12-hour plane ride we arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From there we took a bus, which was arranged for us by brothers Hugo and Daniel Brodbeck, our hosts for the week. It took us another 5 hours by bus to get to city of Rosario, which has a population of 1.5 million and where we spent most of our time. We divided into two teams one composed of: leader Rob, Willie, Allen, our interpreter Francisco, and Adrian.  The other team consisted of: leader Jesus, Aurel, Johnny, George, and Constantin.

As soon we arrived each team spoke at a different church. One church was called “Vision de Dios” (Vision of God) and had about 250 members. All on the team had a chance to speak and at the end of service a lot of people decided to pray that they would get closer to God.

Monday morning we went to our first two prisons, one of which was in the city of Nujere, which was for women. There were about 15-20 women present at the service but others listened including about 6 or 7 guards. The word of God was preached to them but at the beginning not all of them were paying attention, but after 10-15 minutes we could see that even the guards were paying attention. At the end we saw some of the women crying because their hearts seemed to be truly touched by God. Some of them decided to give their lives to God.

Monday night there was much flooding in the area and even the church services were cancelled because of flooding in the churches.

Tuesday morning we all went to another prison in the city of Santa Fe, Clickwhich was for men. The prison had about 750 people. Two weeks prior to our visit, 12 inmates were killed in a riot there.  One team went to the south wing and the other group to the north wing.We spoke to about 60 prisoners for about one hour and a lot of them also prayed to give their lives to Jesus. After we spoke to the inmates, we got a tour of the prison and we saw were some of the inmates were receiving industrial training. They had sections for learning carpentry in order to make furniture, training to make cement grills, benches, metal desks and chairs, floor tiles, etc.

Tuesday night we went to Remar, a halfway house, in Rosario and about 100 peopleClick were present. The whole team attended.  Also attending were the homeless, alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. It was a special night because we really felt the presence of God in a special way and we felt certain that hearts were touched and lives were changed.  Many now want to start serving God and to minister to other people that are going to thru the same pain as they have gone through.

Wednesday morning we went to two more prisons in the city of Pinero, but we didn’t get a chance to speak to a lot of inmates in one of them because it is a very dangerous prison and there was a conflict inside the prison that morning and there were a lot of guards present in order to get the situation back to normal. But the inmates who heard the word of God decided to give their lives to Jesus, and we pray that they could be a light for the other inmates who couldn’t be present to hear the Word of God.

ClickWednesday night, Rob Brown and Jesus Nunez held the Prison Training Seminar, which was attended by about 65 people. One woman in particular heard about the seminar on the radio and had traveled a long way to attend. She is interested in working the women’s prisons and has only been in prison ministry for two weeks.  She said it was a big blessing for her to receive the training.

Thursday morning we went to another prison in Rosario and again one team went to one wing and the other team went to a different wing. There were about 140 inmates who were in Christian wings but we also we spoke in another 3 wings with about 12 people in each present. Many were hearing the Gospel for the first time.

Thursday night we went to a church, which was pastored by a Brazilian missionary. Special prayer for some of the young people was made.

Friday morning we went to 2 different villages around Rosario, which are considered Clickamong the poorest in Argentina. We distributed food that we had purchased to about 110 families, but after we saw how great the need was so we bought food to feed another 70 families. Also we gave preached the word of God and gave bibles to the people before we gave them the food. We thank God for the chance that he gave us to touch those people lives even for a small way considering how vast the need is.

ClickSaturday morning we left for Buenos Aires. There we went to one of the few prisons in the world that has only Christian inmates and is run by a Christian administration. The name of the prison is “Cristo la Unica Esperanza” (Christ, the Only Hope) or Number 25. Argentina gives numbers to each of their prisons. We had lunch with the director who, with tears in his eyes, shared his personal testimony of how Christ changed his life. After we finish eating, we were invited to take part in the church service being held in the prison. People from outside the prison come with their families, including children, to take part. Many from around the world have come there to see what God is doing. As soon we entered into the room we felt the presence of God in there. All of us had tears in our eyes because we felt the Holy Ghost inside and all around us. It was something that we are going to remember for the rest of our lives because its something rarely felt even in the churches of America. God has done something special there because the inmates spend each day in prayer, fellowship, Bible Study, and worship services.
Saturday night we returned to the U.S.  We saw His Mighty work again like we see in every country we visit. We thank Him because we had the great privilege to speak the word of God in prisons and churches in yet another country. Please pray for the lives of those who gave their lives to Jesus that they will become a light in the darkness. Amen.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
Staff Chaplain Rob Brown

