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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|
Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2001
Summer school begun.
Work continues through an alliance with Greater Europe Mission
Youth group and English, computer, and Bible lessons study continue.
Integrity InterNetwork prospers.
|A Glimpse into 2002
On one side, you have those who believe that what is most important is what you know. If you know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, then you will get to Heaven. It doesn't matter if that is the Way you follow as long as you mentally assend to the idea. You will here these people say, "The Orthodox and Catholics are not with us because they think they can talk to Mary and the dead."
On the other side are the love-focused. They believe that all who love the Lord above all else are saved. You are in the family of God based on whom you are following. They accept believers of all denominations. They love their knowledge-focused brothers but don't accept their knowledge. This makes the love non-reciprocal.
I will take a stab at apologetics and hope to explain why the knowledge-focused theology is unscriptural, harmful, and repeatedly a failure in society after society.
Why is there a need for this discussion? From the seat of a middle-to-upper class American white female, you probably wouldn't even have considered the question relevant until September 11, 2001. The churches in the USA has basically rediscovered its biblical roots with some notable exceptions--pockets of legalistic prejudism. The time of change coincided with the civil rights movements of the 60's and the love generation of the 70's. Christians born in that era grew in very different from their parents in the World War years. The racist, sexist, religious churches died off and have been slowly replaced by ecumenical grace-loving groups. Groups of which I was a member included the Navigators, InterVarsity, Officer's Christian Fellowship, and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. For them, a person's thoughts (and hence denominiational preference) were much less significant in their salvation than a decision "for Christ", "to follow the way," "to be born again," or any other phrase indenominational time and place.
America is a mission sending country and that makes all the difference in the religious climate. The missionaries that are sent from any country more religious than their home country as a whole. Sociological studies give us the etiology of this phenomenon: the more religious and legalistic a group is, the more money and resources go to mission works--the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Brethren. Their beliefs may be vastly different as these three will argue they are, but their degree of religious fervor for those beliefs is similar. Fervent extremists impact the world much more than the moderates, as Moslems are quick to point out after the September actions of Osama bin Laden.
The battle of interest is pertinent in the countries where these religious zealots are now being presented with the Gospel of God's grace. People are leaving the knowledge-focused legalistic groups en masse, and this has drawn the retribution of those faithful to their cause. We will see why soon.
God prefers a love-focus Skip to Society prefers love to knowledge
The first commandment of our Savior, Jesus Christ, is to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." The second is to "love your neighbor as yourself."(v. 31) We see in this passage a scribe who affirms the truth of Jesus's words. A knowledge-focused person would consider him saved, but does Jesus? No. He says, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." Deciding to actually follow Jesus in these commandments is he would have entered the Kingdom, the blood of Jesus covering the times he strayed,(I John 1:7) which we all do.(Romans 3:23) No works could ever achieve this.(Ephesians 2:8-9) Other Scripture confirms that salvation comes by a change of "heart", the Greek symbol for "will".(I John 1:6; 2:3; 3:24; 5:1-5, 11-12, 18; Luke 9:23-24; Matthew 7:21-23 19:16-26; Mark 8:34-35; II Timothy 2:11-12) There is no place in the Holy Scriptures stating that you are saved by correct thinking, in fact we saw that Jesus refutes this.
The knowledge one needs is that you come to saving faith by loving the
Lord above all else and accepting His blood sacrifice for your sins.
The results of this step of faith are knowledge and works as love motivates
you to read His Word and obey. If not, your faith is dead.(James
A person is not generally attracted to others because they are intelligent. However, one is attracted to people who love him. Take marriage, for example. Few women marry a man because he is smart but because he pays attention to her and makes her feel loved. Men are even less attracted to smart women because of the male ego. (In fact, statistics show that marriages where the woman has more education are more likely to end in divorce.) Knowing this, God commands a wife to love with her works and a man to love his wife (Ephesians 5:22,25), not to increase in knowledge. That comes with time and loving care. Let us investigate the workplace now. Studies show that intelligence is less likely to please a supervisor than good interpersonal skills. Even success in academia is more dependent on making your advisers feel important and loved than on how much you learn. + So, you see, in all of the secular world love is much more attractive than knowing the right thinking. Now, let us turn back to the spiritual realms. Degreed pastors with poor interpersonal skills are not as successfull in building a following than are loving yet misled ones. This largely explains the phenomenal success of the Mormons.
Church growth prefers love to knowledge Skip to Our role in the renaissance
For an understanding of the religious climate here in Romania with regards
to personal purity, read my article "Romanian
Faiths and Their Affect on Purity"
For more information on how Repenters are affecting Romania, read Historical Parallels: Romania (Century XXI) v. Portugal (Century XVII) +++
+ For more on this topic, read Emotional Intelligence
by Daniel Goleman
++Though reports are that once you get in, the legalism hits and it is hard to get back out.
+++La Brie L.
Biserica Vox Domini, Timisoara 15 iulie 2001
The proposals which I formulated for my former organization, SCOP, finally bore fruit as the Day Care was built and started functioning. I have handed over my SCOP involvement to others and have developed a cooperation with Greater Europe Mission to supervise Erika so that I can concentrate on Arges.
