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|Go Ye Fellowship
is determined to be the ministry of choice for people of integrity who desire to provide the youth of Romania with the grace of the Gospel and hope for a better tomorrow.
|The education of the Romanian youth is our focus. We impart hope for this life and that to come|
|The urgency of our work is clear. We are primarily concerned with the present for these children are in risk of losing their future.|
|If we cannot do what we do through relationships and with integrity, we will not do it.|
|Our stance is clear and unmistakable. The reason for our work is the Glory of God.|
|Touching all of Southern Romania from centers in Timisoara and Curtea de Arges|
The Year of Our Lord 2000
Summer school begun.
doubles in size.
group & Bible study begun.
support network goes electronic.
Glimpse into Millennium 3
In May, I preached about the church at Antioch (Acts 11:20-30) and becoming known as God's people through the love we manifest for one another. It was another one of my series on Grace. The sermon was pretty well received even though I made some rather pointed statements, as I usually do.
There are a number of people who come from Repenter backgrounds and although they don't consider themselves as Repenters, they don't see them as a cult either. I asked the question, "For what are Repenters known?" The first thing that comes to people's minds is not "love" like it should if they were children of the God of Love. The dominant perceptions are "swindler", "non-smoker", "one who doesn't go to a disco." "Loving" would not be among the top 10 characteristics. The Repenters are the Pharisees of today's Romania and they try to fulfill the law, thinking that if they don't, they will lose their salvation. I said, if you want to fulfill the entire law, there is only way to do it, to believe in Christ and to LOVE.(Romans 13:1-10) Love is the first fruit listed in Galatians 5:22. I Corinthians 13:13 says that love is more important than faith or hope. Whereas many Repenters are afraid of God and teach that a wife should be afraid of her husband, I John 4:18 says "perfect love casts out fear." (After the sermon the wife of a church leader told me that there is nothing wrong if a husband beats his wife, "it is a family matter".) As you can see, there is a long way to go in bringing the Gospel to Arges, and I often feel like a voice crying in the wilderness, but the Lord's path is already made straight and I can rejoice that all things are possible through Him.
|Valea Iasului Hospital||"What are you here for?"
Valea Iasului TB Hospital saw its first summer school begin.
These harsh words greeted Florin, a 10-year-old with olive-brown skin and a radiant smile. I responded to the school teacher, that he was there for his computer class and I set him down to work. The mother of a future Orthodox priest, her jaw literally dropped as he started typing. "He's not even looking at the screen! How long has he been studying?"
"This is his third hour," I responded.
"Do you think my son can learn?"
"How old is he?"
Her son became the first paying student in the computer classes. (See page...) (We would like to thank TypingMaster for the donation of software.)
Then Mariana, a 9-year-old, came in.
"And what do you do with her?"
"We are reading the Bible together."
"That's impossible, last year I held her back from advancing because she can't even speak."
As Mariana read the book, the teacher was amazed. A few days later, the school director came and told me that he wanted me to run continuing education seminars with the teachers. I told him that first he has to motivate their interest in improving because most people erect psychological walls when they know I am a foreigner. We have no secret technique. I have no teaching degree. The difference is God's grace which fills the Christian and makes us care about their education. It is the same motive that causes you to be involved in this ministry. The children get treated by the medical assistants (which are not employed by the school) in ways we consider unsuitable treatment for dogs. Their lives are filled with the women's shouting, tearing down their personal effects, and installing fear by whipping the ground with a whip. The nurse will discourage them by telling them "The computer will make you sick." One teacher made the comment, "Oh, now Oana has a brain?" Or in front of them, they will tell us, "Don't waste your time with Mariana, she's got a birth defect." We encourage the children instead of discourage them.
We worked with those who were the most delayed in development. They are the children at risk, poor, and orphaned. However, Aurelia and I are more than teachers. We are friends to many of them and even have fought for their right for personal decorations for the walls above their beds. I told the director, "If the medical assistants treat them like animals, they will act like animals."
God gave man His Word to be practiced so that we would have fruitful lives. Using His guidance we can change the lives of the children. We are often erroneously given the credit for His ideas.
Aurelia has heard comments that her girls are better behaved and I have noticed that there is no more fighting in our classes (although we have to deal with the occasional punch thrown). Her Christian development class is now officially in the curriculum, possibly the first one in a public school. (Praise God!) My computer class has been adopted as well. I'm now praying for someone to teach the computer class full-time in my place
.Christmas Party for HIV Positive Children
|The work with children who are HIV-positive expanded
into a second hospital this year, as the Louis Turcan
Hospital began to benefit from our programs. Now, we have
dozens of children rotating through the hospital to
receive daily education, counseling, and Bible education.
