Mission Trip to Romania and Ukraine
May 5th – June 11th, 2014
Dedication of the new Elderly Nursing Home – Chritian Social Blessed Hope (Nadejde Binecuvantata)
I want to thank God for what He is doing when we are moving in obedience according to His Will. It is always important to move where God moves first and be blessed by the Work that He is already doing. In the last twenty seven years, I was blessed to visit Romania many times for the purpose of mission and charity. Our goal and purpose was to reach families in distress, hopeless or broken from all over the country. Whilst travelling all over the country after the revolution, I could see the effects of the former communist regime that ran the country from 1965 to 1989 and that motivated me to do something for the poor and needy. Years ago, we had a plan to construct a school center in Romania. After making a lot of efforts to obtain a prime land from the government in the city of Radauti, our efforts were not granted by the government. When I visited Europe and Romania in May/June 2013, I passed through my village and my eyes were opened to see the elderly that were ignored living in houses that were collapsing. A lady approached me and asked me with a soft tone, “Are you not doing something for us?” I was very touched by her voice and moved with determination to do something for the first time in the village where I was born despite the attitude that I had when I departed Romania (deciding not to return to or visit this country again). The Lord changed me and I visited it many times with this purpose – bringing hope to the hopeless. Due to the attitude and cruelty of the people from this village, Satu Mare, I told my parents to move from that area permanently because of the theft and other crimes. When you are serving the Lord, you have to move in obedience where the Lord moves and so He moved me to start a house project for the elderly. Since we donated the money already for the school project, the BHIM and Nadejde Binecuvantata boards both approved to start the project on the land that my parents donated to Nadejde Binecuvantata Association years ago. With determination not to change the plan, we met the mayor of the city and architect from the village and told them of our plan. The officials welcomed and agreed with this project so the construction company was hired and the work began. When I had a visit in October, they already had poured the foundation and built the structure because the winter weather was still favorable and they were able to continue with the interior. In the month of February 2014, my sister Tabita and my brother in law Cornel Muresan (treasurer of BHIM), called me and asked when we will do the inauguration of the center. This motivated us to accelerate the work and finish by June 7th, 2014 which was also the date that Cornel planned to visit Romania with his family. This date accommodated my schedule due to the fact that I had a school seminary to attend and other obligations. God orchestrated everything and I departed from Chicago with my father and Pavel Sav on May 5th. Arriving in Bucharest, our team separated – My father and I went to Satu Mare and Pavel Sav went to Timisoara. When I arrived in Satu Mare, the work had advanced rapidly. I could use my BHIM credit card to purchase the materials from Radauti for the finishing touches from a warehouse named Olint. I stayed in the house and worked from the morning until late evening and coordinated everything according with our plan. I fenced the property all around with an iron fence.
When I decided to build the nursing home in the back of the old house behind the barn, I noticed there was a problem with the access to the house and I talked to my uncle Valerian (who owns the land nearby) to allow us to pave a path; which he agreed to. However, after we started building the house, he changed his mind. The Lord gave me wisdom to open the barn and have access to the house through the barn. Despite the plan of others that wanted to destroy the barn, I convinced them to open a driveway and keep the barn to raise chickens because the elders that we will help will be sheltered and fed here. On some evenings, I preached in Satu Mare and the nearby villages (Voitinel, Bilca and Vicov). I also went to Timisoara where I preached to the church in Ghiroda and attended a service where Hristic Mission was celebrating 16 years of musical ministry and charity. On May 27th – 30th, I attended RoMisCon of APME (Agentia Penticostala de Misiune Externa) in Calimanesti Caciulata, Valea Oltului. At this conference, I met a lot of Romanian missionaries that are working all over the world. I was able to speak to them and motivate them to continue the good work because the reward is great for those that don’t give up. To my surprise, I met a pastor that was attending high school in 1977 in Sibiu where I met him but have not seen him again since then. After the conference, I passed through Cluj where my brother in law Cornel and Tabita and his family came from Chicago. Together with them came the VP of BHIM, brother Edgar Garza. We had a great time in Cluj with his family and departed to Bucovina and arrived at midnight in the northern part of Bucovina in the village Nisipitu.
