Yearly Archive: 2012

Scandinavia

 Mission Trip to Denmark, Sweden, Norway & Romania 

December 3rd – 17th, 2012

One of our friends and mission partners in California was called by Pastor Vasilica Croitor (the pastor overseer of the Dobrogia area in Romania) to help rebuild a church in Mangalia since it was burnt by a radical and extremist group. Constantin Antemie from California helped us build the church in Haiti and I could not refuse the invitation to join him in Dobrogia. Seeking the will of the Lord in prayer, I called Pastor Liviu Ugeniuc (a prayer warrior) from Itscan in Suceava, RO. To my surprise, he told me that he is leaving to a mission trip in Scandinavia. He invited me to join him to do the Work of the Lord together in that part of Northern Europe. Since the steps of the righteous are guided by the Lord. I considered this invitation as an answer to fulfill the desire that I had for many years of visiting Scandinavia (while believing that the Lord had something special to accomplish there). Throughout my time as a missionary, I was prompted to pray for that part of the world many times. That part of the world (and not only) is cold and frozen being that it is close to Greenland. On the spiritual side, it is also cold and bare because of the secular influence and prosperity. The Lord moved me with compassion many times to pray for a revival there. When I was invited, I responded right away – because my heart was already there (in prayer) even though I knew no one there. I asked Samuel Butnariu (my brother-in-law) to join me in this mission trip because Constantin Antemie was unable to join me or go to Dobrogia due to some circumstances (but God used him to move me and motivate me because I had no plans for a mission trip in December).

God has many ways to accomplish His purpose. We just need to respond and be willing to follow His purpose. God works in us to motivate, change and transform us and then He uses us to do His will and fulfill His plans that he has ahead of us.“A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9Samuel responded and we made the necessary preparations for this long trip. Many times in the past, I was invited by a musician (Alexandru Groza) who sings in the states to come and visit his country (Denmark). I called him and he answered and welcomed us even though he was preparing to go to London. We arrived in Copenhagen where he was waiting for us. He introduced us to Pastor Jon Pitik (who leads a church in Hässleholm, Sweden). I met him for the first time in the refugee camp of Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1987. I haven’t heard of him for over twenty-five years and we were so surprised to be reconnected. After arriving in Copenhagen, we spent some time with brother Alexandru and observed Denmark as a harmonious land of the old and new. We remembered about the Vikings who lived over a millennium ago and brought the world’s attention to the country. From there, we took the train and traveled to Hässleholm, Sweden (our next destination) where Pastor Jon awaited us at the rail station. I had such a great joy to meet him after twenty-five years. We went to his home where we met his wife and children. Before we had lunch together, we had a moment of prayer and the Spirit of the Lord moved so powerfully and connected us in such a great unity and I believe that the Lord has something special for that city. The first night, we visited the local church where we met brothers Liviu Ugeniuc and Dragos Croitor and we all ministered to the local church. We spent a special time with the members in fervent prayer for the baptism in the Holy Spirit for them. A lot of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and fresh power from above. In this church, we met Florin and Claudiu Pugna (board members of their church) who told us about the history of their church.

The next day, we had a tour in the city and saw that Sweden is a land of contradictions with contrast and style and is famous for its sites of the Viking Era and the mountains of the north Arctic.

At night, we had a service at Församlingsblad Pingstkyrkan Hässleholm Church pastored by Jon Pitik together with a Swedish pastor. We were so blessed to meet people from Sibiu, Romania that I had not seen since 1981 and also have Swedish members worshipping God in the same building. In 1977 I left my birth village (Satu Mare) and went to Sibiu to start high school where I was friends with the Cosma family who lived nearby the CFR Industrial Railroad School. During the four years of high school, I sometimes attended the Pentecostal church in Sibiu where I met the Pentecostal community. I saw brothers and sisters that moved to Sweden from that church, thirty years later. One that I remembered very well was Dodo Cosma and we renewed some moments and memories. The service was so powerful and anointed by God’s Holy Spirit. What a great privilege we have to be an ambassador of Christ in this age and spread the aroma of His good news!

We left Sweden by train and bus a few days later and traveled to Norway (Europe’s Wild West). A country with rich historic sites from Viking ships to medieval churches, with lakes and mountains. After a day of traveling, we arrived at Kristiansand, Norway around midnight and met the Romanian community of that city in a big house. Some Romanians which I met here are among those from large families that lived in Romania when we started Blessed Hope Mission (in 1992). Youth from Plavalari, Romania moved here and got married with Norwegians and so a community was formed in Norway. In the morning, we met at Bethany Church where we had a very long service because people were so hungry for the Word of God and eager to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. With words of exhortation and encouragement, we challenged them to attach to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Hope and the Source of blessings. On Sunday, it was a special day because the church asked us to help them in the election of new board members and leaders of the church. The plan was also to ordain an exhorter (deacon) but no one reached a +66% vote. We then headed towards Oslo (Norway’s capital) after all these days of refreshment & revival, & brother Nicolae Zemciuc drove us to the airport so we could fly to Bucharest to continue our mission trip.

In Bucharest, we visited the Pentecostal Theological Institute where we were accommodated by them. From Bucharest, we took the train to Constanta and on the way, we stopped in Mangalia. We stopped in Medgidia and Pastor Vasile Croitor met us and drove with us to Mangalia to see the church that was burned down. Pastor Dorel Toma accommodated us in his home that night. This area of Dobrogia was not reached very much with the Gospel of Jesus during the communist regime and there is now a desire of this new generation to minister and mobilize in an adequate way to win many souls for Christ. Due to the work of the ministers, a few families from Mangalia (of an Islamic/Turkish background) surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. This created a tension against Christians among the other ethnic groups of Turks & Tatars and they burned the house of an evangelist minister of the Gospel years ago. When the church of Mangalia was almost finished, the pastor was notified by the security alarm company one night – that the church is burning. Nothing could be saved because of the fire and the fireman’s actions fighting the fire. This year, a team from Canada sent the materials and came there and rebuilt the structure. On a day when we arrived, they needed someone to pay for the plywood and the metal sheets for the roof. God moved us at the right time and with his provisions, I was able to pay for the roofing materials at the supply store. As I traveled to this area, I remembered that on those fields, I was incorporated in the army in 1982 and spent almost two years in Mangalia, Techirghiol and other towns around Mangalia city. This was the first time (since discharging from the army) that I visited those places again. We took the train from Constanta and traveled to Suceava (northern part of Romania). On the way, we stopped at Roman where we had a night of prayer at the family Carmil Motoc from Horia. Brothers and sisters in Christ from the area gathered together and we brought a message of encouragement and spent a

quality time in prayer before the Lord. The next day, we traveled to Piatra Neamt and met Pastor Liviu Axinte. We visited the Pentecostal Community Center and the church in Piatra Neamt (where we ministered that night). From there we went to Suceava, where we visited a few families and had prayer meetings in villages: Ipotesti, Vicov, Putna, Burla, Fratauti Vechi and Volovat. In the city Radauti, we had a night of revival at the church of Gosen. The message of God was delivered with freedom and many people were blessed that night. Another night we had a night of evangelism in the church of Burla where a lot of visitors came to hear the Word of God (including the mayor of the village). Because of the winter season with a lot of snow, I could not drive to Satu Mare where I planned and so we went to Burla and ministered there on Sunday morning. In the church of Burla (where I was for the first time), I met past co-workers from Imil Radauti (the factory that used to work at as a maintenance mechanic 26 years ago). Other people were surprised and blessed to meet us and we helped them with some money to buy necessary things for living during this harsh winter season when there is barely any work available for some. We headed towards Suceava after the church service and then we took the train to Bucharest from the Suceava Rail Station where we met our friend, Mircea Lubanovici (a newly reelected deputy in the Romanian Parliament for Diaspora), which we supported. We traveled with him to Bucharest and our friend, Pastor Constantin Gramada, picked us up from the rail station and accommodated us in his home until the next day when we left to the airport to head back home.

We are grateful and thank the Lord for all those that support this ministry and together we have accomplished many good things. All these trips would not be possible if God would not sustain and help us to work as a team. We pray that the Lord will reward all of you that participate in supporting spreading the Gospel to many nations. We praise the Lord for each good report that we receive from the country where we were given the privilege to work and see the good fruits of the Gospel. We are amazed and so grateful for each opened door and for new ministry opportunities.

We conclude that the missions of 2012 were all very divinely orchestrated and motivated us to depend on God as our intimate Friend and Partner and cooperate with Him to accomplish His purpose for His glory. We can praise the Lord with all our heart because we see His hand at work this year more than before! As the Bible declares: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3We have witnessed Him crowning this prophetic year of 2012 with His favor and blessings.“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” Psalm 65:11What an encouragement it is to seek and acknowledge the Lord in all our ways.“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7Our prayer is to renew our devotion, commitment and dependence to the Lord as we enter into the new year of 2013. The One who makes the year blessed and beneficial is our Lord, Jesus Christ because he sits on the throne of God and makes all things new.“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”Revelation 21:5

The Bible tells us to be renewed in the spirit of our mind and put on the new man, whom according to God, was created to walk in Righteousness, Truth and Holiness. Let’s commit our hearts to come closer to God who wants to renew us, replenish and energize our passion for Him from the source of resurrected power of our Lord Jesus. We will be happy and continue to work to advance the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ if we make our election & devotion sure every day and surrender everything to God as our Father, Jesus Christ as our Lord and the Holy Spirit as our guidance and source of strength. We glorify our Father if we obey His Word. We honor Christ if we preach and represent Him in our words and actions as we seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

May all the Glory and Honor belong to God. Amen!

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team

Pastoral Convention

 Church of God Pastoral Convention – Hollywood, FL

November 7th – 11th, 2012

It was a great privilege for my wife and I to attend the Church of God Pastoral Convention in 2012. I was very excited to attend four days of empowerment and fresh anointing with the Holy Spirit. I arrived in Hollywood, FL with great expectations believing that God will move powerfully. I was ordained as an exhorter by the Church of God on December 4th, 2005 and I kept a good relationship with the organization. Since then, I had the privilege to enjoy the fellowship with ordained ministers and pastors from many churches, many times. I know and believe that God provides everything necessary for us to fulfill his purpose and plan that He has for His church in this season. This convention was hosted by the local church in Florida pastored by Gelu Strimbu. The theme of this convention was focused on being empowered by the Holy Spirit. This theme really inspired and motivated us with new energy from the great power of the Holy Spirit which enabled us to fulfill our call and mission. The work of God cannot be accomplished with our own strength and power at all. We need to always be fulfilled and filled with the Holy Spirit energy to accomplish the purpose to live in a Godly way. No wonder Apostle Paul prayed for the Church in the book Ephesians.“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21

If Apostle Paul needs to receive strength from the Holy Spirit, we also need that power to influence our human being to live in victory for God’s purpose. Even the son of God (Jesus Christ) said in the book of Luke 4, that the Holy Spirit is upon me. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19How much more do we need to be energized and empowered to live a Holy life; honoring God and fulfilling the call and purpose that he has designed for us? This convention was a time when we renewed our commitment to God anew in His power…“O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2

Some people have the impression that methods, money and men determine the success of missions. But all these ideas and strategies are not enough to complete God’s mission on Earth. God’s mission work can be accomplished only in God’s ways and in God’s strength and so we need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. ..“This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6The participants of this convention were empowered by the Holy Spirit of God for:

Empowerment for living a life under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18

Being under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we are changed in the way we think, talk and behave.

Being full of the Holy Spirit, we are acting empowered by an outside force that alters our behavior in good ways.

To be full of the Holy Spirit is not an option; rather it is a command.

Must be a continuing ongoing circle and not only an event in the past but a daily filling of energy.

We are motivated not to waste time but take advantage and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are conscious about our sin, weakness and all path of life and we bring everything to the submission to the Holy Spirit.

To be filled with the Holy Spirit is the Will of God and we live at the center of His Will (which is the best for us).

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you can discern God’s will regarding personal actions and decisions.

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you can focus on God and live behind anxiety and worry.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit, you will receive a special enablement and energy (from the resurrected power of Jesus Christ) and you will do things out of the ordinary but supernatural because Christ is in you.

Empowerment for living a life according to the Spirit of God.

Spiritual power is the divine energy God is willing to express in and through us and the divine authority needed to carry out the work God has called us to do. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:16-17

It is one thing to have the Holy Spirit and another to live according to the Spirit.

Empowerment to worship and praise God under the anointing.

God’s presence manifested in the midst of His people praising Him.

Praising gives us an attitude of gratitude.

Worship is submission of my nature to God’s being who quickens and activates my consciousness by His holiness and power. Nourishing my mind and informing with His truth. Purifying my imagination and opening my eyes of understanding to His beauty; opening by heart to His Love and surrenders my will to His purpose. All of this gathers up in adoration.

Empowerment to proclaim the Gospel and be a Witness.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Without this power, missionaries are not able to practice their mission.

Empowerment to receive and activate the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for our pleasure but for ministry. We cannot choose them as we please but as God gave and empowered us with them.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit” 1 Corinthians 12:7-8

God makes us brokers of His gifts according to the needs in the mission field.

Empowerment to have strength in persecutions and assistance before courts.

The Holy Spirit will be with us and teach us what to say when we face persecutions and oppression.

When missionaries are led before human courts, the power of the Holy Spirit strengthens not to despair or be discouraged.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12

Empowerment to be a witness in the workplace and marketplace (of the world).

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” Matthew 5:13-15

These were all the words that I was inspired by at this convention to memorize and apply to my life and ministry.

