Divine Guidance to Pentecostal Theological Seminary and Mission in Cleveland, TN.
June and July, 2013
Apostle Paul says in the book of Ephesians, that God does more than what we ask or think about. “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” Ephesians 3:20
On January 1st, 2013, at midnight, I reminded the church that God has better things for us that believe His Word. We just need to move forward and not look backwards. I read and take as a motto the following verse:“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
I believe that God calls His people into higher places where we can see what He has in store for us more clearly. I believe with all my heart that we as Christians are seated in heavenly places in Christ and in this place; we can offer our sacrifice of righteousness. I believed that God has something for me that I could not see and I need to go higher and deeper into His intimacy of relationship. As I was seeking to find His will for my life and ministry this year and while donating to a seminary student, I received a letter of thanksgiving and while I opened and read the letter, the Holy Spirit moved me mightily to call and enroll in a master program and mental health counseling. I was full of excitement after receiving this diving revelation and guidance. A few minutes later, I was called by a graduate student from this seminary that confirmed and gave me instruction how to proceed to attending the seminary program while having a family, business and mission. His instruction was to take J terms (January, June and July) along with online classes throughout the year. At the same time, I received an invitation from a friend in Nashville, TN to visit a church there. I was confident that the Lord was guiding me to something new that I had not planned for or thought about.
I asked my son, Eli, to join me since he had just graduated from high school. We drove to Nashville together with Johnny Brici and Manole from God Will Provide Organization. When we arrived to the Seminary’s campus, I met Ghita Florentin (a Romanian who held a Masters in Divinity from this Seminary). He helped me with the application and gave me all the necessary information. After the process was done, I was admitted to start the Seminary program in June 2013. Because that campus also has a University in it, I asked Eli to enroll in the college there but he refused saying that it isn’t for him. I took a picture of the campus with him in it. I prayed that the Lord will reveal Himself to him and come to Salvation and realization of the hidden treasure in store for him. Starting the Seminary was such a great experience and blessing because I met a lot of students from different backgrounds that shared their own personal experiences with God. The teachers had such a wealth of information and education throughout the courses that I had. I was able to visit the churches throughout Cleveland. I visited Destiny Community church, Cross Point church, Cleveland church of Evangelical Faith, North Cleveland Church of God, New Covenant church and Voice of Evangelist which also does prayer on Tuesday nights in the attic of a barn and connects to the whole world via a camera. I was so impressed by the mighty manifestation of the Holy Spirit in this humble place where people come with expectation to pray for the whole world. To my surprise one day, I met Pastor Boris Balan (an Ukranian that speaks Romanian and has people that speak Romanian in his congregation). I was invited to speak to the youth and minister to them. I also visited people that were sick in the Cleveland area and brought communion to them.
To conclude; praising the Lord for His guidance to the Seminary in the journey to complete my Master program in mental health counseling in order to prepare myself professionally to be able to help other people in their distress.
Rev. Constantin Lupancu
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
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
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
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