Often, in addition, we have the opportunity to serve them
with medication, to bathe them, and to hold them
accountable for personal hygiene.
When the Romanian government refused to pay for the medications for the children with more advanced cases of AIDS, Go Ye Fellowship supporters stepped in with over 70 bottles of Ritronovir, valued at close to $20,000. It was a beautiful act which demonstrates the love which God's people have for the less favored children of the world. With overhead costs under 2%, it was as efficient as it was effective.
|Community Education||Evangelistic English lessons have continued and the
weekly group remains the size I prefer for one-on-one
work, four to eight children. As Evangelistic English
lessons bore fruit,
we began a small youth group and bi-weekly Bible study
with an average of three children attending. These
children of Orthodox backgrounds have heard the Gospel and have had a
chance to response. We will begin basic Christian
studies. From here, we pray that, as
school begins, word will spread and this group will grow
to 4-8 children as well.
The Sunday evening worship service with older people from Repenter backgrounds has become a Bible study. The reasons reflected the group's needs and my talents. We are studying one of the basics of the Gospel (Hebrews 6:2), the laying on of hands. This is the third Bible study Gelu and I've started to minister to Repenters.
Introducing the Gospel and grace among them has not been easy. But, we have seen some fruit. To my knowledge, the only open pulpit in town is at the house church where I preach. They are skeptical at first, but generally receptive. Florin had a life-changing experience with grace and witnessed powerfully one Sunday of how God changed him from judgmental and legalistic to realizing the value he and others have in God's eyes. I praise God for the opportunity to present the Word of liberty to those 15 individuals.
Computer classes logged in success as we hired a summer worker, Gelu, to grow the work. Three students which graduated typing from classes in 1999 increased to eight this year. Two students have learned Microsoft Word and have moved on to the new Excel class. Our prayer is to find a Christian employee that has initiative, sales skills, and technical knowledge to expand this work and make it self-sustaining. A knowledge of the Gospel, capitalism, and computer are three rarities in Romania, but we know God is up to the challenge of locating the right person. It's just a matter of His timing.
Additionally, as described above, a branch laboratory was initiated at the tuberculosis hospital. There, a typing class has begun and a train-the-trainer program is scheduled in Word for next year. This will make computer classes available to orphans and the poorest of the poor from all of southern Romania.
|In this last year of the millennium, we
established the Missionary Assistance InterNetwork.
There are two branches to this work. 1. The eAddress Book and 2.WWW Best Practices Guide
Many have noticed the glaring lack of ethics in the Romanian churches but nobody has organized a movement to address this problem. Other networking efforts have not requested any type of ethical statement from those in their database. The eAddress Book was established with certain criteria. First, those in th-eBook must agree to follow Jesus Christ as the Lord of their lives. Secondly, they must accept that the Body of Christ includes believers in all denominations, including Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant. Although there is no policing of the groups yet to ensure that the participants adhere to these criteria, this is a seed that should give genuine believers a group of peers with whom to communicate more effectively. Over 100 missionaries are listed. While other groups seek a large listing, we are seeking ethical quality, so our objective is not to impress you with a large number of entries in the book.
The Best Practices guide is on the Internet at www.Liv-n-LetLiv.net/howdoyou.html . Four WebPages take some of the mystery out of some of the legal aspects of working in Romania. We have even been able to assist people with legal problems in the neighboring Republic of Moldova.
My vision and prayer for this program is to find another Christian worker to develop a policing arm for the eAddress Book and secondly, to train someone to take on the technical aspects of WWW work.
The children with AIDS to whom we minister daily stare the Grim Reaper in the face. We translated and published 100 copies of a booklet called "Daca trebuie sa mor, daca trebuie sa traiesc" addressing the emotional needs of children facing death. The booklet addresses the prospect of death and eternal life with the Lord. For them and for their parents, we have attached the Campus Crusade "Four Spiritual Laws" in Romanian in the back of the booklet.
As if you are not already tired of hearing about Millennium 3, I'm going to present our projections for the future of Go Ye's ministry here in Romania. Our vision remains the same. We plan to realize it by assisting in:
|In addition to what is established, the
programs that we think fit into this vision are:
Millennium 3 will have its challenges and opportunities. Through God we can make the best of both. We thank you for your participation in this ministry. It is an exciting era.