In March we reported on the new partnership formed between OMS and Friendship Pentecostal Church with the objective of planting churches in Arad County in Romania. To gain first-hand insight into developments, in late June Myles MacBean returned to Carand in western Transylvania to meet with Daniel and Danny Ispas, the father/son pastor team driving the work in the region.
Myles writes, “We had kept in touch via regular emails and Skype calls over the months but nothing beats being together face-to-face if you are to get a true feel for the spiritual health of a community. I must say that this trip was one of contrasts, the first contrast being the weather. The last time we were together in Romania snow was thick on the ground. This time temperatures touched 37 Celsius, and keeping cool was a priority. The second contrast was in material wealth.
As we spent more time with the people of Carand, we found many struggling all day to find the basic necessities of life. In contrast, just over the hill, we found wealthy Romanians enjoying their leisure in an alpine beauty spot. The third, and greatest, contrast was the universal one of where people placed their faith.
While material despair is driving so many of their neighbours to the false hope of alcohol and drugs, I witnessed a wonderful Godly joy in the lives of the faithful believers. Time after time as we visited the houses, I was humbled by the Christ-like way people give so much in hospitality and love to all who cross their threshold.
“It was also great to see the progress Daniel and Danny have made in implementing the T4T model of the ECC ministry of OMS. The weekend before I visited, Daniel had the privilege of baptising seven new Christians – male and female, young and old, Romanian and Gypsy. The excitement in Daniel and Danny was palpable as they reported that this meant they had been able to establish their first fresh new T4T team in Carand and had every hope of a similar group starting imminently in the Gypsy church in the next village.
“Once again I came back from my trip having learned so much from the sheer spiritual grace of my Romanian brothers and sisters, and from the hunger of Daniel and Danny to see the kingdom grow in Romania. God has certainly lit a spark of light in one small corner of Transylvania. With Daniel and Danny’s infectious confidence in the Lord and love for the lost, who can help but pray that God will fan that little flame into a spiritual storm.”