Great Work in Satu Mare (the Grand Village)GOD Still Performs Miracles Today!!
From the time that I sensed the call of God to mission, I consider this a great privilege and responsibility and I based on clear vision that must be fulfilled with much passion. I learn to seek and depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and cooperate with God in all my mission trips that God moved and empowered me to join Him in on the work that He was doing in so many places around the world. When I left communist Romania in the summer of June 1987, never thinking or hoping that I would return back to the country or the village where I was born and raised in. However, God has His way of changing and transforming our stubbornness and mentality. After my born again experience and baptism in the Holy Spirit in the Chicago Southside Romanian Church of God my first desire and affection was to go back to Romania and give my testimony of my changed life to my family, neighbors and the village where I first heard about God. Since my first visit in Romania in 1990, I have seen the hand of God moving and guiding me to join God in the work that He was doing throughout Romania changing lives in prisons, jails, helping the poor and needy many times. Through my all the trips to Romania I have joined God in building churches in many villages and cities around the country, but never thought of any project to be done in the village of Satu Mare (close to Ukraine border). As I visited the poor and elderly people last year, I was moved by the words of a very old widow whose house was with a damaged roof and the structure beyond repairs. “Can you do something for us, the old people that live in damaged homes?” she asked. I was moved to tears by her words and the Holy Spirit moved me with determination to start a home for the elders and those without shelter. I decided the same day and contacted the village architect for blue prints and city permits to build the house for elders on the land that my parents donated to Blessed Hope International Mission (BHIM) years ago. Now God was doing something new for the elderly. With the funds that the Lord had provided years ago, the home was built and finished on June 7th, 2014, the day of inauguration, dedication to the Lord, and the day when the elderly came in very happily and moved in. Our team that came from USA together with the local church had prepared for this event with fervent prayer and fasting pleading and asking God to move and attract many unsaved people to hear the gospel of good news. In spite of the big opposition and ignorance, God’s hand moved and mobilized over 250 peoples that responded to come and were stirred up in their soul by an atmosphere of music, and the word of GOD was preached like words of fire that melted the frozen hearts. Almost everyone was touched and blessed by God’s mighty presence. Those that participated in the service were pastors and leaders from different churches around the country. To name a few; Liviu Axinte – overseer of Moldova Pentecostal Church, pastor Stefan Morar from Radauti Maranata Church, Viorel Bordei that was born in Satu Mare but is currently a pastor in Radauti, Constantin Moisa from Bucharest former Orthodox priest, Bogdan Ionescu from Ploiesti. Lidia Rascol an 82-year-old lady that resides in Detroit but works with poor people in Vaslui, pastor Ilioi from Phoenix Arizona, singer Costel Busuioc from Timisoara, Dorel Pantea with Hristic Worship Group from Timisoara, Petrica and Filon Moloceniuc from Radauti that had a very big contribution during the construction project, and other leaders from the local church of Satu Mare.
On the next day, Sunday June 8th, the day of Pentecost, I decided to attend the local church with the desire to build a strong relationship between the church and the Christian Center for Elderly. On this day, I was surprised by the Lord like never before in my walk with Him. At the service that morning Adina Nistor (a lady from another village) attended our church service for the first time. She was crippled due to a car accident that happened 2 years ago in which her sister in law died in the car accident. This woman that came that morning to the house of prayer came with her crutches to the altar as I made the invitation for the sick and needy to come with expectation to approach the throne of grace and mercy and I would pray for them. As I joined them in prayer with the church in unity I saw the portal of heaven open and the glory of God manifesting and touching people. I was part in a service that is hard for me to describe. I was not even preaching on the topic of healing, because it was a Sunday when we remember the event of Pentecost with its demonstration and experience “Jesus went up and Holy Spirit came down”. When the glory of God touched the body of the woman supported by the crutches, she raised her hands toward haven in a sudden praise to the Lord for what she felt was happening in her body, forgetting about the crutches that supported her body and help her to move about. As she raises the arms the crutches got loose and fell on the floor. While praying for her and being a witness of all this confirmation and demonstration of the healing power, I was moved and compelled to grab her hand instantly and encouraged her to continue exercising faith looking at Jesus (like Peter waking on the seawater), standing on her feet jumping up and down (without the help of the crutches) to the back of the church and returning back to the altar where she came to thank the Lord for her miraculous healing saying: “I thank God, I thank God.” All of the church was moved to tears and revived the life of their spirit in the Holy Spirit.
