Mission Trip to Europe: Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Serbia & Romania
May 14th – June 15th, 2013
Together with my son Eli and Constantin Antemie were moved to have a mission trip in a few western and Eastern Europe countries. Eli was tired from the life in Chicago and his group of friends wanted to experience a different culture in Europe. Eli and I flew to Frankfurt from Chicago and met Constantin Antemie stayed there for a few days. We interacted with a few German groups of people. After our stay in Frankfurt, Germany, we flew to Copenhagen where our friend and famous Christian musician Alexandru Groza were waiting with his wife and picked us up from the airport. Our heart and desire was to reach the Romanian community that lived in Copenhagen and surrounding areas. It happened like in the time of Jesus where they were all busy doing different things in the matter of their life and we were not so successful to evangelize. Alex, our friend, told us that the hearts of people from Denmark became very cold for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These Romanian people that immigrated to the northern areas became very easily cold and indifferent to the Gospel while emerging into the Danish culture.
Together with Alex, we took the train from Denmark to Hässleholm, Sweden. Pastor Ioan Pitic welcomed us to his church and we ministered to the congregation there. It was such a blessing and celebration because a few people decided to follow Jesus and decided to be baptized in water. Alexandru ministered with a new song that he composed and I preached the word of God about the importance of living a life of holiness and sanctification before the Lord. In a distractive world and society especially like it is in Sweden where there are all kinds of immoral actions, people can enjoy victory and have a life of faith in Jesus Christ only with a firm commitment and devotion to the Lord. This principle is required all over the world but especially when living in 'Sodom'. From Sweden, pastor Ioan decided to follow us to Eastern Europe and ministered alongside us.
We flew from there to Budapest where a brother from Romania waited for us and drove us to Romania in the city of Timisoara. There, Pastor Dumitru Mot welcomed us to Elim Church where we ministered to the youth. Here in Timisoara, the youth are on fire for the Lord and so they came on Thursday night to hear the word of God. The next few days, pastor Mot drove us to the churches in the villages that need help with construction or remodeling. We were able to help a few churches with monetary donation. We also helped a few families that were in critical financial situations and had sick members in the hospital.
Pastor Mot borrowed us the church van and blessed us to go to Serbia (former Yugoslavia). I had a time of remembrance as I passed by the villages where I illegally crossed the border in June 25, 1987. As I was driving through those critical areas where I could be shot or caught by the police and army guards, I told my son about the sacrifice that I made to escape Communist Romania and was able to arrive to America's freedom. I remember the Birda Rail station (from where I departed towards the Partos border) where I first sensed the Hand of the Lord mightily manifested in my life. I shared the story with Eli and the group and pointed the dangerous spots where the Lord really protected me and the group at the time we were escaping. Now, we were freely and legally crossing the border of Moravita. Headed towards Belgrade, we first stopped to minister to the church in Vojvodinci (Voivodint) where descendants of Romanian people from nearby villages came together to hear the Word of God and to meet us. Before we left, we blessed the poor and helped the congregation to acquire a larger land that will be useful for large meetings outside and evangelistic purpose. We visited about 11 more churches in Banat, Serbia which had Romanian speaking members but two of them were close down unfortunately because of the lack of members. We prayed for revival in Serbia that the youth will get on fire for the Lord Jesus Christ and restore the churches that are weak or closed down. When we arrived to Belgrade, I remember the place where I stayed in a refugee camp. I visited the church in Belgrade and met some of the members. There are so many changes after 27 years. The country doesn't look the same because it went through a split that brought hardship and destruction. There were still a few destroyed buildings in the downtown area from the bombing in 1999. This reminded me about the prophetic words that were given by the Holy Spirit through Christian brothers that were in living in the refugee camp during the time I was in it. The prophecy was regarding the country nearly having a big destruction and would be split and blood will be spilled all over the country from a lot of youth. Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Kosovo were formed from former Yugoslavia Federation. This was the fulfillment of the prophecy; “Country destined for separation”.