Romania

Romania Trip Report

February 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We have safely returned from our second visit to Romania and it is with great joy that we give the following report of our trip.  It is cold in February in Romania but it is also cold in Chicago at this time of year.  Constantin Lupancu and I stayed together and traveled in a grand circle around the whole country starting in Bucharest.  We made stops in Craiova, Temisoara, Baia Mare, Cluj, Bistrita, Suceave, and back to Bucharest. All in 11 days.  I had the privilege to preach in 9 churches, 6 prisons and did 2 days of  prison training seminar at the only halfway house for inmates in Romania which is located in Bistrita. We also gave away about 350 Bibles and many Project Philip materials in the prisons.  At the seminar, I gave the training but I also challenged the attendees in two ways.  One is to begin to send full-time, 40 hour per week missionary chaplain-pastors to each of the 17 prisons in Romania supported not by the government but by the local churches.  The second was to establish Prison Church Plants with the chaplain-pastors serving as the pastors there. Every denomination is involved in church planting but how many are involved in planting them in prisons? We appointed another dozen Chaplains.

Chaplain Barabas Francisc. Our first Chaplain.  The Chaplain we appointed to the prison in Tirgu-Mures in 2002.

Our first prison was the women’s prison in Bucharest.  My message was the one of Hope that the Savior gave to the Samaritan woman at the well and the promise to her of Living Water.  After the service, I found out that one of the women in the service was there for murder having thrown three of her own seven children down a well and was in the process of throwing all seven of them in when circumstances prevented her from doing so.

In the prison in Craiova, we witnessed the water baptism of 42 inmates. This is an absolutely amazing thing to happen in a Romanian prison.  It just doesn’t happen in the prisons to this degree.  For them, water baptism represents a very serious commitment to live for the Lord.

We were warmly welcomed by the Orthodox priest who serves as Chaplain at the prison in Temisoara prison, Popasapaca.  In preparation for our service, which took place in his chapel, he rounded up many inmates for the service. He even took photos of the service for us.  He couldn’t have been more helpful.

At Baia Mare, the inmates were restless and, as usual, did not know what to expect from us.  At the conclusion, one man with a mustache was even moved to tears during the altar call.

At Gherla prison, in addition to having a service in the maximum-security section of the infamous prison, the Commander gave us a 45-minute tour of the improvements they are making to the prison and showed us the underground chambers that held tortured prisoners during the old communist regime.  He also showed us the small museum that displays shackles, prison garb, etc. and the place where many inmates were executed.  His attitude and surprising hospitality towards us and our message of hope let us know that a great Door of opportunity is open there for future ministry by the local Romanians.  We passed the word along and a team will soon be approaching him for access and services.

New Gherla prison

Old underground cells at Gherla

At the men’s prison in Bistrita, I reminded the inmates that we are all thieves.  The question is, are we like the thief on the cross that only cared about himself or are we like the thief that turned to Jesus and repented?
The seminar had about 50 people in attendance from all over the country and was a real blessing.
At the end of the trip, someone gave a prophecy that there would much fruit and many spiritual bonds would be broken.  Many would be set free as the result of our trip.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
Staff Chaplain Rob Brown

Russia

Russia Trip Report

April 2007

Last year, I’ve been given the opportunity to minister in England, by the Grace of God where I, Constantin Lupancu, met a Romanian church formed by a group of youth and pastured by youth pastor, Corneliu Nistor.  I noticed something very interesting thing; when the majority of missionaries were led to mission fields in the western countries, Corneliu’s heart was led to do missions in the eastern countries (especially Russia). Click A team of Romanians from London, Chicago, Canada, and Republic of Moldova ministered in Russia.  The mission group consists of:

  • John Tibu & Constantin Lupancu – (Chicago)
  • Andrei Caniuca – (Canada)
  • Corneliu Nistor, Ioan Popa, Ionut Vaipan, Dorin Piscuc, Vlavius Circiu, Gabriel Dumitrescu, Ivan Moroz, Ilie Adrian Rotariu, Danut Visan, Gheorghe Boja, Cosmin Gheorghe Berciu & Victor Serban – (London)
  • Nicolae Maistriuc & Andrei Berezovsky – (Republic of Moldova)

ClickWe met on April 22nd, Sunday, at the Moscow airport, Sheremetyevo for the first time.  We took a 9 hour flight from Moscow to Vladivastok (far eastern part of Russia), in the evening and arrived Monday morning, April 23rd, being welcomed by youth leader Sasha of Nahotka Church, also our coordinator.  The name Vladivastok means ‘Owner of the East’.  Vladivastok is the largest Pacific port of Russia.  The Vladivastok climate seems to be calmer than expected, even with the Pacific front and Siberian front extending from the Arctic Ocean.
From Vladivastok our coordinator drove us by a minibus to another city Nahotka, about 200 km away.  Nahotka is the farthest eastern city in Russia.  We were now 15 hours ahead of Chicago time.  We saw the billboard that said “Russia starts from here” close to the Japanese Sea.  The Christian brothers here welcomed us with love and kindness.  Here the episcope, Nicolae, our host for this trip, made our mission plan.  We grouped up two teams and we accommodated into apartments in the city for the efficiency of the mission.

ClickTuesday, April 24th, we began our mission at the church in Nahotka where we had two hours of prayer and John Tibu, Danut Visan, and Ionut Vaipan gave messages of exhortation to the church of 80 members present that morning.  After the service, we went to the grocery store where we purchased goods to prepare for about 500 packages (200 for orphanages, 100 for nursing homes for the elderly, and 200 for children from church).

One group from our mission visited a very poor family of eight children with sick parents, this afternoon.  The city’s City Hall, donated an old house to this family but the family was never able to do any home improvements.  The children were living in very unhealthy conditions.  A part of the mission group voluntarily improved two rooms at absolutely no cost to the family for materials or labor.  Our host, Nicolae took us to the city’s cemetery where his wife was buried in March 2006 due to cancer.  In this cemetery, Episcope Nicolae showed us the graves of over 150 youth that died due to drugs and gang related deaths in 2006 alone.  From a city with a population of 200,000, it is an alarming rate.

After the communist party was abolished, Russia was introduced to new various types of drugs that weren’t banned.  This caused countless youth to be victimized by opium, marijuana, heroine, cocaine, meth, all sorts of narcotics, and chemicals.  Today there are many youth dependant on such drugs, and a lot of them die.  True Christians have opened rehab centers in Nahotka for these lost youth, which are like an island in the middle of the rough ocean waves.  A brother from the church had a testimony where a drug addicted gang member came into their church in fear of those who sought to kill him.  He asked the church to pray for his life and so they did.  He came back to testify to the church that all of those who tried to kill him, were dead only two weeks since.  We can realize what the Russian youth is facing nowadays.
We had fellowship with the church and had seafood for lunch and something very specific was also served; a plant that grows up to 4 meters at the bottom of the Japanese Sea, and is used for medicine purposes.  At night we had a youth service where almost the entire church was present (approx. 300 members).  We sang in Romanian whilst they sang in Russian.  Ilie Rotariu preached from Luke 24 (On the Road to Emmaus).  Constantin Lupancu preached from Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 & 12:1 (Remember Your Creator While Young).  It was a wonderful night.

Wednesday, April 25th began early in the morning with a Russian breakfast.  We went to church at 9 o’clock where we started another time of devotion and prayer to God.  Brothers John Tibu and Ioan Popa exhorted us and the other members in prayer for special purpose.  We prepared our packages for the nursing homes we visited that afternoon.  The director of this nursing home, former officer who fought in Afghanistan and Cecenia War, welcomed us to bring good news of encouragement to the elderly.  We held a service for about an hour of singing and preaching the Word of God.  Corneliu Nistor and Constantin Lupancu gave messages of hope and prayed for them.  Many lives were touched and they claimed they do not want to spend eternity in hell, but chose to receive Jesus Christ and be with Him in heaven for eternity.  After that, we distributed the packages of good and bed covers to them.