The most moving testimony was when she described in her own words when she said how surprised she was when she felt the surge of the Holy Spirit’s real warmth, not imaginary. She actually felt her legs on fire (during the prayer). She felt astonished as the heat surged throughout her body; she was moved with excitement to lift her hands towards heaven and forgetting about her crutches. The cloud of magnificent splendor changed the condition of this woman and brought revival to the church that never experienced such a move of God’s power. After this healing experience, Adina went and visited many churches and testified what the Lord has done to her. I spoke with her a few weeks ago on the phone and full of joy and great thanksgiving she said, “I am so happy to walk and run like before the accident.” Adina was totally released and restored from her conditions and completely healed by the power of the Holy Spirit confirming the words and works of the gospel with signs and wonders. We can continue to keep the declaration that great work started and is growing in Satu Mare and not only there but also everywhere where people proclaim a declaration by faith and believe that the power of God is greater than every sickness, difficulty or any other adverse circumstances.
Nothing can replace the joy of seeing others come to know our amazing God and no great fulfillment comes in our life until we find our self doing and working for the purpose of what God created you to do. Our desire is to show everybody that it is possible to have a vibrant and passionate life for Jesus Christ and to give to the people around the world a flavor of what the Christians were doing in the book of Acts when they were working together with the Power of the Holy Spirit to reach the lost and help the needy. If people can get close to God and a hold of God’s heart, they can influence and change a community through mobilization of others to care for their community and reach others for Christ. For this purpose, it is going to take men and women who see their life as purposeful for Jesus Christ and not for their self. This will elevate them for influence to do the greater things God has called them to do.
“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 3:20-21
Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team
Mission Trip and Evangelism in Romania
October 9th – October 18th, 2013
My mother's illness got worse and her suffering ended when she passed into Glory on October 3, 2013. This reminded me of the wishes of my father when they immigrated to the USA in 1992. He told me the story of Jacob when he left their land and moved to Egypt because of the famine. When Jacob died, his son Joseph brought the body to be buried in the native land and at the same time, Joseph told his descendants that when the Lord will visit them and they will move to their native land, to take his bones and bury them there. My father told me that he and his wife don't want to be buried here in the adopted land. Honoring their desire, I decided to travel to Romania and bury her body there. I used this as an opportunity to evangelize in Romania especially to my Orthodox family that walked into a Pentecostal church. We had a wake of one night at Golgotha Church in Chicago where family and friends were able to visit and hear the word of God preached by 12 pastors from Chicago and other US churches. My father, Viorica, Rodica, Samuel, Viorel, Lidia and I traveled to Romania and arrived there on October 9, 2013. Since the news spread quickly about my mother's body being brought to Romania, almost the entire village came to attend the wake and the funeral the next day. Since my parents donated their own home to a nonprofit organization and the house was being used by a family, there was no place to lay her body. The Pentecostal church board of members decided to receive the body inside the church and allow the services to be held there.
My mother loved the word of God preached by Godly people and she always ran to the churches when she heard that some preachers were coming. The Lord honored her desire at the wake and funeral for about twenty-five speakers shared their heart with the crowd. Some of them walked for the first time in the Pentecostal church just to see the body and coffin that was brought from the USA. Seeing so many attendees, I said this was the best way to evangelize because even though I had brought evangelist and missionary speakers and was never able to attract the whole village in the 70 times I have visited Satu Mare in the past 26 years. After the funeral, I was able to help the poor and needy from the village and we offered a lunch in the name of the Lord for all that attended at the place of Radu Muresan's restaurant (across from the house where she lived).
