Mission Trip to Portland, Oregon
March 9th – 15th, 2013
Together with my son, Eli Lupancu, we had the privilege to visit Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian churches located around the Portland area. Our purpose was to see the site and work done by ‘God Will Provide Mission’ among those that are lost due to their narcotic addiction. We were motivated by Pastor Peter Nakhaychuk when he visited our mission here in Chicago and communicated his vision and desire to also begin a recovery center in our city (similar to the ones they have in Portland, Sacramento and throughout other countries). Lidia, my sister who lives in Portland with her husband, picked us up from the airport and accommodated us in their home. Portland is a city with a lot of Romanian and many other diverse communities. On Sunday morning, I visited Betel Church where my brother was ordained as a minister last year. In the afternoon, I began my visit to the Russian community and I visited the church of ‘God Will Provide Mission’ where about five hundred people gathered together in the afternoon in a rented church building from the Lutherans. Pastor Peter started this church seven years ago with five small families and a vision to reach the youth and those that have no purpose in this life. The Lord attracted many youth people and also those that need recovery from intoxication with narcotics. The Holy Spirit of God moved among them and ignited the passion and a new desire to seek the Glory of God who liberates and transforms lives from inside out. The words spread out quickly through Russian and Romanian communities and people came with a hunger to seek God and fulfill their destiny. I myself have sensed the hand of God move very powerfully in the lives of the youth (mostly of them being addicted to drugs but now have become addicted and attached to the presence of God – seeking Him with all their heart).After I arrived in the church, Pastor Peter asked me to greet the church and have a short word. I have preached on the endurance that develops purpose – which develops passion – which develops into perspective – which then changes the way that we think and see life. God touched lives and I was so connected with the congregation who listened through their open ears and eyes. I saw this youth when we exhorted them in prayer – they were so devoted and hungry to fill their soul with God’s presence and power that energized them to walk toward their destiny (having nothing and no one to stop them from reaching a high level of living in God’s presence). God directed my feet to meet a young Romanian leader named John Brici who was recovered years ago from drug addiction and a bad lifestyle. This young man had such devotion for God and for the mission and he had just arrived from Kenya where he started a church building project and orphanage.“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 1:27One month ago, I shared a contact with John (Peter Kamau; an evangelist from Kenya) who was a really great help and encouragement for their work there. Now, he is in Portland for a few weeks to present their project to other churches and raise funds to finish building them. For the night service, I visited another Romanian-Ukrainian church and John Brici gave a testimony how the Lord worked in his life and gave him a purpose to live and pursue God’s desire which is to spread the Gospel and work with charity.“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up..” 1 Corinthians 13:4The church had their topic from the book of Romans 11:11 – “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”After the church heard the sermon followed by a testimony of a boy who had no purpose, was addicted & is now being transformed by God and motivated to do the work of God that some of the church members do. Having become lazy & formal (not really doing anything for God other than simply attending church), they felt jealous of this boy’s recovery & how God uses him (& others like him with marginalized lives) and they felt eager to take action because they provoked & motivated them to wake up and raise themselves from their routine & lethargic life. This was Jesus’ invitation and call to the Jew to do their work; but having not responded, He sent His servants to other people that had no direction in life.“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23It is God’s desire to use people for the purpose that He made them for – but when they fail to synchronize their life with God’s will, they feel like they are like the ones walking on highways and hedges in no particular direction and so this church was encouraged to move for the purpose that God has for them. As human beings, if we do not devote ourselves daily to God and make Him our highest priority for living, we might feel entrapped by our flesh and our doubtful way.“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24I encouraged the church to keep the holiness and Godliness in their life and actions because we are changed and transformed by God’s nature as long as we keep His presence in us which gives us supernatural “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..” Galatians 5:22-23Another illustration that Jesus used was by comparing our God-filled life & the fruits of the Spirit, as the flavor of salt that preserves and makes things better.“Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?” Luke 14:34We do not have nothing Godly in us alone without God’s presence and His connection to our spirit that works in us and transforms our mind and our body to become Godly to fulfill God-given purpose and destiny.“For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” Romans 11:32
The next day, we visited an elderly brother; Williams Waltz whom God used mightily during his time in the ministry (of about fifty years) and now he refuged himself in some mountains for prayer and quality time with God where he lives with his wife over ninety years old and some other family. We were very inspired to see and hear this man at his old age – yet full of energy from the Holy Spirit – testifying the miracles that God worked through his ministry in the past. While he was giving facts from his testimony on how God healed and manifested His glory during the services in the Africa continent, India, Ukraine, the Holy Spirit came upon him and he had a word of prophesy for me to continue to keep my life pure and the Lord is going to use me and the ministry mightily and will bring many youth that will surrender to the Lord completely and serve Him sincerely. The youth currently live in a very chaotic and stressful condition in our society and the answer is only by changing the goals and purpose of their hearts & humanity; in seeking peace, love, unity and respect for whole human rights of all races and nations. This change of life must come from a change of heart. So our life’s greatest goal is to change man’s heart and mind into a wholesome desire to love and respect others in the human society. This will only happen when a person acknowledges his need of help and it is then an opening of heart and mind to real truth that can make life’s greatest goal become a reality. Jesus’ first teaching on getting set free of the evil heart and mind of the sinful nature of mankind is to have the experience of being born again as it is written in John’s 3rd chapter.“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
This old man prayed for all of us to be filled with the Holy Spirit and even my son Eli (who is not yet a believer) felt the presence of God who shook his body. This trip was an inspiration and refreshment of the vision that God gave me twenty years ago when he called me out of the darkness to His marvelous light to work in bringing Hope for the youth and hopeless. This is possible only through a born again experience or new spiritual birth because our humanity’s nature is depraved. This visit of the churches and the God Will Provide Mission sites (of two buildings for males and one for females) in Portland, manifested itself to me (in a real way), the experience to be born again where people from one extreme of being addicted and slaves to Sin, received a new heart and a new spirit that gives a new wholesome purpose and a positive attitude towards life. These people that I visited in these recovery centers have received a new heart and a new spirit given by the Lord Jesus as He promised in the book of Ezekiel.“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:25-27I learned a lot about their testimony from the people that I saw there as they were brought towards life’s greatest goal – which is to have an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3I also visited Philadelphia Romanian Church in Portland where I also reacquainted with some old friends. This trip was an orientation to what God is doing when people understand to serve others which will bring faith and happiness to them. This determined us to think even though it is hard to cast ourselves aside and carry others’ burdens, help others to be recovered and restore them to the purpose that God made them; and always think towards serving our fellow brethren.God willing, we are ready to partner with God Will Provide Mission to open and operate a center in Chicago and to launch a service in the English language for the youth in our community and church. Our greatest goal is to bring others to a personal and intimate relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. To Him belongs the Glory and Honor forever and ever. Amen!
Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team