After we were served lunch, we went to the city orphanage of Nahotka, which is located somewhere close to the Japanese Sea.  There were about 200 children.  We sang a few songs to them and John Tibu delivered a message according to their understanding, titled “David and Goliath”.  We then prayed for them and asked God to bless them in their lives.  Children were very attentive and they proclaimed their love for Jesus Christ, who is their only hope.  These innocent children live in this orphanage as they would in a prison.  Most of them came into this world as a result of sinful love and abandoned by their teenage mothers who couldn’t nurture and raise them.  I can still remember their innocent faces and I said, “If God didn’t have mercy of these souls, they could’ve become trapped in the abyss of the Russian society without a positive future.”  They were full of joy as we gave them the packaged goods.
On our way to the church, we stopped at a Presbyterian church, which was founded by a South Korean pastor, where we were welcomed with joy.  We didn’t spend much time there and sang only two songs.  At night, we came back to the church in Nahotka.  Corneliu Nistor preached the message from Genesis 6:14-22 as an analogy with “The Ark of Noah being illustrated as the Church of Jesus Christ.”  The entire congregation rejoiced and made the commitment for holiness and purity.  Many songs were sung in both Russian and Romanian languages.

On Thursday, April 26th, we started our time of devotion with Ionut Vaipan, John Tibu, Danut Visan exhorting in a time of prayer and devotion for about two hours in the church of Nahotka where brothers and sisters would come to the morning service.  We had a wonderful time of fellowship; some local members even took some time off work to be present.  After this service, we went to the city where we purchased goods for one hundred widows and needy families.  We purchased about 300 kg of sugar, 300 kg of flour, macaroni, tea, potatoes, salami, butter, and chocolate.  We rented a truck and delivered these goods personally to those families in need and widows.  People don’t have a place to work because many factories were closed down after 1990 when the communist party fell.  Children lived in very bad conditions (houses with mold, filthy air, etc).  Some of the brothers finished rehabbing the rooms in the home with eight children.  They were rejoicing because they have a healthier place to live in.  After we shared the goods, we came back to the church to organize our next schedule for the following days.

On Friday, April 27th, our hosts Nicolae and Sasha arrived with two minivans.  A team of nine embarked in two vans and headed towards Siberia, Taiga to minister in other villages and cities.  The second team ministered in the villages and cities close to Nahotka.  We traveled by minivan 600 km that day to the city of Dalirecinsc about 10 km away from the border of China.  We arrived around 6pm and we stopped only at one restaurant where we had lunch and we asked the waitresses if we can pray for them.  They were surprised and accepted our request.  They commented that the majority of their customers were very vulgar with them and it was the first time when anyone asked to pray for them.  We also gave them bibles.  When we arrived to Dalirecinsc, about 65 were waiting for us at the church.  The group was formed by Constantin Lupancu, Corneliu Nistor, Ioan Popa, Ionut Vaipan, Dorin Piscuc, Vlavius Circiu, Gabriel Dumitrescu, and Ivan Moroz.  We sang songs, and Constantin Lupancu ministered with the message from Acts 2, “The Holy Spirit Comes Suddenly at Pentecost” and Corneliu Nistor ministered with the message from John 5;1-7 “The Jerusalem Gates”.  We prayed for the sick and there was an awesome presence of God.  People were very happy and joyful being visited by foreigners who financially helped the needy.  After, we covered two benches together with a mattress, and there we slept for the night.  Where we ministered, we also rested and praised the Lord for that day.

On Saturday, April 28th, we woke up early morning and began our day with a hearty breakfast and a devotional prayer asking God to remain with us.  Here in Dalirecinsc, we met a deacon named Sasha who is the leader of city church.  He has a family of eleven children and his wife descends from a Jewish family.  They are very committed to the Lord and sacrifice a lot of time to His service.  Brother Sasha joined us as we reached other Siberian villages and cities.  After traveling north for another 500 km by the Chinese border, we arrived in the city Khabarovsk, the capital of Vladivastok region, close to the Amur River.  The road was swampy and forest like on either side throughout the majority of the trip.  Army bases, hangars, and bunkers were in these forests along the way.  The city was also built around army bases because it is located close to the borders of China, North Korea, and Japan.  We toured the city where we saw the rail station and rail road which were built on the bones of workers that died during the construction according to the locals.  We ministered to a church of about one hundred people.  Gabriel Dumitrescu, Ioan Popa, and Corneliu Nistor brought messages of encouragement.  The other team members sang and prayed for special purposes.  We blessed their needy families financially, with the money we brought together.  We rested where we ministered for the night on the benches once again.  We thanked the Lord for being with us and using us to bring joy to those families.

