!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Update February 1999

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Ministry Report: February 2000


Just click on the phrase you want to go to:

Be “how-ly” as I am “how-ly”. ..........................................................An open mind opens doors.
With open (non-constraining) hands. .......Imparting compassion by example to the next generation.
Relationship-Centered....................................................Focus: Developing the Next Generation
Praises................................................................................................................Prayer Requests
Contact Me!..............................................................................................................Easy Links


“It’s always the process that gives meaning to the product and not the other way around.”---Vik Muniz, photographer.

As a photographer, I admire Vik's work. Interestingly, what he says about his profession applies also to ministry. I’ve never been more convinced that the “how” of missionary work is more important than the “how much”. How have we ministering here? Why do I use the pronoun “we”? Stay tuned. Our heroes are thrilled to exhibit what God has been doing in Romania.

Be “how-ly” as I am “how-ly”.

The process is first purity, then peace, gentleness, and unity in Christ (James 3:17). I never want to coldly broadcast ###-of-conversions or $$$-in-aid-distributed. The results of focusing on the “how much” may impress the press. But my experiences show that such organizations have little, if any, spiritual impact. Ministries pursuing what the MBA’s call “stretch goals” often compromise ethics to get there. This makes for a terrible witness and discourages followers of the Lord. Those involved in this ministry consider God to be responsible for the product. It is not our place try to do His job. For the first time since the Army, I have found an organization who cares about the process and doesn’t say, “We don’t have time to research the ethical misconduct of our people.” I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a part of Go Ye where ethical “hows” are important.
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An open mind opens doors.

“I really enjoy studying the Bible with you. I’ve learned so much about the Psalms in our times together. You don’t condemn everything like others do. Bob asks me why I cross myself. He won’t accept that it is the proclamation of my belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” (Simultaneously, Aurelia, my Romanian teacher, makes the sign.), To her statement yesterday, I replied with empathy. I had the same experience with the sect. Non-Scriptural legalism pits brother against brother.
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Gelu and meWith open (non-constraining) hands.

Gelu, left, has carefully extricated himself from leadership in a cult in Curtea de Arges called “the Repenters”. He left while I was out of town to demonstrate that he was directed by God, not by me. In my year with Gelu, “how” included sharing my life, a Galatians study on the freedom of Christ, and the Observation- Interpretation- Application method of Bible study. (Thank you Dave Green and InterVarsity.) He had already been questioning the teachings and coercion of the group’s primary leader before we started meeting. This leader has told me that he wants “to see that [I] receive the consequences of [my] actions.” A secondary leader of the group assured me, “He has left us before. He will be back,” His anger is over having lost not just Gelu, but three co-leaders in about a year. As they were in apostolic times, godly partnerships are powerful-- Gelu enlightens me to the religious dynamics of the town and I am there to defend him against the attacks of the cult. Please pray for our new fellowship where I can try out the church- planting training in I received in January.
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Imparting compassion by example to the next generation.

As you know, in November-February a short-term team worked with children who are HIV positive and did remodeling in an orphanage. We saw God enter the hearts of dozens of children. Since we did the remodeling on behalf of a missionary couple, we not only improved conditions for orphans and workers, but we also helped open the doors for the couple to do Christian work there. The team brought clothing which we distributed to poor, orphans, and street children. Some of my generous and industrious donors in the US rounded up two containers of baby food and clothes. As the team, the missionaries, and I distributed them, God opened doors to more orphanages and to partnerships with other churches. Opening these fields was important because 3 other missionaries will join this couple this year.
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Relationship-Centeredme, Aurelia, Claudia, and her boyfriend

"Relationship" describes how supporters and friends are involved. Those supporting the work here have known me an average of 13 years! The survey I took says that the #1 reason they support me is because you "know and trust me." I so appreciate that those who know me best, have the most confidence in me. Welcome to all our new partners, as God's work here has entered a new phase. In January, God provided the finances to hire a partner in Romania. Claudia is a Christian social assistant who will counsel and teach orphans and children with AIDS. God has motivated volunteers from a local church to colabor with her. They have seen half a dozen children and parents come to know Christ. I praise God for their generous support of this work.  We are now 80% up to the level we need for continuing the ministry.
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Focus: Developing the Next Generation

In December, I was asked to speak to 32 school directors in Arges county about updating teaching techniques through “Cooperative Education”. This was the first time I had spoken in Romanian before so many educated people. It was indeed an honor and opened many doors. The County Director for training invited me to write for her journal and I’ve been asked to do continuing education at a school. If I only had time!!!
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“The moment we step away from reality, we objectify it, we accept it.
We need to do that on and off to remain conscious.”---Vik Muniz

In February, I got my much-needed Christmas vacation-sabbatical. I was invited to speak to churches in Italy and Germany. Additionally, I wrote an article and gave some public addresses to encourage people to integrity and missions. While giving my first sermon in Italian, I tossed in some Romanian, just to confuse my audience. After 4 years, it was great being in my “hometown”, Vicenza, Italy. For 15 minutes, tears of joy flowed from my eyes as I meandered in “il centro” once again.
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Back in Romania, I’m greatly encouraged from Christ’s followers who echoed the words that this ministry is proclaiming: “An obedient life is of greater importance to the Lord than a sacrificial one.”(taken from Hosea 6:6) We aim to be examples to those who acknowledge their non-belief in Jesus. Perhaps, like Jesus, who was focused on the “how”,(Matt 9:13) we can also win some who are religiously sacrificing from their pocketbooks but are not living lives of integrity and loving obedience to the Lord.(I John 4:7-8)
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Praises regarding prayer requests in November
--people would come to know Him: Continues to be answered: see above.
--school director seminar: Answered: see above.
--full-time partner in orphan ministry: Answer: Claudia
--an American teacher: still open.
--funding for the orphanage repair project: Answered: see above
--jobs for Valy’s family members: still open.
--Jason, a Chinese student whom I discipled in Ann Arbor helped his wife to come to Christ!!!
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Please pray:
--that we might link up new believers with Bible-based churches.
--jobs for Valy’s family members
--that either an American volunteer will move here full-time to take some of the opportunities that God has provided or that I will be able to gently ease out of some of my activities.
--that the remainder of ministry support may be raised. We are presently at 80% of budget. If you or someone you know is interested in a “how-ly” ministry for development of neglected children, please let me know or inform them about us.
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I’d like to support your ministry:

[ ] In prayer

[ ] By coming [ ] long-term (hint, hint) [ ] short-term

[ ] Financially: Pledge $________ /month. One time gift $_______ .

(Make checks payable to Go Ye Fellowship,
with "For LJ LaBrie #26" in the "Notes" blank.)

Address: Go Ye Fellowship
PO Box 40039
Pasadena, CA 91114-7039

[ ] Intellectually.

[ ] child education and development
[ ] fixing Windows ([ ] in the veterinary sense)
[ ] translating English - Italian
[ ] translating Romanian - English
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