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