We were so excited and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God that used also Dr. Tony Lane, Wallace Sibley and Dr. Mark Williams (the Church of God General Overseer) and other speakers to bring clear messages that inspired us to embrace God. I believe God has done a great work at this convention. My spirit was so refreshed and empowered during that Sunday’s evening service that Dr. Mark Williams preaching from the whole book of Acts (I saw that this man of God had memorized the whole book of Acts and preached every chapter with such emphasis showing a real application for the church today to live in victory accomplished already by the Lord Jesus Christ. This was a practical teaching that enabled and empowered us to return to the book of Acts where the church of Christ was founded and conquered the world through the oppositions and persecutions. The whole congregation was very attentive and responsive to his dynamic preaching and quotations of the verses in Acts from his memory. It compelled all of us to memorize the scripture every day and speak the words with boldness and fire. It also sparked and ignited a passion in us to start reading the Bible in the following year with our entire congregation and renewed our commitment for memorization and meditation like it did with Joshua.“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8

This convention has inspired and encouraged us that working for Jesus Christ with dedication and motivation will bring more joy and fulfillment than working for yourself. Nothing and nowhere will you find more joy and happiness than the Kingdom of God and His power of Resurrection. I am confident that He who started the work will continue to perfect it in us until the day of Jesus Christ.

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team 

Philippines

 Mission Trip to the Philippines 

October 3rd – 22nd, 2012

Delaygon and Dios! (Praise the Lord!). We praise the Lord for another blessed trip to the Philippines. The masonic rain that flooded the streets of Manila this year in the fall had slowed down and made it possible for us to travel again to the Philippines. It is amazing how the Lord Jesus, though His Holy Spirit, moved and guided us (my son Tiberiu and I along with John Buia from Detroit) a second time to have another mission trip in the Philippines. After spending time in prayer and fasting to seek the Lord’s will about this trip, I was prompted through a divine confirmation (while sensing the Holy Spirit that moved me to understand that this is aligned with God’s plan and purpose for our ministry. Thus, the confirmation to begin the trip preparations was accepted. My oldest son, Tiberiu (which is deaf) even texted me (shortly after the confirmation) that he concurs with joining the mission trip to the Philippines. After God’s confirmation, I asked a few brothers to join me in this trip but everyone was busy with other tasks. As I was planning to be accompanied by other people, I went to mission trip to Alaska but on my way there, I attended a Romanian conference in Seattle where I was asked to bring greetings to the convention. Brother John was watching the convention live on the internet when he saw me and called me and left a message inquiring where the next mission trip would be so that he can join me. I called him and told him about the plans for the mission trip to the Philippines which I already had purchased the tickets to make sure I wouldn’t change my mind. Many times our thoughts are not God’s thoughts and our ways are not God’s ways. As Isaiah says; “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

That is why it is very important that we (as the children of God) have; the gift of discernment to discern His voice, guidance to follow in obedience of His way, and plans which will bring to us fulfillment, satisfaction and joy. Even though this is not always easy for us to do (because it involves faith, obedience and intimacy with our God (who is Our Father)), we must know and remember that it is God’s good will for us to have a real relation and fellowship.

The first mission trip that I had in the Philippines was in October 2010 and I was divinely connected to pastor Belshiezar Simbrean who called me to come to the conference with the team “Ignite the Fire”. With obedience to the Holy Spirit, I obeyed Him without knowing anyone there but I knew that according to the Psalmist, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in His way.” Psalm 37:23. God was really faithful to us and we saw His hand moving and His blessing during the first mission trip to the Philippines where we connected with hundreds of people. When I was introduced to the church congregation by pastor Bonifacio Simbrean the first time, he told the pastors that I had a large family of eleven children. There was also another pastor (Olegario Albiso from the organization ‘International Leadership Fellowship Connection’) who had fifteen children and he described their lives to me towards the end of the conference. He pointed towards a group of bible school students from ILFC that were present at the conference and he said that he has a daughter attending the bible school in Dipolog. God works in a wonderful way to accomplish His plans and purpose more than what we think or ask. After I came home from the first mission trip (in 2010), I showed the pictures of that mission trip to my family and I told my son (Tiberiu) about a group of girls from the bible school in the Philippines. Not long after I returned home, pastor Bonifacio spoke to me on the phone and asked me to bring over some youth to make a strong connection with the International Leadership Fellowship Connection. Pastor Bonifacio referred to the verse in Deuteronomy regarding unity and cooperation on the mission field.“How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.” Deuteronomy 32:30This motivated my son Tiberiu to start the connection with one of the students there. Even though I confused him with the picture of another girl, he continued to communicate with Jojie Albiso (a student of the bible school and daughter of pastor Albiso from Tinyon, Ipil). With prayer and fasting for the preparation of this trip, the Lord guided us to go to this mission trip being unaware of the Lord’s plans and purpose.

The day came when we departed (Wednesday the 3rd of October, 2012) and we flew from Chicago to Detroit and then west towards Japan where we arrived in Nagoya. We then flew three and half hours from Nagoya to Manila where we lodged at Christian Strengthening Ministries (not far from the airport in Manila). The first day, we visited the American Embassy which is extremely under surveillance. Close to that area, the floods of September 2012 covered the streets and we saw the signs and damage of that recent flood. Pastor Nelson Praxido and his wife Elaine met us in that area and gave us a tour through the flooded area and both sides of the Pasig River. Elaine is the director of the Christian School and Nelson (her husband) is the pastor of Calvary Christian Fellowship Church in Pasig. We had a tour in the Christian School and we helped them with supply and some donated money for some of their school expenses. At night, we had a youth fellowship in a building of six levels (which consists of the school and the pastor’s house). We shared the word of God with the youth from the subject that ‘A Christian life is a balanced life’.“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 1:2

On Saturday (10/6th), we flew to Dipolog on the Mindanao Island south of Manila. Pastor Belshiezar (Joshua) Simbrean and his wife along with Jojie welcomed us for the second time in the Philippines. Being very tired, I went to rest but Tiberiu developed a stronger relationship with Jojie and to my surprise, she was a different girl than I had initially shown him. Even though we make mistakes, the Lord does not – and so we stood in His will. God’s Will is good, pleasant and perfect in any area of our life. Even though for us (as human beings), it is sometimes hard to accept and adjust to His Will. But God works in us through His Holy Spirit and convicts us to accept and surrender to His Will. God’s Holy Spirit is The Matchmaker – even for matching characters in marriage – and so as soon as Tiberiu and Jojie met, they almost instantly became attracted to each other and within that week, they decided to get married. A good custom of the Philippines is that the church wakes up and spends an hour of prayer and devotion to the Lord at 5 AM – so the teachers from the Bible School, students, orphans and the guests living in the ILFC all worship God. We lack this time of devotion in our western world. It is very important for us to follow the example of David. “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” Psalm 5:3“But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Psalm 59:16“And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.” Luke 21:38Our Sunday service started in the morning with worship and prayer but the instruments were louder than our voices. Brother John Buia spoke about the requirements to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I spoke about the importance of pursuing a life of holiness.“Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.” Psalm 93:5The Grace of God touched the church and their hearts were transformed and freed as Forgiveness and Grace descended from above. In the evening we had a meeting with the students from Josei Rizal Memorial State University. We exhorted them to have a motto in life (and recommended; do what is right in the eye of the Lord). Brother John used an example of Joseph in Genesis.“There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9“..it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”1 Samuel 14:53As we traveled and ministered to these people, I observed that there was a lot of religion but little relation with God.

There was a Pastoral Conference in Dipolog from October 8th – 10th. The program was led by Pastor Belshiezar Joshua Simbrean (the president of ILFC). On Mindanao Island, there are 178 churches affiliated with the Pentecostal movement of ILFC. Twenty-two million people live on this island – Davao being the largest city. We participated in this conference and were invited to speak from the Word of God. Brother John exhorted the conference to worship God in the Spirit and Truth.“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24I spoke and motivated the church to be filled with the Holy Spirit and shared gifts of t-shirts with them. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5:18

After the divine service on Tuesday (10/9th), there was a time where we remembered the founder Bonifacio Simbrean whom passed away a year ago (2011). Many leaders from the city came to show their respect. “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” Hebrews 13:7

A team from New Zealand came who spoke about humbleness and service – and as an application, they completed the act of washing the feet of every pastor. I also spoke about following the legacy of a leader; “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

Even though Belshiezar Simbrean is young, every pastor from the organization recognizes his leadership and respects him as the new leader of the organization. I also motivated him (in my sermon) to serve the Lord with all your heart and bring the organization to a higher level of living with God. With our God, there is no static condition rather; God always has great things prepared for us so that we progress from power to power and from victory to victory. “They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.” Deuteronomy 33:19

The last day of the conference (Wednesday, 10/10th), was wrapped up with the marriage of Tiberiu Lupancu and the young Bible School graduate, Jojie Albiso. She comes from a family of fifteen children while Tiberiu comes from a family of twelve children. Pastor Olegario (her father), following the principles of tithes, dedicated his 10th child (Jojie also known as Joyful) to the Lord. In the Philippines’ traditional wedding, when the newlyweds are kneeling in prayer, their parents tie a rope around them representing the yoke of the marriage. Next was the prayer of blessings towards the marriage. The ceremony was led by Pastor Wilson Cal assisted by Pastor John. The newlyweds signed four copies of the marriage certificate during the time of ceremony. I declared that the best matchmaker is the Holy Spirit (which put two youth together in love). The purpose of the wedding in the Philippines was strictly for legal documentations as well as for her church and large family. Their wedding in Chicago, IL is being prepared soon after her arrival in the USA because their marriage was not consumed. At night, at the conclusion of the conference, I spoke about the importance to honor God in our daily life (living in righteousness and holiness). We finalized with special prayer for the sick and anointing them with oil. At the end, we had a meeting with the bible school students and exhorted them with the verse; “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15We gave an honorarium to all of the fifteen new graduates.

On Thursday (10/11th), we started the mission in the villages and towns of northern Mindanao even though it was a rainy weather. Our first stop was in the town Disakan where we spoke to a group of thirty people waiting in the kindergarten yard. They were believers in Christ and friends. I spoke about the Living Water who satisfies the thirst forever.“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:10-14

There is a well of living water in every one of us but sometimes it is covered up with the things from the world which are meant to never satisfy us completely. We encouraged them to open up the well of Living Water which brings happiness and fulfillment in our life as we put Jesus Christ in the center of it. Many people responded with joy. After the service, bishop pastor Simbrean introduced us to Ray Rodriguez (a local pastor) who told us that they need a land to build a church. He showed us a place that was for sale and we prayed to seek the Will of the Lord. Pastor Ray and his wife Mary are supposed to proceed in making the necessary negotiations with the owner. In Mobortidot (a village about 9 km away), we found a smaller piece of land which costs about $900. The people here are very poor and they work very hard in rice fields to earn their living. A lot of rice was scattered around the rode to dry up. The rice costs about $350/mo. for the students, orphans and teachers from Dipolog’s ILFC. On the way to Liloy, traveling southwest, we had lunch with rice and fish (as the sea shore is very close). From there we traveled towards Gatas for the night service. The road was very bad and with a lot of dirt. The church led by Wilson Cal was waiting for us. We motivated the church to live their lives in holiness and righteousness before the Lord. Much later that night (near midnight), we lodged at a hotel in Liloy.

On Friday morning (10/12th), we started with the dedication of the land of the future church from village Sindangan. We had a short service led by the newly bible school graduates (Cherryl (Chechi) Mae’s colleagues). Chechi is the girl who I confounded Jojie with before arriving to the Philippines. With a chainsaw, the mahogany trees were cut and the materials for the new church building were prepared on-site. We worked very hard all day (with their team) and prepared all the lumber for the new church. During lunch-time, we evangelized to the neighbors that were scattered through the woods in their small houses and were very welcomed in their homes. We sang songs, prayed and presented Jesus Christ and gave them an honorarium of 500 pesos (as a gift). A father of thirteen children said that he has a bible but does not have the glasses to read it and so we purchased him a pair of glasses. Now, with my son and his fiancé and other people, we formed a team of seven and continued our mission towards Lipacan. The church (called the church by the ocean), is in a critical area of Muslims. It is pastored by Pastor Junreal Mpatan. The members of this church are very poor but we exhorted them to keep what they have as it is very precious (salvation, faith, hope, love and the Holy Spirit). At the end, we provoked them to pray fervently and dynamically for the Holy Spirit to manifest among them.

Saturday (10/13th), the whole team traveled from Liloy to a town named Overview for a divine service that morning. The church is pastored by Cherryl Mae (a fresh absolvent of the bible school). After the service, we visited the pastor’s house (which is next to the church). The church is held by support posts and the floor with cross spaces. As I walked into the pastor’s house, one of the floor boards fell under my feet and I fell into the cross space. This was due to a termite contamination. John also fell into a cross space right after me. Thank God that the cross space was not too deep to break our legs or backs. Neither of us got hurt. This compelled us to donate enough pesos to rebuild the personage house. Our team continued the trip through the mountain area and arrived to a village called Butong for a divine service. The name of the pastor is Francis Escubido (who is a good craftsman and carpenter) who helped build a lot of churches in the area. We were surprised to see the church filled with adults, youth and children. We preached to them about the prayer; Heavenly Father.“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13

These people can replace the bread with rice daily because this is what they have with every meal. From here we took Lori (a vehicle adapted to transport persons across mountains) and stopped for a prayer at a church in Merkulisan which is pastored by Venjie Cabasag. For us, this was one of the poorest churches that we had ever seen. Wet and unsettled dirt was everywhere and the wood was eaten by termites. From our budget, we donated 3,000 pesos to pour concrete. In the area, there are a lot of rubber trees. They use the tree sap to make a living based on its rubber properties. In the evening, we held the first evangelic crusade in the city of Tampilisan under the open sky.