Sunday, April 29th, we awoke around 8 a.m. and we headed to Birabijan, a city of Hebrew people.  During the Stalin regime, he departed the Hebrews from Transinistria and left them in the swampy ground here in Siberia.  The Hebrews built the city which is Birabijan.  This happened in many places in throughout Siberia, where people from different regions in Russia were forced to leave and populate Siberia, the vague, swampy, forest like taiga.  Unfortunately, the weak and elderly did not survive these cruel conditions, but the younger and stronger, built homes and villages.  Similar cases happened with people from Republic of Moldova being transferred by force to Siberia where they built a village called Moldoveanca.  We arrived at the church around 11:30 a.m. where we met Hebrews from Ukraine.  Ivan Moroz, Constantin Lupancu, and Corneliu Nistor ministered from the Word of God.  After the service, we had fellowship with the people from the city.  Here we met and elderly brother which worked in the area for many years.  He was persecuted for Christ but God assisted him with many signs and miracles.  The local brothers confirmed all of which the elder testified.  A brother from the Siberian taiga came to meet us in the Birabijan church.  Brother Nicolae, our host, donated his car to this brother for ministry use in the 10 churches which he ministers.  Our group donated $10,000 to brother Nicolae for another vehicle to be used in his ministry to 54 churches, where he is episcope.  Brother Nicolae, who is a widow with 7 children, broke up in tears when he received our donation for the new car.  He said “It is a river of blessings for me and my ministry.”  We visited the city Birabijan and we saw the Hebrew menorah, the seven-branched lamp stand built from the money of Ariel Sharon; former leader of Israel.  He promised the people he would come to the inauguration of the menorah but became sick in that time and couldn’t attend.  A train from Bagadan (north of Siberia) arrived in the train station of Birabijan which was destined to travel eight days to Ukraine.  It is very horrible to travel for so long on any train such as this one.  In downtown of Birabijan, the Hebrew synagogue was built near the Vladimir Lenin statue. At night, we backtracked to Khabarovsk where we slept again on the benches.

Monday, April 30th, we left early morning to Amurscaia, a city about 400 km on roads through forests where we saw only army bases.  We arrived in Amurscaia early evening.  Amurscaia is a city built on the bench of the Amur River.  It used to be a flourishing city because people had jobs in army factories where they built weapons.  But now it is partially deserted because the factories were shut down after the fall of the communist regime.  About sixty people attended the church and they were very glad because we were the first foreigners to ever come to their church since they could remember.  Gabriel Dumitrescu, Ioan Popa, ministered that night.  We realized that a lot of elderly people were in a deep need of financial help.  So we gladly responded to their needs and offered them help.  We rested for the night in an apartment in the city.  We gave praise to the Lord for that day.
Tuesday, May 1st, we left in the morning towards Dalirerinsc through the deep Siberian taiga.  We arrived in Dalirerinsc around 10:40 p.m. at the church and we rested for the night in the benches of the church in Dalirerinsc.