I visited the elderly house in construction and Pavel Sav came from Timisoara to be with us and visited the project of the elderly home. At my mother's funeral, I met Emilia who came with her parents and Eli. Two days after the funeral, since the relation was going well, I talked to the parents and we agreed to have a formal engagement at my cousin Florin's restaurant. Pavel Sav, my friend that came from Chicago, led the procedure of engagement and friends and family attended. The rest of the days, we ministered to churches and families in need. As I was departing from Satu Mare to the Bucharest airport, I was called by Pastor Florin Mitrig to meet missionary Ovidiu Pater that came from Kalahari Namibia and wanted to meet me and Pavel Sav as he was going towards Timisoara to continue with the mission. It was a great time meeting and sharing with Ovidiu and he made us an invitation to visit Namibia, Africa in the month of January 2014. I told him I would pray about it and let the Lord guide us. All of us returned back to the USA, even though we lost our mother, we have the insurance that we will see her again in heaven. We have the fulfillment that the mission was accomplished because, at her funeral, many people that we could not reach before attended and heard the word of God. We praised the Lord who gave us strength and comfort to do His work even through sad circumstances. His name is Glorified for all of these works. I conclude this report with the words of Apostle Paul; “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” Philippians 1:20.
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
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
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
Mission Trip to Romania
September 6th – 19th, 2011
Dear mission partners and friends,
Early in the morning we drove toward Suceava and arrive in the afternoon. At night, we ministered at a church in Balcauti. The church in Romania was so happy to meet for the first time, Pastor Potop Vasile from Pakistan and Pastor Clifton White. We ministered to about 50 inmates in a prison in Botosani the next day. Potop Vasile from ‘New Life’ accompanied us and made arrangements for approval and entrance to prisons throughout. We gave hygienic gifts to the inmates and prayed for them. Some of them surrendered their life to Jesus Christ while others that I’ve met before in previous trips and they are faithful to the gospel and growing in faith. After the prisons we went to the Patria Orphanage and visited the children and Director Mircea Boldea. We also visited an old friend Daniel Turcoman and his family. From there we went to Radauti, Bucovina where they were hosting an ordination service where Brother Ghita Crasnean was ordained as a deacon exhorter. After the ordination there was an extended night of prayer. We helped a few poor families in that region. Later, we met again with Mihaiuc, a brother that was diagnosed with severe leukemia in August 2006 and had no chance of living within months according to doctors (when I first met him in London and prayed for him in the hospital). God healed him while he was in London and he is now married with two children and lives in Adelaide, Australia!
Tuesday morning on our way to Radauti, we stopped in Slobozia where we were called to pray for a friend named Sorohan who then gave his life to Jesus Christ. In Radauti we stopped at our relatives and friends’ houses; Petru and Otelia Moloceniuc, Catalin Sireagu our affiliates and partners in the mission field in Romania. After lunch we headed toward Putna – a legendary village with monasteries and historical sights. We had a prayer meeting there at a family’s house. On the way back to Suceava, we stopped in Radauti where the Suceava Chief of Police who is born again came to meet us and exchanged badges with Pastor Clifton also a Chaplain for the Police of Beloit,
Sunday morning and night, we ministered again at Maranata Church and the messages were so powerful and the hearts of people were opened. Pastor Nathaniel Barkat spoke of “A sleepless church”; encouraging the church to be awake and not sleepy which was a revival message and refreshed the first love for Jesus Christ. “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” Matthew 13:24-25.
We prayed for the people and anointed the sick with oil. I spoke about “..for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10. At night, Pastor Clifton and I preached the Word of God on the topic “Words have power” encouraging the people to be careful of what words they choose to speak.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21
We are ambassadors who represent Christ in all circumstances to reflect Christ’s character. Love and compassion flow out naturally when we show people love. They feel the love of God themselves. It is our prayer that we redeem our time efficiently choosing to share God’s mercy with others and in doing so, God will grant mercy to our self. Let’s actively strive for the blessings Jesus promised in his famous Sermon on the Mount; “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7.
Rev. Constantin Lupancu together with the Blessed Hope International Mission Team.