The local pastor gathered together a lot of youth, adults and children to hear the word of God. After we delivered the revival message, the Lord opened the hearts of a couple dozen people and they accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior. About midnight, we arrived at the orphanage in Gatas where Pastor Belshiezar Simbrean’s house is located and he hosted fifteen orphans. We were grateful to the Lord for His Grace and anointing that was manifested that night. Sunday morning, we worshipped at the church in Gatas where pastor Simbrean leads. In this area (surrounded by rubber trees and singing of birds creating a rustic atmosphere), it is pleasant and wonderful to worship God in such an environment. The evangelistic crusade could not be held at Tampilisan because of the rain and so it was held in Gatas Church instead. During the night service, the presence of the Lord’s Holy Spirit manifested in such a dynamically vibrant and powerful way that many people experienced refreshment and empowerment to live a life of victory with the Lord Jesus Christ. A dozen people came forward and we prayed for them. This area lacks bibles but we did not have enough to give to everyone.

On Monday (10/15th), we visited the prison and the church in the city Ipil and we preached the Gospel of transformation to hundreds of inmates. We distributed hygienic goods to all of them. Here at this prison, every inmate was very hungry for the Word of God and asked us for copies of the Holy Bible. John and I preached the Gospel and my daughter-in-law’s father (pastor Olegario Albiso) led them to the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer. In the afternoon, we stopped at the church Namnama for a prayer meeting. This church is very small (8m x 13m) and does not have a concrete floor but the Lord put in our hearts to help them with 6,000 pesos to pour concrete. That night, the Lord gave us a great joy and surprise in the church of Ipil (where the founder of ILFC had his vision from God to pioneer the area in the early 1980s). His son, Belshiezar gave us a tour of the city and showed us many places where his father gathered the church in the house and everybody called it ‘the church without walls’. After going through a lot of trials and difficulties, moving from place to place, the Lord spoke prophetically about a land where the church will be built. Where the Lord guides, He provides. Even though they were very poor financially, they knew to seek after God and not rely on man. The Lord sent a missionary from England who provided the money to purchase the land and build the church and even the pastor’s house – and so, the organization was launched form that point forward. Pastor Genelou Cahijas welcomed the officials from the city on this night and they stayed until the service ended and we prayed for them. As I was sitting on a bench, I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to deliver a message for the church; ‘Make your election sure’.“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” 2 Peter 1:10

On Tuesday (10/16th), we visited and ministered to the inmates from the prison of Liloy in the morning. We were accompanied by our large team and local people and purchased the necessary hygienic goods and gave them to every inmate. We taught them the importance of having a vital relation with the Lord Jesus Christ – not only the knowledge about Him. The time for the inmates to make a decision came and many of them surrendered to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to have a personal relation with Jesus. We gave everyone the Gospel of John. A local pastor named Calabruso said that he plans on having at least one service with the inmates per month. The Philippines had a Spanish domination for over 300 years and because of that, the Catholic traditions are very strong. The advertising bill boards in the cities inspire the public to spend time with family and to raise children with good morals. Before getting married, young couples are counseled by authorities how to keep a good and healthy marriage. Because of this, the country’s divorce rate is very low and families are very serious about marriage.In the afternoon, we arrived in Disakan (Manukan’s municipal) where we continued the negotiation to purchase the land for the church. We decided to purchase it on Wednesday, October 17th at the Office of Attorney; Jeneth C. Napiquit-Baje where the seller Josefina Cabrera signed the documents to transfer the property to ILFC – also signed by Joseph Belshiezar Simbrean and Blessed Hope International Mission, Inc. signed by Constantin Lupancu and Ionica Buia. We included the name of Blessed Hope International Mission, Inc. in the title to prevent the transfer of the land/building to anyone else and to insure that it will maintain the integrity of using it only for church services and activities. On that weekend, together with Jojie (my daughter-in-law) and Ann Simbrean, we flew from Dipolog to Manila. Jojie saw Manila and stepped into an airplane for the first time.

In Manila, Alina Voda (a missionary from Romania), waited for us, hosted us and gave us a tour to her mission site in Antipolo. We met her staff of nurses and the children that are under her care and basic Christian education. We also visited the surrounding area of the medical clinic where many poor people live and benefit from the mission service that Alina is doing.On Sunday morning, I ministered to one church in Manila and Pastor John ministered to Calvary Christian Fellowship church. At night, both of us ministered in Manila in a very poor area (Cainta) to a church led by Pastor Jeffrey Datangel. There was a good worship with great songs and prayer. During this final service for us, the Lord anointed us to preach about “The Work of the Holy Spirit”. Pastor Jeffrey shared with us that last time, he felt in his spirit the need to teach the church about the work of the Holy Spirit and this was a confirmation since the Lord gave us the same inspiration. This was the second time that we ministered to this church. Pastor Jeffrey testified of how God healed people when we held a healing service in our trip there in 2010. On our last night in Manila (after the service), we were hosted at the Strength Ministry Hotel near the international airport where we rented three rooms (one for my son and I, one for Jojie and Ann Simbrean, and one for John). Antipolo is a very poor city and is located near Manila and has a neighborhood called Solid Cement where Alina Voda is ministering to the people that just moved in the area (like squatters, without legal rights in the land). These people are coming from the villages to the city to work for the cement factory.

On Monday morning, we gave our farewells to Jojie (my daughter-in-law), Ann and Alina. We headed towards Chicago and they returned to Dipolog. In this report, we summarize how the Hand of the Lord guides, provides and transforms the lives of the extremely poor in very tangible ways: feeding the hungry souls and bodies; encouraging and lifting up leaders and pastors through conferences of teaching and preaching but there are still a lot of emotional and spiritual needs of those that we did not meet. We are so limited but we pray that God will fill them with love, nurturing them and give them hope to overcome the heavy and burdensome chains that weigh them down from rising above their circumstances and claiming a life of victory – being energized from the resurrected power of the Lord Jesus Christ!

At BHIM, Inc., we acknowledge and understand the needs of the poor (which is the hope in the Lord Jesus Christ that we embrace and also the Gospel that is our Hope) and we are ready and want to share this truth as it is the most efficient powerful life-transforming tool that we have. Our work is in a beginning stage and is for today, tomorrow and forever to bring the rope of Hope to the individuals and communities all over the world (especially to those that live under desperate and difficult circumstances).

My prayer for every one of us, as Christians, is that we all keep in view the mystery that has been kept from generations and ages, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:27-29

If you are discourages, lonely or feel that your future is uncertain, the solution is Christ in you – the Hope of Glory.“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power..” Colossians 2:6-10

Let us not forget to make our election sure every day and to remain rooted and build up in Jesus Christ, no matter the circumstances that come in our life. Always be thankful to God because through His son Jesus Christ, we have already received everything pertaining life, righteousness and to live in victory. God did not choose and select us because of who we are but because He see who we will become in Him if we walk in obedience.“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7We see that even the devil tried to discourage us and whisper to us that we are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough – but with Jesus, we become and we have more than enough to accomplish the mission he entrusted us with. As you daily devote your life to Him and make your election sure, God will work in you, for you and through you – in order for you to fulfill your assignment, purpose and destiny for what He has created and called you to be in His Kingdom. Our calling and assignment is not decided by us but discovered by us when we walk in obedience with the Lord Jesus Christ who always reveals to us His plan and purpose in His time.

What a blessed insurance we have! May all of you be blessed (dear brothers) with the blessings that flow directly from the Father’s Throne of Grace! The entire Blessed Hope International Mission team would like to thank the Lord and all those that make their election sure every day as we witness these brothers and sisters doing so from the Philippines as they honor and serve the Lord.

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team  

Alaska

 

Romanian Convention in Seattle
Mission Trip to Alaska
August 30th – September 7th, 2012

 

For over four decades, Romanian immigrants from the USA and Canada have met together for a few days during the Labor Day holiday weekend to participate in a time of fellowship and spiritual refreshment. This is done at various locations each year as is set by the pastoral boards of convention. Pastor Vasile Antemie and his church, First Romanian Pentecostal Church from Seattle, organized and coordinated the 44th Pentecostal Convention this year. My wife Brandusa and I had the privilege to participate and to have a great time of revitalization. The theme of this convention was from the book of Joshua 24:15 titled ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15Because in this age of disintegration of morals and family values, the pastor coordinator with his team were inspired with the right theme at the right time. For three days and nights, the whole congregation (of over 3,000 people) was inspired by the word of God that was preached by different pastors from all over the country and Canada. Vibrant songs were sung by the choir and special groups that focused on the same theme.

 

We all recognize and agree with the Bible that the human being has failed short of the Glory of God and we are empty and feel a void in our life without God. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23God lives in the glory and communicates with mankind through His glory. When man fell from the glory of God, the paradise was lost and that brought emptiness, non-fulfillment, dissatisfaction, non-thankfulness, anxiety, fear, sickness, death and many other losses. Human beings tried to work everything independent of God (which cannot be done) and that is why so many problems today affect families. When man fell, he took his eye off from God and focused it on the material things. Man tried to find happiness through material things which creates a false worship and reality and affects every area of their life. “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 1:25God always keeps in mind the well-being of mankind and restoration of family; which was why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to restore our relationship with Him. “For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)” Romans 5:17Restoration of relation with God brings harmony and fulfillment in every area of life including family. The last book of the Old Testament, (Maleahi) speaks about turning the hearts of parents toward their children and vice versa.“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6Sin and disobedience against God causes rebellious hearts which creates tension in the family. At this convention, the word of God was preached and delivered with such authority that brought restoration of God’s relation (which was ignored in many families) and revitalization to them as well. God always (from the Old Testament) exhorts His people to serve Him (YHWY) and only Him. He promised that when people will serve Him, He will bless their food, water and depart the sickness from among them.“And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” Exodus 23:25People that make the commitment and determination to serve only God, encounter His presence which makes the difference in their life and family.I want to thank God for His real manifested presence during this convention that healed the relation in many families. Our missionary family also held a conference on Saturday morning, where active missionaries were present and gave testimony on how God works in their mission field. I thank God for the guidance and inspiration that He gave to me during this time of being an active instrument in His hand to reach the unreached people in many nations. With this occasion, I had the privilege to thank the whole Romanian community for the involvement in the project of building the church in Haiti and fulfilling that project in July 22, 2012.

At the mission conference, we were empowered and inspired by each other to move forward as the Lord guides us in the future. I met many brothers and sisters in Christ (that I know from the area where I grew up in Romania) and they shared their testimony about their family and ministry. I was able to present the Mission Reports book to some of them. I passed letters of thanks to the pastors and leaders of the churches that were involved in the church building project in Jacmel, Haiti. This convention was a way to nourish and strengthen the spiritual condition. After days of spiritual blessings, we continued with a picnic on Monday (the Labor Day), in Lake Sammamish State Park where we nourished our body with traditional Romanian food.

 

 

Hope for Alaska

Two years ago, on my trip to the Philippines, I met Pastor Jack Benson from Fairbanks, Alaska and we exchanged information and invited each other to come to speak to our churches. Time passed and I got busy with my own mission (forgetting about him). This year, our mission building was visited by Alina Voda (a missionary from Manila). She reminded me about the missionary from Alaska when she said that her mission is supported by their church. This prompted me to contact him and he made me an invitation to visit the forgotten land of Alaska which is in the northwestern part of Canada – not that far from Seattle. My desire is always to fulfill more for the Lord and I scheduled to visit Alaska after the convention.

Most authorities believe that the original discoverers of Alaska were migratory hunters from Asia. Today, Alaska and Siberia’s Chukchi Peninsula are divided by the shallow Bering Strait, 56 miles wide at its narrowest point. Descendants of those early Asian people became the three broad Native groups of present-day Alaska: Aleuts, Eskimos and Indians. Alaska is a virtual subcontinent twice the size of Texas, it contains 60% of the United States land but the population is very small. The USA purchased the land of Alaska in 1867 for less than 2 cents per acre and this became the 49th state in 1959. Years ago, the native people believed that everything has a spirit (the land, the leaves, the water, the animals, etc.) Their tradition requires that everything should be honored in a ritual – otherwise one would have consequences. By the time of its sale to the USA, Alaska was largely a mysterious treasure and frozen land with long nights in the winter and short in the summer. Despite the conditions, other materialistic and resource interests of the Alaskan land, missionaries from England and Russia went there and taught the natives must receive Christ. The souls of the native people were cold and diverted from the presence of the Living God. With the prayers and work of the missionaries, the Holy Spirit changed the hearts of the native people and melted them and they received the fire of the Holy Spirit. I scheduled this mission trip to Alaska with the same desire to keep the fire in the hearts of people. After I purchased the ticket, I received an email from my contact (Pastor Jack Benson) that he won’t be available to accommodate me during this trip because of the emergency that came up in his life which required an urgent operation. Because the ticket was already purchased, I prayed and proceeded to Fairbanks (from Seattle) unsure of what I would do there. When I arrived, I was welcomed by brothers Jack Benson & Terry Martin (my host since Jack had to leave early next morning to the Anchorage, Alaska). Because the weather was warm in Seattle, I came unprepared for the Alaskan weather and the cold influence affected me the moment I arrived. I lodged at Super 8 motel in Fairbanks. The next day, I called some contacts that Brother Jack gave me regarding prison ministry and to my surprise, I found out that the two prisons from Fairbanks were located behind the motel. Here, I have another testimony to testify the unseen Hand of God that orchestrates and directs all things for the ministry. In that jail, a lady of over 60 years (Sister Helen Phillip) is an active Chaplain who ministers to over four hundred inmates. I was accepted that day when I arrived to minister with her to a group of inmates who were very touched by the testimony that I brought to them on how the Lord saved my life and called me to the ministry. For approximately two hours, I shared with them how to become a friend of God from being an enemy of God. Even more than a friend, Jesus called His disciples children of God. Children of God are guided by the hand of God.“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” Psalm 32:8-10

 

What an encouragement it was for those inmates to begin to walk with God in all the affairs of their life. Close to this prison facility of adults was a juvenile facility but unfortunately (even though I went to the door), I was not granted access to minister because the Chaplain was not too friendly and kind to stranger he did not know.