Wednesday, May 2nd, we went to another village called Slavo Gospodo which means ‘Praised the Lord’ in Russian.  Here we heard a testimony that the Christians were deported from other parts of Russia where one of the worst prisons for Christians and politicians existed.  The forests near Slavo Gospodo are full of bears, tigers, and a venomous insect which was spread by the Japanese during World War II to paralyze the soldiers hiding in those forests.  This insects venom has no antidote as of yet.  We stopped at one family for a few minutes for lunch and continued our way through the taiga and rich mountains.  We arrived at one village located on a beautiful mountain plateau, far from other villages, and very isolated from society.  A lot of people from the village came to see us and to hear the good news of salvation.  The sheriff’s wife, among others that attended the service, surrendered their life to Jesus Christ that afternoon.  We gave the needy a lovely offer in the name of Jesus Christ and left that beautiful village and headed back to Dalirerinsc.  We arrived late in the night and slept again on the church benches giving praise to the Lord for the day.
Thursday, May 3rd, we departed early in the morning from Dalirerinsc towards Nahotka.  On hour way to Nahotka we stopped at military city Fochina, near the Japanese Sea, where we met with the other group.  The second group ministered in a church in Fochina.  The church was actually an apartment building where many gathered that you couldn’t find a place to sit.  Since it was so crowded we planned to stay only for a very short time and continued our way to Nahotka.  When we arrived in Nahotka, we were met by a Romanian brother, Viero Alexandro, who moved there with his family seven years ago from Republic of Moldova.  He was glad that he could speak the same language as us.  He invited us to come to his city, Artema, 50 km north of Vladivastok and 120 km from Nahotka.  Constantin Lupancu decided to visit his family that night.  Serioja, a Russian brother, drove us with his car to Artema, where he spent the night.

Friday, May 4th, I met the Viero family and they were all very pleased and happy to finally meet a Romanian person, being far from their native country for so long.  In the afternoon, I went with brother Viero to tour Vladivastok city.  At night, I had a meeting at the local church in Artema.  There were about 35 Russian-speaking people and I ministered to them for about an hour as brother Viero translated to them in Russian.  I spoke to them about the difference between the Pentecost event and the Pentecost experience.  At the end, I prayed for them and they sent greetings to the brothers in our mission and in the USA.

Saturday, May 5th, I returned back to Nahotka where we held the Chaplaincy Training Seminar for the purpose of provoking, motivating, and inspiring the Russian youth, adults, and elderly to practice evangelism and discipleship in prisons, orphanages, nursing homes, etc.  Brother John Tibu spoke about the importance of the preparation of the servants in the Word of God.  They were about 65 people present and we handed them a certification of completion issued by Chaplains of Christ International.  We did not have access to minister in the prisons because the Russian government issued a law against foreigners ministering in prisons.  We believe that this seminar will put a fire and passion in the hearts of the Russian Christians to do the duty they are called for by Jesus Christ.  The Russian people asked us many questions about the evangelism we are doing.  They desired to participate, since they admitted they had once abandoned their passion for the lost souls some time ago.  They stated that we revived them.  In their church yard, there lay a very large container of hundreds of hundreds of bibles and other Christian material that was ignored for a long time.  We exhorted them to get rid of them by means of giving it to the hungry souls.  Corneliu Nistor prayed for all the participants and blessed them in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, May 6th, we had a time of prayer and teaching in the morning at Nahotka church.  Brother John Tibu preached from Psalm 133, “Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church”.  Ilie Rotariu preached from Joshua 23:1-16, “Joshua’s Farewell to the Leaders”.  Corneliu Nistor preached from Mark 10:17-31, “The Rich Young Man”.  Brother Nicolae Maistriuc (Colea) translated into Russian.  Three souls decided to give their life to Jesus Christ.  We attended their youth service in the afternoon where youth from Nahotka and surrounding villages were present.  Victor Serban and Constantin Lupancu bridged the gap between generations as they passed their experience with God to the new generation.  Corneliu Nistor exhorted the people to choose the best model for your life (Jesus Christ).  We ended the service in prayer for the youth, and were treated with a departure meal.

Monday, May 7th, we woke up around 5 a.m. and departed towards the Vladivastok airport.  We flew to Moscow about 9 hours with Air Vladivastok airline.  In Moscow the group from England took the British airline as we took the Lufthansa airline towards Frankfurt/Main, Germany where we spent the night in a hotel.  There we finally rested in beds after sleeping on benches and floors for 15 days, it felt good and we praised the Lord.
Tuesday, May 8th, we embarked an 8-hour flight from Frankfurt to Chicago at 10a.m. and arrived at 12p.m. on the same day.

We praised the Lord our God for protecting us and our families and bringing us safely home with a wonderful testimony from the Far East to share with others here in the West.  Let us pray for the despised, neglected, and ignored by civilization and not by God.