+*+ Journal of Economic
Perspectives, Winter 2000
*+* " Biserica si Stiinta"
& Macavei T. Geocentricitate in teologie
|Mariana's words, "Oana knows how to read!" were beautiful to
hear. Oana is an 9-year old orphan with tan skin and dark hair. Deprived
of love in an orphanage in Bucuresti, she developed behavioral problems
and attention deficiency that used to get her thrown out of all her classes.
Although in second grade, she didn't know her alphabet. (The letter 'p'
was brought to her by Francis Friend of Lehigh U.) Aurelia's work
has started turning her around. Now she attends over half her classes as
she knows that Aurelia won't tutor her if she doesn't. Now, she can read!
The second reason why Mariana's words were beautiful was because last year, even at 9-years old, Mariana couldn't speak. They told me she needed an operation. "Dr." Laurent did the job without making an incision--just some intensive therapy including grasping her jaw and lips to help her form the sounds. In fact, she speaks so well that when Tony arrived he couldn't tell that she had had a problem. Mariana had gone home but her parents, impressed by her progress, found that she didn't receive the specialized attention in the public schools that she gets with us. She not only speaks but is our second best quoter of Bible-verses.
In April, six-year-old Rodica could not identify any colors or count to ten. After only 5 months, thanks to the help of Aurelia Dogar and Tony, she can now identify 16 colors and count to 50.
Apathy was prevalent among the 80 children at the TB hospital, until we started rewarding them for achievement each semester. Now, they literally claw their way over each other to be chosen for tutoring and cry when they can't get instruction but every 3-4 days. The change in virtually all the children is remarkable. The prominent reason is also the most controversial part of our work--God. He is the one who changes hearts and minds. Our experience confirms the research that shows "schools with a distinctive character, including faith-based schools, are more effective than [others]."* Peter Barnes, an AOG pastor, reports that dozens of children made commitments to Christ at the summer camp this year. (See picture below) These and others who have come to know the Lord are the salt of the hospital. Claudia and Tony moved down to help us during the period from January to July. With the school director, we are pioneering new fields of education in Romania.
We opened a computer lab at the hospital, making computer education available to the poorest of southern Romania's poor. The computers are being used by students in my classes, by the director drawing up organizational documents and by doctors to access journal articles. They have developed better administration and even started a student newspaper, Le Crayon . Because of my medical connections by computer and Internet, I was able to alert doctors to two medications that they use, Rifampin and Pyrazinamide, which have been noted in America as causing liver problems. They will slightly modify their treatment techniques here in a country where hepatitis and overconsumption of alcohol ravish the liver.
Claudia's work with the nursery school children was of vital importance to their future lives. A National Institute of Health study has found a link between "child aggressiveness and day care - The more hours that toddlers spend in child care, the more likely they are to turn out aggressive, disobedient and defiant by the time they are in kindergarten."** In the hospitals where we work, the children spend not 8 hours but thrice that.
* Glenn CL. "The teachers' muddle." Wilson Quarterly Autumn 1999, p. 55 and Rand Corporation's "High Schools with Character". 1990
|Valea Iasului Hospital|
Some of the kids with whom we work. They enjoyed the camp we held at the Valea Iasului hospital
|Community Education||Our community education includes the following programs:
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 Bible study of the Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life by Charles Stanley continues. The host of the house church where I used to preach has wed his daughter to a Repenter missionary. Soon afterwards, I received letters from the leader and his new family member. They explained that if I continued practicing hermeneutics and would not accept the necessity of a headcovering for women, I could no longer take communion. It was clear to all that the group got hijacked by the Scottish Repenter. As Matthew 10:14 advocates, I dusted off my shoes and took the Gospel to a more receptive crowd.
God's answer to our prayer for a Christian
employee with initiative, sales skills, and technical knowledge
to expand this work and make it self-sustaining has not yet been answered
as we hoped. As we wrote in our annual report last year, a knowledge
of the Gospel, capitalism, and computer are three rarities in Romania.
|Liv-n-LetLiv.net is first for "Christian humanitarian in
This has enabled people to find out about our work and join in our
Over Christmas, I translated files to allow Romanian to join the many languages that can be used on Linux-based IMP e-mail around the world. As far as I know, it is the only on-line e-mail program in Romanian, so it opens up electronic communication to monolingual Romanians . Mike Quaranta of Lehigh and I hope it will be available to all Romanians domestic and in diaspora as we have made it available as such. I have seen people use it in several Internet cafes.
In May, iBiblioteca.ro climbed to become the top Christian library in Romania, a position it still holds. It is also the site of choice for people wanting to know about salvation by grace and it is cited 7th for those who are looking for a refutation of "salvation by works". My research article about woman's headcovering is the first one cited also. This is a very hot topic and divisive among Repenters. Hopefully, they will catch the Gospel presentation and come to know the Lord.
Christian Management Report accepted my article,"Discerning Justice" for their October 2001 issue. You can download it in .pdf form or see page 27 of the magazine. It outlines some of the things I learned in my career regarding the vital importance of a manager to be fair to his employees. It will give you an idea of my management technique.
My e-mail on how legalism harms country was so popular that it got published. By following the link, you can read "Historical Parallels Romania (Century XXI) v. Portugal (Century XVII)"
Our Romanian tutor, Aurelia Corbeanu, whom I encouraged to publish her writings handed me her first book, saying "I wouldn't have had the courage to do this if it weren't for you." Hope and courage--two key words for the work here.