 

Early in the morning of the next day, Terry Martin came and picked me up and brought me to the breakfast meeting where we were accommodated by the Friends Church. Over thirty men with different professions came to have breakfast and hear the word of God. I gave my testimony of how I escaped from communist Romania in June 1987 and how my life changed in February 1992. I also gave a short message to encourage them to live a life of endurance – with passion, purpose and perspective. The Spirit of God moved among them and they were motivated and inspired to not look at themselves to become depressed or to look at others to be distressed – but instead, to look only at Jesus Christ and be impressed everyday by His presence as he is the source of abundant life. With just a few words you can influence and change a person’s life because the Bible tells us plainly that in Christ, there is power to transform any area of your life if you partner with God. Through years of prayer, study, teaching and then applying what I learned – God has given me insight of the power of words that have changed my life. “A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompense of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.” Proverbs 12:14In order to be satisfied with goodness, we must radically proclaim life, hope, blessings, faith and encouragement to yourself and to all the people that we meet and live around us. This is what we do wherever we go and to whosoever the opportunity comes through to bless people and encourage them to become in agreement (like friends and even partners) with God who releases His power when the words of God are spoken. The miracles of God are in our mouth because we have a tremendous power when we proclaim the word of God. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21I encourage everybody to choose, to exercise that life-giving power that we are determined through our mission to speak words that will build up, encourage, declare God’s promises and attract God’s blessings. That is why we are so excited about the resources that God gave to us to change that world around us with scriptural truth that can revolutionize families, faith and ultimately shape the future. This is what I did in this short mission trip in Alaska while visiting Fairbanks and toured the largest petroleum pipe installation in the world which vertically crosses Alaska. On the way back, I stopped in Anchorage and also toured Juneau.

 

 

God has called us, sent us and we need to go. Thank you Lord for sending us, for using us and making us a blessing for others.

 

 

 

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team

Haiti – Church Dedication

Mission Trip to Haiti
Convention, Church Dedication and Ordination
July 16th – 23rd, 2012

Eglise Du Christ Pentecostale in Orangers – Thank you letter

With thanksgiving in my heart and great appreciation to our Lord Jesus Christ who guided us and sustains us to finish and fulfill what has been started in Haiti years ago. Even though invitations were sent to all of those who participated in any way to the church building project, only eight of us were available to have the privilege and opportunity to participate to the dedication and the first convention of Eglise Du Christ Pentecostale (Pentecostal Church of Christ) in Orangers near Jacmel, Haiti. We take Jesus’ commission very seriously. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20

We read in the book of Acts that the disciples of Jesus Christ acted as they received guidance and leading from the Holy Spirit. This is true today as it was at that time because God is the same; yesterday, today and forever. In our first trip to Haiti in May 2009, I was moved by the Holy Spirit to go to Haiti even though I did not know anyone there. I answered a desperate call (that was made by Pastor Joseph Jasmin), to do something which God had already planned in the spiritual realm. I answered to this call after I sought the Will of the Lord and I understood that He wanted us to go there. Haiti is located in the Canary Islands and is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. The main religion of this country is voodoo (a religion of witchcraft and demonic worship).

Mission History in Haiti

The first intention of the Romanian Pentecostal community to do a mission in Haiti was in the year 2000 with a small group of brothers in Christ from California. After their few trips to Haiti since 2000, they realized that could not continue because they could not find any faithful or serious people among the Haitians to direct any missionary/charity projects proposed. God spoke to one of those brothers to purchase a property in Haiti in order to direct and fulfill the missionary purpose but they did not move on because they got discouraged. When one of the brothers heard that I had my first mission trip in Haiti, he told me that in order to have efficiency in the missionary work in Haiti; we need to have a property. In January 12th, 2010, Haiti was shocked from the foundation by a very strong earthquake. Many thousands died at that moment and for weeks (even for months), the deaths continued. The city of Port au Prince was one of the mostly devastated. Churches were also destroyed and this tragedy determined the Romanian Pentecostal community from the USA to have another mission to help and encourage those that lived in a very difficult condition. Members from churches in Chicago: Golgotha, Gethsemane and Elim; from Seattle: First Romanian Church; and from Portland: Betezda Romanian Church, departed on May 2010 in a mission to Haiti. The money that was raised from the Romanian Community at that time was used to buy bibles and food for those affected by the earthquake. The group decided to also purchase a land for a future church and proposed this to Pastor Jasmin from Gonaives and Pastor Médit from Jacmel. Our time to mission there was short and so we told them that we would pay for the land that is ready to be purchased. Among the places that we visited, pastor Médit knew about a land for sale in the Orangers area where he had a vision for a church that he had already started to lead in a rented building. We arrived at the site on Friday night and had available only Saturday to complete this transaction.

We also had scheduled the following: A seminar in the morning with the Christian workers from the area to officiate a baptism in the water, to purchase and distribute food for those that lived in the tents and also an evening church service. Saturday is a day that most official locations are closed for transactions but we prayed and we put a sign that if the notary from their City Hall would come to register the transaction, we would proceed and understand that it is God’s will because on Sunday, we were scheduled to be in Port au Prince for church services. God orchestrated this in such a way that the transaction was finalized at about 10 p.m. The land owner signed the contract to sell the land in the name of the church and also Blessed Hope International Mission who later became a legal non-profit organization registered in Haiti. Among the eight people that we baptized in the water that day were members converted from the Catholic Church. Catholic priests were very angry because their members converted to the Pentecostal church and so they spoke to the owner of the building where the Pentecostal church was renting space to worship God so that he would kick them out. In the month of June 2010, Pastor Médit Sanon called us very discouraged and frustrated and told us that they don’t have a place to worship anymore. A sister from the church (that lived in the area) opened her yard for the church to continue their services under a tree covered by a tarp to shield them from the weather. At the Pentecostal Convention in Atlanta, GA in 2010, I proposed to some pastors that I met there to go and help brothers from Haiti. Brothers from Nashville, TN, Texas, California, Indiana and Chicago organized themselves to start the construction of the foundation of the church at the end of September 2010. Many other groups from Romanian Pentecostal churches from Bethany Church in Chicago, Happy Valley in Phoenix, AZ, Texas and California continued the work in the months of November and December 2010. Outside the construction of the church, twenty-three orphaned children were adopted which are sponsored by many churches and families from the United States. In the year of 2011, churches from Detroit, California, Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina, Atlanta, Florida, Arkansas and Chicago contributed financially and physically to finalize the church building. Among the construction project, we also work through evangelization to develop new spiritual lives among Haitians. It is a joy to present and to work for Christ in other nations. We believe that God gave us this opportunity to work among Haitians not only to improve their lifestyle (which was severely affected by the recent quake and from their poverty) but also to encourage and to equip them for the service and spiritual growth.

A Vision Fulfilled

God directed us from Port au Prince to Gonaives and to Jacmel where I met Pastor Médit Sanon. God gave him a vision to start a church in a very poor area outside the city of Jacmel in the Orangers area (a mountainous and distressed area). When God guides someone to a cause, He provides for that cause. He will cause what has been established in the spiritual realm to happen in the natural realm. Pastor Médit Sanon founded a church on March 8th, 2009 of only seven members. God blessed them and multiplied them every week in that rented place next to the Catholic Church who soon became a little concerned because some of the members moved to the new Christian church. When I met Pastor Médit Sanon, I felt the Godly connection with him and I sensed in my heart that the Lord has a purpose for that area. I saw the Love of God and the love for his people in this pastor and that encouraged me to maintain communication. God’s providence protects His people in such a way that during the earthquake that also affected Jacmel, Pastor Medit Sanon’s house did not even have one crack. His neighbor’s newly built house collapsed like a mushroom. When I heard of this, I was even more committed to the work of Jacmel. God’s invisible hand orchestrated everything to be more than we imagined. Later when we already got involved in the construction project, I see their devotion to God like the people in the Old Testament. After the basement was constructed and they were holding the divine services, I saw all the church members one morning fasting with sackcloth’s on them. Even though this is not required of the New Testament faith in Jesus Christ, some people (when they desperately seek God), they practice fasting in sackcloth. God does not despise a humble heart but he always shows Himself strong to those that their hearts are fully committed to Him.

First Pentecostal Convention in Jacmel

The echo of the completion of this church building spread to many churches in Haiti. Pastor Médit learned from the Romanian Pentecostal community about an opportunity to mobilize the churches from the area in Jacmel to meet together and to have fellowship and teaching seminars. Over two hundred Christian workers and spiritual leaders came to this new building on July 18th – 21st to be empowered, refreshed and on fire with the power of God. Quality time of worshipping, teaching and prayer has been spent every day in the morning and afternoon. On Friday night, the power of God moved so mightily that no one wanted to end the service. People were healed, saved and restored. The girls on our team spent time with the children teaching them and showing them love. They also prepared bags of rice and beans for the poor people. Food and drinks were provided for everyone each day of the convention. A new season in the spiritual realm began for the Jacmel area. We give all the glory and praise to the Lord. The theme of the convention was from Matthew 16:18: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Golgotha Church from Chicago provided seventy-five shirts with this verse imprinted on it. The physical church has been completed and now the spiritual lives will be a priority to be built according to 2 Peter 1:3-4. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Water Baptism in the Ocean

To those that the gospel has been preached and they believed it, accepted to be baptized in water.“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

This is the command that Jesus Christ gave to us. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:15-16

Whenever we go around the world, we see people who are hungry for the Truth. When presented with the Gospel, the Holy Spirit moves in their hearts and they receive the Good News with great joy. Four people that received Jesus with great joy accepted to be baptized on Saturday, July 21st 2012.

Church Dedication and Ministry Ordination

The long awaited day of the dedication finally came and over four hundred people surrounded the church building early on Sunday morning, July 22nd waiting for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. We want to thank the Lord who mobilized us for such a great work which would not be possible without all the teams that generously participated financially and physically worked. Accomplishing Kingdom purpose requires a team united in spirit and in mission. The Bible shows us numerous examples of ministry being teamwork: Jesus and His disciples, Apostle Paul and his team and the epistles that he wrote exhorting the body of Christ to lock arms together. This church building is a sign of God’s confirmations and mobilizations in the mission field. We are together stronger than we are apart. No one is more important than the other. This is the way I believe the Kingdom of God should operate. Pastor Medit and the whole Pentecostal board of the church, together with us, are all extremely excited to be in the newly constructed building here in Orangers, Jacmel.

The Lord spoke to Pastor Médit years ago about this work. Today, it is amazing to see His word fulfilled in the natural realm. That day was a day of celebration for what the Lord did to the community in Orangers. We can say (like the Prophet Samuel), “Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”1 Samuel 7:12I preached at the dedication ceremony about the house of God and Pastor James from Massachusetts (born in Haiti), preached at ordination. On that day, seven deacons and two evangelists were ordained. I believe we will see a mighty move of the Holy Spirit in this area.

Our Return

Together with us on this mission, we had a missionary (Florin Codreanu) who came in the month of April to work with Pastor Joseph Jasmin in Gonaives. This young missionary was recovered from the streets in Romania years ago by God’s Family Mission in Buzau, RO. He received the Lord and his life was restored from ten years of living in tunnels and other misery places. He is a miracle of God regeneration and recreation. After such a great and busy week full of work and excitement, we returned Sunday afternoon to Port au Prince. The girls departed from the children with tears. On our way to Port au Prince, Pastor Médit told us about a church named Shalom who grew very fast with an attendance of 50,000 members in one service. This church is built on a hill outside Port au Prince and has benches made out of cement blocks with metal sheets held by 2x4s to protect people from weather. There is a huge improvement made on a hill to accommodate the 50,000 people and has over 200,000 people that surrendered their life to Jesus Christ in two years celebrating this month.

I was completely moved to tears when I saw that because that reminded me about a prophetic message that we received from the Lord when our team visited Haiti in April 2010. I remember we were ministering to Soldiers for Christ Church in Port au Prince and the Lord spoke to our team about Haiti having a season where the harvest will be accelerated. Two years ago, all of us sensed the fields of the harvest were ripe more than ever in Haiti. There was a special time for Haiti after the earthquake and we felt that the fruit was at a perfect ripeness. We cannot wait for another day like that because the fruit can be lost. So we all sensed this window of opportunity and we want to maximize that opportunity and allow the Lord to use us to reap that very ripe harvest. Some of us proposed to remain in Haiti for a longer time. My brother-in-law Viorel from Portland even said “Let’s go to Florida for a good meal and come back to Haiti”. Although we saw that the window of opportunity of ripe harvest, we were very limited of the language barrier and accommodation but God who brings that season prepares and calls His servants accordingly. Such servant is André Muscadin who He is using to reap the harvest before it’s too late and I was rejoicing when I saw (in the present) of what God did in only two years. Pastor André’s wife told us how someone was paid to assassinate him but the Lord showed him from the pulpit that someone had a gun and intended to do some evil. He asked him to come and repent but he was ashamed because there were 50,000 people at the service. The man who held the gun came to him on Monday (the next day) morning and confessed to him that he was the one with the gun. He testified that he could not see pastor André at the pulpit but instead only light.“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20

Final Words

Although the devil did everything he could to stop this project from happening, the Lord has been faithful and now, all of you who have prayed for all of us and financially and physically helped towards this project can now rejoice to see it done. I believe this project was a prophetic sign to this nation and not only a sign – but also a divine affirmation. We cannot help describe enough but there is an extraordinary spiritual significance that is far deeper than we even realize. God has a plan for this nation of Haiti (which was darkened by voodoo and other evils) and we (you and us) have a strategic part to play. God faithfully meets us when we show obedience to go and preach and work. Our words and actions are nothing without the Holy Spirit of God. Once we open our mouth to share the old message of Jesus Christ and eternity, God breathes life into our words as they penetrate the hearts of those that listen.