On my way back to Romania, we stopped at Virset, Serbia and ministered to the church there. I also visited the prison where I was an inmate after I surrendered myself to the Yugoslavia authorities due to my successful escape. People were very happy to see my after 26 years coming back to those places and recognizing that it was a blessing for me because this was the way that I came to the United States. Pastor Pitic was a young missionary from one of the villages in Serbia and was supported by Sweden church to work with Romanian immigrants at that time. Arriving in Timisoara, we needed to split up due to a flat tire that happened suddenly as we argued where to minister that evening. Before departing to Yugoslavia, I promised Pastor Liviu Sav that I would minister to the church in Ghiroda but the other part of the team wanted to drive to Oradea. The Lord stopped us with a big screw which caused the flat and I was able to go to Ghiroda. The remaining members went to minister in Arad (closer than Oradea) because Pastor Lutu Tibei called them shortly after getting the flat tire. That night, I ministered to the people in Ghiroda and blessed them with the word of God and they rejoiced to see me again. In the morning, my friend Liviu drove me to Arad and met with the other part of the team at brother Lutu's house. We continued our way to Radauti and crossed into many villages and towns. After a long journey, we arrived at Goshen church in Radauti where we were expecting and ministered to the people there. In Radauti, we ministered to other churches and helped the poor people. We then headed to Vicov, a village where the Pentecostal movement grew very strong and multiplied. They had to extend the church building and we participated at the church dedication where a lot of ministers came from all over Romania.
When I arrived in the village of Satu Mare (where I was born), I found elderly people in a very distressful and bad living conditions due to the houses that were collapsing, raining inside them, mud and mold accumulating. This situation shocked me and the Lord impressed in my heart to start a house for the elderly. A couple years ago, we had a desire to build a kindergarten with a perspective to expand it into a school campus but all the steps and approaches we made to obtain the land were unsuccessful and the money that were sent were waiting in a steel company that was to supply rebar material for the foundation. Along with the board of Blessed Hope International Mission, we decided to convert the funds and start building the house for the elderly on the land that was donated by my parents to Nadejde Binecuvantata (a nonprofit organization) in Romania. The Blessed Hope International Mission board approved the project and so we started building the house in cooperation with Nadejde Binecuvantata. During my time in Romania, I was able to minister to many people from villages and towns and also from Piatra Neamt where Pastor Liviu Axinte is an overseer. I visited about 10 of his churches that are in construction and we helped them with supplying money for materials. We also ministered to the churches where he is responsible and performed the act of baptism for a new believer. The annual Romanian Mission Conference was set this year in Valea Draganului in a very remote place in Transylvania in a resort surrounded by vegetation. I remembered that I met George Ritisan (the president of Romanian Intercultural Mission) in 2012 (on my way to a mission trip to the Philippines) and he invited me to the annual RoMisCon. We drove with Liviu Axinte to Valea Draganului where we met a lot of missionaries that serve in other countries. Missionary school students from Agigea Constanta, Romania came to attend the conference and I was able to speak to and motivate them to continue working for the purpose that the Lord has called them. It was a great time of fellowship and interaction with a lot of people. On my way back to Suceava, I was able to stop in Campia Turzii to see Dina Muresan (my brother-in-law's mother) that we prayed for years ago – she was sick with cancer and the Lord healed her. The time passed by very fast as we were busy with activities throughout the whole mission trip.
As I was getting ready to leave towards Chicago, Eli got very upset and claimed that he didn't want to leave Romania anymore. He said he is tired of Chicago. He was right and so because of the sinful environment that was keeping him tired and heavy loaded, I let him stay in Romania and I returned to Chicago. As the time progressed, he changed the environment and encountered the Lord and decided to be baptized in water in August, 2013 in Betel Church in Radauti. It is true that the Lord calls people that are outside the camp of their busy life to speak to them. This was true with Abraham – God called Him to leave his country and go to another place. Another example is from Hosea 2:14; “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her.” God calls people out of their comfort zone or place of distraction to a place where He can be heard clearly and people can make a serious commitment to follow Him. This brought a new start and a new beginning with a real relationship and fellowship with the Lord. This makes the Lord sovereign over everything.
As I was leaving to the airport, I was invited to attend a wedding but had to give the invitation to my daughter Jessica and Sarah and my son Eli since they were not leaving right away. Jessica and Sarah joined us in the mission trip in the first week of June and together, we were able to visit a few poor families and help them with the money they brought to bless some people. At that wedding, Eli met Emilia and developed a relationship during his time there. What is interesting is that I was working with her father before I left the country in 1987 and he remained in the same place and got married later and had two pairs of twins and Emilia in between. During my charity trips to Romania, I visited them often times and blessed them financially. I left with Constantin Antemie and Jessica and Sarah came back shortly afterwards but Eli continued his life there.
“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