 

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team

Oceania

 

Mission Trip to Oceania
Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand & Vanuatu
Hope for the South Pacific
May 9th – 29th, 2012

You are welcome to rejoice with us as we have just returned from our gospel journey in the South Pacific. Just as God promised we have experienced many great things and great works through His Holy Spirit for which we give Him all the Glory, Honor and Thanksgiving. Greater things and greater works come with greater challenges and battleships. When you think of Hawaii, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Zealand or other tropical islands, you might think of entertainment, vacation and recreation. Our team of seven missionaries went there with another perspective and purpose. The seven of us were:
Missionaries from Maui, HI:
Chaplain Robert Brown, John Henry and David Willi
Missionaries from Chicago:
John Janks, Willie Ripple, Leo Firanek and myself (Constantin Lupancu).
This mission was not a cruise ship on an adventure – rather, it was a battleship to deliver people from the bondage and slavery of sin. Praise God that throughout the mission trip, I have seen His great grace and strength working in us as we surrendered our will to Him through various situations, challenges and circumstances. We are still standing! We are still walking! We are still running! We still believe! We are still winning souls! We are not stopping! We are advancing! Doing so only by the Grace and Strength of our Lord Jesus Christ! Just as Paul says in Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” These words of Apostle Paul encourages us not to stop or slow down whenever we grow weary in what we are doing for Jesus Christ. Together let us forge forward with a heart of faith resting in His grace for greater things. Paul, one of the greatest apostles, had walked unwaveringly in all the greater things of God. He was unrelenting, unshakable and effectively completed the vision in all God had charged him to do. The vision that Chaplains for Christ International had to establish prison ministry in all the continents is on the way. Jesus asked for us to be witnesses into all the world: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Mission to Hawaii

The Big Island – Since Hawaii is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, my first stop from Chicago was in Honolulu. The Hawaiian Islands are the most remote lands on the face of the earth. They are more remote than frigid Antarctica. The Hawaiian Islands (Sandwich Islands) were first explored by the ancient Polynesians who followed the stars and swells in their primitive wooden canoes. Westerners came upon Hawaii for the first time in the 18th century. In 1778, Captain James Cook and the ships of his third voyage (called Resolution and Discovery), sighted Oahu first and then Kauai. Hawaiians were all settled on the major islands of the chain – Hawai‘i itself (the biggest island), Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe, O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau. When the islands were discovered, the basic occupation was agriculture and fishing but today, taking into consideration that Hawaii joined the United States Union on August 21st, 1959 and having a tropical climate, it became a tourist attraction. Currently, over thirty Romanian families moved to Hawaii recently to work in the construction industry. On my way to Fiji (being soul oriented), I stopped for a few days in Hawaii on my way to Fiji to visit prisons, churches and the Romanian community there. When I arrived to the Big Island, Brother Peter Radov from Kona picked me up from the airport and brought me to his home. He is originally from Turkey but married a Romanian from the Republic of Moldova. I had a great time of fellowship in his house. A Moldovan community formed a church of worship with them on this island. I was able to visit the island and especially the capital of the island; Hilo. This city offers a lot of history and other lessons to be learned. It takes a minute for your eyes to adjust fully to let the past move into the present when you visit the Lyman Mission House. The house brings you the artifacts of the daily life of a century and a half ago and you cannot help but recognize that the New Englanders (who came in the 19th century) had every intention of recreating their past on this distant island. Titus Coan, a missionary whose spirit was melted by the love of God for the natives, later came to the island in 1835 and a great revival started in 1837. There was an awesome reverence for what the Holy Spirit was doing. Titus Coan mentions how his wife "who's soul was melted with love and longing for the weeping natives, felt that to doubt that it was the work of the Spirit, was to grieve the Holy Spirit and to provoke Him to depart from us.''

““On the 7th of November, 1837, the sea moved by an unseen hand had all of a sudden risen in a gigantic wave, and this wave (rushing in with the speed of a race-horse), had fallen upon the shore, sweeping everything not more than fifteen or twenty feet above the high water mark into indiscriminate ruin. It was so unexpected that no one had time to prepare for it. To Titus Coan this tidal wave was as if God was speaking to the people to "Be ye also ready." They began to listen. Titus Coan mentions how they buried the dead, "fed, comforted, and clothed the living, and God brought light out of darkness, joy out of grief, and life out of death.” He states, "Our meetings were more and more crowded, and hopeful converts were multiplied.'' This was not only the case for Hilo, but in other places on the islands that were affected by the tidal wave. People realized their need for God after coming so suddenly close to death.” The revival increased in intensity because God's mercy took place. For all involved in this Great Awakening, it was clear that God had demonstrated the reality spoken of in Zechariah 4 in their midst. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of Hosts." Zechariah 4:6
The people in Hilo had built a museum called the Pacific Tsunami Museum which shows the history of all the earthquakes from the world and especially the tsunami causing quakes. This is a lesson for us that when something happens suddenly, we need to be more concerned about God and His Holiness because life is so fragile on this earth.
Tsunami – “…a display of the mighty power of Him who holds the sea in the hollow of His hand.”
“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Isaiah 40:12

Our prayer is so that the Lord will manifest His Mercy and pour out His Spirit like He did during that time so that another revival will start in this generation; to raise them up and take their place with God in Holiness.

Oahu – My first stop on the Oahu Island was in Honolulu. My brother-in-law’s brother, Daniel Muresan works on this island and picked me up from the airport and brought me to his apartment. On this island, because of a lot of construction developing, Romanians from IL and other states relocated and are working there. My intention was to motivate them to start a place to worship God. I visited a First Assembly of God church in Honolulu and I asked the pastor if he agrees to rent them a space where they can meet. The pastor told me if they would come and see commitment in them, he would agree to give them a space for worship. I had a great time of fellowship with some of the Romanians that I met there and encouraged them not to get cold hearted but to seek the Kingdom of Heaven and also to keep the fire burning. There were also a few Romanians from the Republic of Moldova that spoke Russian and they already started a service in the Russian language in an English church. Being in Honolulu, I remembered of the attack on Pearl Harbor that happened on the early morning of December 7th, 1941 at 7:55 A.M. when [within 10 minutes] the city was in uproar as it was attacked suddenly by the Japanese airplanes. When I passed through the site (together with Benjamin Lucescu who is also working there), I remembered that Jesus said He would come quickly, suddenly and unexpectedly.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2
“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37
“And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.” Luke 12:39
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” Acts 1:7

Maui – Chaplain Rob Brown moved with his wife to Hawaii and they settled in Maui and operated as a missionary in the local jail and also reached the unreached from this island with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He picked me up from Lahaina airport and brought me to the house which he rented. It was a great pleasure to meet him in the mission field. I visited the local church and the jail where we had the service. I preached from 1 Corinthians 15 – an old message – but God breathed new life to the people that attended. A Baptist pastor, who was sentenced for an undisclosed matter, claimed that this message motivated him to seek the Spirit of God that brings renewal and abundant life. We have to focus not only on information about God’s Kingdom but also ask God to reveal His Word to people and activate the Word in them which will bring transformation to a new creation and application and practical life with a motivation to fear and love the Lord.

There are two kinds of fear. There is that fear of the Lord; the beginning of wisdom, and is founded in love. There is also a slavish fear; a mere dread of evil and is purely selfish. This is the kind of fear which was possessed by those people spoken of in 2 Kings.
“They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.” 2 Kings 17:33
They were afraid Jehovah would send His judgments upon them, if they did not perform certain rites, and this was the motive they had for paying Him worship. Those who have this fear are supremely selfish, and while they profess to reverence Jehovah, have other gods whom they love and serve.
I prayed that the people that receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior in this prison will serve the Lord with all their strength, heart, soul, mind and body to grow in His love and knowledge and never fall away from God. As we journeyed on this island, Rob met a young couple from the Republic of Moldova which was working there in a store. I gave them a bible in Romanian to read and to be nourished and to make God their Father in this foreign land. We later visited an old prison in Maui which is currently a historic museum called the Baldwin Home. It was where the first missionary came to on this island in 1835 and influenced the life and belief in God in Lahaina City and brought outstanding contribution to the Maui community. On Tuesday May 15th, the seven of us met in the airport of Honolulu and headed to Fiji to continue our journey.

Moloka‘i & Lana’i – are two islands which I had planned to visit before heading to Fiji but for God did not open a way to go there.

Mission to Fiji

We flew over the Pacific Ocean, and our first stop was the Christmas Island which is a desolated island in the middle of the Pacific and was used as a detention for immigration for people trying to enter Australia or other territory. From there, we continued our journey to Fiji where our contacts invited us to minister to prisons and jails in Fiji. Fiji is known for tourism and its water. Even though they have brilliant water for the body, we brought the Everlasting Water of Life. Boxes of Holy Bibles were carried by all of us and delivered to the inmates in prisons. This spring, Fiji had a very big flood which flooded the area around the Nandi airport severely and human lives were lost. Our team was there at the right time to bring words of Hope to those in prisons, churches and to assist local communities in this very special time of need following the recent floods in north and western Fiji. We visited some of the poorest communities where the need was greater than we could afford.

Aspects of the Fijian culture are similar to the Melanesian culture in the western Pacific but have stronger connection to the older Polynesian cultures such as those of Samoa and Tonga. Fiji has been a nation of many languages. Constant warfare and cannibalism between warring tribes was quite rampant and very much part of everyday life. 'Eat me!' was a proper ritual greeting from a commoner to a chief." Fijians today regard those times as "na gauna ni tevoro" (time of the devil). The ferocity of the cannibal lifestyle deterred European sailors from going near Fijian waters, giving Fiji the name Cannibal Isles, and so, Fiji was unknown to the rest of the outside world. After being dependent on the British for almost a century, the British granted Fiji independence in 1970.

The word of God (preached by missionaries), transformed them into a very passive and friendly people even though their history shows us their cruelty. This proved God’s power is real and surpasses our understanding. Pastor Paula Vakavosaki and his wife Iramo welcomed us in their home and accommodated us in a very friendly way. In this country, our team ministered to Ba Prison, Lautoka Prison and Suva Prison. The director of the prison in Lautoka welcomed us and told us that all the expertise of the professional people in recovery and correction did their best and were unable to have results as the Gospel of Jesus Christ did in transforming lives. In the morning, we held Evangelist meetings where we presented the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only way to Salvation. After lunch, we divided in groups and had a bible study. A lot of the inmates were touched by the Word of God and moved by the Holy Spirit to a commitment to surrender all to Him and to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Some of them confessed that they were tired of living a life without purpose and direction. Many of them grew up in a disorganized family and became victims of many temptations, many evil actions and committed all kinds of crimes. In Lautoka Prison, I met a Russian from Latvia who became a victim of drug smuggling which was caught and is waiting for his sentence. This young boy in his early 20s was very desperate, desolate, hopeless and had not spoken with his parents 6 months

since he left his country. He had his clothes torn and very worn but someone in Hawaii (about his size), donated new clothes that fitted him. Over 450 inmates in this prison heard the Good News of Jesus Christ’s transforming power. We gave them hygienic products such as soap, toothpaste and brushes. According to the director, this was the first time when someone performed such an action in that prison. The Fiji news media wrote of this act in their local newspaper. In this prison, I met George Raza (a voluntary Chaplain from New Life Ministry), had a testimony himself of God’s transforming power. He was deported from Canada (after he served 11 years in prison where he met the Lord Jesus who transformed his life) and was moved to Fiji where he now serves God as a volunteer and doing a great work. His testimony is a blessing for the inmates who are challenged by the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. We had service in the church that night and in the morning Brother Rob Brown held a seminary to motivate and inspire Christian workers to work as volunteers in jails and prisons around Fiji. Since Fiji is a hub for other islands, and the Romanian Community are scattered all over New Zealand and Australia, I was moved to also visit the Romanian community in Auckland, New Zealand. At the end of my mission trip, I ministered to two churches in Fiji on the last Sunday of May (Pentecost day). Due to the time zones I was switching from during my mission trip, I was blessed to take part with the churches in Fiji on their Pentecost day and also with the churches in Honolulu on their Pentecost day. I wish that every day would be Pentecost where we allow the Holy Spirit to move in us because many things in life are in need of His power in order to be accomplished. In order to have power, we need oil and fuel – without these, we will be as someone pushing a non-running car. More watts, more horsepower and the faster we will move. With God there is no energy shortage, no price increases – it is totally free. All you have to do is come and fill up. Many people are interested in God’s promises but are not interested in His presence. Many people seek His acts but not His face. What matters most is to have His presence.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11
The promise of all promises is the presence of God Almighty which is the Holy Spirit with us, over us and within us.
“And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Exodus 33:14-15

New Zealand

I left the team in Fiji and as I was flying to New Zealand; I was wondering if anyone would be able to pick me up from the airport since I never met anyone personally from there. I was worrying about the fact of being alone on this mission in a new country since I had not gone alone before. I felt a bit lonely and distressed and understood why Jesus appointed evangelists two by two.
“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He himself would come.” Luke 10:1
To my surprise, Aurel Antemie (a deacon from Nashville, TN) was visiting New Zealand with his wife and heard about my coming and came to pick me up from the airport. I was very encouraged and blessed the Name of the Lord who does more than what we think or expect. He is a God of surprise and mystery. His guidance and orchestration is far more superior to our abilities or schedules. If we are serious with Him, He is serious with us.
“Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the forward thou wilt shew thyself forward. For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks. For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” Psalm 18:24-28
New Zealand has been explored by Pirate William Dumpier who was the first to circumnavigate the world three times. It was first discovered by Abel Tasman, a Dutchman in 1642, which sailed to Tasmania, before discovering New Zealand. A Romanian community explored this land in our contemporary age and settled there.

During this short visit, I had the privilege to meet Romanians in Auckland, New Zealand. They drove 250 kilometers to the place of worship (rented in an English Church building). There was a great love of God among them. Gheorghe Eacobuta (who is originally from Comanesti, Bacau in Romania), married Pastor Vasile Bara’s daughter (from Perth, Australia) years ago. They were moved by compassion to reunite the church among Romanians from Auckland and surrounding areas. I stayed at their house and fellowshipped with them and the church. We had a service of prayer on Saturday and Sunday evening at which time we held the Lord’s Supper. Romanians from New Zealand are working hard and also are studying to become engineers, attorneys and other high professions. I gave an interview of my testimony of God’s transforming power to the Voice of the Gospel in Auckland. Later, I had a tour through the city and surrounding areas followed by a fellowship with the Romanians at a restaurant in the evening. I then left them with the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and departed back to Fiji. At the same time, my friend Aurel Antemie went to Christ Church City (in South New Zealand), where there was a big earthquake last year. He met with more Romanians there from Christ Church City.

Mission to Vanuatu

Vanuatu is an archipelago, a Y-shaped string of 83 islands with the main islands being Efate, Espiritu Santo, Malakula and Tanna.

Efate – a timeless tropical archipelago where (even since the explorer came) the people have remained deeply attached to their culture. Known as “New Hebrides” in the Condominium days, this island group was rechristened “Vanuatu”, on July 30th, 1980 – the day it achieved political independence and became a Republic. Because some Romanians from Portland built a church building in Vanuatu a few years ago, I was called and motivated by my brother-in-law Viorel Gromic to visit this island to see what those Christians are doing and to encourage them. I called Tom (his contact), a chief from Tanna Island, and he responded very excitedly and was happy to welcome me there. I purchased the flight ticket from Fiji to Port Vila. When Brother William Ripple (a member of the team) heard about the planned trip, he wanted to join me and purchased the ticket also. On the night that I arrived at the Nandi Airport in Fiji, George Raza (a new friend) waited for me and gave me the news that William Ripple cancelled his ticket to Vanuatu as he was unable to come because of the fear of malaria. I was a little bit disturbed by his decision that I called him in Suva, Fiji (where the other part of the team was ministering) and he concurred what I had heard. I did not want to go alone again by myself in a place where I had never been so I asked Brother George to join me even though he did not have the money to buy a ticket. In a mission where God is in total control, he orchestrates and guides for the best way possible. I stayed at his home that night at his home and told him to prepare the luggage because we are leaving tomorrow by faith and that God needs him in Vanuatu to share his testimony to the people over there. Early in the morning, I took the luggage with the things that I had prepared for Vanuatu and even though I should not forget the envelope with all the contacts information, I left them at George’s house. With joy in his heart (that he is going to Vanuatu for the first time), Brother George called John Katana (his pastor) on the way to the airport and told him of his plan on going to Vanuatu. John was a missionary from Tanna, Vanuatu and also a president of the Pacific Seminary and he knew a lot of pastors. When he heard the news, he called Rev. Bese Tevita Fong (his friend in Port Villa, Vanuatu) and told him that two missionaries are coming there. I purchased George’s ticket and even though the flight was very booked, they still accommodated him. Arriving in Port Villa airport, I looked for Tom who was supposed to meet me but he was nowhere to be found. I had no phone number to contact him. I was a little bit distraught again but rested and had faith in God’s solution. As we were looking for Tom, a man suddenly came out of the passage of the same plane we landed with and shouted to us “Guys don’t worry! My pastor called me and said he will come pick you up!” In the middle of nowhere, God orchestrated His divine connections! In just a few minutes, Pastor Bese Tevita Fong of the ‘Ekoftau Family Centre’ came with his pickup truck and welcomed us. I was able to buy a SIM card for my phone and called my wife in Chicago so that she could call my brother in Portland to find out about our contact (Tom) which was supposed to meet us. I managed to obtain Tom’s number and even though he was in town, he was expecting me to call him – so it was not possible because I had no contact list. God had different plans and different people for me to meet. His plans are always better and His ways are always higher.
“Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21 [Amplified Bible]
“A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
There was a very difficult situation for Port Villa City since 6 convicts escaped from prison at that time which were accused of committing 53 crimes including robberies and killing two tourists. The whole town in the surrounding area was alerted and the police carried guns and gave an order of surrender by Saturday May 26th or otherwise be shot on sight.

Arriving in this town for the first time, I did not plan prison ministry. Learning that we are doing prison ministry, Pastor Bese brought us to a Chaplain from his church that could make the arrangement to have a church service in a prison. Even though the situation in the town was very critical, to my surprise, the prison’s chief guard allowed us to have a service on the same day at 3pm. With bibles and hygienic supplies in our hands, we entered the prison facility and began the service. Even though I did not know the names of our contacts that God provided for us [in a few hours, in a new country and town], the Holy Spirit of God created such a connection and unity and even provided a singer for worship service that evening. George Raza gave his testimony to the inmates who had a great impact and I had a message with the theme ‘Surrender All to God’. Since every newspaper announced the surrender of those 6 convicts, I used this situation to motivate the inmates to willingly surrender all to Him as God had promised that He will guide us and lead us on His path which is good, perfect and peaceful. Many of the inmates that were forced to surrender to the justice system for their crime, (even though they were still rebellious in their hearts) feared the weapons of the police and so they had no choice but to surrender and be brought to the prison for correction and reformation. During the ministry service, the Love of God compelled them so much that they willingly surrendered with their hearts to God without fear.
“Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)? But by your callous stubbornness and impenitence of heart you are storing up wrath and indignation for yourself on the day of wrath and indignation, when God’s righteous judgment (just doom) will be revealed. For He will render to every man according to his works [justly, as his deeds deserve]: To those who by patient persistence in well-doing [springing from piety] seek [unseen but sure] glory and honor and [the eternal blessedness of] immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and self-willed and disobedient to the Truth but responsive to wickedness, there will be indignation and wrath. [And] there will be tribulation and anguish and calamity and constraint for every soul of man who [habitually] does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek (Gentile). But glory and honor and [heart] peace shall be awarded to everyone who [habitually] does good, the Jew first and also the Greek (Gentile).” Romans 2:4-10
About 70 people from that jail surrendered their life to Jesus Christ and decided to live for Him. Our prayer is that that commitment is a sincere one and God to keep them faithful and unwavering from His arms. We gave them bibles and supplies and left them with the joy in their hearts in a hope for a better tomorrow. We were accommodated at the church in Port Villa and made the necessary arrangements to travel to the next island; Tanna. On the next day, we met with the president of the Assembly of God in Vanuatu. He gave us a report of what the church is doing in this country/island. His suggestion was to go by ourselves in Tanna without communicating with Tom. In the next few days, we participated in the prayer meetings and brought words of encouragement and hope to the people that we met there.

Tanna – would have to be one of the most exciting islands of the Vanuatu archipology. The island was first discovered by Captain Cook in 1774 who gave the name of his ship the resolutions to the bay he anchored. The Romanian team built a church here years ago in the bushes of primitive tribes to connect with this island. Pastor Bese Tevita Fong contacted Pastor Madellen Tavo and Johnny Tavo from Iadilmai Living Water church who picked us up from the airport and accommodated us in their bungalow home. From the airport, we went to the church of New Life Assembly of God pastored by Naplias where there was a Youth Royal Rangers church service. Even though we arrived around 1pm, and they had been there all morning, they were so touched by George Raza’s testimony that they remained seated for 3 additional hours. When I realized that they had not eaten all day, I was moved to buy them all lunch but the pastor said that they prayed in the morning for uniforms for the upcoming convention and God responded to them so quickly and since there was no place where we could buy lunch (being in the jungle), I donated $700 to them so they could purchase uniforms. They were very thankful and all of them prayed for God’s providence who answered their prayer. At night, we held a conference at Jerusalem Assembly of God Church (Ikores Four Square) pastored by Dominic Tom. The next day, we started a service early in the morning at the same church. At noon, we drove through the jungle on a very rough road to Iadilmai Living Water Church – a church in the bush pastored by Johnny and Madellen Tavo. We brought them clothes and helped them with food supplies there. We left them with the joy in their hearts and entrusted them to the care of our God as they will seek Him and believe in Him. From there we went to see the church that was built years ago and met with the people. We then needed to head to the airport and blessed our Lord for this great trip.
We will continue to fight the good fight for the joy that is set before us. We will continue to run until we finish in this race and we will keep the faith until all the greater things God has set for us to

do are done in the power of the Holy Spirit. So we must keep on the course of mission that God called us and drop all anchors in God moving forward into greater things and greater works keeping our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.” Hebrews 13:20-22

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team

Romania – April 2012

 

Hope for Romania
April 2nd – 11th, 2012

Greetings to everyone in the Name of our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ,

In this fervent season when we remember Jesus’ triumphant entrance in Jerusalem, Maranata Church in the city Radauti, RO, had the privilege to triumphantly enter its new church building by the Grace of the Lord. During the trip in Africa in February – March 2012, the Lord moved me with compassion towards Romania. Even though we celebrate Easter on April 8th this year in the Western world, I did not want to lose the privilege to miss the dedication of the church which our mission financially supported. There was a great opportunity for the Gospel to be preached to almost two thousand people that came from Radauti and surrounding villages. People from the upper classes including mayors, bankers, officers, businessmen entered for the first time in the Pentecostal church there and they were surprised how the living church of Jesus Christ was powerfully and excitingly worshipping in the beautiful new church building.
“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them”. Psalm 84:1-5

Even though when the church service ended, there was a sleet storm and people ran home after the church was dismissed. I had the privilege to spend quality time with my cousin Petrica Moloceniuc who drove me from the Bucharest airport to Radauti and Mircea Lubanovici, a parliament representative from Third College diaspora. Pastor Liviu Acsinte from Piatra Neamt was also present to the dedication of the church. Among them were other church leaders including Lutu Tibei (the president of the Pentecostal Union), Constantin Sherban from Suceava and other leaders of churches in Romania. From the USA, we had Constantin and David Antemie and other brothers from Portland and Phoenix. In the afternoon, together with the local pastor, Gheorghe from Goshen church I was committed to visit elder brothers and families in need in Radauti despite the bad weather. What a blessing we were to those families when we helped them financially. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
For the evening church service, I visited my home village Satu Mare and I had a message called “How to live under God’s Blessings” because there were four mothers that brought their baby children in dedication to the Lord. “And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” Luke 18:15-17
Another purpose for this trip was to revive and refresh our vision that we had for over two years which was to start a Christian School in Romania. We make the necessary steps towards obtaining the land for the project from the government. So far, we encountered many obstacles but God who is keeping His promise will continue leading us every step to don’t give up but move forward because He is in charge of all the land of the Earth even though man tries to hold onto it for different purposes. I have visited officials from parliament and ministers of education, together with the BHIM Team of Romania. Catalin Sireagu graduated as an honor student from Cluj University and recently moved with his family to Radauti for this purpose to be involved in the school project. Every good work and vision has to pass through tests like God tested Abraham and his son Isaac.
“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Genesis 22:1-5
When I reminded the BHIM Team in Romania that God allowed for us to be tested, they were very encouraged to move forward and believe God for the victory that will be with the school project because they passed through a lot of trials and were deceived by the officials. Our only hope now to depend on God who will open the door.

The next evening, I ministered to the Soldiers for Christ Church in Marginea where a lot of people experienced revival among the orthodox churches and moved to a level of fellowship with the living God. This movement is happening all over Romania where people are going from dry and traditional lifestyle in the orthodox idolatry, and seeking and finding a true relationship with Jesus Christ who gives them life abundantly.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

A tragedy happened during this mission trip. A woman of four children from Vicov village had crossed the street and was hit and instantly killed by a car. One of her sons was also hit and was transported to the hospital while being in an unconscious state. I was moved with compassion when I heard this and met with her husband and children and encouraged them with words of Hope and helped them financially. Some people question when something like that happens, where God was when that God hit her. The answer is in the same place where He was when His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross. God is always present but he acts according with His divine purpose that he has for every creature. To some He sends angels to protect from danger; while to some He allows to die and cross over to the heavenly realm. No matter what His will is, the most important thing is for US to be connected with Him at any time because life on Earth is fragile. I participated to the wake of the woman to encourage the family to be strong at this time.

On another night, I preached at the Goshen Church in Radauti. During this trip, I visited also Philadelphia Christian School in Suceava which is founded by Pastor Ioan Badelita ten years ago. It is a blessing for the city. I visited some poor family in the villages around Radauti and Suceava. Since most of them are farmers and consume their livestock during the winter, they remain with a lot of needs in the spring time before the new crops season. I helped them financially and prayed for them. Petrica Moloceniuc and Catalin Sireagu (our BHIM representatives) drove me to Cluj where we met the managers from Sanvel Steel factory where we already gave the deposit towards the steel for the school project. On our way to Cluj I visited a poor family in Cimpu Lung (a city in economic distress) and helped them financially and prayed for them. I also met Paul Sirbu, my brother-in-law’s brother in Cluj who brought me to the rail station and took the night train to Bucharest for the flight to Chicago the next morning.
I thank the Lord for this opportunity to visit Romania again and be a blessing with words and in action.
“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team

Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi & Ethiopia

 Mission Trip to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi & Ethiopia

February 21st – March 7th, 2012

Dear mission friends,

This mission trip was amazing because we have an amazing God who is and does things beyond our understanding as we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and as we obey Him. God put our team together in such a way that was puzzling and we observed the Hand of God which orchestrated everything. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve seen the hand of God move mightily in the local church and internationally. The year of 2012 has a prophetic meaning. This means that this year should be a motivation for us to sincerely depend on God evermore. Biblically, the number 12 represents divine authority and appointment, governmental foundation and perfection, and shows fulfillment. Below are a few examples with bible references that confirm the affirmation that we are in a year of fulfillment, answered prayers and divine guidance.

There were the twelve stones lifted up by Moses when God made the covenant with His people.“And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.” Exodus 24:4Joshua setup twelve stones as a memorial after he crossed the river Jordan.“And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.” Joshua 4:8-9At the age of twelve Jesus first entered the Temple in Jerusalem.“And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast” Luke 2:42The twelve apostles of Jesus which represent the twelve tribes of Israel.“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” Matthew 10:1The healing of the woman with the issue of blood for twelve years.“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.” Luke 8:43-44The healing of the twelve years old daughter of Jairus.“And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.” Luke 8:41-42The twelve legions of Angels.“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53The New Jerusalem has 12 gates of pearls, 12 angels at the gates and the names of the 12 tribes of Israel over the gates. The wall of the city has 12 foundations of precious stones; in them are the names of the 12 apostles. [Revelations 21]

Orchestration of God in the Mission

This year of 2012 brings us to a divine surrender to a Godly order and submission for every mission locally or internationally. Even in the month of January I see the hand of God move mightily in the local church and the new leadership has been elected and appointed according with God’s will to fulfill his sovereign plan and destiny. After being elected in the board of a local church, I did not plan to go back in the mission field right away due to the needs following the position. A brother from the church told me that my mission is now in the local church. I acknowledged and claimed that my mission is in the church at the pulpit when a minister from Philadelphia Romanian Church of God preached and motivated people to the mission field. I had no idea that God planned that I would leave to a mission trip in Africa the very next week.

The Lord Jesus showed a brother from Romania, which prayed for our church during the severe storm we passed through, that I was going to another continent with a people of a different race and color to accomplish one of His purpose. I was disturbed because of the declaration a day beforehand Sunday night at the pulpit. My main priority was serving in the local church which believes that the Lord would now bring transformation, revival and change. We as believers are servants of Jesus throughout our life purchased by Him to do His will and purpose. We need to surrender our own will and do His will every day regardless.“You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20“You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for by Christ]; then do not yield yourselves up to become [in your own estimation] slaves to men [but consider yourselves slaves to Christ].” 1 Corinthians 7:23Our mind needs to be renewed by the Holy Spirit of God in order to understand His will that is good, pleasant and perfect.“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2On the same day, I spoke with brother Ghetana Ghetana, born in Ethiopia but now lives in the US. He told me that he is returning to his country for the first time in 31 years due to the time of persecution that hit the country during the collapse and reign of Emperor Haile Selassie of the Solomonic Dynasty that traced its origins to the Queen of Sheba. Mihai Zinici from Phoenix, AZ and Pavel Duma from Seattle, WA called me and invited me to come to a mission trip to Uganda where a Christian radio station built by a Romanian community will be inaugurated and dedicated to the Glory of God. I immediately understood and felt that this was God’s plan and connected with the Blessed Hope International Mission team. After I purchased the tickets for Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda & Ethiopia, Brother Constantin Antemie from California called me and described a dream that a pastor had for him. In the dream, pastor Draginas saw him surrounded by black people in the country of Burundi and he was working on a bee hive. Telling him that I already purchased a ticket to Africa, he got very encouraged and asked me to buy a ticket for him too even though I told him it would not be possible to go to Burundi due to the fact that there was a civil war for 14 years and it was very dangerous. The entire team gathered together through a divine appointment. God always has a better plan which surprises us and motivates us to follow him like the disciples from the book of Acts. The book of Acts does not end with an ‘Amen’ as other books do since God designed it that way for us to see that it should continue with us until the Return of Jesus Christ.

Seeking His Power for Mission Works

God gives us the willingness to do and fulfill His will. He is the one that works in us.“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” 2 Corinthians 3:5-6The same Holy Spirit that anointed Jesus of Nazareth. His life was a never-ending stream of miracles. Now, we are born again and are baptized and anointed by the same Holy Spirit for good works.“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38The bible tells us that the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead vitalizes, energizes and lives in us today for good works.“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11No wonder we are described in this picture as a peculiar people with zealous and empowered for good works.“..Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14The anointed did not come prior to Jesus’ baptism done by John in the Jordan River where the Holy Ghost descended on Jesus Christ. There was no record of Jesus performing any miracles before this event. He received the Holy Spirit that he went about doing good works and healing all of the oppressed by Satan. John wrote; “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:25The anointing for the miracles comes into our life when we receive the Holy Spirit. This is why our Master instructed; “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8Like Jesus we have been anointed for good works in our sphere of mission to do good according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He is the miracle worker, the Power of God. He has filled us with His miracle working ability.“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12

Seeking His Guidance for Mission Works

We need to surrender all to Him because God’s eyes and hand are upon them that seek him diligently.“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:9Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Psalms 33:18-19 “For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” Ezra 7:9-10“This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.” Ezra 7:6“ And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.” Ezra 7:-28“And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;..” Ezra 8:18“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us.” Ezra 8:21-23“Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.” Ezra 8:31

Apostle Paul and Barnabas exhorted the church in Antioch to stay close to the Lord.“And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” Acts 11:21-23If we cleave to the Lord and seek Him and go according to His purpose, we experience the guidance and mighty reality of God in our lives like in the book of Acts. This is the purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ – which is to be guided by the Holy Spirit and do the outreach to fulfill the Great Commission. This is the real walk to the Lord – to sense His Power and Glory and to be moved into a new dimension of the Holy Spirit.

In the Mission Field – Kenya

After the preparation mentioned above was done (seeking the Lord through prayer to fulfill His purpose), we arrived in Nairobi (my 1st time that I’ve been in Nairobi was six years ago), we had a few contacts in Kenya that we met six years ago. I notified them of my itinerary via e-mail of the proposed mission trip. I first contacted a man that I met six years ago and then contacted Evangelist Peter Kamau and then Joseph (a prison Chaplain) about my intention to come to Africa. I prayed for the Lord’s guidance that whosoever answers first is the one that the Lord has in mind for this mission trip. Evangelist Peter Kamau responded immediately and after him, Generic Mainga (a contact in Kenya even though I met him for a short time six years ago). Both groups came to the airport and picked us up. We were offered to be accommodated for a time at Peter Kamau’s home in Nairobi. Peter offered everything he had for the purpose of the Gospel even his time to accompany us to Uganda. He told us that he knows a bishop in Burundi and was available to accompany us even though we did not have plans for Burundi due to the political status mentioned. Kenya has economically & spiritually flourished greatly since I was there last. At first, I visited Faith Mountain Ministry in Nairobi which is a group of youth students that gathered on that Saturday in a facility of a college campus. I blessed them with the Word of God and encouraged them to be strong in faith.

Sunday morning at 8 am, Chaplain Joseph made arrangements to visit and preach in Nairobi West Prison. I purchased soap as a gift to the inmates and preached the Word of God that transforms lives. Fourteen inmates surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ that morning. Evangelist Peter Kamau prayed for them and since we were short on benches, I donated enough money to the prison system to purchase ten additional benches. Generic Mainga’s team (John, Charlie and Generic) picked me up with their car after the prison service and I went to minister to the villages around Nairobi and had the privilege to deliver four messages to the church villages in Mlolongo, Nguluni, Koma, Machakos. I came home almost exhausted but still rejoicing in the Lord for His source of strength & energy. And because of His power that refreshed me, I rested in Him!“Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

The next day, I proposed to go again with Mainga’s team to other meetings, but the Lord stopped this through a sign that the city arrested Mainga’s car in Nairobi and a fine had to be paid. I then told him to park in the city’s paid parking. While we were making copies of the material for the seminar to be presented to a church interested in prison ministry, a manager of the lot parked his car in the alley blocking Mainga’s car all day. I noticed that the Lord did this to show me that this group was not honest and that I need to completely separate from them because they are not people of integrity. They are seeking to take advantage of a mission’s name not for the purpose of God. I hired a cab which drove me to a church where I held one of the greatest and most anointed seminary that I’ve ever done in the history of BHIM. To God be the Glory and Honor. The next day, I went with Peter Kamau to visit the Maasai tribe and met with their chief. We had a revival meeting that night in a very poor area. The Holy Spirit of God moved mightily and many people were blessed that night.

In the Mission Field – Rwanda

Rwandan was among the African countries that had tension between two groups. Tutsi – who had controlled power for many centuries and the majority of Hutu peoples who had come to power in the rebellion of 1959–62 and overthrown the Tutsi monarchy. This tension created genocide in 1994 with a death toll of 20% of the country’s population. Despite the political situation, the church of Jesus Christ has grown in this country.In Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, our contact Pastor Joshua Mathasu could not come because he was in a mission trip to Belgium but he sent his associate, Pastor Michel Rwakazina (originally from Sudan) who brought us from the airport to the church called Remera Kigali International Prayer Mountain Complex which is an evangelical restoration church. Pastor Joseph had a vision to purchase 12 acres of land and he started building the foundation of a temple called Hall of Glory, a school, a shopping center, a prayer garden, a parking lot and a guest house. This is a vision that only God can fulfill in a country where people are making very little money. The pastor organized this project building on top of the hill a house of prayer with rooms where people that have a passion for God can go there and remain in fast and prayer as much as the Lord guides them to do. In the bottom of the hill, he created a garden of prayer where people come and seek the Lord. As we toured the site of the construction project, we saw groups of people praising God and shouting the name of the Lord for the victory in their lives and also in project that is progressing. When we arrived there, I believed that the Lord heard their prayer and so our team helped them purchase materials of a good amount of money. We praised the Lord together for what He is doing in this country affected by wars, political tension, poverty and diseases including HIV. Only the Lord can heal this when His people first seek His kingdom and righteousness.“If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14We also visited the HIV human center which was built by two sisters from the USA. Here, a lot of children and women affected are being taken care of.

In the Mission Field – Uganda

Pastor Aloysius Kiiza from Uganda lifted up Jesus’ Global Ministries came to Kigali one night and picked us up together with Pavel Duma from Seattle who just arrived that night to go for the dedication of the Christian radio station and Kabale, Uganda. We know a lot of people go to countries in Africa in perils of diamonds, gold and silver but we went for souls. We were so excited to meet in Kabale, Uganda. A lot of Romanian people from Portland, WA, Europe and Romania and even representatives from the Hope Mission located in Canada were present in Kabale. We were accommodated in a beautiful resort surrounded by lakes and forests which is called Switzerland of Africa and Uganda. Saturday, together with the local pastors, we drove to the forest to reach a tribe that twelve years ago came down from the wild life to the society. The gospel of Jesus Christ was preached and a lot of people changed and broke the generational course of their history through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On that Saturday, February 26th, eight people were baptized in the river in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Even though it was a rainy day, people still crowded around to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This tribe is called Batwa of the Ru Bugir and Lifted Up Jesus Ministry opened up a church called Batwa Church. The Hope Mission from Canada helped them to build it. The whole team blessed the children with food and sweets. As a body of Christ, the Lord has given a mandate to bring our generation from every tribe to the redemptive purpose of God. We are living in a great time of transformation and reformation. Many tribes around the world are discovering their lost identities and are beginning to walk to the Glory of the true image of God – a supernatural life through the power of the Holy Spirit. The time has come now for the church of Jesus Christ to influence and direct the trend of events on the earth and shape the history and destinies of nations. In Kabale, Apostle Aloysius Kiiza – a man of prayer with the fire of the Holy Spirit in his bones, was anointed to release people’s visions and calling. One of his visions was to have a radio station to spread the Word of God to all of Eastern Africa. Through a divine connection, he met Pavel Duma in the USA (a representative of the Hope Mission) who mobilized Romanians from around the world to come and materialize the radio station which is called Hope Radio which was launched on Sunday, February 29th. Thousands of people came to celebrate the inauguration of the Christian radio station. That night, I received inspiration for a sermon regarding Isaiah 55 ‘All Nations called to the Living Water’. God, the great communicator, wants to extend his knowledge of His Word to all nations. In the last day, the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Glory of God like the oceans are full of water.“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”Isaiah 11:9The Hope Christian Radio Station has been launched, a water well has been dedicated, a wire mesh machine has been devoted to the church community and the ground has been broken for the new school building. All these things for Glory of God and the purpose to restore the current generation. We visited the school that is run by the church – about 700 children attend it. We gave them sweets and encouraged them to accomplish great things. That same day at noon we headed back towards Rwanda with a plan to visit Burundi.

In the Mission Field – Burundi

Burundi was not on our agenda to visit during this time due to the civil war that just ended a few years ago but the war is still in the hearts and minds of most people. God had a different plan and wanted us to visit Bujumbura (Burundi’s capital). When Jesus wanted to bless Samaria, He went to Sychar even though it was not his way to through there.“He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.” John 4:3-5Similarly, as we had no plans for Burundi, God’s divine purpose led us there in order to bless the ministry in Burundi. This was shown in a dream to a pastor in California even after I purchased the tickets for the other 4 countries in Africa. Even though it was very difficult to go there due to a lot of obstacles, oppositions and discouragement from different people, I sensed in my spirit a strong need to go there because the Lord has something to do. I did not want to give up despite the opposition and purchased round trip airfare tickets. Evangelist Peter Kamau from Kenya came with us for this purpose because he knew Pastor Mutokambali A. Stanislas from Eglise Horeb Temple in Bujumbura, Burundi. Within the next few hours, we departed to Bujumbura and pastor Mutokambali waited for us and hosted us at his home. The next day he began the day with a special program called Morning Glory which members of the church come early in the morning to seek God’s glory and be filled with it. Because Burundi had 14 years of civil war, a lot of people are devastated and it’s only due to God’s glorious presence that healed them from the inside out.“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18Early that same day, I gave a few exhortations for prayer and the spirit of God fell mightily and the spirit of prayer and repentance was felt by the people for about two hours. I knew the Lord had something special that day because of the breakthrough. God opened the gates of heaven and poured out His glory. We planned many things that day but only what was designed on His agenda happened. It was one of the most important reconciliation between the bishops and leaders from one church. It so happened that four years ago a Romanian pastor from Romania had a vision to build a church building in the heart of Africa. The Lord guided him through certain events to come to Burundi where he started the project. God gives people visions and purpose for people to accomplish His will but we need to be aware that there is an enemy which is real and Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil.“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10The project was started with prayer and anointing and a lot of churches helped towards this project but the enemy brought anger, bitterness and division among the bishops and leaders. When God’s principles are not respected, God allows certain things to go wrong which in turn brings us to a turning point of repentance, deliverance and reconciliations which make it possible for peace and prosperity to return. This was the purpose that we came for and He compelled and guided us to come so that through us, restoration was made possible again.“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.” Isaiah 46:10-13After we visited the church site which was abandoned last year, we came together to pastor Mutokambali’s home. Confession and reconciliations among the leaders have been restored. The Holy Spirit moved mightily and everyone bowed down in tears asking for repentance. After two hours of the pastors discussing the issue that created the anger and division, their hearts were released from the impurity that got into them and caused God’s hand to be against them and the work could not continue and the church divided. Now, since the relation and communication was restored, we prayed that the building will continue to be built for the Glory of God and won’t be a shame but a glorious celebration and inauguration of a church in the area of a lot of people – especially children suffering from the consequences of the years of war. We give all the Glory and Praises to the Lord which reconciled us from our mess with the Holy Father.“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9With joy in our hearts, we returned to the airport and pastor Butsco drove us as VIP.

In the Mission Field – Ethiopia

Ethiopia was a monarchy for most of its history, and the Ethiopian dynasty traces its roots to the 2nd century BC. Ethiopia is also one of the oldest sites of human existence known to scientists today, having yielded some of humanity's oldest traces. Ethiopia has close historical ties with all three of the world's major Abrahamic religions. It was one of the first areas of the world to have officially adopted Christianity as the state religion, in the 4th century. Coptic Orthodox Christians make up 60% of the country's population. Many believe that the Gospel had entered Ethiopia even earlier, with the royal official described as being baptized by Philip the Evangelist in chapter eight of the Acts of the Apostles.“And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” Acts 8:26–39Ethiopia has many references in the bible.“Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” Psalms 68:31Pastor Henok Teshome from Evangelical waited for us and hosted us in a hotel in Debre Zeit not far from Addis Ababa and on March 4th, we met Ghetana Ghetana with his group of ministers and together we had a meeting. We planned many things to accomplish in a short time which was visiting orphanages, water wells, churches and other charitable work throughout Ethiopia. Brother Constantin Antemie wished that before doing anything else, we should meet a Romanian missionary in southern Ethiopia about 450 kilometers from the place we were in. I talked to Luminita and told her even though the time we had remaining was short, we would make it a priority to meet her, see her mission and bless her. We rented a car and Pastor Henok drove us towards Gedole near Arba Minch – a very desolated and deserted road. About half way there, Constantin Antemie asked Pastor Henok for us to call Luminita again. To our big surprise she answered that she had gone three hours ago to a government meeting. To our disappointment, we turned around and believed that God had a better plan in mind. Since we were very close to a town called Butajira and brought a lot of bread to the people that lived in huts. When I bought the bread I thought that we need to also share with them the Bread of Life. I asked pastor Henok if he knew any pastor in the town. He knew an evangelist and called him right away. In a few minutes he was right by our car and told us that they had a scheduled service tonight. After he showed us a very poorly constructed building of plastic and metal sheets, he brought us to a bigger church that was supposed to have a service that evening also. I asked evangelist Temoderos Kebede to bring us to deliver the bread to the huts. On the way to the huts, he said here is a prison of about 550 inmates. I told him that I am also involved in prison ministry and would like to minister to them but I had no approval from the Justice Minister. He told us that it was not a problem. He knows the guards and social worker there and they would be happy if someone comes and brings the Gospel to the inmates. I went right away to the prison and the guards and social worker were there and told us that we can the next day in the morning and start the service. That night, we returned to the church had a great service. A lot of people were delivered from the oppression of the devil and blessed with the Word of God. What a divine guidance! Bless the Lord when things don’t seem to go according to your plans and do not complain because He wants to bless many people through you. We wanted to bless one missionary and God led us to bless a multitude. The next day, we bought soap and bibles for the inmates and went to the prison as we setup with the director of prisons and the social worker. The social worker gave us a tour of the prison department and the inmates came to the prison yard and we ministered to them and handed them the goods. What a blessed day when God moved mightily in their hearts as holy changes, transformations and desires sprung up in them. Many of them surrendered their life to Jesus Christ and asked for forgiveness of their sins in the name of Jesus Christ. We share the Word of God and believe as Isaiah says: “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11Our team did their part in preaching and we left the results to the Lord. He will continue to work in them with His good purpose. In the book of Isaiah, God said concerning his chosen people Israel, that he would give nations for them. Ethiopia was one of the countries that the Lord promised to give Israel but now He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for the whole world to be saved. What a great promise all the nations of the world have.“For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee” Isaiah 43:3On the way back to Addis Ababa, we were stopped by a herd of camels guided by an evil man that came to us with a sword and asked for money. I sensed that this man can do damage to the car and asked the pastor to give him some money at which the pastor said that this man belongs to a tribe of murderers with evil intentions. He gave 100 of local money and the man moved the herd of camels out of the way. We arrived to the airport after a night’s rest in the Queen of Sheba hotel which reminded us of how the Queen of Sheba heard of the wisdom of King Solomon and went to see him. One greater than Solomon is with us that we can show His wisdom and wonderful purpose that He has for the human being all over the world. God orchestrates a plan of Salvation throughout the bible like a puzzle and we see more and more as His purpose comes true as it approaches its end. The strength of a man is displayed by how many people he helped in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ – that who may not be in the position to repay the kindness. The apostle Paul has told us that when all other experiences and virtues of humanity have been left behind, Faith, Hope and Love remain – but the greatest of those is Love. We need to be challenged, to search for the ultimate love and happiness and never settle for anything less. May God make us worthy and able to carry the torch of His passion and inspiration everywhere we go. We give God all the Glory and Honor for the way He guided us and motivated us to return to the book of Acts. Amen.

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team

  

Cuba

Hope for the Cubans

January 5th – 11th, 2012

Dear mission partners and friends,

A new year of blessing has arrived. The 21st century is described by amazing shifts that are taking place in our generation. What an amazing honor it is to be alive and serve God’s purpose in this generation. Edgar Garza and I had the opportunity to witness to a country that has been close to the Gospel for many years due to the political situation. The gospel of God’s Kingdom has been preached in the entire world as a witness (Matthew 24:14). With a humble heart, we want to thank God for the opportunity that he gave to us to refresh and bring hope to many churches in Cuba. God gave us favor and resources to impact and bring the message to renew their hope.

Cuba is an island that Christopher Columbus stated that this was the most beautiful land he had ever seen. In Cuba, everything is different from the rest of the world. It happened that ten years ago Rev. Robert Brown from Chaplains for Christ had obtained a religious visa to minister to the people of Cuba. He held seminars to inspire and motivate volunteer from churches to setup a prison ministry among the Cuban believers. At that time, access to the prisons for ministry was not allowed but due to a certain number of political events that took place and this facilitated more freedom to the Cubans. Pastor Alexander Santiesteban Fernandez attended the seminar ten years ago was very inspired and moved to take action and so he established Capillanes por Cristo in Cuba and he became the national president of the organization. Jacinto Jane, who resides in Miami, FL., used to pastor a few churches in Cuba for many years and had a lot of contacts in Cuba. He joined us in our mission to Cuba. We departed from Miami and after a very short flight we arrived to Habana (the capital of Cuba). The way we were welcomed into the country amazed us considering the communistic government. They did not search us or our bags and received us with smiles.

We departed to the city of Cotorro and even though we were very tired, we were invited to the church service at Iglesia de Dios de la Profecia that night, pastored by Moices E. Hernandez. Then we stayed at Brother Fermin Landana’s house overnight. Brother Edgar Garza shared his testimony about how God saved his life and how he keeps his fire alive that the Lord will save others by his testimony and sermons. I shared what God put in my heart to encounter God’s presence which will make a difference in the life of people. We were impressed with the love, passion for God and joy of the Lord that the people expressed.

After we rested in this town, we headed toward Camaguey city early in the morning. On our way to Camaguey we stopped at Ciego de Avila city and helped some people with needs. We arrived in Camaguey in the evening. Pastor Mariano from Iglesia El Paraiso (Paradise Church) welcomed us from his church home. We greeted that church and prayed that night with them. In the morning, we headed towards Holguin city. On our way to Holguin, we stopped at a town named La Manteca (the lard) where Pastor Jacinto Jane was a church pastor for eight years. We had the opportunity to stop at the local church to help them by giving them goods and money. La Manteca mainly consists of farmers. In the afternoon, we arrived at Holguin where we attended Iglesia El Buen Pastor which is pastored by Samuel Rebuyfero. At night, even though they were celebrating Christmas according to the tradition, the pastor allowed all three of us to greet the church. He treated us with dinner before the church service. There, we met Pastor Alexander and part of his Chaplains team of about twenty five volunteers. In the Chaplain office, the volunteers for prison ministry gave an amazing testimony of how the Lord opened the prisons for the Gospel and how every church participated in the Chaplaincy ministry. Some of the testimonies that were presented were:

A sister with a plastic leg claimed that even though she doesn’t have one of her real legs, she has both of her spiritual legs to serve the Lord as a volunteer in prisons by bringing the Gospel to the inmates. Another sister who was about seventy-two years old had a stroke and the doctors claimed that she would be unable to walk for long distances but she promised to the Lord that if she would get well, she would serve the Lord with all her heart. The Lord healed her and now she is dynamically involved in prison ministry. The Lord softened another sister’s heart who used to be one of the toughest prison guards in the Cuban prison system. Now she is born again with the fire and desire to transform other people’s lives.

One brother who gradually lost his sight became very depressed and was on the verge of committing suicide because he saw no purpose with his life. The Lord brought him through a series of events to know Him personally and get involved in prison ministry together with his wife. It was a great encouragement for us to challenge our own people to do something for the Lord to keep the fire and desire alive. Through any physical obstacles God’s grace is sufficient.

We spent that night in the city of Holguin and departed at 5 a.m. towards Camaguey and stopped by the town of Sibanicu where we visited Pastor Adrian Rodriguez an old friend of Pastor Jacinto Jane. We spent a few minutes overseeing the church installation. Pastor Adrian told us a story of a time when he rode his bicycle for 133 km in 6 hours to attend his church service. We arrive in Camaguey that evening and in the morning we attended a Chaplains gathering. About fifty Chaplain Volunteers attended the local Chaplain meeting. We encouraged and motivated them to fervently continue serving the Lord with passion and strong desire. During that meeting we met the previous national director of Chaplaincy in Cuba, Francisco (Pancho). Pastor Benjamin from Templo Aleluya (Hallelujah Temple) invited us to his church for Sunday service. This church is one of the largest churches in the Assembly of God. After the service, we got together with the Chaplaincy group and encouraged them through prayer and blessed them financially. We also gave some bibles to the church members because there is a great need of bibles in Camaguey since they claim that bibles are not allowed to be printed in the country.

Afterwards we departed towards La Habana, Cuba where we spent the night. In the morning we headed to Pinar Del Rio – Pastor Jane’s hometown. We then visited Iglesia Dios de la Proteccion which is pastored by Pastor Eliseo and helped a few needy people financially in the town of San Luis. We finally arrived in La Habana and the next day we visited the Cuban Superintendent of Assembly of God and he told us some history of the church of Assembly of God in Cuba, its growth and the changes they are currently facing. The same day, Pastor Moices Hernandez and brother Fermin took us to the airport where we headed back home.

As we started the year of 2012 in the mission field God promises blessings and great things that He has in store for us as we encounter His presence and seek His will first in obedience and submission. If He is for us, then who can be against us? Rejoice and unite with us as we continue to fervently serve our Lord Jesus Christ to whom belongs the Glory and Honor, Amen.

Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team